Review: Subbuteo England Women’s Lionesses set

Are the makers of Subbuteo actually listening to feedback?

It would definitely be a new development in the sorry saga of a once great toy brand but since Hong Kong-based Longshore took the reigns from a disinterested Hasbro we have been subject to shoddy communication, shambolic product launches and cheap-as-chips box sets.

But there may be some positive signs in the shape of the new England Lionesses box set. Not only is this a much-welcomed first ever commercially-available women’s Subbuteo set it also is fully licensed as an accurate representation of the national side.

Subbuteo vlogger Subbuteo Collector is the man who got his hands on the first Lionesses set and his review can be viewed here.

So why the optimism? First of all the box contents are no longer in plastic bags and, like the new sets launched last year for the men’s team, it has a proper insert to hold the teams. This should really be cardboard but it’s a start.

Secondly, the players are now much, much better. As Stewart suggests, the hair detail is excellent with at least three different styles, while facial features are more defined than previous sets. While the figures are slimmer they are still a bit chunky around the legs. This is because Longshore wants the players to be more durable and as this set is aimed at children it does make sense.

The kit and player detail is a bit cartoon-y but is a genuine improvement – is the brand actually listening to feedback?

As Stewart mentions, the pitch is superb. Thick, quality material with raised lines and a really playable surface that stands up to any cloth pitch ever released by the brand. The ball is ok and the second red team should really be England’s away kit.

Elsewhere, the goals are poor quality cheap plastic and need to be Subbuteo’s next big upgrade. However, overall this is the best of the four new sets Subbuteo has launched and a welcome improvement for the brand.

The price of £40 is expensive. Wait until it’s £30 and it’s well worth buying because it is an historic set. It should be a winner.

Next up is a pitch that is rubber-backed and can be rolled up. That one will be popular if the quality is there – and if it’s sold in the UK.

The reaction

Overall it’s a step in the right direction and here’s what the community had to say:

Dale May says: “They look good. Expect the goals & pitch will be awful as usual in modern sets. Be great if they sell the team separately.”

Wobbly Hobby Shop agrees that they look good: “I think they look amazing, great detail and good flat bases, will teach the game quickly to the new generation of enthusiasts.”

Dave Hunter says: “Give them credit for trying to give each player a unique look.”

Whereas Anthony Charles is not so impressed: “Why do all the legs on the new teams look fat ? Honestly i think they look terrible and certainly won’t be entertaining this at all.”

Stephen Hurrell
Stephen Hurrell
Stephen is the founder and editor of The Hobby Online and The Hobby by Subbuteo.Online print magazine. He is a giant nerd and specialises in Subbuteo, retro football kits and consumer stories. A journalist and editor of 15 years, he has written about football for some of the UK's biggest publications.

Similar Articles


Most Popular