The first new Subbuteo accessory of 2024 has officially been revealed by the brand. UK seller and importer University Games has confirmed a brand new electronic scoreboard will go on sale in the next few months.
A prototype of the new electronic scoreboard was on display at the London Toy Fair last month, where The Hobby was able to get a closer look at the new addition to the Subbuteo range.
The scoreboard comes in the standard modern green Subbuteo box. The scoreboard itself has a prominent red Subbuteo logo at the top, a thick black plastic boarder and a screen showing ‘home’ and ‘away’ scores. It comes with the option to set a timer and update when a goal has been scored.
The scoreboard itself was tucked away on a small Subbuteo display at the Toy Fair, which was significantly smaller than previous years and hints that University Games may be focusing on other brands in its portfolio in the coming months.
The brand itself has not yet officially announced the new scoreboard but it was included in the Toy World magazine preview of the show, along with confirmation that the new arrival will be on sale shortly.
The electronic scoreboard is a sensible new addition to the Subbuteo range and should prove popular with collectors as a unique new accessory and it is significantly more practical than the recent training range.
However, Subbuteo may have missed a trick with the scoreboard by not allowing it to be integrated onto Subbuteo stands. It certainly feels the brand is moving away from the ‘recreation of Association Football’ image and moving more towards the game being marketed as a more simple toy for younger players.
What do we think of the new Subbuteo scoreboard?
While an electronic scoreboard is a nice addition it would have been nice to see the board better represent the scoreboards seen in stadiums to properly replicate that true football feel.
Adding the ability to add team names would have been a nice touch but may have raised the end price significantly. But as a result it’s difficult to see where the scoreboard sits. Many people now use Subbuteo apps to show scores and stadiums even include live video feeds and modified classic Subbuteo scoreboards with real working lights – which are both more exciting and charming than the new scoreboard.
I would have liked to see the ability to clip the scoreboard onto a stadium but I’m sure some clever 3D printers would be able to do it. There’s even the possibility of printing some legs to better recreate the more classic Subbuteo scoreboards.
While the new scoreboard lacks charm it does feature the Subbuteo logo and that alone will be enough for many collectors and fans of the brand.
The key issue will be price point and Subbuteo has not yet announced how much it will cost when it does go on sale.