Subbuteo has finally revealed the rubber-backed Deluxe pitch at the UK Toy Fair 2022.
UK importer University Games showcased the rubber-backed pitch, which is able to be rolled without creases, at the major toy event where it first revealed the new-look Subbuteo back in 2020.
The pitch is one of several new products announced at the event a year after the brand first confirmed plans to sell the pitch. Other new arrivals on the stand include a 75th Anniversary set and a branded Liverpool FC set and separate team.
The 75th Anniversary set uses a grey colour scheme and the new 75th anniversary logo but looks to be exactly the same as the previous set, with traditional red and blue teams inside.
Meanwhile a branded Liverpool FC set also appears on the stand.
The main focus for Subbuteo fans will be the rubber-backed pitch. The pitch has confused fans and collectors after owners Longshore announced it early in 2021 with a cryptic message that it would be available that year. After months of silence an official announcement has still not been made but the pitch was displayed on the Toy Fair stand this year.
The pitch was seen as a popular move by fans at the time, with many considering it a positive move for the hit-and-miss new generation of Subbuteo.
The Toy Fair is one of the largest toy events in Europe and is used as a way to showcase new toys in time for Christmas and the busy Q4 period.
Subbuteo says: “The UK Subbuteo range is on show to retail buyers and press at the London Toy Fair this week! New additions to the range will be arriving on shelves later in the year.”
The message hints that availability for UK buyers could be dependent on stores willing to stock the new products. In the past the University Games website has sold some of the items, while Argos and other toy stores have occasionally stocked new Subbuteo. However, two years ago four new team colours were not sold in the UK after stockists were not found, meaning only some European buyers could easily get their hands on them.
While University Games and Subbuteo has shown commitment to honouring the brand’s 75th anniversary it has not confirmed if the new sets or the new pitch will be available in the UK or what price point they will be sold at.