Subbuteopia captures the history and passion for the game of Subbuteo (Table Soccer) and its enthusiasts, who persevered despite Hasbro’s cancelling the product.
But after watching this documentary, I still couldn’t figure out what this game is about or how it is played. So I went to subbuteo.com, which isn’t terribly helpful. But that site directed me to youtube, where there are recordings from recent tournaments, such as this one. A lot of grown men play this game, which requires finger-flicking little plastic figures around a fabric, chalkboard, or hard pitch for 20-30 minutes. When they score, the men are as loud and excited as if they were at the Euros.
If you’ve played on a foosball table, you know that game requires hand and upper body strength as well as reaction time. But the closest American sport to Subbuteo is tiddlywinks. It’s hard to believe this table soccer game has persevered for 70 years and harder still to imagine it will make to 100. But Star Trek has been around for 50 years and continues to win new fans and produce new memorabilia, so who knows?
This film is in its own soccer movie niche
England and Italy are the two countries where the game continues to have a strong following, and the producers of Subbuteo playsets are based in Italy.
If you want to know everything there is to know about soccer movies, this film must be on your watchlist. The history of the product is also entertaining and provides insight into true home-grown manufacturing in 1947.
5 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 5