In 1953 we saw Mrs. Potato head bring gender equality to the spud based entertainment and now, in 2018, Hasbro has done the same for table top football.
Toyology were honoured to be one of the few invited to Wembley Stadium last week to be shown the new, all female Subbuteo set. Due to be released alongside the Women’s FA Cup Final on May 5th, this set marks the first time Subbuteo have ever represented the women’s side of the sport. To celebrate the momentous occasion they brought along former ‘Lioness’ and ex-England footballer Sue Smith to explain the importance of this announcement.
“When I was growing up I played with the ‘men’s set’, if you like and I thought that that was the norm. Now though, you have those female figures you can play with, it shows the growth of the women’s game moving forward and, as young girl your playing with female figures and I think that makes such a difference.”
Having been approached only 6 months ago by the Football Association (FA), Hasbro were against the clock to create the set in time for the final. In a bold move, none of the tiny plastic players actually represent their counter parts in the finalist teams of Chelsea and Arsenal. Instead they have been designed to represent the broad range of ethnicities of players across the sport.
A Hasbro representative at the event explained,
“We had to wait to see which teams would be in the final, which [was revealed] a couple of weeks ago, so it was agreed that the players would be to a likeness of a football team. So if you take a look you’ll see there’s lots of different hairstyles involved, there’s lots of different ethnicities so it’s a real reflection on society today.”
This marks a real step forward for the 70 year old brand and, hopefully could help keep the toy relevant against video games like FIFA which brought in the Women’s game two years ago with FIFA 2016.
Even though this set is a limited edition there are apparently talks between Hasbro and the FA regarding future expansions and sets based on other teams and actual player