FOOTBALLERS
   

 

 

 

An interesting departure from the battlegrounds of World War 2 and Napoleonic Europe to a completely different battleground - Wembley. This twenty-nine figure set was announced in the August 1972 Airfix Magazine and appeared in the same year's catalogue (although the artwork was slightly different). The figures, moulded in yellow, were supplied with two footballs attached to a sprue (these are seldom found in second hand boxes these days! There were eleven poses including twenty-two players, two linesmen, two substitutes, two trainers and a referee. This is actually a pretty good set and I am surprised that it took so long for a British company like Airfix to produce such a set. There are rumours that an HO/00 set was looked at in the sixties but I'm sure there is no such set. For those who collect Timpo Action Packs, it is interesting to note that they followed Airfix with a Footballer set which is the only Timpo set anywhere near the quality Airfix was dishing out. Check out the Timpo box-art....Made In Scotland!!

              

1972 "GREEN" BOX                                                                      1973 BOX

         

1973 BOX.  Note that this box has been printed off-centre so all the panels have about 8-10mm shift on them. I have seen a couple of these on eBay so it may well be that there is a fairly big batch of them going around. One more "oddity" for the collection!

           

Eleven poses and two sprued footballs.    Roy of the Rovers eat your heart out! Here is the original 1972 catalogue artwork for this set and also the illustration of a  painted figure that came with it.

         

Just as a comparison to the Airfix set, these were made in Shotts, Scotland which explains our own artwork! Was it indeed a Scotsman who produced the Artwork for these? Maybe someone can tell me if they know.  One box would contain fourteen individually posed figures, one football, one bench for the coach/manager and one simple goal frame. To simulate a game you would have to buy two of these packs - and I did in my younger days!

                       

                  

And here are some of the results!  I painted these in celebration of the 1986 World Cup after digging them out of my toy soldier collection at that time.  I never actually finished them as you can see - I probably lost interest after Scotland went out of the tournament!!  First we have Graeme Souness for Scotland, Pat Bonnar in goals for the Republic of Ireland, an un-named Denmark player, No 19 for France, Pierre Litbarski for West Germany and an un-named USSR player.

         

20th December 2011.  Rainer Schmidt from Germany recently picked up this interesting alternative.  It is a 1973 box with French language on the reverse and the wording "La Redoute" on the sides and ends.  The front is identical to the normal 1973 box.  La Redoute is France's largest mail order Company and has been in existence since 1875.  It may be that the Company was selling these sets as a licensed product in the seventies.  Rainer assures me that the box appears to be just like any 1973 issue so there is probably no reason to doubt that it is authentic.  What is also interesting is that the title on the rear is given the French translation but the sides and ends are left in English, despite having La Redoute added there.  A very nice find and well done to Rainer on picking it up.

 

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