Museum of Plastic: Tomy Super Cup Football

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Possibly the most beloved boxed football game that isn’t Subbuteo, Super Cup Football was first produced some time in the 1980s, and continued unabated – through fresh box design after fresh box design – right up until the ’90s. Its battery-powered motion was futuristic when it first came out, and even by the time it quietly disappeared (doubtless killed off, like so many others, by computer games) there wasn’t really anything else like it.

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In truth, it doesn’t actually play an amazing game of football – with a tiny ball being slammed about frenetically by players, it’s more akin to a jazzed-up table football than anything else – but there’s still marvel to be had in the way someone somewhere managed to come up with a table-top game in which players could dribble, and the attention to detail throughout is terrific, right down to supplying you with spare unpainted players that you could paint in your favoured team’s colours (although I’ve yet to see evidence that anyone, anywhere, ever bothered to do this). Despite being too loud to play for more than about five minutes at a time, a complete, working boxed one is still one of the finest things you can stumble across in a charity shop.


5 Comments on Museum of Plastic: Tomy Super Cup Football

  1. Guilty! I definitely painted the kits. Heck, it pre-dated that embarrassing spell trying to get into Games Workshop stuff, so they were probably the first models I ever painted.

    I grew up in the Midlands, so I think I decided the all red figures were Kettering, and therefore painted a cobblers kit onto the spares.

    I loved this game. I used to play mini-round robin tournaments (one hand on each set of controls). It took up much less space than Subbuteo.

    I’ve still got an edition somewhere I picked up a couple of years ago. Sadly it’s missing some of the figures.

  2. Nice article. I painted the spare players back in the day and have recently bought the game. I am in the process of painting up some teams which will include South-coast derby Portsmouth vs Southampton.

    I have to disagree with your comment about it not playing an amazing game of football. We used to have some tense passages of play and possession football. Played right and you have a real game on your hands.

    I have recently opened up the game case to clean inside and I am amazed at the level and complexity of the engineering and components They would never manufacture something like this today. The ones that survive should be treasured.

  3. Great article. My parents recently found my old one and I was over the moon. Had totally forgotten about it. So happy to see it again. I painted the spares too. Lost the footballs and ended up using my sisters pet rabbits droppings as I was so desperate to play it. Fortunately I hadn’t kept the droppings. Such a shame that computer games are preventing kids from experiencing these types of games growing up.

  4. Graeme Campbell // November 14, 2016 at 12:05 am // Reply

    It plays an awesome game of football if you practice. Scoring of corners throw ins etc. Volleys are possible. Great game.

  5. And stumble across one today I actually did. I saw it in the window of a local charity shop last night which presumably meant it had survived the entire weekend unpurchased (today being Monday). I could not make out the price or condition given that it was dark so resolved myself to return first thing today. First thing turned out to be 12.00pm yet it was still there! Condition was great with 9 spare players and one ball. Missing the spare painted players, most of the balls and some knobs I think. Box in decent condition (the latest design). Only a short amount of time was needed to decide if it was worth getting for £25 in an untested state due to dead batteries. Got it home and everything works fine. Been tracking sets in similar condition on ebay and a few have gone today for £80+. Never had one as a child but do remember them being brought in on the last day of term. I guess they were expensive given the mechanism? An old housemate had one in the early 00’s and that got a lot of love. Hope to invite some friends round soon to recreate the frenzy of cup final day!

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