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A couple of Christmases ago I bought my son a table top football game from Debenhams and he still has it now and so I thought that I would review it! The set came in a cardboard box which had pictures of the game on it in colour and so you could get a good idea what you are getting from the toy even before opening it. When I bought it Debenhams actually had one on display so I knew exactly what I was going to get before I bought it. The box it came in was pretty heavy really and although it isn't going to be too hard to carry it may start to weigh on if you are doing a lot of shopping and buy this first. Inside the box there is everything you need to make up this table top football game. There is an instruction sheet for you to follow and there is a little assembly to be done with this one because it wouldn't fit in the box if the handles with the football players were already attached to it. The instructions for assembly are quite basic but it wasn't too difficult to set up and probably took around fifteen minutes or so on Christmas day. Once it is all set up you cannot pop it back in the box as the handles do make it larger and so we store ours on the top of a toy cabinet so it isn't taking up too much space but is still accessible when my son wants to play. This table top football game is made from a pretty heavy feeling wood and so care does need to be taken with this as it would hurt if it was dropped on a foot for example. The product features a green coloured bottom part to represent the football pitch and this is marked with things such as the half way line and the goal mouth. There are obviously two teams and these are yellow and red and these are controlled by handles which are on either side of the wooden base. There are three footballers per handle and just two handles for controlling them but this is enough because you only have two hands and I think as this is a table top version you don't need to have to keep swapping and changing handles to control your players as you would with a larger one! My son really enjoys playing this game when we get it down and he likes to play with both his friends but also other adults too and I think this is because he sees it as a bit of a level playing field because even though an adult does have more control with a game like this I do think a lot of it is down to pot luck, or it certainly is when my son plays against me! Along both sides of the game near the goal mouth there is a sliding scorer which goes up to number nine so you can keep score of the number of goals you get per game and we either play to a timer to see when the game is finished or just go until someone scores nine goals and then see who the winner is. The scorer is certainly a really handy way to keep track of who is winning in my opinion. The bars are covered with a black plastic grooved handle and they are really easy to hold and manoeuvre for both myself and my son so I do think this is suitable for all of the family really and is something that most people will enjoy playing from time to time. We don't have it out all of the time as it would lose its fun value I think but when we do get it down we always like to have a few games. The whole feel of the game is that it is well made to be honest and it looks as good as the day we got it even a couple of years down the line. It does attract dust though I have to say and so we usually need to give it a good dust down before we play it! This table top football game comes with two small plastic footballs and I think it is so important that it comes with two because things are inevitably going to get lost and so at least having two if you lose one you can still play the game. You can buy replacement balls from amazon for a couple of pounds for a multipack so all is not lost if you do lose both though. This table top set is selling on amazon for around £13 delivered from some sellers. I paid £10 for the one I bought my son for Christmas a couple of years ago and I have seen them at a similar price in the quirky, gadget style shops which are popping up in shopping centres and so I am sure you could find one on the high street should you wish to. I would recommend this product because I think it will last many years and it is something all the family can have a go at really. Thank you for reading my review!
A lot of people like football, some playing for a team at the weekend, others enjoy watching. Then there's those that like to play but haven't got the energy to last the ninety minutes it takes to play a full game. And for those people there are alternatives, such as this rather fine, if much smaller than real, game of table top football where you don't have to run anywhere, all you have to do is grab the handles and spin them to try and score a goal... know not even I can get out of breath playing this one. This particular table top football game is, as I say, small, measuring a mere 500mm long by 300mm wide and 100mm deep. There are four rods which have three men attached to them, five red and five yellow, and two goalkeepers at opposite ends. When you've put it together properly there should be three red in the middle opposite three yellow, with three defenders near the goal mouth, one of them being the goal keeper, just make sure the opposite colours face the right way so as to score in the right goal. Even though it is small it still has to be put together before you can start playing, but this take a very short time and everything you need is in the box, including the little 'hex' key that the bolts need. Putting it together is pretty straight forwards and the instructions are well laid out and easy to follow. The rods that the little men are attached to slide through the holes that have been pre-drilled in the wooden sides, then the ends bolt onto the ends, obviously, with the plywood base sliding into the grooves which are around the bottom of the whole thing. Then you have to screw the scoring line onto the ends, which takes a few minutes to do. Once it's all bolted together you're ready to play a game of table top football. But before you kick off, in football terms not in the argumentative side, take a step back and have a quick look at the miniature stadium you have just built, (and it didn't take you as long as it took to build Wembly stadium either). If you've put it together properly there should be 6 players face one way and six facing the other, all on alternative rods. The handle on the rods should be alternative as well, with two handles on each side of the pitch. In other words, the yellows should all face towards one goal whilst the reds face towards the other, with the corresponding goal keepers being attached to the rods between their teams colours, just make sure the rod with the goal keeper on it is directly in front of the goal mouth. If it doesn't look like that, or the players are facing the wrong way, then get the 'hex' key out again, strip down the stadium and start again. My Opinion... I like football and I remember playing the bigger version of this when I was growing up, you know the ones, those that are the size of a pool table that you had to stand up to play, so this miniature one seemed very 'miniature' indeed. But once I started to play it I was pretty much addicted as I tried my hardest not to spin the players all the way around in a frantic manner as that's against the rules. As for the construction of the game itself, well, the players are built to last, and they certainly do last, even though the ball is quite weighty and makes you think that the players legs may just 'split' off if you kick it too hard. Sadly though the construction it is made of an MDF type material and is not as sturdy as it looks, much to our dismay, when I picked it up by one end and the slot of wood, nay MDF, which is behind the goal mouth, broke away, revealing two of the tiniest staples I have ever come across which held the thing together. Fortunately though, I know how to handle a tube of wood glue so I managed to stick it all back together again, and this time it was for keeps. And at the same time I decided to do the same to the other side before that one fell apart as well, so know it's as solid weight lifters bicep. But apart from that little glitch, this is a nice little game and can give you lots of fun, just remember that the 'official' rules state you can't to 'spinnies' so be warned. Note: I have to mention that the base of this is not the softest so when you play it on a table then put something on the table top, like a towel or some form of protection, as the base will scratch table tops due to the way it moves around as you're playing it. As for the price of this miniature Wembly stadium that can sit on your coffee table. It costs around the £15.00 region, with many places selling it for less than that so do shop around. It's a harmless fun game for most people and can be played anywhere at all really, even in the toilet if you really want to. And as it looks rather well constructed indeed, with the curves and colouring of the wood, it doesn't look bad if it's left on a shelf or something. © Blissman70 2012