Foosball is one of the oldest table games, invented in the early 1900s. This means that for almost 100 years people have been making them. The history of foosball can be found here
Here we describe old Foosball tables. Antique, Vintage and Retro Tables, help you decide what you need, and making our recommendations.
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Early tables reflect the styles from the period they were built in, and old tables were hand built with sturdy wooden frames, and as they were expensive at the time, were very good looking and stylish. You will not find many vintage tables made from plastics, or with bright, gaudy patterns on the side.
Old foosball tables are becoming rarer, as some are destroyed in accidents, thrown out because they look old and used, or used to repair other tables. These can never be replaced. As you would suspect, the older the foosball table, the more expensive it is. Vintage and antique tables are found now from the 1960s and 1970s, and to a lesser extent the 1950s
We can divide the old style of foosball tables into three groups. Antique, Vintage and Retro style tables. Each of these has its own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. Below, I summarize each type of table.
Retro style tables are not really old foosball tables, they are new but have been designed to look like the old ones. They have been included here, as this is what most of you will looking to buy. That’s why it’s included at the top! Compared to the “original” antique and vintage tables, Retro tables have the advantage that they will:
What is an antique? Well, this term is used rather loosely these days, to a teenager anything from the 1960s may be considered an antique.
Antiques are given this term because of their rarity and price because of their age. Here, we will consider tables from the mid-1950s and earlier to be antiques. These tables are scarce now, you may have a great deal of trouble finding one, and they will be expensive.
Also, once you have one, they are difficult to sell again as there is not a large market for this type of thing. Because of their age, the antique foosball tables may not give you the best game. Also, if they are valuable, you may worry about a part being broken as they will be very hard to replace.
Obviously these are not in the usual places, like high street shops or online sites like Amazon!
The best places to find these tables, should you want one, are local auction houses, online auctions sites like eBay–you could add an alert, so you are emailed when someone advertises in this category.
Also, you can try looking at online directories like Craigslist. Also, consider the delivery charges when you buy a table. They will be bulky, heavy and possibly fragile, so always buy locally if you can. Delivery will be a significant sum if it has to travel a long distance. Buy antique foosball table eBay
To sell one of these tables, you would try the same places as above when buying a foosball table. Personally, I would recommend trying a local auctions site, as packing the table up and arranging for delivery is going to be difficult. Or you could try an online site and specify–buyer must collect the item. antique foosball table for sale eBay
Vintage tables are old foosball tables, like the antique tables. However, these tables are aged from the mid-1950s to the early 1990s. After this period the tables would look similar to today’s tables, so probably should not be termed vintage (yet). These tables are also getting more difficult to buy, as there seems to be a growing demand for them.
More foosball tables were made in this period, so they will be easier to come by, and hence much cheaper than an antique table. Parts will be easier to come by, and if the table has been well maintained, then you will have a better game. But the game will still probably not be as good as on a modern table.
Buying a vintage foosball table is very similar to buying an antique table. Try the same places as mentioned in that section above.
Selling a vintage foosball table is very similar to selling an antique table. Try the same places as mentioned in that section above.
Trust your gut feeling; if it looks new, then it probably is. New shiny nails show that this is not an old table. There are few fake foosball tables, but take no chances! Dovetail joints are a sign that this is a handmade table, and not some mass-produced piece. The thinner the dovetail, the better the table was made
Don’t look for shine and polish. A refinished table may look great, but doing this can reduce its value. The weathered finish is what many people are looking for. Look for signs of woodworm, especially active worms. An old wooden table may have a few boreholes in it, but you need to make sure there is not an excessive amount.
Be especially wary if there are any fresh boreholes. The quality of the parts of the table. Of course, there will have been some wear and tear on an old foosball table. But look at the parts that are going to need replacing. Some of these are going to be very hard to find, and possibly some will need to be handmade to replace your worn parts. Finding the manuals for these tables may also be difficult.
To restore one of these tables, you are going to have to know what you are doing. Try to get the original manual, and as you are dissembling and replacing the old parts, take lots of photos, so you know exactly how to put it back together again. It is very unlikely that you will find someone still working. Who knows how these tables are assembled!
We do not recommend doing this yourself, unless you are fairly good at carpentry, and have experience at this type of thing, especially if it is an expensive table. You may find it very hard to get replacement parts, as they probably stop manufacturing them decades ago. If you search hard, you may find some. But often you may have to have these parts custom made, or make them yourself!
The major reason that people want Retro Style Foosball Tables in their home is that they are more visually appealing than the standard tables, which are “Boxy.”, have a look that is more suited to a bar, rather than a living room. There are a couple of other type of table that are visually appealing and can go into any room in your home.
These are Foosball Coffee Tables and Furniture Quality Foosball tables. The Coffee Table will look better in your living room, but the Furniture Quality Table will allow you to play a much better game.
Coffee tables that are also a foosball, are coffee table size games, designed to look like a coffee table, and could take the place of your current one. Beautifully designed using solid wood, built to high standards, they look beautiful anywhere These tables are great to play with, but they have the disadvantage of not being tailored to be a Foosball table.
They are a coffee table first, with Foosball table as an afterthought. These tables add more amusement to your room, but they are not top quality table, suffering because of their small size and low height. More On Foosball Coffee Tables
Furniture Quality Foosball Tables are also designed to look good in any room in the house. They are usually made from solid quality woods, like Walnut or Mahogany. So if you are looking for a beautiful contemporary piece for your living room, these may be ideal
These tables are usually full size or nearly full sized. This means that while they look beautiful, it is a large piece of furniture. The game play on some of these tables is fantastic, especially the Tornado tables.
There are several options you can go for when deciding what type of older table you want.
We would recommend that you buy a retro style table if you are going to be using it a lot to play.
If you want a piece more for display, or you are a handyman who wants a new project, then you probably can go for an antique or vintage foosball table.
Invented in the 1900s, foosball is one of the oldest table games, and this makes older foosball tables very rare, and very expensive depending on the period they come from. A good antique, vintage table is one that originates from the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s.
Best older foosball tables are the ones that are handmade, and you have to look for thinner dovetail joints, to find an authentic antique, vintage foosball table. An older foosball table with weathered finish, signs of woodworm and boreholes is more authentic and has more chances of actually being a 100% antique, vintage table.
Harold Searles Thornton issued the first official foosball table patent in 1921, in the UK. There are other games similar to foosball dating back to the 1800s, but the 1921 one was played on a platform more similar to what we call today a foosball table.
The game was designed by Harold using a box of matches and imagining how to skewer the men on rods, so that they would be suspended over the playing field.
Since foosball tables were first patented by Harold Searles Thornton, other inventors came up with their own version of the game. French inventor Lucien Rosengart is one of them, with his 1930s foosball like game called “babyfoot”.
Alejandro Finisterre also patented his invention of table football, called futbolin, during the Spanish Civil War in 1937.
Modern-day table football is based on this version of the game. When Lawrence Patterson brought foosball to the United States in the 1950s, the game continued to grow in popularity until the 1970s, when it was widely spread across the US, in bars and pool halls around the country.
Today’s foosball tables categorised based on their type, and there are 5 official ITSF table brands (Bonzini, Roberto Sport, Garlando, Tornado, Leonhart). The differences between foosball table come from various aspects, such as materials used, types of corners and even types of balls.
Italian tables, for example, have a glass playfield, tinier figurines, and lighter rods, while French style tables have heavier figurines made of aluminium, light cork balls and a rubbery playfield.
American foosball tables usually have a plastic laminated playfield, and the figurines have a wider foot area, while German tables are equipped with lighter foosball men. Last, but not least, in Spanish foosball tables you will notice a slope towards the middle of the playfield.
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