Foosball Players are one of the most critical elements of a Foosball Table. Having chipped, cracked or low-quality Foosball table men, will make for a much poorer playing experience.
So can you replace these men, and when purchasing replacement foosball figures, what are the most important considerations, and what elements of the new pieces do not matter?
Read this guide to find out what to look for in replacement foosball players, which is the best make for the money, and how much you should play for these parts.
A full set of replacement foosball players can cost between $30 and $200, depending on the quality you purchase
What should you look for in the best replacement Foosball Players? It should be made from ABS Plastic, Counter-balanced, with a cross-hatch pattern on the foot, which should also have a slight curve. Read this article to find out more.
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The players in the foosball pitch are called different names by different people, these include
“foosball players, Foosball Man, foosball figures, foosball guys, foosball table men, foosball table players, foosball replacement man, soccer player figurines, foosball table guys, foosball table men, foosball player.”
But they all refer to the same thing, the guys in the photo below.
There are many great foosball table replacement players on the market. The best are the robotic style players introduced by Tornado. These are counterbalanced and have feet with a cross hatch for greater control, the foot is rectangular and slightly tilted. These features combined give much better ball control when compared to standard Foosball Men.
The foosball player is one of the most critical pieces on the Foosball Table, it controls the quality and experience when you are playing. (The other main two are the quality of the Foosball Pitch, and the quality of the Foosball). Good quality Foosball Table Men are especially important for skilled players, as the foot quality is required for competent play.
1) You are a skilled player, or trying to become an experienced player, and the men you currently have on your table are only of low or medium quality. If this is the case, then you should think about changing all the players on your table to a high-quality player, of the types specified above, with cross-hatched pointed feet, and are counterbalanced.
2) You have some damaged players, cracked or chipped, which will cause some shots to go astray. Here, you will probably want to buy just a few men to replace the damaged Foosball Players.
When replacing just a few men, attempt to get replacements that are the same quality as the men that are already on the table. The feet and balancing should be the same as the other men. These are more important than the color of the players.
If you replace two broken men on one side with high-quality players, and your opponent has poor quality players, then you will be at an advantage for ball control.
If you are considering replacing the damaged Foosball Players with high-quality players, then replacing the other low-quality players at another time, then really to make the game fair you should the identical players on the opposing side with high-quality players as well. That way both players are playing with teams of an equal strength.
Foosball Men come in a variety of styles and are made of different materials. The color and appearance of the men should have the least amount of priority given to them. Having your Foosball players resemble your favourite soccer team, or have “Star Wars”, Empire vs Alliance, looks very cool on your table, but if the players are not of the best quality, then the game will not be as good as it should be.
Foosball Players Can Be Made From the Following Materials
I do not have any experience of playing with metal players. They exist but have never been very common. I have been told that it is more challenging to play with metal players, and they are a lot more expensive. We would recommend not using this type of player unless you have a particular reason.
The first foosball players were made from wood, and you can still get some excellent wooden players, but today they are far less common. We would recommend that you only buy wooden players to replace broken ones on a table that is made from wooden men, or for restoring an Antique or Vintage table. The wooden man has been replaced with the better plastic player over the last few decades.
Most of the Foosball players now are made from plastic of one sort or another. The two most common types of plastic player are ABS Plastic, which is more expensive but can be made to improve impact resistance, toughness, and heat resistance. The best Foosball Men on the market are made from ABS Plastic. Cheaper men are made from ordinary plastic. These players are much lighter and cannot hit the ball with as much force. This plastic is still sturdy, and the players should last a long time, but they will not last as long or have the same quality as the ABS plastic players.
Foosball players also come in several different styles
Traditional Foosball Players are players that have been designed with the look of the player in mind rather than how well you can play with these players. A common mistake of the rookie to Foosball id to choose players based on the look rather than how well you can play with them. Table producers know that many people prefer tables based on how the men look, which is why there are so many of these tables still around (Especially at the lower end of the market). As mentioned earlier, you should not worry too much about what the players look like. This type of design is usually the worst and should be avoided if possible.
When Foosball Tables were first produced, this was the style of man on all the tables. The original players had a rounded foot; this should be avoided at all costs, as you cannot make accurate shots when the players have this style of foot.
Later on, a type of Traditional Foosball Player was introduced that had a more rectangular shaped foot. This significantly increased the accuracy of the traditional type of player. However, these players are still nothing like as accurate as the style of players in the other categories.
Tornado Players were the first Foosball Players to be counter-balanced, be made of high-quality ABS plastic and manufactured with a lot of thought given to the design of the foot, allowing for a much higher level of play. This foot had a cross-hatch design that is slightly tilted, allowing greater control and accuracy. These players are thought by most people to be some of the best Foosball players that you can get today. A lot of Championship and World Championship Foosball Tournaments are played using the Tornado Foosball Player.
Tornado Players usually have teams in Yellow and Black colors, and have a robotic look to them, which is still very popular up to the present day.
Robotic Foosball Players get their name as they usually resemble robots rather than men. This type of players are very similar to the Tornado foosball men in design but are made by other manufacturers. Have very little detail on the players, usually counterbalanced, ABS Plastic, and hatch curved feet.
There are many great replacement players on the market. The best are the robotic style players introduced by Tornado. These are counterbalanced and have feet with a cross hatch for greater control, which is rectangular and slightly tilted. These features combined give much better ball control when compared to standard Foosball Men.
Full sets of foosball players sold come with 26 replacement Foosball Players, so these are fine for either of the standard setups, the one goalie European style, 22 player’s configuration (and you will have four spare men if any of the other break). Or the two goalie system and preferred in The United States with 26 men. On several tables, when you are replacing your foosball players, you can change the formation to have either one or three goalies, whichever you prefer.
The Foosball Players need to face the opponent’s goal; this means that the cross-hatched side of the foot should face the opponent’s goal, and the smooth side should face the player’s own goal.
Don’t put them on the other way around, or you are going to have to take them all off again and put them back on the right way around. This is a total pain!
There are three things to look for when choosing new Foosball Players, Foot Design, Counter-Balanced players, and design on the men. The design of the men is not that important; do not let this become a deciding factor. To play skilfully, you must have a counter-balanced man, with a well-designed foot.
The first and most important thing to think about when looking for replacement foosball players is the design of the foot. You need to be looking for players that have cross-hatching with pointed toes. This allows for much better gripping, precise ball control, and make taking great shot far easier.
Players with rounded feet can shoot the ball in any direction when you shoot at goals, and making ball control much more difficult. Smooth feet also have less grip, again reducing the ball control.
The toe on the traditional man is not just rounded on the bottom; it also lacks a cross-hatching grip pattern that is available on the Tornado style man. This cross-hatching is extremely important for catching, passing, pinning the ball against the table, and overall ball control. As you can easily tell from the zoomed in version of the foosball player’s toe below, this is a significant factor in being able to play the game at an advanced level.
Counterbalanced foosball players are players where the top half weighs the same as the bottom half. This means that the player is far better balanced and when you let go of a bar, the men will remain in a horizontal position. When the men are not counterbalanced, the heavier end will sink because of gravity and your players may impede your shots.
This style of player is usually more substantial than standard players; this means that you can take harder shots with them.
In Competitions and Tournaments, you should always have counterbalanced men
Most table on which you can replace the players have players of a standard size so that you can use just about any replacement. But you will need to check that your match either by measuring them or reading the manual.
Specifications of a standard Foosball Player
• Rods are 5/8”
• The hole is 5/8” or 16mm
• Player Height is 4.2” or 107mm
You do not need a lot of specialist tools to change the Foosball Guys on your table, but before you do anything check and see which you are going to need!
High-end tables usually have men attached to the bar with a pin. If this is the case on your table, then you will need a Hammer and a pin punch. The Pin Punch is something for you to hammer against when pushing the pins into the rod. Inexpensive if you have to buy one.
You do not want to put a lot of pressure on the rods/bars and risk bending them, while you are changing the men on your table. Some tables come with a support block that you can put under the bar. This fits precisely between the bar and bottom of the table, so when you apply pressure, the block stops bending and buckling in the bar.
If you do not have this, use a piece of wood cut to the right size to support the bar when pressure is applied.
1. Cover the playing surface, as this needs to be kept clean and damage free for a good game. Lay a towel or something similar on the surface, this with give the table a little protection from damage, and will catch all the small pieces that come off when you are hammering. It may also be worth getting a bit of hard-board that you can put under the area where you are working, in case of any accidents, it will protect the playing surface.
2. Place the bracer bar (block of wood) between the bar you will work on and the floor of the foosball table (You have covered the base right?). This support is to stop the bar being bent
3. Take the pin punch and place it inside the pin that is holding the foosball player to the bar. The pin is keeping the Foosball Guy held to the rod.
4. You must now remove the man — Hammer the pin all the way through the player and the rod.
5. Do this for the other men on the bar that prevent you from sliding the broken man off
6. Remove the broken man and replace all the other men that you had to remove as well
7. Hammer the pins back in place, so the men are fixed firmly in place again. If the pins look worn or damaged, they should be replaced.
Similar to above but simpler, instead of hammering the men off you merely unscrew them.
When installing a foosball table, you need to consider which way the foosball players face. Place the foosball players so that they are facing the opponent’s goal. To make sure they are facing the correct way, look for the cross-hatched side of the foot and make sure that it is facing the opponent’s goal.
The smooth side should, therefore, be facing your own goal. If the foosball players are placed the wrong way, facing your own goal, you cannot play and you will have to remove them and change the direction in which they are facing.
There is a maximum number of men that can be on a foosball table, and it varies based on the setup you choose. A full set of foosball players usually has 26 replacement foosball players that can be used for standard setups.
If you choose a one goalie European setup, there is a 22-player configuration, which means you will have 4 spare men to replace broken ones. If you choose the United States system with two goalies, you will need 26 men on the foosball table.
There are several tables that allow you to change the formation, choosing between one or three goalies.
Foosball, one of the most exciting and appreciated table-based games, has gained popularity all over the world and there is even an International Table Soccer Federation, founded in 2002, as proof of the vast expansion of this global sport.
Foosball is most popular in Europe and the USA, according to many statistics. Many countries have monthly foosball leagues and players come from all around the world, but especially from the USA, Germany, France, Austria, and Switzerland. Besides South America and North America, foosball is extremely popular in Africa and Asia as well.
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