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 recomendations
Old Foosball Tables
Early tables reflect the styles from the period they were built in, and old tables were generally hand built with sturdy wooden frames, and as they were expensive at the time, were generally 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 generally found now from the 1960s and 1970s, and to a lesser extent the 1950’s
Old Foosball Tables – What types are there?
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 is a summary of each type of table
Retro Style Foosball tables
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 be 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:
- Be cheaper
- You will be able to play a better game on them as they are not worn.
- They will look better as they are newer (this is a matter of opinion!).
- Most importantly they will be a lot easier to maintain and get replacement parts for, as they are still being manufactured.
- The retro tables are generally of a better quality build, as they have to be made from solid wood to make them look like the tables of old. This will make them sturdier, and it’s not as easy to mass produce them.
- They are more stylish, so look better in your Den, living room or where ever you plan to place it
Antique Foosball Tables
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 generally given this term because of their rarity and price due to their age. In this case, we will consider tables from the mid-1950s and earlier to be antiques.
These tables tend to be hard to come by now, you may have a great deal of trouble finding one, and they will be expensive. Also once you have one, they are not easy 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.
Buying an antique foosball table
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.
Selling an antique foosball table
To sell one of these tables, you would generally 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.
Vintage Foosball tables
Vintage tables are old foosball tables, like the antique tables. However, these tables tend to be 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 be able to have a better game. But the game will still probably not be as good as on a modern table.
Buying a vintage foosball 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
Selling a vintage foosball table is very similar to selling an antique table. Try the same places as mentioned in that section above.
What to look for when buying an old foosball table
Trust your gut feeling; if it looks new then it probably is, new shiny nails indicate that this is not an old table. There are not many 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 a lot of 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 are 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 hand made to replace your worn parts. Finding the manuals for these tables may also be difficult.
Restoring an old foosball table
To be able 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!
There are a number of 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
Recommended Retro Style Tables
- Quick snap player rods make setup a breeze, get into the game fast
- Sturdy cabinet walls are built with durability in mind, for long-lasting fun
- High definition playfield graphics add a new level of depth to games
- Includes Soccer style players and four foosballs
- Four 5 inch leg levelers provide excellent stability
- Free Shipping! Ships within 5 business days pending customer availability
- Beautiful Queen Anne Style Legs
- Score Counters embedded into the cabinet top
- Heavy Duty all wood Construction
- 3 Man Goalies
- PREMIUM QUALITY FOOSBALL TABLE - High quality construction combined with classic design elements and provide a competitive foosball table which is both highly durable, as well as beautiful.
- BRONZE FINISHED HARDWARE - Built with sturdy bronze fixtures, easy spin rods, varnished ergonomic handles and sturdy hidden leg levelers to ensure a perfectly balanced game for years to come.
- SUPERIOR CONSTRUCTION - This Allendale 56 Inch professional quality game table is constructed with A-style metal leg design, durable heavy duty wood veneer top rails and aprons and a slick finished playing surface for fast and sturdy nonstop play.
- PERFECT FOR HOME GAME ROOMS - High quality foosball game tables are the perfect addition to your basement, office, or apartment giving you and your family endless hours of classic competitive gaming.
- INCLUDES EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR THE GAMES - Recreational gaming table includes vintage style scoring pegs, robot style player flippers, and two high quality 36mm foosballs to keep games fast paced and fun.
Last update on 2019-03-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API