Set 13, “A pair of sight screens”, is the only accessory in this era that did not form part of a box set.
For the collector it is also the hardest Subbuteo Cricket item to find nowadays. For many years it was the one Subbuteo Cricket product missing from my collection. In fact, until Peter Upton obtained a photo for his excellent Subbuteo Tribute Website last year I’d never even seen so much as a picture of one.
So I’m delighted to have been able to buy the set at last.
Set 13 was not part of the range at launch in 1949, but was introduced some time before 1955. It was certainly still in the range in 1962, but had been dropped by 1965, well before the switch to 00 Scale plastic pieces.
Given its construction it is perhaps not surprising that they don’t appear to have lasted in collections coming up for sale nowadays. From its short life in the range it’s probable that not many were sold either. Both of these factors have combined to make it that rarest of things … a genuinely rare Subbuteo Cricket piece!
The design has similarities with the old style football set corner flags. It uses the same type of metal posts and the white screen is made from the same plastic material as the flags, rather than from paper or card. However, the sight screen stands are smaller at the base than their football counterparts, and taller. Overall the screens are about the same size as the 00 scale version.
You can see a comparison of the two bases below (bottom left).
As you can see from these pictures, they are showing their age a bit – but wouldn’t every sight screen after 70-odd years of duty? After looking for them for so long, they are still a thing of beauty to me!