Finding a foosball table can be super simple when you have retailers like Target, Walmart, or Costco where you live. However, finding replacement parts for any game table can be difficult. Foosball players are one of the most frequently replaced foosball parts but where can you expect to find them?
Most people go online to get the best quality foosball players. Retailers that specialize in game tables or game table manufacturers have most of their stuff available online for buyers that don’t live near their stores. You can find cheaper quality foosball players in retail stores like Target and Sears.
So why wouldn’t someone go to Target to buy their replacement foosball men? Almost everyone lives near a Target and you wouldn’t have to pay any shipping fees to get them home. If Target has a good quality set of foosball players then that’s probably a good idea but most players aren’t designed in the same way.
If you are looking for a better quality player you’ll find more resources on online retailers but you’ll need to know what you want first. Most people go to a retailer that sells foosball tables and rate the players based on their weight, design, and fasteners. There’s a couple things that you need to look for.
Probably the most important part of a foosball player is the toe. Toes are the part of the player that actually hits the ball. The toes of foosball players are often designed differently and these variations definitely make a difference.
Often times you’ll see in a cheaper foosball set that the players have rounded toes. This gives you a disadvantage because it doesn’t allow you to pass the ball to players on the same rod and it doesn’t allow you to execute certain shots like the bank shots. Look for a foosball player that has a pointed toe.
You also want the toes to have an etched cross-hatching design. If the toe is smooth it will be harder to pin the ball between the table and the player which is essential to game play. This design improves ball control in general.
In a game of foosball you’ll often have to shift your player’s toes upward so you can make a farther shot without your own players getting in the way. Most of the time you’ll need to take your hands off those rods and you’ll expect them to stay in that position but sometimes they don’t.
In a cheaper set of foosball the player’s toes will often weigh more than the head of the player. This makes it hard to keep your players in the position you want them in. Good quality players have weights in their heads and their toes to keep them balanced.
Your foosball players can be fastened a couple of different ways. Most traditional foosball tables use nuts and bolts to attach their players to the rods. Tables designed by higher quality manufacturers use pins. The types of rods your table has might also affect the type of fastener your table can take.
Players that require bolts are less popular than players than can use pins. Bolts tend to come loose over time or need to be replaced. They also affect the rods and make them harder to move smoother.
If your table’s rods work with players that have pins then that’s the way to go. Pins go all the way through the player and through the rod. This allows for a more balanced weight and they rarely come loose.
Here’s what an ideal foosball player would look like. These players are balanced, they have a cross-hatched texture on their toes, and they’re fastened to the rods with pins. Tornado typically manufactures good quality products so these are a good choice if you’re in the market for a new set.
Are There Different Types of Foosball Tables?
There are many different types of foosball tables and they tend to vary depending on which country you play in.
American: American players love fast and loud games which accounts for the hard and flat playing surface of their foosball tables. They also have a tall, boxy look to them that isn’t common with the rest of the types of foosball tables.
French: Unlike American tables, french tables have rods that ‘telescope’ in the table rather than protrude out of the other side of the table. The playing surface is also made out of a stickier material almost like linoleum.
Italian: Italian tables are traditionally made with a glass surface. Accompanied by the lack of etching on the players toes it’s almost impossible to get a grip of the ball. There’s also only one goalie instead of the traditional 3.
Spanish: Spanish tables are very unique in the way that the surface is curved so that the ball always rolls towards the center of the field. This makes for a more strategic game.
German: These tables have sloped corners to make for constant game play. The surface is can range from sanded glass to your typical American foosball surface. These games are designed for less strategy and more speed. There is only one goalie.
Czech Republic: Rosengart is the sole manufacturer of foosball tables in the Czech Republic. They’re designed similarly to American and German tables. They have sloped corners for constant game play and one goalie.
Which Direction do Foosball Players Face?
Foosball players need to be facing the direction of their opponents goal. Most of the time this doesn’t matter because the players can be symmetrical but sometimes the cross-hatching of the toe is only on one side or the players have faces. The cross-hatching needs to be facing your opponents goal and faces should also be facing the opponents goal.