Dart Facts: Did you know?

Did you know?

  • In 1985 you could actually buy Dunlop Darts? As part of their foray into sports equipment and Dunlop Volley Shoes, Dunlop released a range of darts.
  • Unicorn Slik Stiks were originally released in 1980, 42 years later and they’re still around! I can verify the year, a friend and I invested in a bulk order of Slik Stiks and played with them for a number of years!
  • Hammer head darts were released in the UK in 1983 by Bulls Eye Darts. And I always thought they were a Bottelsen innovation?
  • In 1980 Starline Darts “made for Professionals by Professionals” was a Bobby George company, and Cocky Jocky Wilson was used in their advertisements!
  • Darts sales in the UK in 1979 were 11,114,000 pounds! A heap of cash back in the 1970s!


Target Darts -

Launched in 2006, and known for fresh, innovative designs, and quality. They state that their mission is to inspire people to step beyond their limits, improve their performance. 

They sponsor Pro-players such as Phil Taylor, Rob Cross, Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld to name a few and not only in the UK and Europe but also through South East Asia and Japan. Not forgetting the investment they have made in the future of the game with their support of the Elite 1 program. Their darts innovations include the “Swiss Point” system and the 8 flight/shaft system.

Target are not only known for their darts but also a comprehensive range of accessories that includes flights, shafts, points, cases point tools and a range of clothing. 


Nodor International

Nodor was a company founded in 1919 by Ted Leggatt as a manufacturer of modelling clay.

They produced their first dartboards in 1923, they were made from clay and weren’t very popular. About a year later they began manufacturing elm dartboards. In the mid-1930s Nodor patented a successfully sold their bristle Dartboards. 

Once the patent on the Nodor Dartboard had expired both Nodor and Winmau both produced bristle boards and were fierce rivals.

Both companies tried to buy the other over the years until, in 2002 when Nodor finally acquired Winmau.

To this day Nodor manufactures darts equipment under both brand names. 


Winmau Darts

Winmau was founded in 1945 originally named H A Kicks by ex-Sergeant Major Kicks who used his World War 2 demobilisation money to found the company.

Initially they manufacturing elm dart boards and later coiled paper dart boards.

In 1973 renamed the company Winmau after his wife Winifred Maud. The Winmau name is pronounced “Win More” 

Winmau sponsors some of the world’s most well know professional players such as Michael van Gerwen, Simon Whitlock, Darryl Gurney, Joe Cullen, Dennis Priestly, Mark Webster and Steve Beaton to name only a few. 


Red Dragon Darts

Red Dragon Darts was founded in 1975 by 2 automotive engineers who had fallen in love with the game. 47 years on and Red Dragon darts delivers directly to over 100, countries and since its founding have made and sold millions of sets of darts Worldwide. 

Red Dragon sponsors some of the most successful players in the World such as Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price, Jonny Clayton, Jamie Hughes and John Henderson to name some.

Red Dragon has literally hundreds of styles of darts in their ranges, with some of the most innovative designs around.

Red Dragon have a full and comprehensive range of products from Darts, flights, shafts, points and tools as well as trading aids to assist in game improvement. 


Unicorn Darts

Unicorn’s origins are way back in the 1930s, when Frank Lowy invested 6 pounds with an idea of improving and marketing darts.

In 1937 he patented the original Silver Comet darts packaged them in a set of 3 and marketed them through sporting goods stores.

After WWII business expanded quickly and Unicorn soon became the worlds largest and leading manufacturer of darts and dart products. 

Over the years Unicorn have been first in a number of key areas in the game of darts, notably releasing in the mid 50’s the first one piece plastic flights and modern polyester flights, and releasing the first commercial tungsten darts in the mid-1970s. 

They were also the first to release titanium tungsten “Golden Darts” in 1987.

The Unicorn Book of darts is an online repository of the Unicorn Dart Catalogues over the years at the moment there are catalogues starting from 1950 through to current 2022 catalogues although not every year is represented it’s the best resource of Unicorn dart history and development.

It’s always worth a look, to stroll down darts memory lane.

The company was never exclusively a dart company as such, being involved in board games, cricket, basketball, snooker, netball football (soccer) to name some.


Retriever Sports

Retriever Sport is a family owned company established in 1978. Most people are going who? 

Retriever Sports include brands such as Pentathlon, Elkadart and Amazon. 

During their 40 plus years they have made it their mission to “grow into the largest manufacturer of darts and accessories in the world” not only selling into existing dart playing markets but to also assist countries trying to develop darts into a major sport. 

They have also led the way with innovative products like the Nylon Long Life flight, Aluminium Titan Shafts, Extra thick Polyester Flights, 2 and 3 Dimensional Flights and Aluminium Faceted Shafts just to name some.


Harrows Darts

Harrows darts was established in 1973, manufacturing now in purpose built factories in Hoddesdon England, exporting their 800 products worldwide to 100 countries. In 1980 Harrows developed a campaign to promote brand awareness and increase player participation around the world. In 1985 Harrows teamed up with Eric Bristow and Maureen Flowers dramatically improving the Harrows product profile overnight. 

Harrows currently market a number of pro player darts including Dave Chisnall, Josh Payne, Luke Woodhouse and Australia’s own Damon Heta. 

Harrows have not limited themselves to marketing their products but also provide Harrows World? Which assists with the mechanics of the game of darts, in particular the combination of darts, flights and shafts and how their combination affects the way your darts perform.


Shot! Darts

Shot darts original incarnation was Puma dart products in 1970, making coir paper dartboards in Katikati New Zealand. By 1976 they have invested in machinery and start manufacturing precision darts. During the 1980 Puma start manufacturing bristle boards. By 1991 Puma release The Bandit the first blade wired dartboard!

However it’s business as usual until 2009 when Puma released the Shot! branded darts. The Shot! quality shines through and in 2016 Shot! Collaborate with ACM Products, Michael van Gerwen and XQ Max to design a range of darts. In 2018 Max Hopp and Martin Schindler two European pro players sign with Shot! Darts.

In 2019 Shot! Now have their own Titanium coating plant making them the only manufacturers to make their darts totally in house. 

Shot! Darts are known for their innovative stand out designs and colourful coatings and themed dart ranges.