For decades darts manufacture has been dominated industry titans such as Unicorn, Target, Harrows and Winmau. The last few months have witnessed the launch of Mission Darts and the upscaling of Quantum darts. Are we witnessing the rise of new titans or the start of a plethora of niche brands vying for a slice of the current market?
Although darts manufacture is still dominated by a handful of brands it should be noted that more and more manufacturers, or darting hardware brands, are beginning to pop up.
In the case of Mission Darts, it seems a full-blooded effort to establish a new name in the mainstream the darting space. Backed by one of the biggest names in darts retail, Darts Corner, Mission has launched with a wide range of Steel and Soft Tip darts as well as a range of all the essential accessories associated with name recognition. A close look at the range indicates that Mission is having products made by more than one manufacturer. Much of the steel tip range looks Target influenced and is possibly made by the same Chinese suppliers. Other items and the packaging has the look of closer to home sources.
Mission appears to have decided to launch as a complete brand, with over thirty steel tip darts and a full range of accessories. It is apparent that they will start strongly in the retail sales market, and online, via their various partners. However to be a frontline brad they are going to need to be associated with the elite events and or players. Getting their boards used in major events or sponsoring players who generate exposure, and credibility, for Mission’s products seems an early omission from their efforts.
Quantum Darts, on the other hand, are an example of a new breed of online and social media-driven entities that seem to be bubbling up. Initially, Quantum seemed to be just a couple of people interested in designing pretty darts. Every now and then a new design would pop up and people would comment or ask if they were available to buy etc.
This seems to have lead to sample sets and then a website featuring their designs. During the last year, or so, Quantum has managed to get a small, but distinctive, range to market and are launching more models on a regular basis. It’s simple, no-frills marketing/packaging, approach seems to have gotten off to a decent start. It will be interesting to see how the apparent expansion progresses.
It has been a mixed few years for dart manufacturers and related companies. One or two have struggled and may soon disappear, or be taken over, whilst other names have grown steadily and appear to be on solid ground.
One80 darts, for example, have successfully gone the full brand version, whereas DPC/Performance Darts have gone for the slow burn, model by model approach, both seem to be progressing well. It may well be that in a few years time Mission and Quantum have joined them.
As players ourselves we wish both new brands all the very best! We hope to bring you further details as well as product reviews, ratings and competitions as soon as possible.