In 1988 Bob Anderson claimed his World professional title. At the time his dart was distinct from the other star players of that generation. Bob used a narrow, quite long looking, dart with a smooth, slim nose-cone and a simple, but fine grip.
- B&W 18g Original Bob Anderson
- 50.8mm Long
- 5.5mm Width
- Smooth Nose Cone
- 95% Tungsten (Natural)
- Consistent ring grip
- 0.5cm Stem Blank
Bob’s dart was produced by B&W darts and had been so for a while. With the benefit of hindsight, they should be considered a premium piece of both manufacture and design. Very few modern darts are made in similar dimensions today, even most stems are two wide for them and leave an annoying lip at the join.
The 95% tungsten content ensured that Bob’s dart could be as thin as possible whilst still being dense enough to carry 18g in a 50mm barrel. The smooth nose was superbly reduced to as close the point junction as possible and certainly close than the early Unicorn models managed. The short blank at the stem end ensured strength was present even at maximum thinness.
The ring grip is quite fine and was originally quite deep. This gives an edge when newer, good for very light holders, but also allows the darts to age and wear with their owner.
But, unusually, Bob switched company to, the biggest name at the time, Unicorn darts. Initially, Unicorn produced a similar dart but shorter and wider (Phase I).
- Unicorn 20g Bob Anderson (Phase I)
- 48.5mm Long
- 6.4mm Width
- 90% Tungsten (Natural or Gold)
- Smooth Nose Cone
- Consistent Ring Grip
- 0.9mm Stem Blank
Soon Bob switched back to his traditional design. Unicorn produced an updated version (Phase II), of his signature dart. This was closer to the B&W dimensions but regarded as a lower quality version of the B&W original.
As he got older Bob required more grip on the barrel and so changed his grip style with the aid of the Unicorn boffins. The basic barrel is similar but the grip patter created a far less smooth feeling and less consistent dart (Phase 3).
Although relatively popular, Phase 3 is a different dart. It turned out that there was a loyal demand for the original models.
The B&W model has become more & more sought after and even more so with the original case and or accessories. Often similar darts are presented on eBay, or in collectors groups online, as being original B&W Bob Anderson darts. Very few actually are and it pays to have a close look and ask for proof of the length, width. If possible some provenance to back up the dimensions would be ideal.
At least one niche manufacturer is now making a high-quality, hand made replica of this dart. At around the £60 mark, they are a, less costly, nice ‘tribute’ to this classic set. They may not be the last model to be replicated in this way.
Many sports or leisure activities revert back to their classic vintages at times. Perhaps these ‘Hidden Gems’ will see the spotlight again.
If you have a classic set or an unusual collector’s item with a back story, drop us a line here: firstname.lastname@example.org
A picture/image or two or to illustrate why your fond of them might be useful.