There are no escaping products that have been “enhanced.” Whether it be an officially licensed product emblazoned with logos or just a new take on something old, there will always be someone out there who’s looking to take your money.
There was a time when the only bit of flash you had on your darts was a colorful flight, but darts are not immune to this rabid consumerism. These days, your home darts setup can boast your team’s colors, your fondness for a particular brand of booze, or even an allegiance to your favorite make of motorcycle or tractor.
There’s nothing wrong with being a die-hard fanatic, and I’m not going to dismiss a product just because it’s covered in an unrelated logo. Some of the products are of good quality; some of them are utter crap.
What it all boils down to is they are all gimmicks. We all get suckered into shelling out a few extra bucks for a gimmick at some stage. For the record, I love my Harrows Power Points!
With this in mind, I thought I’d have a look at some of the more amusing dart products available (well, the ones that made me laugh, anyway). Some of these are crap, and some I might be tempted to purchase myself.
HELLO KITTY DARTS
Nothing is safe from Hello Kitty. The epitome of Japanese kawaii (cute) graces everything from washing machines to sex toys, so why not darts as well? These 80% tungsten, 18-gram, soft-tip darts from Harrows look like a decent set of darts with some Hello Kitty flights and packaging added.
What I like about these darts is the white tips, white barrel inlays, and white shafts. All that white makes them very striking darts, even without the lovable feline adorning the flight. These darts are a must if you are looking to release your inner Japanese schoolgirl.
IRON MAIDEN DARTBOARD CABINET
From the cute and fluffy we swiftly move on to the loud and heavy. If you like your music loud, your pants tight, and your hair big, then why not translate that to your darts-playing? This wonderful themed dartboard cabinet features Maiden’s mascot Eddie as “The Trooper.”
You don’t have to be marked by the number of the beast to enjoy this dartboard cabinet, but it might help you make your opponents run to the hills. This setup is for those whose heavy metal goes beyond the mere tossing of tungsten, and for extended games of killers. Up the Irons!
If, like me, you have ever wanted to throw darts at someone you dislike, now’s your chance. This paper-wound dartboard features a spider that lets you insert a photo (hence the clever name) of your choice into the board. How this works without falling apart is a mystery to me. Every paper-wound board I’ve played on, the staples become loose and the spider falls off after a couple months of use. I can’t see this being any better.
My advice is to spend the extra money on a real bristle dartboard. If you want to throw darts at a photo just use some map pins to hold it to the board. Then, when you have taken your frustration out on a photo, you’ll realize it wasn’t that much fun and you can get back to becoming a better dart player. Darts lesson number one: The twenty goes at the top!
Billed as the only dart created as a training aid, the Laser Dart features…wait for it…a built-in laser pointer! The laser pointer is supposed to help you line up your shot and, over time, help you develop muscle memory so you can make the shots over and over again without thinking. Does it work? I doubt it. When you switch to a normal set after getting good with these darts, you’d better make sure you find a dart that weighs the same and has the same type of barrel or you are going to be in real trouble.
Although these are not for me, they could be of benefit to first-time dart throwers. The only thing I like about them is that Bobby George is flogging them.
BASKETBALL AND DARTS ALL-IN-ONE
This Christmas, show your kids how much you hate them with this piece of garbage. As you might imagine, this is a magnetic dartboard, so there is no chance of your kids getting hurt.
Not only can you insult your child’s intelligence with this, you can also skip a whole lesson on the responsible and safe play. My parents bought me a kids dartboard one year, and it came with real, pointy darts.
I played with that dartboard a whole lot—unsupervised—and I’m not dead or in therapy. The truth is, magnetic dartboards don’t work, and this contraption doesn’t even go to regulation height.
DEVIL MAY CRY DARTS
These darts are a promotional item for the hit video game series Devil May Cry. As far as I know, the game is about vampires and has little to do with darts. Having never played it, though, I can’t be sure. For all I know, maybe one of the boss levels has you facing off against Ted Hankey in a game of 501, but somehow I doubt it.
These are tailored for the obsessive nerd who collects anything Japanese but is far too self-conscious to buy the Hello Kitty darts above. The vampire/emo look of these makes me wonder why they have soft tips. Surely a nice steel tip would be more appropriate for self-harm?
DOO DOO DARTS
Little pieces of plastic poo you throw at a toilet-shaped dartboard. Quite literally seconds of entertainment.
Not really worth saying much more.
STOCK SELECTOR DARTBOARD
It’s rare that a novelty dartboard will raise a genuine smile, but this is one I really like. The world of stocks can be very risky, even for seasoned traders. You might as well get a monkey to pick stocks or, failing that, use this stock selector dartboard to randomly make your picks.
What I like about this dartboard is that it was thought up by an actual stock market research firm with their tongues obviously planted firmly in their cheeks. Not sure what you are meant to do if you hit the bull though?
TWISTED TERRORS DARTS
Hey, look! It’s “The Strangest Darts in the World!” Produced by DMI Sports, these odd-looking arrows have a unique offset barrel that makes them look weird.
I guess there are people out there who buy these to impress their friends or keep them as guests darts to confound their opponents, but they are most likely to be the zany office joker everyone secretly wants to punch in the face. I don’t care if these darts fly well, they are just stupid.
DART COAT HOOKS
Saving the best for last, these stainless steel dart coat hooks are something I would actually consider purchasing.
Skirting a thin line between kitsch and contemporary looks, these designer coat hooks sure would make a bold statement in any hallway. There are only two potential problems I see with these:
- They do look good and hiding them under outerwear seems a bit of a shame.
- Convincing the wife to let me put them up.