Today we are joined by Matt Rankin who is the players liason at Unicorn Darts he helps the player with whatever they need, any requests for equipment they may have.
Today we will be discussing the NEW 2017 range from Unicorn which includes a lot of new products and innovative inclusions to the Unicorn brand.
Thanks for joining us Matt, with the launch of the 2017 range there are some fantastic products please talk us through the new additions to the collection.
“Plenty to talk about, but the highlights have to be the new dartboards – Eclipse HD2 & Eclipse Pro2, which have been fantastically received. The Solar Illuminated Pro Surround, Gripper 4 shafts, an eye-catching selection of flights in the Gary Anderson range, along with the much sought after Neon 3 barrel – to name a few”
It must be a great privilege to see that Unicorn are the official board supplier for the PDC until 2022?
“Without doubt. For the last 25 years and until at least 2022, every dart thrown Live on Sky Sports & terrestrial channels will land on in a Unicorn Eclipse HD2 dartboard. Let’s not forget also, our continued investment in the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour, PDC Unicorn Development Tour & PDC Unicorn World Youth Championships, creating aspirational opportunities for tomorrow’s stars”
We see that Unicorn have released a series of soft tip darts with over 50 different sets due for release, how did that come about?
“Soft tip play is a huge market that we do not tap into and it is at the top of our agenda to gain a much stronger presence. With the addition of the Shanghai Darts Masters, Unicorns exposure within Asia for both our brand and players is only set to grow over the coming years. We have extended our player range to include our Maestro category in natural tungsten and also introduced all player’s barrels in our DNA coating. Alongside the very successful Neon range, we of course have the Ultracore series which converts all steel tip to soft tip without effecting the balance of the dart”
There are some new additions to the Unicorn team with Chris Dobey and Adam Hunt joining the team, the future is certainly looking bright isnt it?
“Absolutely. One our main objectives, as it always has been, is investment in Youth. We firmly believe that both Chris & Adam have bright futures. It now brings the Tommy Gilmour/Gary Anderson stable of players all under our roof, which we are very pleased about”
The Ultracore darts system is certainly an interesting and innovative product please tell is more about the product
“Ultracore is a very interesting range of products, the concept is really for the player to be able to fine tune the ergonomics of their dart to their individual grip position. For instance, if a player grips to the rear of the dart the ideal location for the centre of gravity is at the back, the reverse for a front gripper or even central for a mid-gripper. Ultracore also enables the player to change the weight of their dart and is also cross code so the player can switch from steel tip to soft tip without having to change the feel of their equipment”
Team Unicorn were in action last weekend at the Shanghai Masters with Gary Anderson, Raymond van Barneveld, James Wade all in attendance. With Gary Anderson being crowned champion in Dubai & Auckland – it must be great to see Team Unicorn playing all over the World?
“Lets not forget James Wade played fantastically well in Shanghai too, finishing Runner-Up there, so Team Unicorn are most definitely in top form just now. We are incredibly proud of all our players – they fly the Team Unicorn flag with pride wherever they play around the World”
With the new Eclipse HD2 released what are the differences/improvements on the previous model?
Focus is what the HD2 is all about and with the improvements we have made, we firmly believe that we have created the most focussed playing area ever, by minimising distractions outside of the scoring areas. We have completely removed the external legs of the spider (a first in dartboard technology) to enhance focus on the double area. Reduced the thickness of the bullseye, increasing the playing area by 14% to enable higher finishes on the bull. The number ring is now in a matt black finish to blend with the board and has replaceable polymer numbers creating a 3D look. The numbers are also available in a selection of colours, so that the player can personalise to their own visual taste. All of that, whilst keeping to the regulations for segment sizes has produced the most focussed target area ever seen on a dartboard”
Have many players been tinkering with their equipment recently?
Not many actually, but having said that dart players are always looking for the perfect set of darts. Gary Anderson has been trying a couple of different barrels behind the scenes, Kim Huybrechts has been tinkering with different lengths of points, Joe Cullen has had huge success since he recently changed to a bigger flight shape, but overall, Team Unicorn seem pretty set with their equipment just now”
Its fantastic to see the new range of products quite a few impressive innovative products including the new X flight system, ultracore darts , a first in the darting world with so many inovative products to choose from it surely has to be your best range ever?
“Having spoken to many of our players and customers about our New 2017 range – I think the buzz word being used is ‘exciting’. Work is already underway for our 2018 range. We never rest”
Is the team looking forward to the World Matchplay in July?
Yes without doubt. It’s the final weekend of qualification coming up in Barnsley, which will be a nervy time for a number of players, but the rewards are certainly there. Barry Hearn and all at the PDC deserve huge credit for the prize money that is available to all players in modern day darts”
Do many players come to visit the Unicorn HQ in Nottingham on a regular basis?
“Our door is always open for Team Unicorn. We have all the equipment and facilities available for them to visit whenever they wish. We all enjoy working closely with our players, to enable them to achieve their goals. Since 1937, we have been working with players to help design and manufacture the equipment they need to win. Our only focus is on #TheWinningDouble”
The NEW Unicorn 2017 range can be viewed right here: