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Old 12-25-2012, 09:07 PM   #36
retrowagen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanglier View Post
I was hoping that Kuebler would have some interesting stories to tell about these makers, but in the German edition at least, MatchMate, Tony Trabert and Scepter, as well as Lob-ster for that matter, were all among the brands that were given token coverage only, with little more than the address of the maker/distributor and a list of model names under each entry, and no illustration or descriptive text to go with them. My guess (hope?) is that he went into more detail about this class of makers in the later American edition; which would account for the massive page count inflation.
I know Lob-Ster started as a manufacturer of ball machines, and diversified into tennis racquets briefly circa 1983-1987. Wasn't MatchMate a big manufacturer of ball machines or nets, or court equipment of some sort, before also making the leap into graphite racquet manufacture before then bowing out? When composite technology caught on, it was a madhouse with lots of "better mousetraps" coming from the freedom brought with the new material and manufacturing technology. Unfortunately, Prince Manufacturing held the patent to the headsize spectrum, so everybody had to license and pay royalties to Howard Head. That guy was a wickedly shrewd businessman! Of course, these smaller companies seldom could afford advertising, or giving sponsorships, and distribution was often quite sparse. At the same time, the bigger companies could afford more money for R&D for more favorable profit/overhead per unit, and pump in the money for advertising and sponsorship to get the name known and desired.

Even technically interesting and decent-playing frames like the Sceptre were doomed from the start.
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