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ibuycues
09-22-2010, 12:28 PM
Someone mentioned to me yesterday on a phone call that he heard Viking Cues closed their doors a couple of weeks ago.

Does anyone know if this is true? :confused:

Thanks.

Will Prout

Holly
09-22-2010, 12:35 PM
It is true

ibuycues
09-22-2010, 12:35 PM
I just placed a call to their HQ, and they are going out of business. Selling it all.........

Wow, they`ve been around a long, long time. I remember in the early 70`s when they had the catalog with the bearded gambler on the cover in the white suit.

They certainly have made a contribution to our industry.

Will Prout

ibuycues
09-22-2010, 12:36 PM
Holly,

Thanks for the quick reply to my inquiry.

Will

manwon
09-22-2010, 02:16 PM
It is certainly a shame, soon if you want to buy American you will have to build it yourself, it seems that competition with China in the billiards industry is more than even our oldest companies can handle. :embarrassed2:

Mick56
09-22-2010, 02:26 PM
Here's what they looked like while driving by.

Randy9Ball
09-22-2010, 02:38 PM
This is sad news indeed! I made more than a few visits to the Viking shop in Madison when I used to live in WI. The first "nice" cue I ever owned was a Viking.

cut shot
09-22-2010, 04:04 PM
The times are a changing! More than Viking is going East to Asia. I hate to see it but, its an economic fact! I hope it gets better!

zy112
09-22-2010, 04:52 PM
So is Viking moving overseas and closing the US facility, or going out of business completely?

measureman
09-22-2010, 05:07 PM
It is certainly a shame, soon if you want to buy American you will have to build it yourself, it seems that competition with China in the billiards industry is more than even our oldest companies can handle. :embarrassed2:

I am really sorry to see this happen. I predicted this on the forum a while back. Not so much as Viking quitting but that sooner or later all that would be left in the US would be custom cue makers catering to the high end and off shore makers for the low end. It's a never ending trend in American manufacturing that I have watched for over 50 years.
I just heard on the radio today that in the '50s 40% of American jobs were in manufacturing. Now it is down to 11%. I'm not an economic genius but I can see this is a road to ruin. Yes I know I play with a Chinese made cue but that is a whole different story.

cheapcues.com
09-22-2010, 05:08 PM
So is Viking moving overseas and closing the US facility, or going out of business completely?

Unknown. For now they have stopped production. An assessment of their assets is being done and a sale is possible.

cheapcues.com
09-22-2010, 05:11 PM
I am really sorry to see this happen. I predicted this on the forum a while back. Not so much as Viking quitting but that sooner or later all that would be left in the US would be custom cue makers catering to the high end and off shore makers for the low end. It's a never ending trend in American manufacturing that I have watched for over 50 years.
I just heard on the radio today that in the '50s 40% of American jobs were in manufacturing. Now it is down to 11%. I'm not an economic genius but I can see this is a road to ruin. Yes I know I play with a Chinese made cue but that is a whole different story.

Although you never want your currency to be de-valued, the silver lining in the weakening of the dollar is it is becoming less attractive to outsource labor overseas. It will take a while but hopefully the US can become a manufacturing power again! Keep up hope people!

greyghost
09-22-2010, 05:19 PM
Although you never want your currency to be de-valued, the silver lining in the weakening of the dollar is it is becoming less attractive to outsource labor overseas. It will take a while but hopefully the US can become a manufacturing power again! Keep up hope people!

TAP TAP TAP....always a great hope to have.....thats what made us the super power we are to begin with....they have been moving in an opposite direction for some time...but it should shift back if the country knows whats good from them.

Sad new to hear viking is in trouble......The equipment i learned to build cues on in the Weinstock custom shop was purchased from Verl Horn by Joel weinstock in the early 80's and Verl had gotten them from Viking....those two Logan lathes were two of the original lathes in their factory. They have been building nothing but pool cues for about 40 years.....

If anyone is around Tulsa Ok, you can go to the Q-Spot off of sheridan and see the two lathes in Ken Ken Quarters pro shop.

Pushout
09-22-2010, 05:30 PM
Too bad, I never cared for Viking cues myself, but it's a blow to the US industry, that's for sure.

pwd72s
09-22-2010, 06:20 PM
Boy, this is sad indeed...Anybody know when Viking started?

manwon
09-22-2010, 06:39 PM
I am really sorry to see this happen. I predicted this on the forum a while back. Not so much as Viking quitting but that sooner or later all that would be left in the US would be custom cue makers catering to the high end and off shore makers for the low end. It's a never ending trend in American manufacturing that I have watched for over 50 years.
I just heard on the radio today that in the '50s 40% of American jobs were in manufacturing. Now it is down to 11%. I'm not an economic genius but I can see this is a road to ruin. Yes I know I play with a Chinese made cue but that is a whole different story.



Measureman, playing with a Chinese cue has little if anything to do with it, it's impossible to stem the tide, kinda like what happened at the Yalu River during the Korean war. These cues are in most cases good for what they cost, not everyone can afford to spend a large sum on a cue. The real problem is our Governments policies, while I am not for total protectionism we did not need to be sold down the river either, which they have done in the name of fair trade.:angry:

In the billiards industry just like any other corporations are going to make decisions that will keep them in business, you have to grow with the times and be competitive or die there is no other choice. I sell a mixture of imports from China and American made products, if I didn't I could not compete with my competition. I try to buy products that have a good track record so that I can give my customers the best deal for their money, but I also guaranty these products with in reason.

Good Post Measureman!!:)

oldzilla
09-22-2010, 08:17 PM
It is not only pool products you know.
I am 59 and almost every job that I had from the time I was a teenager untill I turned 50 was moved overseas.
I did do some siding only because the jobs were gone.
A few were automated too but they eventually left the country also.
We as a country are just not very productive at all.
I seen it coming a long time ago !

CocoboloCowboy
09-22-2010, 08:32 PM
My Question is, are the Chinese to be blamed, or the competition? Or the people who sell cues in the USA who did not carry the Viking Line, or maybe we should blame the Boys & Girls in Washington D.C. who write, and vote on the law they write. Or better yet BLAME BUSH. Could it be Viking cues like GM, Chrysler, Eastman Kodak, had the attitude we are on top of the Mountain, like Eastman Kodak did, and never looked over their shoulder, as the competition was developing products for the further. Last could it be the recession, that has hurt so many Americans, and American businesses.

Last reason could be is Viking Cue were seldom a topic of discussion on THIS FORUM, so I wonder now who will be Mike Janis will replace Viking Cue with??

TATE
09-22-2010, 08:48 PM
I feel badly for the Hart family. One page in the history books, it seems. is closed. Viking used to be a supplier of parts too for other cue makers.

There are too many cue makers and not enough cue buyers. I believe there are opportunities out there, but these U.S. companies need to find the global market and some marketing partners. The U.S. market is stagnant.

Chris

CocoboloCowboy
09-22-2010, 08:53 PM
Couple of DAYS ago a gentleman came in to our Pool Room, he was playing with a very old 4 Point Cue, I thought it was a Palmer because of the Silver Color Bands with writting in the Bands. Nope it was a 40 y/o in about 99% of NEW Condition. He has not played Pool in over 35 YEARS, and the Cue is NSF. Very nice playing Cue!

TATE
09-22-2010, 08:58 PM
My Question is, are the Chinese to be blamed, or the competition? Or the people who sell cues in the USA who did not carry the Viking Line, or maybe we should blame the Boys & Girls in Washington D.C. who write, and vote on the law they write. Or better yet BLAME BUSH. Could it be Viking cues like GM, Chrysler, Eastman Kodak, had the attitude we are on top of the Mountain, like Eastman Kodak did, and never looked over their shoulder, as the competition was developing products for the further. Last could it be the recession, that has hurt so many Americans, and American businesses.

Last reason could be is Viking Cue were seldom a topic of discussion on THIS FORUM, so I wonder now who will be Mike Janis will replace Viking Cue with??

The answer is, a company cannot survive for long, profitably, with a higher cost structure than their competitors, unless they significantly differentiate their product.

It's crazy to try to go heads up with imports on the low end market. And make no mistake, the Chinese cues dom inate the low end market. To try to position your product against them, put a "Made in the USA" sticker on it and sell it for twice as much is a recipe for failure. It's a bad strategy!

The Chinese have made the investment in machinery and labor to mass produce cues in huge quantities. You know what? They're getting better all the time too. They don't have the great quality control but they can make sheer numbers of average cues.

Look, even the Chinese don't want Chinese cues. But they are the most affordable ones around. American companies have to think about how they can get into the rapidly growing Asian market.

Chris

manwon
09-22-2010, 09:14 PM
The answer is, a company cannot survive for long, profitably, with a higher cost structure than their competitors, unless they significantly differentiate their product.

It's crazy to try to go heads up with imports on the low end market. And make no mistake, the Chinese cues dom inate the low end market. To try to position your product against them, put a "Made in the USA" sticker on it and sell it for twice as much is a recipe for failure. It's a bad strategy!

The Chinese have made the investment in machinery and labor to mass produce cues in huge quantities. You know what? They're getting better all the time too. They don't have the great quality control but they can make sheer numbers of average cues.

Look, even the Chinese don't want Chinese cues. But they are the most affordable ones around. American companies have to think about how they can get into the rapidly growing Asian market.

Chris


Chris I agree with you completely, and I am glad you have the patients to respond to Cowboys post because I had a hard time digesting it's content much less making so eloquent a response!!!!!!!:thumbup:

Chris you are a class act that few can follow!!:yeah::yeah:

Take Care Chris

TATE
09-22-2010, 09:24 PM
Chris I agree with you completely, and I am glad you have the patients to respond to Cowboys post because I had a hard time digesting it's content much less making so eloquent a response!!!!!!!:thumbup:

Chris you are a class act that few can follow!!:yeah::yeah:

Take Care Chris

Thank you Craig, appreciate it very much.

Chris

CocoboloCowboy
09-22-2010, 10:10 PM
Bottom line is the Chinese are the bad guys in some people eyes. Maybe they are only picking up in the areas where the Japanese left off. Think about all the great product coming out of Japanese own companies, some of these products are no longer made in Japan, and are even made in MEXICO. So is it the Japanese, Chinese, or the people in Washington D.C. who allow many of these product to come in to the USA with little or no duty.

BTW I drive a KIA, it was made in Korea, best set of wheel I have ever owned, now KIA has a Plant in the USA building 2011 Sorrento's.

Also if you drive ANY GM Name Product made after 1995, or newer if you remove all the GENUINE GM PARTS made in China, you Car, SUV, Light Truck it will not run!

Brain71
09-22-2010, 10:14 PM
It is certainly a shame, soon if you want to buy American you will have to build it yourself, it seems that competition with China in the billiards industry is more than even our oldest companies can handle. :embarrassed2:



I think it's more because the cue making industry is flooded. Every other day I read on here about someone new making cues. I can certainly see where it's hard to even make a living making cues much less building a business and keeping it up.

CocoboloCowboy
09-22-2010, 10:19 PM
I think it's more because the cue making industry is flooded. Every other day I read on here about someone new making cues. I can certainly see where it's hard to even make a living making cues much less building a business and keeping it up.


Your point is valid, and you need only look at the AZB WANTED FOR SALE Section, or e-bay to see how the Cue Market has changed in the last 18-24 Months. Could this be why we now have a RAFFLE SECTION!;)

Nick B
09-22-2010, 10:19 PM
CCC I think your carrying a flask of moonshine in your saddle pouch. I'm sure it was Kodak's attitude that brought digital cameras to the market. If I invented a Teleporter is it Boeing's fault they are dead?

Teletype, Fax machine, Computer, Smartphone...back to my lab for work on teleporter. Call Seattle and tell your friends to start selling their homes.


My Question is, are the Chinese to be blamed, or the competition? Or the people who sell cues in the USA who did not carry the Viking Line, or maybe we should blame the Boys & Girls in Washington D.C. who write, and vote on the law they write. Or better yet BLAME BUSH. Could it be Viking cues like GM, Chrysler, Eastman Kodak, had the attitude we are on top of the Mountain, like Eastman Kodak did, and never looked over their shoulder, as the competition was developing products for the further. Last could it be the recession, that has hurt so many Americans, and American businesses.

Last reason could be is Viking Cue were seldom a topic of discussion on THIS FORUM, so I wonder now who will be Mike Janis will replace Viking Cue with??

CocoboloCowboy
09-22-2010, 10:26 PM
CCC I think your carrying a flask of moonshine in your saddle pouch. I'm sure it was Kodak's attitude that brought digital cameras to the market.

Have sold Graphic Art Products, I saw 3M, Fuji, and a few other eat Kodak's Market Share, and working 20 years as a Freelance Photographer before DIGITAL, Fuji gobbled up the Kodak's share of the film industry with BETTER PRODUCTS!

Kind of how the Germany when from building the BEST Camera's and Lenses in the World, to playing Second Fiddle to Japan, who were where CANON, and NIKON came from the First Choice of working photojournalists!

Nick B
09-22-2010, 10:42 PM
So how is Fuji & 3M doing with their film business or was it a paradigm shift? When your market leader from the outside it looks silly to let competitors gobble market share while you maintain profit margins.

Such is the cycle of business life. IBM, Commodore, Tandy are not in the PC business any more. Is IBM out of typewriters because of cheaper competitors?

Born in the USA. Carrying a Chinese case. Well done. For what it's worth I'm a Canadian carrying a Canadian hand made cue. Now we return to our regular programming.


Have sold Graphic Art Products, I saw 3M, Fuji, and a few other eat Kodak's Market Share, and working 20 years as a Freelance Photographer before DIGITAL, Fuji gobbled up the Kodak's share of the film industry with BETTER PRODUCTS!

Kind of how the Germany when from building the BEST Camera's and Lenses in the World, to playing Second Fiddle to Japan, who were where CANON, and NIKON came from the First Choice of working photojournalists!

manwon
09-22-2010, 11:45 PM
I think it's more because the cue making industry is flooded. Every other day I read on here about someone new making cues. I can certainly see where it's hard to even make a living making cues much less building a business and keeping it up.

Brian I agree that the industry is flooded, but I suspect that all the custom cues and production cues made in the USA make up less than 5 % of the cues that are annually imported from China alone. But I disagree that the guy building cues in his or her basement or garage has much influence on a National company like Viking. Most hobbyists have a local following, and if they are in a location where they have little outside access they sell their products on forums like this.

Take care Brian

Brain71
09-23-2010, 12:13 AM
Brian I agree that the industry is flooded, but I suspect that all the custom cues and production cues made in the USA make up less than 5 % of the cues that are annually imported from China alone. But I disagree that the guy building cues in his or her basement or garage has much influence on a National company like Viking. Most hobbyists have a local following, and if they are in a location where they have little outside access they sell their products on forums like this.

Take care Brian

But how much is imported from China? I have never dealt with an imported cue. Especially here on AZ. I'm saying in the past 10 years the market has almost tripled. Which has a gross affect on national companies like Viking. Look at Blackcreek cues, Tony Zinzola, Bryan Mordt (BCM), just to name a few. My opinion is they build a hell of alot better cue than Viking ever will and they are home based cue makers. Meaning their shops are right out back so to speak. I'm truly sorry Viking is closing it's doors but I also forsee alot of other companies doing the same. I've been reading alot about how Meucci is taking a turn for the worst. In quality and customer service. Production cues have always been turned away from from what I have seen on the wanted/for sale section. I may be speculating but anyone. If you could get a Meucci or a Cog at the same price, which way are you going to go?

JB Cases
09-23-2010, 01:55 AM
But how much is imported from China? I have never dealt with an imported cue. Especially here on AZ. I'm saying in the past 10 years the market has almost tripled. Which has a gross affect on national companies like Viking. Look at Blackcreek cues, Tony Zinzola, Bryan Mordt (BCM), just to name a few. My opinion is they build a hell of alot better cue than Viking ever will and they are home based cue makers. Meaning their shops are right out back so to speak. I'm truly sorry Viking is closing it's doors but I also forsee alot of other companies doing the same. I've been reading alot about how Meucci is taking a turn for the worst. In quality and customer service. Production cues have always been turned away from from what I have seen on the wanted/for sale section. I may be speculating but anyone. If you could get a Meucci or a Cog at the same price, which way are you going to go?

I once read a quote that McDermott's biggest year was 60,000 cues and that was at the height of the boom after the Color of Money. And a LOT of those cues were being exported to Europe and Japan.

So if that was McDermott's peak then where are they now when the market is very soft?

Put the output of all the small cue makers in the USA at a modest 25 cues per maker on average and figure that there are around 500 active cue makers then you have 12,500 cues in the $500 average moving into the market every year. Couple that with a thriving secondary market where people are buying and selling cues, AZ, EBay, Craigslist and you have less buyers for new cues.

And the market is flooded. It's a consumer's paradise when it comes to cues, especially right now. Demand has slowed considerably and the selling landscape is very different than it was 15 years ago.

There are very few stocking dealers left. Most poolrooms and retail shops order in the bare minimum because they get beat up by internet dealers. They let themselves get beat up though but that's another story for another time. I guarantee you if I had a pool room or a retail store then NO internet dealer would EVER have a better price than me on ANYTHING. Add to that the fact that just about anyone can get an account from the wholesale companies and buy at wholesale prices with no minimums.

This practice puts a hurting on business all throughout the chain. It makes it difficult to plan inventory, difficult to compete when Fred at the pool room can sell you a Viking for 10% over cost and his total investment is 10cts to make the phone call.

Be honest, how many of you have shopped a product at a retail store in full knowledge that you will not buy it there because you know the price is lower on the net? You just want to see and feel the product before you pull the trigger. So you use the store's resources, building, lights, stocking personnel, and their investment to satisfy your curiosity and put your mind at ease and then go home and order the product. So imagine if that happens with Viking cues? Except that you can't FIND Viking cues in retail stores because dealers stopped stocking them since they didn't want to compete with the net on price.

Now again, this is another topic but I honestly believe that in today's landscape retailers need to be willing to sell for lower prices to be more competitive with the net. I would NEVER lose a sale to the net on an identical product, never. Why?

Because I would have a computer set up on my counter with every known website selling pool gear and whenever anyone came in looking at a cue I would look it up and offer it to them for the internet price AND tell them that it will ship to ME and if anything is wrong with it then I will handle it.

Anyway who knows really why Viking is going under? I am sure that some folks have talked to the Harts and have a clear understanding of why. I would not doubt that competitive pressure plays a big part of it. 45 years is not a bad run though in my opinion. A lot of companies don't make it half that long.

They have been a leader in the business, innovative with their designs and brought us some of the most entertaining catalogs and commercials.

I offer my condolences to the Harts for the loss of their business and my heartfelt thanks for all that they have done in this business for the past 45 years. We at Sterling have always been very proud that we are a Viking dealer and we have tried to keep a good amount on stock. It's certainly a loss to us to lose a great supplier like Viking.

TheThaiger
09-23-2010, 03:23 AM
I haven't been using this forum long but have noticed a lot of negative posts regarding viking cues, which surprised me as I have one and it plays great.

Powerful thing, the internet.

TheThaiger
09-23-2010, 03:34 AM
My Question is, are the Chinese to be blamed, or the competition? Or the people who sell cues in the USA who did not carry the Viking Line, or maybe we should blame the Boys & Girls in Washington D.C. who write, and vote on the law they write. Or better yet BLAME BUSH. Could it be Viking cues like GM, Chrysler, Eastman Kodak, had the attitude we are on top of the Mountain, like Eastman Kodak did, and never looked over their shoulder, as the competition was developing products for the further. Last could it be the recession, that has hurt so many Americans, and American businesses.

Last reason could be is Viking Cue were seldom a topic of discussion on THIS FORUM, so I wonder now who will be Mike Janis will replace Viking Cue with??

I remember seeing a stat from a few years ago regarding china's rise as the 'factory of the world'. The researchers bought a toy for £10 from China, and worked out that £9 of that remained in the UK, with only £1 going to China. IP, design, IT, marketing, shipping et al were controlled by western companies. That balance will shift in time, but it is a mistake to think we in the west do not benefit also.

We are essentially shifting low tech, low paid jobs to the east and developing high spec and high paid jobs in the west in return. Maybe the recent financial tsunami has seen saturation point in both positions - if so, that's a real worry.

Time to rebalance a little, but protectionism would be an utter disaster; mutually assured destruction.

TheThaiger
09-23-2010, 03:41 AM
This is an American site, so to have lots of people 'big-up' American cues and products is understandable, but I feel it goes too far. If you love pool, you should seek the best for it no matter where it lies. If Japanese and Chinese manufacturers make the best cues, deal with it and compete, or find alternative markets.

No one here in Europe drives an American car, nor will we until your quality matches Japanese/Korean/German. The UK squandered billions trying to prop up terrible car makers until the inevitable happened.

Georgia Boy
09-23-2010, 04:50 AM
Some good points by many people here. But TheThaiger it runs a little deeper than that doesn't it? British Automobile Makers were arguably the best in the World until they became so unionised you couldn't work there unless you were a member, if the Shop Steward said jump they did, if he said you take a piss at 9.30 every morning thats what you did. Heaven forbid you were one of those people and didn't go on strike every other week in the 70's and support the Union in it's outrageous demands. The British Automobile industry ultimately killed itself, which is a real shame and the Labour Government of the time enabled that to happen. Every time a Union said jump Harold Wilson said 'Yes Sir how high would you like me to jump' and kept poring billions of pounds into the industry. The worse cars ever made came from the biggest 'Lame Duck' of them all British Leyland, it's close between the Austin Maxi, the Austin Princess and the Morris Marina. OMG they were junk!

As for Japenese/Korean/German cars being best I would agree with that statement until at least the last two years. You only have to look at recent problems and recalls from Honda and especially Toyota to see the problems can be Global. A lot of new American cars are now high up if not top of many of the ratings by various review bodies.

Cues are now made all over the World and sent to various corners of the globe to be sold. I don't think the Chinese make bad products and costs are considerably cheaper for the time being, so a manufacturer is always going to look there to lower costs. However what manufacturers and consumers must understand is that there will be a shift away from these current low costs area's. Wealth and living standards there are and will continue to rise until economically it makes more sense to look for new markets to make cheap goods. The manufacturers will do just that and move on to these newer chaeper markets without a 2 nd thought.

I don't think Government protectionism is a way forward but consumer protectionism is a valid point. If you can afford to buy products that are made in your country and those products are as good or better than the competition you should do that.

Lastly, never pay the sticker price in any traditional store for any large ticket item, I never do even in Walmart you can negotiate! Always ask to speak to the Dept or Store Manager and then show them an online advertisment or competitors add and ask them to match or better it. Even if you don't have those with you, still ask, what can they do? They will say Yes or No, if they say no move on to the next store!

cardiac kid
09-23-2010, 06:08 AM
CCC I think your carrying a flask of moonshine in your saddle pouch. I'm sure it was Kodak's attitude that brought digital cameras to the market. If I invented a Teleporter is it Boeing's fault they are dead?

Teletype, Fax machine, Computer, Smartphone...back to my lab for work on teleporter. Call Seattle and tell your friends to start selling their homes.

Nick,

On this you are wrong. Eastman Kodak went through a stage like most major American companies who thought they were indispensable, irreplaceable and became arrogant. From first hand knowledge, Kodak had digital knowhow years before the Japanese. The CEO at the time decided film was their core business. Digital was a distraction. Research was shut down. Key employees were transferred to other areas or allowed to leave. Where is Kodak now? Rochester had nearly 50,000 Kodakers. Today, less than 7,000 and they are waiting for the axe. Kodak allowed this to happen. We don't fault the Japanese. Canon and Nikon took advantage of our blissful stupidity. Profit for the shareholders comes first. Nothing else mattered. Share price equals bonuses. Same today as over thirty years ago. Nothing seems to change.

Lyn

Georgia Boy
09-23-2010, 06:28 AM
Nick,

On this you are wrong. Eastman Kodak went through a stage like most major American companies who thought they were indispensable, irreplaceable and became arrogant. From first hand knowledge, Kodak had digital knowhow years before the Japanese. The CEO at the time decided film was their core business. Digital was a distraction. Research was shut down. Key employees were transferred to other areas or allowed to leave. Where is Kodak now? Rochester had nearly 50,000 Kodakers. Today, less than 7,000 and they are waiting for the axe. Kodak allowed this to happen. We don't fault the Japanese. Canon and Nikon took advantage of our blissful stupidity. Profit for the shareholders comes first. Nothing else mattered. Share price equals bonuses. Same today as over thirty years ago. Nothing seems to change.

Lyn

Lyn
As far as I remember you are right about the problem with Kodak, as with many others, appears to be their inability to change quick enough once they realise their mistakes.

I believe Viking cues are as good a production cue as is out there, I play with one. I have custom and other production cues but am still playing with my Viking, it just feels great in my hand and that's to me what counts.

CocoboloCowboy
09-23-2010, 06:34 AM
So maybe it is the consumer world wide who is to blame, and maybe the problem is not new!

Did not the people in the old world send ships afar to gather good from countries, like Spices, Cotton, Tabasco? Why because they were not native to Spain, England, etc.

Wonder what our homes would look like, our lives would be with our product not made in our native country, as we have members from around the globe here on AZB.

I use gas in my KIA, that come mostly from the middle east.

Have a couple of leg braces, for arthritis made by a German company in Mexico.

Cuemakers made Cues I own from woods that come mostly NOT grown in the USA.

My TV, Computer, Cellphone, wife's IPOD was not manufactured by a U.S. company.

My Haines, Jocky, Wranglers, Fruit of the Loom products all were made off shore.

My Tennis Shoe I wear daily were made by ASIC, and manufactured in Viet Nam, and Indonesia.

Most of the spies in my package food product I have in the cupboard, and spice I add to my food were not grown in the US.

Someone did say it is a global thing, and the Diamond in my wide Wedding Set sure as heck was not found in it raw in the USA.

BTW I just put on a Pot of Coffee, and the BEANS WERE NOT GROWN in the USA.

CocoboloCowboy
09-23-2010, 06:44 AM
Born in the USA. Carrying a Chinese case. Well done. For what it's worth I'm a Canadian carrying a Canadian hand made cue. Now we return to our regular programming.

I also own a Justis Case Pro-Lite with an interior made for Jack by the Chinese, and a Couple of Ron Thomas Cases, made here in the US.

Georgia Boy
09-23-2010, 06:50 AM
Cowboy it truly is a Global marketplace. If there is a choice of items ultimately the consumer will decide where the items will be made by decisions they make on purchasing these items. Normally that decision is based on a combination of price and or quality.

However Sir your assumption that our oil comes mainly from the Middle East is a little misleading. The single biggest exporter of Oil to the US is our northern neighbour Canada. In fact only between 25-30% of our oil comes from the Middle Eastern Countries. Around 40-50% comes from North, South and Central America.

CocoboloCowboy
09-23-2010, 07:02 AM
Cowboy it truly is a Global marketplace. If there is a choice of items ultimately the consumer will decide where the items will be made by decisions they make on purchasing these items. Normally that decision is based on a combination of price and or quality.

However Sir your assumption that our oil comes mainly from the Middle East is a little misleading. The single biggest exporter of Oil to the US is our northern neighbour Canada. In fact only between 25-30% of our oil comes from the Middle Eastern Countries. Around 40-50% comes from North, South and Central America.

Thanks for your Oil Expertise Oil Numbers. Bottom like is even if something like a Pool Cue Case is made in the USA, if you check the origin of component parts I am sure some come from off shore like the Fabric, Metal Parts, Thead and Lining:wink:

cardiac kid
09-23-2010, 07:31 AM
Cowboy it truly is a Global marketplace. If there is a choice of items ultimately the consumer will decide where the items will be made by decisions they make on purchasing these items. Normally that decision is based on a combination of price and or quality.

Spent nearly forty years in the consumer electronics business. Watched people laugh at the owners manual of the first Pioneer Receivers from Japan. Eventually Pioneer, Panasonic and Sony drove Fisher, Sylvania and Scott Electronics out of business. People stopped laughing. Other than a few "cottage" American electronic companies, consumer electronics is wholly an Asian business. The Japanese eventually looked over their shoulder at Taiwan. The Taiwanese looked at the Malaysians The Malaysians look for the Chinese. The Chinese are now watching India very closely.

American consumers were told they wanted cheap and they got it. Of course, few thought about the consequences. Like jobs. From my experience, Walmart is both directly and indirectly responcible for our situation. "Low prices always". Live in a relatively small town with a Walmart? Drive down your main street and look at all the closed small businesses. Sure, Levi's are a lot less than at Joe's General Store. When there is no more Joe's, what will we do then? What will the people who worked there do? Work for Walmart?

However Sir your assumption that our oil comes mainly from the Middle East is a little misleading. The single biggest exporter of Oil to the US is our northern neighbour Canada. In fact only between 25-30% of our oil comes from the Middle Eastern Countries. Around 40-50% comes from North, South and Central America.


Only reason I'm dead set against drilling for oil in Alaska. Where will the oil go? Not here! The Asians will pay a lot more for it than we will. The oil companies will destroy our pristine countryside for what? So a bunch of fat cats can get even richer? Notice that is never part of the discussion? Only that we (America) are short of oil and we need to explore more. Our politicians are great at keeping the public distracted from the real issues. And that will be our real downfall!

Although I've played with the same Schon for nearly twenty years, losing Viking is just another stake in America's heart! My next cue will be American made. Though to be honest, my new car is a Honda. American made of course.

Lyn

oldzilla
09-23-2010, 07:53 AM
It is not only pool products you know.
I am 59 and almost every job that I had from the time I was a teenager untill I turned 50 was moved overseas.
I did do some siding only because the jobs were gone.
A few were automated too but they eventually left the country also.
We as a country are just not very productive at all.
I seen it coming a long time ago !

I worked , I played pool. Both for making money. Both to survive !
I relate to Mosconi's feeling alot in recently read book "the Hustler and the Champ".
Willie hated pool. Perhaps not when he learned at a young age. But when it turned into a job it was very different.
I felt the same much of the time. I was playing to make money. I worked to make money. Doing them together got me by.
The best senario was a seasonal job doing siding in the summer and playing pool in the winter. I could give pool more of a devoted chance like this.

Anyway, I often thought as my jobs would be gone overseas all of a sudden, wouldn't it help the businesses here alot if there was taxes on all these imported products ? Or even is there ?
It seems to me if the playing field was more leveled for our own industries they would of stayed here and it would not have gotten to this huge lack of productivity !
Without being a productive country we have fallen into needing imports in a way that is almost scary.
What if all the coutries that send us the things we depend on said no you cant have anymore ! Yikes I think, we would be in big trouble.
A long time ago someone somewhere should have thought about us taking care of us.

cardiac kid
09-23-2010, 07:57 AM
I worked , I played pool. Both for making money. Both to survive !
I relate to Mosconi's feeling alot in recently read book "the Hustler and the Champ".
Willie hated pool. Perhaps not when he learned at a young age. But when it turned into a job it was very different.
I felt the same much of the time. I was playing to make money. I worked to make money. Doing them together got me by.
The best senario was a seasonal job doing siding in the summer and playing pool in the winter. I could give pool more of a devoted chance like this.

Anyway, I often thought as my jobs would be gone overseas all of a sudden, wouldn't it help the businesses here alot if there was taxes on all these imported products ? Or even is there ?
It seems to me if the playing field was more leveled for our own industries they would of stayed here and it would not have gotten to this huge lack of productivity !
Without being a productive country we have fallen into needing imports in a way that is almost scary.
What if all the coutries that send us the things we depend on said no you cant have anymore ! Yikes I think, we would be in big trouble.
A long time ago someone somewhere should have thought about us taking care of us.

Tap, tap, tap!

Lyn

TheThaiger
09-23-2010, 08:06 AM
Spent nearly forty years in the consumer electronics business. Watched people laugh at the owners manual of the first Pioneer Receivers from Japan. Eventually Pioneer, Panasonic and Sony drove Fisher, Sylvania and Scott Electronics out of business. People stopped laughing. Other than a few "cottage" American electronic companies, consumer electronics is wholly an Asian business. The Japanese eventually looked over their shoulder at Taiwan. The Taiwanese looked at the Malaysians The Malaysians look for the Chinese. The Chinese are now watching India very closely.

American consumers were told they wanted cheap and they got it. Of course, few thought about the consequences. Like jobs. From my experience, Walmart is both directly and indirectly responcible for our situation. "Low prices always". Live in a relatively small town with a Walmart? Drive down your main street and look at all the closed small businesses. Sure, Levi's are a lot less than at Joe's General Store. When there is no more Joe's, what will we do then? What will the people who worked there do? Work for Walmart?



Only reason I'm dead set against drilling for oil in Alaska. Where will the oil go? Not here! The Asians will pay a lot more for it than we will. The oil companies will destroy our pristine countryside for what? So a bunch of fat cats can get even richer? Notice that is never part of the discussion? Only that we (America) are short of oil and we need to explore more. Our politicians are great at keeping the public distracted from the real issues. And that will be our real downfall!

Lyn

Sorry to say this but you Americans have a CRAZY attitude towards oil. The consumer drives your oil policy, not your government - any politician that advocates raising the price of oil to match the rest of the world would be voted out immediately. Consumers need to change their habits, not politicians.

The bottom line for the US is, change your oil policy or continue to die. You will be raped by China if you don't take steps to wean yourself off your dependence on oil. You are going to have to get used to smaller cars, more expensive gas, less air con, fewer swimming pools and less consumption of energy intensive consumables. You know what? It isn't that bad. The average American citizen uses five times the amount of natural resources than the average Chinese person. How long is that sustainable? The taps will be turned off eventually.

America seems to have lost its moral compass - losing Viking is another wake up call for you.

TheThaiger
09-23-2010, 08:25 AM
Some good points by many people here. But TheThaiger it runs a little deeper than that doesn't it? British Automobile Makers were arguably the best in the World until they became so unionised you couldn't work there unless you were a member, if the Shop Steward said jump they did, if he said you take a piss at 9.30 every morning thats what you did. Heaven forbid you were one of those people and didn't go on strike every other week in the 70's and support the Union in it's outrageous demands. The British Automobile industry ultimately killed itself, which is a real shame and the Labour Government of the time enabled that to happen. Every time a Union said jump Harold Wilson said 'Yes Sir how high would you like me to jump' and kept poring billions of pounds into the industry. The worse cars ever made came from the biggest 'Lame Duck' of them all British Leyland, it's close between the Austin Maxi, the Austin Princess and the Morris Marina. OMG they were junk!

As for Japenese/Korean/German cars being best I would agree with that statement until at least the last two years. You only have to look at recent problems and recalls from Honda and especially Toyota to see the problems can be Global. A lot of new American cars are now high up if not top of many of the ratings by various review bodies.

Cues are now made all over the World and sent to various corners of the globe to be sold. I don't think the Chinese make bad products and costs are considerably cheaper for the time being, so a manufacturer is always going to look there to lower costs. However what manufacturers and consumers must understand is that there will be a shift away from these current low costs area's. Wealth and living standards there are and will continue to rise until economically it makes more sense to look for new markets to make cheap goods. The manufacturers will do just that and move on to these newer chaeper markets without a 2 nd thought.

I don't think Government protectionism is a way forward but consumer protectionism is a valid point. If you can afford to buy products that are made in your country and those products are as good or better than the competition you should do that.

Lastly, never pay the sticker price in any traditional store for any large ticket item, I never do even in Walmart you can negotiate! Always ask to speak to the Dept or Store Manager and then show them an online advertisment or competitors add and ask them to match or better it. Even if you don't have those with you, still ask, what can they do? They will say Yes or No, if they say no move on to the next store!

Protectionism must be resisted at all costs. Why prop up ailing industries? Makes no sense whatsoever, especially in the long term.

Most people view this from the wrong way 'round. American cue makers should not seek to compete, they should seek to innovate. The flow of wealth from west to east should be seen as an opportunity as well as a threat - the potential for American manufacturers to sell their goods to the emerging Chinese/indian markets are VAST. India alone has a larger middleclass than Western Europe - who'd have thought that a few years ago? Add in the hundreds of millions of newly cashed-up chinese and you've serious market potential.

The west needs to innovate, not replicate. Had Viking adapted their business model accordingly, they could have competed with any manufacturer, irrespective of where they're based.

BL died because it made shit cars, pure and simple. It got into that position through complacency. I'm not familiar with recent improvements in US car production but it's good to hear. Let's hope they make them smaller and more stylish in the process. The problems with Honda and Toyota are storms in a teacup and indicative of nothing.

supergreenman
09-23-2010, 09:56 AM
[SIZE="4"][FONT="Arial Narrow"][I]
[B]Most of the spies in my package food product I have in the cupboard, and spice I add to my food were not grown in the US.



Now what on earth could you possibly have hidden in your package food that spies would be interested in?

CocoboloCowboy
09-23-2010, 09:59 AM
Now what on earth could you possibly have hidden in your package food that spies would be interested in?

Spices, and my spe cxer don't work!

pwd72s
09-23-2010, 10:30 AM
couple of years ago, I bought a Viking as a gift for my cousin, she going through a painful divorce. (Aren't they all?)

I gave it some test play before giving it to her. I liked the hit.

As far as cars go? Fight Socialism, buy a Ford. Ford was the only USA car maker who said "no thanks" to becoming a ward of the state. I bought an '09 Bullitt Mustang. I like the car...not brutally fast, but faster than most. Handles like a dream, cornering like it's on rails. Great stereo with ipod, air that makes icecubes. Good milage from it's overhead cammed 4.6 V-8.

Philthepockets
09-23-2010, 10:56 AM
let's face it their cues were ugly, there I said it :p :duck:

measureman
09-23-2010, 05:33 PM
let's face it their cues were ugly, there I said it :p :duck:

I second that. I look at a lot of pool cues on line and they were the worst overall in design.
If the average home player or bar banger is looking to buy a cue and surfs the net what does he see? He see's a plain jane Joss or Viking for $200 or so. Then he sees a (insert any Chinese made cue) with real veneer points and maybe some diamond shaped inlays for the same $200.He knows nothing about quality of build just the fact that he gets some eye candy for the same price. I think this buyer is the bulk of the market.Also there was a post regarding looking at a cue in a store and then buying it online for the usual 20% off MSRP. I did the same thing but offered to buy at internet pricing and they did it. All I payed extra was local sales tax which was worth it because I got to see in person and hit balls with it.
At one time Japanese goods were cheaper then made in the US. Then the Japanese economy caught up with us and now we buy from the Chinese. If the Chinese economy catches up with us it will probably shift to India.So a 100 years from now where will it be?

JB Cases
09-23-2010, 05:52 PM
Anyway, I often thought as my jobs would be gone overseas all of a sudden, wouldn't it help the businesses here alot if there was taxes on all these imported products ? Or even is there ?
It seems to me if the playing field was more leveled for our own industries they would of stayed here and it would not have gotten to this huge lack of productivity !
Without being a productive country we have fallen into needing imports in a way that is almost scary.
What if all the coutries that send us the things we depend on said no you cant have anymore ! Yikes I think, we would be in big trouble.
A long time ago someone somewhere should have thought about us taking care of us.

Who should take care of you? America is a productive country, we consume most of what we produce in the USA and a lot of what other countries produce on top it.

If China ever said they will stop selling us computers and TV's then what would happen? We would produce them in the USA and people would buy them. But that's never going to happen.

Tariffs only serve to "protect" the profits short term or certain manufacturers. All they do is move money from one group - consumers - to another group - manufacturers. A tariff is not making the playing field level it makes it unlevel.

Let's use the very real "playing field" analogy and apply it to pool just to keep it relevant to the main forum.

You and I are playing one pocket and you are a road player who is much stronger than me. The pool table we are playing on is tight and level. First you beat me badly and I ask for weight but it's not enough and you continue to beat me. So I decide that I want the pool room step in and protect me and the "local money". So tell the pool room owner to put some pins under the rail to make the balls veer away from the opponent's pocket. He overcomes this and I have the table made slightly unlevel, he overcomes this and I have my pocket enlarged slightly. I keep doing these things to try and make a game that allows me to compete "equally" when the real problem is that I won't invest in getting better so that I don't need to have people helping me and getting ridiculous weight to make an even game.

Because the whole idea of continually trying to build in an edge is a never ending endeavor. You ask for more weight, he adjust the game, you put pins in the cloth, he adapts and overcomes - all the while you are making him stronger. You might win with such a gaffe in the short term but at the end of the day he will come back and beat your gaffe and bust you.

The other alternative is to play cheap straight up and learn. Improve your game and let him teach you to get better. Protect yourself by increasing your own skill and not relying on handicaps (subsidies) and other tricks to win.

Lastly, who do you think pays for Tariffs? The consumer pays for them.

If I have a pool cue and it cost $20 to import it and the goverment slaps a 100% tariff on it then now that cue costs $40 to import. If we were to go with say a 5x cost model to ascertain the price of the cue then that cue would be $200 retail. Say that this is meant to help the US manufacturers compete in the $100-$150 retail range. So if the cue were $20 with no tariff then it would be priced at $100 retail. With a tariff then it goes to anywhere between one and two hundred.

So let's set it at Retail $200 and import cost $40.

Compared to a USA Made comparable cue at $150 retail.

So on the face of it the USA Made cue is the better deal right? Made in the USA and $150 as opposed to Made in China and $200. Tariff works right?

Not so fast..........

Remember that the importer is still paying $40 for this cue - ($20 of which is the 100% tariff)

So the USA manufacturer has to sell his cues to wholesale and retail outlets in order to get them distributed. Let's just take the retail store to keep the example simple and equate the importer and the USA manufacturer.

USA Manufacturer has their cue priced at $150 and sells it to the retail store for $75. So there is a potential profit of $75 IF the cue sells at full retail.

Importer has their cue priced at $200 and sells their cue to the retail store for $75 also giving the retailer a potential profit of $125. And the retailer can offer a larger discount and still make more money.

From a retail standpoint the imported cue is still more attractive. Assuming that the quality is comparable enough that the average consumer would consider them to be in the same class.

At the end of the day the extra cost for the tariff is passed on to the consumers either way. Only the government collects more money which is indirectly paid by the taxpayers.

Without the 100% $20 tariff on the $20 cue the same cue is priced at $100 and the consumer keeps more money in their pocket to spend as they wish.

Since the importer is unlikely to be able to buy the USA Manufacturer's $150 cues at $40 the cost of the imported cue will still be more attractive to them even with a 100% tariff.

The manufacturer in the foreign country isn't paying the tariff. He says to the importer, "I want $20 for my cue". He doesn't care if the US Government imposes a tariff or not.

But then here is another kicker in this tale.

What do you do when the foreign manufacturer and the importer agree that the price of the cue is not $20 but instead $5 and the other $15 is to be paid to another company for the design fees. So in the end the foreign manufacturer is getting his $20 per cue and the importer is bringing in cues that have an "invoice" cost of $5. Tack on that 100% tariff and now the cue costs just $25 to import instead of $40.

But but but that's illegal and immoral you say! Foul.

Well guess what? Commerce is fluid. You are against price fixing right? In other words you don't want all the cue sellers to get together and fix the prices of cues at a minimum of $300 do you? Well then don't allow the government to step in and start attempting to fix or influence prices either. Because that leads to business coming up with creative accounting ways to keep their costs from being artificially inflated.

How many people have ever fudged on their income taxes? Think about it, when you do something to reduce the amount of tax you SHOULD pay then you are doing the same thing that a corporation is doing to reduce the amount of money they pay on top of their normal production costs.

The point is that the more rules and tariffs are imposed the more cost it adds which are then either worked around to keep cost down or passed onto the consumer.

In no case does it stop the flow of goods.

Here is what's really happening.

Currently China has about 300 million people in the so-called middle class. As defined by the ability to buy a house and a car. The Chinese are turning into world-class consumers. Wages are rising rapidly, the standard of living is rising rapidly. Soon it will not be a low-wage country anymore. This is the direct result of being opened to the western markets.

As Chris pointed out the Chinese don't want want Chinese made goods. Not because the Chinese don't make good products. They do. And they make a lot of crap as well no doubt. But the REASON that they don't want domestic goods is that there is prestige involved with buying goods made somewhere else. There is also a perception that that the quality is "better" on average.

So this market is HUNGRY for Western goods. One way to turn it off is for the USA to adopt a protectionist standpoint and make China into some evil entity. The last thing you want is 300 million Chinese deciding that they really don't want Made in USA goods.

We are on a globe like it or not. We can't build a fence around the equator or any other place and pretend that the rest of the world doesn't exist.

We need them and they need us. We are all people.

Companies come and go. Viking's demise is part of a business cycle. Who knows, if they had done just one or two things differently then perhaps they would be strong and healthy now. You find such examples throughout history of companies that created their own downfall and others that created their own success.

Apple was on the brink of extinction 10 years ago.

It's all part of the ebb and flow of life.

JB Cases
09-23-2010, 05:56 PM
Viking had also some of the best looking cues out there. And some of the most innovative. Gordon Hart was a pioneer in the business and one of the few (maybe the only) manufacturer to use 4th axis CNC.

I disagree about their cues being ugly. Some yes, but most were very pretty and well balanced in the design.

manwon
09-23-2010, 06:53 PM
let's face it their cues were ugly, there I said it :p :duck:

No reason to duck, you are certainly entitled to an opinion, but lets just say sometimes it is better to say nothing than to prove you have limited knowledge of a subject.

So either shit or get off the pot, but stirring it serves no purpose!!!!!:D

TATE
09-23-2010, 07:00 PM
This thread isn't about China, but I hope it opens a few eyes. We have to keep our businesses up-to-date in every aspect, or we become obsolete. I'm as guilty of a manager as anybody in ignoring progress.

One thing I noticed about the Chinese consumer during my visit was they are very conscious of labels and name brands. The youthful, educated, working professionals are the consumer class in China. They could spot a fake a mile away too. I was wearing a Sean Jon winter coat I bought at TJ Maxx for $30 (we don't own warm coats in Los Angeles) and they commented on it and looked at it many times during the trip. The Chinese consumer is somewhat juvenile in that regard, almost naive. The older people of my generation are largely deprived and uneducated. Communism failed the people miserably, and the sheer number of the poor and illiterate are staggering.

I was thinking that some American quality cues would be in demand over there, especially entry level customs and mid level players like Schon's.

Chris

poolplayer2093
09-23-2010, 07:03 PM
Viking had also some of the best looking cues out there. And some of the most innovative. Gordon Hart was a pioneer in the business and one of the few (maybe the only) manufacturer to use 4th axis CNC.

I disagree about their cues being ugly. Some yes, but most were very pretty and well balanced in the design.

The "f" series cues were pretty sharp. there was one that sticks out in my mind. it was like 4 points (holly or some white color) into rosewood (or similar dark wood) with holes (dark wood) in the points.

most of the f series were pretty cool

kvinbrwr
09-23-2010, 07:29 PM
I just placed a call to their HQ, and they are going out of business. Selling it all.........

Wow, they`ve been around a long, long time. I remember in the early 70`s when they had the catalog with the bearded gambler on the cover in the white suit.

They certainly have made a contribution to our industry.

Will Prout

Will

I went to school in Ann Arbor and in 1972 I drove to Detroit to go to a billiard store and I bought an Adam cue with a 3 color wrap (one shaft) for $35. A year later my dad got me a Viking V90 from that catalog for Christmas. I remember he had to go drive to somewhere in the Buffalo winter the day before Christmas to get it to me in time. That cue was stolen out of my car some 10 years later when I was playing in Los Angeles with my Schrager. As I'm sure you very well understand, I'd pay like crazy to get that Viking back now.

Thanks

Kevin

Scott Lee
09-23-2010, 07:40 PM
Viking made THE coolest 'sneaky pete' cue I've ever seen. It looked like the points intertwined into a kind of 'tree branch' look. First time I saw it, I though, "Wow, that has to be tough to fit the front part of the handle into the back part of the handle." I still think it's a sharp looking Viking cue. I can see it in my mind still, but don't have a picture of it. If somebody has a Viking catalogue, maybe they'll post a pic!

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

The "f" series cues were pretty sharp. there was one that sticks out in my mind. it was like 4 points (holly or some white color) into rosewood (or similar dark wood) with holes (dark wood) in the points.

most of the f series were pretty cool

RogerSLC-LV
09-23-2010, 11:07 PM
Viking made THE coolest 'sneaky pete' cue I've ever seen. It looked like the points intertwined into a kind of 'tree branch' look. First time I saw it, I though, "Wow, that has to be tough to fit the front part of the handle into the back part of the handle." I still think it's a sharp looking Viking cue. I can see it in my mind still, but don't have a picture of it. If somebody has a Viking catalogue, maybe they'll post a pic!

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Like the top cue in this pic?
http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/1897/vikingcatalog.jpg (http://img825.imageshack.us/i/vikingcatalog.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

ibuycues
09-23-2010, 11:10 PM
Will

I went to school in Ann Arbor and in 1972 I drove to Detroit to go to a billiard store and I bought an Adam cue with a 3 color wrap (one shaft) for $35. A year later my dad got me a Viking V90 from that catalog for Christmas. I remember he had to go drive to somewhere in the Buffalo winter the day before Christmas to get it to me in time. That cue was stolen out of my car some 10 years later when I was playing in Los Angeles with my Schrager. As I'm sure you very well understand, I'd pay like crazy to get that Viking back now.

Thanks

Kevin

Kevin,

I think your post is the most poignant one I read in this thread. I didn`t raise the point so we could all get into a production/custom, import/local, union/non-union, etc discussion.

I simply remember the early days of Viking, their cues, the early marketing, the great work of Gordy Hart, and simply wanted to "raise my glass" to`em. For the memories. Maybe it somehow touched me from a part of my youth.

I just hated to see it happen. Whether I liked them lately or not doesn`t matter. Kinda like when Pontiac goes away. For whatever reason. :(

By the way, I own the top cue in the post just before this one, the one with the twisted points. I bought it because I liked it.

Will

poolplayer2093
09-23-2010, 11:16 PM
Viking made THE coolest 'sneaky pete' cue I've ever seen. It looked like the points intertwined into a kind of 'tree branch' look. First time I saw it, I though, "Wow, that has to be tough to fit the front part of the handle into the back part of the handle." I still think it's a sharp looking Viking cue. I can see it in my mind still, but don't have a picture of it. If somebody has a Viking catalogue, maybe they'll post a pic!

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

a cue maker friend of mine told me how cool he thought that sneaky was. i always thought of it as more of a spider looking cue

cheapcues.com
09-24-2010, 04:13 PM
I have one of those cues (now called the G81, pic below) and I often look at it and can't figure out how that cue is made.

http://www.cheapcues.com/poolcueimages/Viking_Pool_Cues_G81.jpg

As someone who has been selling Viking cues and working with them for over a decade, these are my thoughts:

Yes, the cue market is tough and competetive right now, due in large part to a bad economy, and also due to an increase in competition, both from abroad and the U.S. However, there are a lot of US companies that are still out there- McDermott, Pechauer, Joss, Meucci, Schon, Jacoby, and countless custom cue makers. In hindsight I think Viking did more things well than any other company- they had great quality, fantastic customer service, a great warranty (they offered a lifetime warranty before McDermott did) and their shafts were very warp resistant. So why are they the ones who are going out of business? Sadly I must agree with some of the earlier postings regarding designs. Yes they have some very nice looking designs, and there were several models that were strong sellers. But if you look up and down their entire line, close to 100 cues, there are a lot of uninspired, boring designs. There were lots of models that I never sold one of. Also, I'm not sure why, but the hit seemed to be a little vague. I speak to a lot of people who love the SS joint, and a lot of people who love the "wood to wood" or 3/8 x 10 into wood joints like McDermott, but not many people like the middle road Viking took with their cues. I will say that I like the SS joints and the Viking joint that incorporates the SS collar on the shaft as well as the butt hits like a freight train- but they only offered that joint in 1 or 2 of their cues! (Pic of the G30 below)- although you could custom order almost any model with that joint.

http://www.cheapcues.com/poolcueimages/Viking_Pool_Cues_G30.jpg

There were a number of things that Gordon believed in that Viking stuck with to the bitter end, and it may or may not have hurt them- 1. He did not like to use metal rings, due to the potential for popping. 2. He used a finger joint instead of the more common pin with mortise and tenon joint, which meant no rings above the wrap. Look at the Viking catalog- there is not one cue with rings above the wrap. This may have affected the hit as well- maybe some cue makers can chime in on that one.

Anyway, if this is indeed the end of the road for Viking, RIP Viking cues and best of luck to the Hart family and the employees- you were truly a great company to work with, and you will be missed!


P.S. regarding the direction this thread has taken- keep your head up U.S.A. We still make great beef, have a thriving high-tech industry- software, CPU's and more- and we are leading the way in a new exciting emerging industry- electric cars! Of course we may all just be farmers in 50 years..... ;-)

JohnnyP
09-24-2010, 04:47 PM
My 19 oz. 62" Viking with 12.5mm shaft.

Thanks Woody (RIP).

By the way, those aren't real points. The lower part of the butt is stained, highlighting the burl. I don't know how they did the black separator.

JazzMatt
02-06-2011, 03:12 AM
Any updates on what happened to Viking?

Was doing my annual equipment "upgrade" at my local dealer when I was told NO more new Vikings coming. No idea how old his stock is, but looking at the Vikings he had I honestly have to say they didn't seem to represent value for money in the budget to mid range segments (US$100-300). The designs weren't inspiring either.

Don't understand why Viking doesn't use stainless joints more. I find the phenolic joint they use feel "mushy". I'm using two chinese made cues right now with stainless joints and they hit extremely well. The killer is that one of them is a house cue, cost under $25.

That said, I would still buy a "branded" cue in future because of the history attached to it.

bubster
03-23-2011, 04:25 AM
i have a old viking cue looks exactly like 4x110 but it doesnt have the viking window nor does it say viking anywhere on it but you can tell its made like a viking has anyone ever seen someone trying to make knockoffs of viking cue thanx

†Draco†
09-06-2011, 08:35 AM
Hey all was just doing some research I didn't know Viking went out of business or temporary closed there doors or anything was on a deployment overseas. I didn't see this coming at all I own a few of there cues, an F series one and a couple of the G series ones and the jump/break cue. I was looking around today and it looks like their still in business at my end. Not sure if it was some financial issues or something. Once again sorry about the late post didn't hear anything about this.

nancewayne
09-06-2011, 08:38 AM
Viking Cue Co. which closed its doors over a year ago, has reopened with new owners and most of the same old employees. F.Y.I.

Hey all was just doing some research I didn't know Viking went out of business or temporary closed there doors or anything was on a deployment overseas. I didn't see this coming at all I own a few of there cues, an F series one and a couple of the G series ones and the jump/break cue. I was looking around today and it looks like their still in business at my end. Not sure if it was some financial issues or something. Once again sorry about the late post didn't hear anything about this.

ibuycues
09-06-2011, 09:04 AM
Viking Cue Co. which closed its doors over a year ago, has reopened with new owners and most of the same old employees. F.Y.I.

Good news, thanks!

Will

Vahmurka
11-19-2011, 05:56 AM
in case somebody missed that
http://www.azbilliards.com/2000storya.php?storynum=9494