The History of Soft Tip Darts

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A Brief History of Arachnid 360 – The Originator of Soft-Tip Darts

Arachnid, Inc. was incorporated in 1975, when a company owned by Rudy Allison made a change from making balloon inflators to electronic dart games. On a trip to Ireland Allison had discovered how enjoyable the game of darts could be.

With a rough idea of a game, Rudy Allison hired Dick Jones (who is still employed at Arachnid today) to help with the development of the machine. Jones took rough ideas for the board, darts, and scoring mechanics and innovated the basic scheme that Arachnid and its many imitators use today. At that time, Jones even drilled the first dartheads by hand!

In the beginning, the dart game was not without its struggles, quite frankly the game did not score properly, or at all.  That was when Rudy decided to sell the company and Paul F. Beall entered the story.  With his vast knowledge of patent law and engineering background, Paul F. Beall forged on.  Beall was one of the driving forces that grew the game/sport as it is today.

The game hit the market and met with slow acceptance. However, with the addition of Marcio Bonilla and Sam Zammuto to the Arachnid sales team, the product took off. By the mid 80’s, Arachnid was flourishing holding seminars to assist distributors and operators in setting up leagues and tournaments. To this day Arachnid still continues its tradition of educating, teaching and training operators on the promotion of darts through leagues and tournaments. Also during this time Arachnid began publishing the ever popular BullShooter Magazine, which is still published today for dart players and dart leagues.

Since 1986, Arachnid has run BullShooter Regionals around the United States throughout every dart season. Arachnid also concentrated on marketing internationally and decided to start their own tournament, the world renowned BullShooter World Challenge of Champions Tournament (BullShooter). The first BullShooter took place in Chicago, in May, 1986. The tournament then featured four events, paid out $25,000 in prize money, and had over 1,000 entrants from around the United States. In May, 2016, Arachnid celebrated its 31st Anniversary BullShooter tournament. And today players come from all over the world to compete against “the best”. Now there are 21 events and $130,000 in prize money!

In 1989, businessman John Martin bought out Paul F. Beall to become joint owner with Mike Tillery. Then in 1996, Martin bought out Tillery. Arachnid’s growth continued with a series of home games being developed, along with the new coin-op dart game in August, 1991, the fantastically popular Galaxy.  The Galaxy framework was a breakthrough in league management that allowed remote stats collection via a phone line. The Galaxy game won the AMOA’s “Most Played Dart Game” award for 9 years in a row!

In 2014, the next generation of Bealls entered the story. Three brothers, Tony, Chris, and Shawn, sons of Paul F. Beall, purchased Arachnid from the John Martin estate. The Bealls renamed the company Arachnid 360, LLC and named Sam Zammuto as President with his 35+ years of expertise at Arachnid.

Over 40 years later, the same basic technology in the Galaxy, Galaxy II, and Galaxy II.5 has been updated and improved to the standards of today, and is now being used in Arachnid’s new Galaxy 3. With the introduction of the game-changing Galaxy 3, Arachnid has re-invigorated the excitement in the dart world. The Galaxy 3 is state-of-the-art with a flip head that has a 15” target on one side and a 13” target on the other, remote play, and LED lighting to better illuminate the targets. These are just a few innovative features that helped Arachnid win the 2012 AMOA Innovator of the Year Award.

With this unique history of innovation, loyal customer base, and drive to be the best, there is no doubt that Arachnid 360 will continue to “Dart Into The Future!”