One of the products Tornado sells is American Made Foosball Tables. A more complete list of their products is provided by Made in America Secrets, to review their list click here.
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Why are these tables so popular? How did they take over the market? What do they mean to amusement operators? To answer these questions, let’s take a short look at the histories of both companies. The Valley? company was born about 55 years ago in Bay City, Michigan under the auspices of one Earl Feddick. Mr. Feddick was in the wooden toy and furniture business when he decided to build a new product, coin-operated bumper pool. The demand for his new game was tremendous and in the early years his production could not keep up with the demand. Then, as often happens with successful products, other companies began manufacturing similar games. Earl then decided to try something else new. He decided to build pool tables that operated on coin play. Thus, were born the first Valley pool tables, in 6-foot size only.
Over the years, the tables evolved into various styles, colors, and sizes to become what they are today. But, one thing Mr. Feddick’s tables were always known for was quality. To the amusement operators that used his tables, this was of utmost importance. Not only had he provided them with a new revenue source for their locations, but also one that was reliable and long lasting. This reputation has followed Valley for all of these years, and they are still known as the highest quality coin-op tables available. Operators know that when they buy Valley products, they will give them reliable service year after year after year. It is not unusual to see 20-year-old Valley tables still in use. Because of this success over the years, Valley has won more industry and association awards for quality, reliability, and support than any other coin-machine manufacturer.
In most industries, this would be enough, but as the years went by, the leaders of the Valley company, people like Chuck Milhem, and Emil Marcet to name a few, realized that the operators needed something else. They needed something that would not only drive their revenues, but would also ‘lock’ them into locations. Thus, with the brilliant foresight of Chuck Milhem and very sizeable investments by the Valley company, the VNEA was born in 1979. The Valley National Eightball Association today is the largest pool league in the world with over 75,000 sanctioned weekly players. Of course, it started quite small and continued to grow every year. In fact, it still grows even today as we continue to reach new operators in new places that still have not realized the advantages the VNEA has to offer. However, this article is about Valley-Dynamo?, and the VNEA is only one part of the story. There is also the Valley International Foosball Association and the United States Table Soccer Association.
All of these associations were developed for the purpose of helping operators and promoting the games of pool and foosball. The most important difference between Valley tables and all the other brands has always been two things: Quality and Support. No other coin machine manufacturer supports their customers like Valley does. There are programs for leagues, and there are programs for state, regional, and provincial tournaments. There is an annual charter-holder workshop where operators have an opportunity to learn everything they need to know about leagues from other operators with an abundance of experience. There are operator-training programs. There are the International Championship tournaments in Las Vegas. And more.
Valley entered the international market place in the mid 80’s when Mr. Milhem hired his old friend away from the Brunswick company. That man, James Griffiths, who had a wealth of international experience under his belt already, set up Valley’s International Division and then set out to find distributors all over the world. The results of his hard work became obvious, especially when Valley won the President’s “E” Award for excellence in exporting in 1990. Six years later, Valley again won, but this time they won the prestigious “E Star” Award, which is only awarded to one U.S. corporation each year. Though the International Division is still growing at a very steady pace, Valley products are already well known the world over.