501 or More: Phil Taylor Generation 3, are they really worth £78?
Although not quite in the league of the recent Elysian Special Edition darts, retailing at £300, it’s still a hefty price to pay for a set of arrows. But let’s give the latest Target Taylor collaboration a real going over and see what we made of them.
The external packaging is typical of target and displays the dart and the marketing image very well. Plenty of gold and silica colour. Inside the darts are protected by a foam mount, It is still a shame that target prefer not to supply premium cases with their premier darts, included are three barrels, three matching Gen 3 silica stems and three of the smallest vapour flights.
The appearance of the dart is definitely in the “Dart Art” class. From the natural point and nose cone through the gold and silica main barrel and to the silica rear section and stem, the impression is of a sleek aerodynamic missile designed to seek out its target (no pun intended).
Actually quite a lot in some ways. Gone are the blue highlighted flat grip sections on the rear of the dart, also the blue highlighted grip pieces on the nose cone have gone. The full pixel grip across the mid section of the barrel is no more.
Additions include the barrel being longer so the “as one ” idea of stem and barrel survives but with differing proportions. The 22g for example is 45mm instead of 41mm. Barrel width is almost identical in each weight. Add the supplied grooved stem and there is a totally smooth transition through to the flight.
The Gen 3 has a sectional grip starting from the nose cone, which is completely smooth, next comes a five-line pixel grip section highlighted gold, the third section is a seven line ring cut section more reminiscent of many Unicorn darts. It is situated well for those who hold the middle or rear of the dart. Finally comes a silica pixel grip through to smooth stem junction (and grooved stem base if you fit the supplied accessories).
Overall there is good grip on each section of the barrel and a tried and tested combination on the middle and rear sections. If you hold toward the rear it is very comfortable in combination with the stem. Changing stems does alter the feel and the hold balance. A medium length tapered stem and normal size a standard shape seems to lead to more momentum for the dart and a nicer angle of entry for the taller player.
The combination between the gold highlighting and the silica coating is a very good touch. It seems to wear well and gives a very nice non sticky feel. For this style of barrel this may be targets best combination, of cosmetics and functionality, yet.
The standard fitted points are absolutely fine and, due to the dart requiring a steady consistent approach, storms or similar are not needed.
The new vapour flights are remarkably small and not for an average player. The control and consistency needed is of a very high level and takes huge concentration. However they do provide a good tool for practising. After using a normal flight, for a few legs, try switching to these to see how controlled you are throwing and how long you can maintain it.
This is a superb quality dart in term of design, build and appearance. Its advantages include the slightly longer length, narrower nose and excellent feel. Drawbacks are the high level of control needed and the likelihood of players needing to use their own set ups.
Overall then the £78 is a very high cost for a product that may not suit many players. A good strategy would be to test throw at least one similarly designed dart such as a phase 5 rosso, or even a heavy Sigma 970, with a similar stem and flight set up added. If you get on well with the trial it may well be worth the investment. If you cannot succeed with the test, then only spend the £78 if you can’t resist the looks!