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Target 2016 Launch Day Experience
Target 2016 Launch Day Tuesday 26th July

As you all know I was invited to attend the Target launch some time ago as I posted my invitation card in a previous thread to see if we could work out what this years offerings would be, I think we all guessed wrong again lol!

Anyway I was not sure I would be attending as its a bit of a trek to Harlow and last year I managed to get a spare invite and went with my nephew in the car.  I thought the only way I would go would be if I was to stay in a hotel the night before as I would be able to get a good nights sleep (hopefully) and also stay on the night of the launch and travel home on the Wednesday.  

When I looked at the costs for that it was a fair whack so I decided not to go.

Luckily for me Target said they would book me in to the Hotel for the night and also gave me 2 extra invites to bring some forum members.

So I just had to pay for my train fares and book the Travelodge for the 1 night, still a chunk of money at £146 but its once in while so sucked it up.

I offered the 2 invites to the mods and admins but only Jaykay took up the offer and he flew down from Dundee.  So I thought who else to give it to, I was sure Mike and Danny would be invited again this year but sadly there were not so I knew the one guy who has been a great member of the forum since he first joined and well deserving of the invite, ChrisTheFish Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

So I had my tickets booked for the trains and hotel and would meet John and Chris on the day of the launch.

I set off from home at 2:20pm on the Monday, got a lift off my brother in law and sister to Darlington train station and waited for me train to Kings Cross.  Train was a few minutes late due to some problem near Durham but I finally boarded at 3:34pm and I was sat near the toilet which smelt very ripe indeed!  So not a pleasant journey for my nostrils and as I had been suffering a bad back all week a slightly uncomfortable one too.

I got to Kings Cross around 6pm and it was nice to finally get off and stretch the legs a little, everyone was rushing about like loonies as they usually do and I made my way out the entrance and turned immediately right to St Pancras Underground station.

Now this was my first time on the London Tube and I think I may have been in rush hour as it was like looking at rats coming out of tunnels and people whizzing by me, it was easy enough to follow as I just looked for the blue Victoria Line and its all well signposted but even so there is still that little doubt in your mind of whether your actually heading the right way lol.

I got on the escalator and was taken aback by the height and steepness of it, almost felt a bit dizzy at first and been the Tube Noob that I was I stood in the middle before a voice in my head said "get to the right ya fool!" ah yeah forget about that rule, so I stuck to the right while many others walked past on the left, hmm should I chance it too I thought, nah not with this heavy bag I wont, going to look a right pillock if I fall, stick to the right where its safer Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

So I went around a couple of tunnels and corridors (place is like a maze) all the while thinking how awful it must have been to be stuck down here when the 7/7 bombings happened, not the sort of thoughts you want to be having down there really and ones that made me feel even more claustrophobic than I was already!

After a few minutes I reached the platform and as soon as I did a train came and I got on, it was packed and I was scrambling for something to grab onto while standing there.  The train took off making a strange WHOOOOSSSHINGG sound and I felt like I was in some sci-fi movie lol I was looking at people looking at me and thinking "I know I'm a Tube Virgin!"  The things seem to go very fast and when it stops at a platform the doors don't seem to stay open very long at all, I thought bloody hell you have to be quick on these things or you wont get off!

While I am stood there I am thinking "have I got the right train? where is my stop, oh I hope its the right one!"  Thankfully it was and within about 16 mins I was at Tottenham Hale.

I got off and went up to the surface and turned right where I saw a platform but was unsure if that was where I was meant to be.  I asked the rail lady and she said yes it is and let me through the barrier and as soon as I got through a train came and I saw on the monitor it said Harlow but on the side of the train it said Stanstead Express, I got on anyway.  Once again I was not sure if it was the right train or not but it got to Harlow station so that was fine by me Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

The Travelodge was just a few minutes walk away so I checked in and the receptionist said "Oh you have the infamous room, Room 101!"  "Nice!" I said lol.

So it was around 7pm on Monday night and I was not sure if I should go find a pub or not but decided I would just stay in and watch TV.  A bit disappointed with the TV as I only had 5 channels and it said 17 on the website the lying gits!  But the bed was very comfy and I think it did my back some good as I woke up feeling great on Tuesday morning.

I was about to get a shower at 8:20 am when my phone rang, it was Chris he was waiting at the Toby Carvery next door.

I checked out at 9am and went to meet Chris, so nice meeting people face to face after you have known them so long on the forum Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.  Chris was very excited about the day ahead and was not ashamed to hide it lol.

While we sat there Tony and his wife Jo from Madhouse came by, we shook hands and said hello and they went to get some breakfast.

Also TheBigRoberto was there with his partner and like so many people he recognised my voice lol, apparently he had stayed in the Travelodge too overnight, a pity I never knew that.

Then John finally turned up and was a little flustered from his plane and train journey, awesome to finally meet our raffle guru lol!, we sat and chatted for a little bit and saw an opportunity for a quick selfie:

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Then we went to the carvery for an all you can eat breakfast, I think I ate a little too much Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

Then it was into Chris's faithful Fiesta Zetec to the Target factory.  After getting a little lost we eventually found it and meet up with a few people out side.  I saw Colin Sines who won a comp last year to attend and this year his wife won so he was there again, very good luck!  I saw Wayne and Gary from DC and Karl from A180 and a few of the players were milling about then we all went inside to see a few more and we checked out our table arrangements, I was on the Phil Taylor table which was cool!

As before there was refreshments available and biscuits etc.

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After various chats with numerous people we were asked to take our seats and Dan Dawson started the proceedings:

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He introduced James from Target who gave the presentation of the 2016 products and also a quick demo of the new Corona light surround:



After that we had a look at the new stuff on display and I took a few pics.  

As regards to what was shown in the presentation I remember thinking when the Daytona Fire first came up that it must be the new Elysian and its great that they got the price down to a more reasonable £95 but then I saw that there was indeed another Elysian and it looked incredible but wow that price!  

Of the other items shown I liked the new Tony O'shea darts but it was only until later in the day I got to try them properly, the Daytona Fire are very nice though but I really liked the new 80% Chizzy darts, its got a very nice grip.

The new Corona lighting surround is a great price and looks very good, I think that's going to sell well and although it was easy to take on and off I did not see how the main attachment to the board works so will wait until there is more info available before judging its ease of use fully.

Another favourite was the Alan Norris darts but I already knew they were a nice dart from before and I think the new Tacoma wallets are very good value.

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We were called back to our seats again and the players sat down on some tables at the front for a mini question and answer session, I made a video of that here:



While the players were getting seated for the Q and A they gave out some goody bags and we all got the poster in the bag signed by the players, here is mine and the rest of the contents of the bag:

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A couple of pics of the players all sat like its the Last Supper lol! Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

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After that we went off to have a throw of the new darts.  While I was doing that I was having a chat to Ricky Evans and Dave Chisnall, both great guys and so easy to talk to, Chizzy was talking to me as if he had known me for years!

He was trying out his new 80% Chizzy darts and it was the first time he had thrown them but was banging in a few 180s as easy as breathing, I cant help but get amazed at how easy these guys do that!  Same with Ricky Evans, I think he must have hit more 180's than anyone on the day and so fast too!  He said he has actually slowed down of late!  I did a slow-mo of him and also one of Chizzy.  Chizzy said here look at this for a slo-mo, then he showed me himself doing a slo-mo Happy Gilmour shot at golf lol!  

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After a while they also started to serve fish and chips but I was so full from the big breakfast I had had that I decided not to have any, later in the day I wish I did but will come to that Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

Then they started the Pro/Am matches which was good fun, even MVG turned up to play as you can see in the pics below Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

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This year it was won by Shaun Lovett and young Jack Seymour, a great young player, well played Jack! Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

After the launch event we had to say goodbye to Chris as sadly he could not stay overnight and myself and John were kindly given a lift to the Manor of Groves Hotel were we checked into our room.  We were told we had room 216 and we could take the lift or the stairs.  We decided to take the lift not realising that the very short flight of 6 steps was going to take us to the exact location lol, we must have looked very lazy!!!

The room was great, very nice and neat:

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We had a quick wash and change and then got in a taxi with Tony and his wife Jo to the Plume of Feathers pub.

It was a free bar until whenever, (I think it was until Gary Plummer left) and I even met Steve from Heart of Darts charity who had a great fashion sense as you can see below lol:

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Had a great time at the pub talking to various people and playing some darts, had a few games against Rob but he was just too good!  There was a buffet put on later but by the time I knew about it nearly all the food was gone and not having any fish and chips earlier meant I was starving lol oh well my fault!

Around about 11:30pm John went to the bar to get some more drinks only to be told the free bar was now finished lol unlucky mate!  After the pub we went back to the hotel bar where Wayne from DC had very kindly bought a few drinks for everyone and I was up chatting until 3:30am and feeling a little drunk I finally went to bed but woke about 7am totally shattered but happy! Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

Myself and John went for breakfast about 8:30am then got our bags packed and ordered a taxi for Harlow station.

We both had a long journey home but John more so than me as he was flying back to Germany, we said our goodbyes at the station and then I made my way to Tottenham Hale then on the Tube to Kings Cross, it was a little more pleasant this time as it was less busy but I got the wrong train and was a little pushed for time when at Kings Cross but still 10 mins before my train to Darlington was due to leave.

I got on the train and it set off on time 12:30pm but the carriage I was in was roasting because the air con was faulty, so it was a hot and sweaty journey home.  I bought some Tuna and Sweetcorn sarnies and a bottle of Oasis on the train which cost £5.25! Later on they gave us free bottles of water due to the aircon fault.

When I got to Darlington I waited for the train to Middlesbrough and when the conductor came to collect payment his ticket machine broke so he said I can ride for free lol Woohoo!

At Boro I jumped in a Taxi (£7) and was home for 4:20pm

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So that was that, another great time and so good to meet and chat to so many people, would be great if you all could experience these days and get to meet the people involved in darts, you would really love it, but I am glad I went in the end and was nice to meet some guys from the forum.

Hope you have enjoyed reading this Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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Great write up Darren, thanks for sharing. :thumbup:

Brad
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Cheers Brad!

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Just checked Targets site as I was curious of them Vapor-8 darts you received in your goody bag, believe they're the 05 model and if so theyre on the long side at 54 mil.
Have you thrown them, if so what's the grip like and how did they go?

Brad
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Great write up and good photos, see you next year ( I hope)
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Still gutted I didn't get an invite this year - glad you guys all had a great time though Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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Another fine write-up and photos yet again, Darren, to help us mere mortals feel as if we've almost been there ourselves... and good to be able to put a couple more faces to names...  Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images. +1.
"He wants two eighteens for a hundred thousand pounds..."

My Darts:  Unicorn John Lowe Golden Titanium 21g / Unicorn Sigma Pro 970 Gold 21g / Target Phil Taylor Gen 3 9Five 22g
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great  read
it's just like we get to go Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images. ,thanks for sharing
anybody else wonder if the pro's fight over who gets to sit at Darren's table Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
you count 180's
i'm counting money
     :usa:

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(07-31-2016, 04:40 PM)Great White North Wrote: Just checked Targets site as I was curious of them Vapor-8 darts you received in your goody bag, believe they're the 05 model and if so theyre on the long side at 54 mil.  
Have you thrown them, if so what's the grip like and how did they go?

Brad

No not even opened them yet, not sure they will suit me really Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

(07-31-2016, 04:58 PM)The Big Roberto Wrote: Great write up and good photos, see you next year ( I hope)

Cheers Rob, if we don't get to meet at another launch then hopefully some other event Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

(07-31-2016, 05:01 PM)mc1958 Wrote: Still gutted I didn't get an invite this year - glad you guys all had a great time though Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

Yeah its a shame Mike, may be next year Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

(07-31-2016, 05:03 PM)ChrisHarvey67 Wrote: Another fine write-up and photos yet again, Darren, to help us mere mortals feel as if we've almost been there ourselves... and good to be able to put a couple more faces to names...  Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images. +1.

Thanks Chris, I should wear one of those cameras like the police to record everything lol that will be a long video, 24 hours long hahaha

(07-31-2016, 05:04 PM)181-3dartout Wrote: great  read
it's just like we get to go Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images. ,thanks for sharing
anybody else wonder if the pro's fight over who gets to sit at Darren's table Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

LOL of course they do! Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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Great write up Darren, was an absolutely fabulous day and well worth the delayed flights and running around with a hangover the next.
I have some photos and a video of Ricky Evens' rapid throw I asked to film while at the pub. Need to get it all up in a thread too.
Fingers crossed for next year! Would fly around the world 3 times to do it again! Well as long as there is a free bar that is lol
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Thanks for the narration, photos and vidz darren! Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.  Makes you feel as if you're right there!  Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

Not sure, but on my side, all the video links come out as something like this:

<iframe width="853" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bsbpzXZljeQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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A beginner - always experimenting and learning. Lol! Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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I did tell you I would be bouncing around like Tigger on acid!,
Had a brilliant day and felt like I was walking with giants among all the players.
Had great conversations with Tony O'Shea and Daryl Fitton. Two great and really down to earth blokes.
As you said Darren it was really nice to meet some dartsnutz face to face. Oh how I would love to do it all again ( fingers crossed ). Enjoyed trying out as many darts as I could get my hands on! and gutted they would not let Tony sign a set of his new darts for me?
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Current Board 
Gladiator 3 with Corona Surround and Unicorn number ring
Darts
Modified Unicorn Striker with RD medium sparkle stems, hardcore black flights, Mission black points and Target titanium stem rings   

Playing 40 years on and off and still barely average
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Excellent write-up of your trip Darren - it must be great meeting all those players in such an informal setting. I met Phil Taylor once - came across as a nice, friendly bloke from what I remember. These launch events sound like a lot of fun and fair play to Target for looking after their guests so well. Thanks for a good read.  Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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(07-31-2016, 05:41 PM)JayKay Wrote: Great write up Darren, was an absolutely fabulous day and well worth the delayed flights and running around with a hangover the next.
I have some photos and a video of Ricky Evens' rapid throw I asked to film while at the pub. Need to get it all up in a thread too.
Fingers crossed for next year! Would fly around the world 3 times to do it again! Well as long as there is a free bar that is lol

LOL yeah the free bar where you had to pay Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images. Cheers John!

(07-31-2016, 05:53 PM)Ancient Darter Wrote: Thanks for the narration, photos and vidz darren! Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.  Makes you feel as if you're right there!  Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

Not sure, but on my side, all the video links come out as something like this:

<iframe width="853" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bsbpzXZljeQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Thanks Chris, hmm, are the vids still like that? I will change it if so Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

(07-31-2016, 06:03 PM)ChrisTheFish Wrote: I did tell you I would be bouncing around like Tigger on acid!,
Had a brilliant day and felt like I was walking with giants among all the players.
Had great conversations with Tony O'Shea and Daryl Fitton. Two great and really down to earth blokes.
As you said Darren it was really nice to meet some dartsnutz face to face. Oh how I would love to do it all again ( fingers crossed ). Enjoyed trying out as many darts as I could get my hands on! and gutted they would not let Tony sign a set of his new darts for me?

LOL yes you did and yes you were lol Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

(07-31-2016, 06:38 PM)4737 Carlin Wrote: Excellent write-up of your trip Darren - it must be great meeting all those players in such an informal setting. I met Phil Taylor once - came across as a nice, friendly bloke from what I remember. These launch events sound like a lot of fun and fair play to Target for looking after their guests so well. Thanks for a good read.  Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

Thanks mate, yeah its good to meet them and also see them in a relaxed atmosphere Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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(07-31-2016, 06:45 PM)Getagrip Wrote: Ancient Darter
Thanks for the narration, photos and vidz darren! Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.  Makes you feel as if you're right there!  Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

Not sure, but on my side, all the video links come out as something like this:

<iframe width="853" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bsbpzXZljeQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Thanks Chris, hmm, are the vids still like that?  I will change it if so Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

Yeah, they still are at this time.
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A beginner - always experimenting and learning. Lol! Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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