In this era Stiga changed its production. Tabletennis requested demands that had Stiga make a distinction between racket’s speed and started to pay attention to type of using rackets. Simultanously rubbers’ significance also incrased. Besides Yasaka/Stiga Cobra came up Tornado, Black Power, Phantom rubbers with different sponge thicknesses. (1 – 1.5 – 2mm)
Stiga company tried to widen the scale of woods for the customers so they produced almost every kind of handle for every type of wood. The super carbon could be a big novelty at that time. (3 ply wood + 2 ply carbon, uniquely core grain runs across). This solution provided faster blade than offensive wood wich has padouk (red to brown over purple) 2nd ply so dispite the 4.8-5.0mm thickness offensive wood is preferably fast and full of dynamics. Besides the allround wood they made the defensive wood.
Elit series with Yasaka Mark V, Super Carbon with Contra (narrow Alser) handle, Mäster series with Cobra*** rubbers. Hobby series with Cobra** rubber, Beginner series with unmarked or Cobra* rubber (beginner rackets’ wood were diffenrent). Besides of the well known Alser, Johansson and Bengtsson handle Stiga branched out with Stiga 2000 i.e. anatomic (later switched to the thinner Ulf Tickan Carlsson), Contra i.e. narrow flared and chinese and japanese penholder handle.
[ilink url=”http://oldstiga.com/c/stiga_12sidor.pdf” style=”download”]Stiga Catalogue 1979 bulbed era (pdf 3.3 MB)[/ilink]
There are many stories circling on anniversary blades but the formula is simple: There are limited decennial series made since 1985 for recalling Stiga rackets & the famous players.
300-300 pcs. of Alser, Bengtsson & Johansson were produced for commemoration of VM. In Goethenburg 1985. There was A-B-C marked series and 100 pcs. of each letters i.e. B3/100 means 103rd blade. The serial is written onto the blade’s face. The woods are made of original Stiga laminas by hand.
Presumably 500-500 pcs. of Alser, Bengtsson & Johansson were made. There is oly ‘E’ series from 001 to 500. The letter is written onto the blades face’s left side the number is written onto the right side. The woods are made of original Stiga laminas by hand.
500-500 pcs. of Alser & Bengtsson were made. The woods are told to be made of original Stiga laminas by hand that is controversial. This series has never sold by Stiga. The woods are so much alike that it is hard to believe that they are made by hand. But the most unbelievable is the matter of “original Stiga laminas” from the “hidden stock” story.
This catalogue is perfect proof for developing of tabletennis in the early 70’s. First I was so much surprised when reading it since I met some pages on Stiga tabletennis matter. Today it is obvious to be able to see Stiga brand name on gardening machines or it is maybe known that Stiga made quality fishing equipment but it is not clear for everybody that they were involved in manufacturing good electric shavers, guns and hunting or touring products.
All Stiga products were typical thought-out and well designed so it is no wonder that their repertoire could satisfy wide scale of demands of tabletennis players. But what is more important for us is to have proof of appearance. You can see their collection is designed and made for the competition level of the game to the hobby players.
They were proud of cooperating with Yasaka since they mantioned as early as 1955 that all of Swedish World Campions won with Yasaka rubbers. It is also a fact that Stiga sells rackets with Yasaka Mark V rubbers. Mark V presented only 2mm thickness and only “Backside” version as a matter of curiosity means inverted rubber. They used “Soft” for pimpled rubbers. Yasaka Cobra***, Yasaka** és Stiga* rubbers were available in both Backside and Soft version and in different thicknesses. Genuinely Mark V stickers used on the handle of tha famous Alser/Johansson/Bengtsson rackets on both sides as an advertisment. Suggested for competitive play – they said. Mark V rackets were the short-time made woods wihout nails and serial numbers in the handle but not yet bulbed. (Some years later Stiga branched out bulbed rackets with serial)
As a matter of interest it worths to take a look at the price: While you could get a Mark V racket for 75 KR you could buy 2 pcs of a “ran out” Mellis, Flisan or Neidert. Nowdays it is a bit different.
[ilink url=”http://oldstiga.com/c/stiga71.pdf” style=”download”]Download – Stiga 1971 catalogue (pdf, 7MB)[/ilink]
Year 50’s to 70’s was undoubtedly the best era for Stiga. The Swedish company (established in 1944) apparently was the leader tabletennis manufacturer besides some weak competitors. The 80’s decade brought new situation and Butterfly sliced off bigger piece of the tabletennis cake due to effective marketing and quality products.
Manufacturers aimed wide spreading of tabletennis products so Butterfly find famous faces as well as Stiga for naming their rackets like Klampar, Jonyer, Gergely, Secretin, Grubba, Douglas (Interesting that there was player whos name was on both Butterfly and Stiga rackets eg.: Stipancic) This was the era before the metal-butterfly logo in the field of woods. Regarding the quality Butterfly was effective competitor for Stiga. We inherited sort of fine Butterfly rackets (as well as Joola or Schoeler + Micke) from that time. However the values of these woods are not the same as Stigas’.
At that time Butterfly provided wide scale of rubbers which were spread worldwide. You can remember their slogan that has been used for a long time: “On the latest poll Z percent of the players use Butterfly product”. And they used it indeed. Because of the quality they represented and still represent. (Due to the catalogues data in New Delhi 1987 40 percent of players used Butterfly). In fact there was not really serious competitor. In these years Butterfly branched out Sriver L & S besides their successful Tackiness C & D which has not disappeared.
[ilink url=”http://oldstiga.com/c/butterfly89.pdf” style=”download”]Download – 1989 Butterfly catalogue (pdf, 1.12 MB)[/ilink]