There are many Foosball companies in the market worldwide, but none can compare to the Bonzini brand. It has a rich, deep history in the Foosball community that is internationally respected.
When examining this company’s dedication to Foosball, there are questions that arise. Firstly, what exactly is the history of this company? What makes them stand out from competitors? Secondly, how have they truly revolutionized the Foosball game? Lastly, why are they so well respected? These questions all go hand in hand.
History of the Bonzini name
The Bonzini Foosball name starts its humble roots all the way back in 1927 by a man named Joseph Bonzini, an Italian carpenter. His business started as a furniture business. But he joined forces with a mechanic named Mr. Sopransi and created Bonzini & Sopransi – General Mechanics of leisure games, automatic devices and parts for automotive and aerospace technologies. These men, together, combined their passions to build the world’s most innovative Foosball tables, known as “Babyfoot” tables. Located in Bagnolet, everything is French made.
As the company grew throughout the years, one thing was a mainstay; it was a family affair. Generations of Bonzini family have developed this company into the leader it is today. From 1935, when the first Babyfoot was created up until today the family has kept its dedication clear and precise. Joseph’s nephew, Raymond Bergaglia, took over the company in 1950. Raymond set out to create a newer version of the BabyFoot, and thus the growth of Bonzini Foosball roots spread.
State-of-the-Art safety innovation
Foosball comes with potential danger with its rods possibly jabbing people on the other side of the table. Bonzini set out to resolve this issue and invented a rather unique solution. Other competitors approached this issue, but Joseph truly engineered a very special safety feature. They are known as, “telescopic” bars. The rod is fitted with a tube that gets mounted to the cabinet and houses an inner springs that slows movement at the end of a stroke with the rod. In addition, the rods are half the size to lessen the amount it protrudes out from the table. This design also makes the rods more flexible and fluid for optimal game play.
Most popular Tables
The Bonzini brand has three particular models that they are known for; the B53, B60, and B90. These are among other types, but these three were the first set of tables they became famous for that helped grow their industry into what it is today.
B53 Model, 1952
This model is the first to use the telescopic bar technology. Along with keeping safety in mind, the bars were unbreakable, making it especially attractive to more aggressive style players. It gave comfort in the handles and was well constructed for durable play.
B60 Model, 1959
Joseph’s nephew, Raymond, steps up the Foosball table game with his design of the B60 model. It had a unique rounded off shape and equipped with a coin mechanism along with the telescopic bar technology his uncle created and precision of play that could not be matched. In fact, this model was so popular, that in France it was the leading table in all restaurants and cafes. It has been attempted to be duplicated and counterfeit style tables claiming to be this particular style did exist and still do, so make sure it is of French origin with the Bonzini name.
B90 Model, 1989
With the growth of their company, Bonzini moved the operations to another part of Bagnolet and yet another family member joined up to carry on this tradition of making quality Foosball tables with Gerard Bergaglia. Gerard invents the B90 model, in which he presents it without the coin mechanism so that it can be used in homes, high schools, etc. It ends up becoming a competition table in the French Football Table Federation (FFFT) and in 2002, becomes the first French table to be ITSF (International Table Soccer Federation) approved. The specific ITSF model is 22 mm thick and measures at 1.50m x 1.00m x 0.95m and is made of beech wood and plywood. It weighs in at 103kg.
While those are their staple models, their time line also shines a revolutionary invention for the handicapped. Bonzini is the first company to make a handicapped accessible table. Alongside that creation are their mini-tables with two or three rods designed for people in small spaces or children players.
Setting the bar high and standing tall
Bonzini brand table soccer reigns as the leader in customization for its customer base. They not only became leaders in the table making world, but really set out to please the customer. In order to gain more customers and keep their reputation high, they began offering highly detailed paint jobs to the players on the rods. This included creating a female version of the player (in 2006) to expand themselves even more. The players are made with heavy duty screw mounts and consist of aluminum. This sets them apart from their competition because each table is uniquely designed to fit the customer’s needs. The table itself can be created to the customer’s liking as well, along with their matching players.
But the company did not stop there. Their next big project was exactly that; BIG. They became the first company to create a huge Foosball table able to accommodate 11 players on each team. It was structurally sound and coined the name “Babyfoot Chest”. It made its debut in 1998. Just two years later, a variation called “Maxi” came out with the ability for two teams of four to play on the same table.
Throughout the years, Bonzini brand has not only withstood the tests of time but adapted to the changing world around it. It achieved success in keeping Foosball tables classic, yet designing them to meet the needs of the world. This became especially true in 2010 when the company designed the first ever ‘social network table’. With the creation of this table, it also founded the “Foosball Society” group that are people using these tables. These Babyfoots became known as “e-babyfoots” under Bonzini Tecbak. The tables came with live time play where there was shareable content about the games being played on these distinct tables.
Special Bonzini Foosball Handles
Bonzini does more than just tables, although, the tables are arguably the best in class. They also make their own handle attachments that specify to a players desired feel. They currently offer five styles of handles.
Round Handle (Bonzini):
Known as the original handle from some of the first made tables, the round handle offers grip control with its short design, yet girth all around. It is still preferred in the tables located throughout France.
Bonzini Long Handle:
This handle is most commonly used in other parts of Europe. With a cone-like shape, it offers great shot control. It also offers exceptional control overall since the entire hand is able to grip this handle. This particular handle comes in various materials to offer different grips and feels. The materials include: aluminum, magnesium, and more recently, silicone for a soft, yet controllable grip.
New Bonzini Handle:
This is the round handle design, reinvented. It is made to be more playable while keeping a round shape. It resembles more of a pear shape for a better grip.
Long Handle USA:
To appeal to United States players, Bonzini created a longer handle to fit the play style most used by the US. The handle looks like a screwdriver handle and gives proper grip control. It is perfect for performing skilled shots
The Magnesium Snake Handle:
Perhaps the most unique of all the Bonzini handles, this piece was created for ITSF play with the skilled technical shot “The Snake Shot” in mind. It is the longest of all the handles and performs high-speed shots when properly used. Its design turns the bar a spin and a half to rotate the ball left or right before giving it all its power.
Handles are priced between about $10 and $50 depending on the style desired. They also offer spare parts for the tables including men which are about $20 a player. Considering the complete custom designs of the players, it is not surprising at these prices. Their balls are of all materials for about $2 a ball. Besides the basic parts, they also offer rods, screws, etc. for their tables as well as parts for the vintage B60 and B90 tables. Their tables are about $1500 and up on seller sites. They can be directly ordered through their France site (There is a US Bonzini site as well) www.bonzini.com, which offers all the custom colors, players and fields one would want for their tables.
Between their highly innovative table designs and specially crafted handle pieces, it is very easy to see how Bonzini made a name for themselves for so many years. They aim to constantly adapt with the times and needs of its players and customers and the future can only hold more exciting transformations for the Foosball community.