On the air hockey table market, the upper tier of tables is occupied by a few premium brands that have been around for quite a while. American Heritage Billiards is one of those brands and their Monarch Air Hockey table is perhaps one of the best examples of a well-built quality table that brings a good value for its price, no matter if it’s noticeably more expensive than other more casual models.
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Overview and Features
The general theme of the Monarch is that it is meant for more professional use. While cheaper tables are predominantly built for kids and casual play, this table is geared towards a more serious fan base. It still is perfectly capable of satisfying your kids’ needs but it can also allow adults to have plenty of fun without feeling cheap or poorly built. These kinds of tables often serve a good purpose for the whole family and are well worth their money since they last much longer on average, especially when compared to the tables in the budget range.
Design & Build Quality
One of the standout features of this table is clearly its design. The table uses cherry-wood-colored lamination on top of its construction to deliver a premium look and feel when you touch it. On all corners, it has aluminum casts which supplement the premium feel. The playfield has a screen-printed starburst design which makes the table look unique and awesome. When compared to most other plain-looking air hockey tables in this price class, this truly is a model that stands out!!
The build quality is equally impressive. It uses a combination of thick MDF with laminates on top. This creates a sturdy construction that can withstand the test of time. The thicker MDF, however, will result in more weight. And while weight is generally a good thing when it comes to game tables, the Monarch won’t be as easy to install or transport at first.
While deliveries often take a few weeks, this table isn’t as hard to install as some other premium models. It does weigh 205 lbs but when you compare that to tables that are 400-600 lbs it really puts things into perspective. You can install the table easily by following the instructions and using the help of one more person. The stage at which you will need help is when you connect the top and bottom parts and/or flip the top, depending on how you started assembling it.
One thing I don’t like here is that there isn’t an option for the table to be assembled by the delivery guys. Other famous brands on Amazon do come with an assembly option that adds a bit to the overall cost but is well worth your money.
The performance of this table is impeccable thanks to its blower motor. It is a 120V, 60 Hz, 1.2A motor capable of pumping out 3.12 cubic feet per minute. It makes for a smooth puck flow on the playfield and is consistent enough for a good game of air hockey without stuck pucks or inconsistent shots. A notable disadvantage of this motor over other models in this price class is the fact that it is a bit noisier than you’d want it to be. However, in the heat of the moment, you won’t notice it as much and it would stop bothering you after a few games.
Durability-wise, these motors aren’t known to become faulty even after years of usage. Still, if you want something to practice for tournaments every day, I would suggest investing a bit more and getting an air hockey table from a company like Gold Standard Games.
Scoreboard & Accessories
Perhaps the first thing your guests will see is the overhead scoring system this table comes with. While it doesn’t necessarily influence the quality of the game of the table, it is without a doubt a cool feature. The scoring system is paired to an automatic counter that changes the score on both of the LED displays up there. The system works quite well and is fairly consistent, although it tends to miss certain shots from time to time. The displays are easily visible even in brightly lit game rooms. That scoring system also keeps track of different game modes and time.
In terms of accessories, you get two sets of pucks and paddles, making it 4 pucks and 4 paddles in total. This is great since you will have enough pucks and paddles to play with 3 more people at the same time!
One little detail that I really like is the fact that there is are two manual scoring systems on both sides of the table. These really make it easy for you to track the score, especially if you don’t want to rely on the automatic scoring system. Also, makes for a great fun with the kids when they try to add a point or two!
Dimensions-wise, this table is regulation-sized, meaning it can be used to train for official air hockey tournaments. The whole table has the following dimensions – 84 inches in width, 48 inches in depth, 32 inches in height, and as I already pointed out – it weighs 205 lbs fully assembled. It will feel big in smaller game rooms, so in my opinion, it is best to see if you have room for the table with at least a few feet behind each goal so that you can play comfortably.
Price & Warranty
Price-wise, the Monarch can set you back quite a bit, making it a much more expensive investment than some other casual air hockey tables out there. However, it is well worth your money if you think about it. It is far sturdier and better-made than the casual, cheaper tables, and also comes with a 1-year warranty that comes things like manufacturer defects and workmanship.
If you’re having problems with your air hockey table, I highly suggest checking out my detailed article on air hockey table troubleshooting. There, I’ve listed some of the most common issues you can have with your table and how to fix most of them! Now, let’s discuss some of the most important ups and downs of this table…
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Feels sturdy
- Overhead scoreboard
- Cool-looking design
- Not very difficult to assemble
- Decent value for its price
- Comes with 2 sets of good pucks and paddles
- Great for kids and adults
- The motor can be a bit too loud
- Assembly needs at least 2 people, albeit it isn’t very difficult
American Heritage Billiards Monarch vs Playcraft Champion
As good as a brand American Heritage Billiards is, there are some other brands that specialize in making good products at a fair price. Playcraft is a great example of that. They make cheap, medium-priced, and expensive air hockey tables that fit everyone’s tastes and needs. Their Champion air hockey table is one major competitor to the Monarch due to its price, size, and performance. It has a similar construction and the dimensions aren’t that much far off.
Both tables are fairly easy to install, assuming you have a few people to lend out a hand. The Champion comes with only 1 set of pucks and paddles. However, it also boasts a stainless steel playfield and durable and consistent blower motor. One major difference is that the Monarch has a unique-looking overhead scoring unit. while the Champion only relies on manual score tracking. The Monarch table is also made out of slightly better wood, whereas the Champion is made out of MDF aprons with PVC laminate on top.
Conclusion and Rating
The American Heritage Billiards Monarch Air Hockey Table is by far one of your best options in this medium to expensive tier. It comes with a surprisingly good build quality, has some unique features to it, and performs well even after years of use. The overhead scoring unit is definitely the start of the show as it can keep track of both scores, time, and certain game modes.
On top of all that, the table comes with 2 sets of pucks and paddles, making it easier to start playing with the whole family straight away. All in all, I gave it a score of four and a half stars mainly due to its higher price and noisy blower motor!