As one of the most expensive air hockey tables on the market, the Valley-Dynamo Fire Storm is truly a head-turner. Mostly geared towards commercial use, it is built like a tank and can withstand hours upon hours of continuous play. Whether you want to get this for your indoor game room or you’re a bar owner who wants to entertain his customers, this is a must-have if you want the best of the best!
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Overview and Features
When you’re looking for an air hockey table for your kids, you pretty much have two choices – get them a bigger model that looks super cool or opt for a tabletop air hockey table. The problem with tabletop models is that they quickly become too small and/or boring for the kids, while a full-sized air hockey table will always be tons of fun and can have the adults play on it as well. This right there is the main appeal of the Fire Storm, especially if money isn’t an issue.
Design & Build Quality
When it comes to the design, there is so much to cover here. This table’s main appeal is exactly the way it looks and the way it turns heads the moment people see it. The bright red coloring and lighting all across it are where it gets its “Fire Storm” name from. It features a cabinet-like construction that has reinforced wooden frames all around it. While that definitely helps with the sturdiness, it does bulk up the weight quite a bit, more on that later.
Two things that attract your attention are the overhead scoring unit as well as the side barriers. The overhead scoring unit also has a lightbar in it that illuminates the UV-coated playfield.
One thing that I absolutely cannot fault here is the build quality. Nothing in this table feels cheap or poorly made. Everything seems well put together and sturdy, giving the Fire Storm a truly heavy-duty appearance and feel. It can easily withstand hours of continuous play either by kids or adults.
The set-up process is quite hard and since the table is very heavy you will need at least 3-4 more people to help you with that. One thing that I really dislike is the fact that the professional assembly option costs you money, even despite the table’s enormous price tag. My advice would be to assemble the table exactly where you will be placing it because moving it around won’t be easy at all. Once fully set up, the Fire Storm is easy to adjust no matter the surface it’s on.
If you also want to learn more about how to properly clean an air hockey table, make sure you read this article!
The slide of the playfield mainly comes from the Dyna-Blast blower system beneath it. It deals with airflow distribution perfectly and there are no dead or weak spots on the field. This makes for a consistent puck slide even after hours of play. The motor is a bit noisy but that is to be expected of a table of that size.
Paired with the motor is a 93 by 45 inches playfield. It is UV-coated impact-resistant Formica surface that really looks cool under the table’s top lightbar. That surface further improves the puck slide, making it slick and easy to control and predict.
Scoreboard & Accessories
The scoreboard system features an overhead unit with two large LED displays on both sides. The score is kept thanks to an infrared optical jam-proof scoring system above both goals. Unfortunately, if that fails, there are no manual score counters on each side like on some other expensive air hockey tables.
Accessories-wise, you get 2 mallets, 1 white puck, and 1 fluorescent green puck that looks awesome under the lights.
In terms of its dimensions, this table is really huge, maybe bigger than almost any other model on the market. It is a full-sized air hockey table, stretching nearly 8 feet in length. It is 50 inches wide and more than 6 feet tall with its overhead unit attached. The playing area is at around 50 inches of height making it suitable for larger kids and adults. The playfield itself of the table measures 93 by 45 inches. When fully assembled, the whole table weighs almost 500 lbs.
Price & Warranty
The price of this table is perhaps its biggest downside, especially for people that are looking for something to put in their own home. It does reflect the overall quality and playing performance, however. In fact, when you consider the build quality and performance of this table alone, the price becomes quite justified, even more so when you consider most people are going to use it for profit.
One thing that we should discuss when it comes to the price is the fact that this table is actually a pretty good investment, assuming you’re buying it for a bar or any other type of public place. It can easily return you 50-100 dollars per week when played on a regular basis, resulting in it returning its initial investment in about a year. That being said, it will be much harder to justify that big of a price tag if you’re getting it for your living room.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Has a fast pace of play
- Regulation-sized playfield
- Premium construction quality
- Very sturdy
- Ideal for game rooms, pubs, game halls, and more
- Backlit graphics
- Overhead scoring unit
- Jam-proof scoring assembly
- Quickly returns its investment
- Extremely expensive
- Very heavy
- Difficult to install and move
- Expert assembly isn’t included in the price
If you’re looking for a kid’s air hockey table that won’t cost as much as a small car and will still be plenty of fun for your kids, make sure you read my full Triumph Lumen-X Lazer Air Hockey Table Review!
Conclusion and Rating
The Valley-Dynamo Fire Storm Air Hockey Table is a model that sits on top of the air hockey food chain. Its build quality is second to none, the performance from the playfield’s coating combined with the blower motor is impeccable and tournament-worthy, and the way it looks is surely going to make people want to play it! The only important downsides to this table are the price, and its overall size, and bulkiness. As a whole, I gave it four and a half out of five stars mainly because it costs a few times more than other air hockey tables with similar performances.