Competition Pro

From Sega Retro

CompetitionPro logo.png
Competition Pro
Founded: 1983-01-23
Defunct: 1993-12-17
Grape Mill, Royton, Oldham, United Kingdom, OL2 6JZ

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Competition Pro is a brand of computer joysticks created in the UK during the early 1980s, originally created by Coin Controls Ltd.. The name derives from a specific (and extremely popular) joystick, the "Competition Pro 5000", which debuted in 1983.

Coin Controls operated from an old cotton mill, and presumably manufactured Competition Pro 5000 joysticks on-site, later distributing through Dynamics Marketing Ltd., a company housed in the same location. It continued to refine the product over the 1980s, producing coloured variants, the "Competition Pro Extra" (which added turbo features) and Competition Pro Star which added more buttons.

Coin Controls also operated a US branch whose "controls" division was sold to employee Frank Happ in 1986, becoming Happ Controls Inc.. Happ Controls took on distribution duties for Competition Pro products in North America, while in the UK, distribution was handled by another company, Powerplay Ltd.

While the joystick line was often synonymous with 1980s home computing in Europe, the 1990s saw a wind-down in-house production, the Competition Pro name being applied to products imported from the far East (principly designs by Honey Bee). By the late 2000s, the brand had been pulled out of circulation, with Coin Controls and partners reverting to their previous business of producing "controls" for vending machines and other arcade equipment.

The Competition Pro brand has since been picked up by German company Speedlink, which produces cheaper USB versions of the classic joysticks. Powerplay continues to operate from Grape Mill, but now distributes clothing.

Accessories produced