Stealth Cues Custom Billiard Cues
Back in 1992, Mark Stoller was working at the fish counter of a grocery store. But he had bigger dreams. He wanted to marry his passion for the game of pool with his entrepreneurial drive and pursue a dream. It was then that his brainchild, Stealth Cues, was born.
For the first two years of his new venture, Mark traveled, meeting and learning from the pool greats of the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s. He was lucky enough to have many of them as mentors, and he soaked up as much knowledge from them as he could about industry terms and how to design cues. His ambition was to become a flare designer, and he did it — much to the confusion of players and other cue manufacturers. In fact, he was one of the first people to manufacture and market pink and purple cues with full illustration graphics. At first, the industry thought Mark was a little off his rocker, but eventually, they become accustomed to Mark’s forward-thinking style, making his unique and colorful cues a standout among a sea of sameness.
Since the launch of Stealth Cues more than 20 years ago, Mark and his cues have made appearances at more than 125 tradeshows and tournaments. He now has exceeded 225 unique designs, and he has no intention of stopping.
“I want to live up to the Stealth name and be innovative, different,” says Mark. So different, it seems, that he’s ahead of the technology curve. “About 60% of the designs I dream up can’t be created by manufacturers because they’re too complex, technical, or expensive. I’m just waiting for technology to catch up!”
Mark is the proud holder of 5 US patents and has acquired more than 15 art licenses and 3 incontestable trademarks, with 2 trademarks pending.
But more than all of the accolades, Mark is most touched by the people he’s met and the joy his cues have been able to give to those who have received them. As presents for pros or starting hobbies for children, Stealth Cues’ unique cues have become more than just a way to play pool; they are treasured mementos.
Mark looks forward to remaining at the forefront of the industry, testing the boundaries and building on the friendships he’s acquired in the last 22 years. As far as he’s concerned, Stealth Cues is just getting started.
A bright-eyed, ambitious 21-year-old Mark Stoller founds Stealth Cues. Here’s a picture of Mark and all-time billiard great Steve Mizerak. Also made famous by the Miller Lite beer commercial. Mark also meets Minnesota Fats and legendary three-cushion billiard legend Bill Hawkins, plus more than we can mention.
Mark plants his feet in more than 196 billiard rooms this year, meeting and learning from pool veterans from the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s from all across the country. Before them, he thought he knew pool.
Mark standardizes pool cue lengths at 48” and 52”, marketing the shorter length to children. He leads the way to this new customer segment with many other companies following suit. Mark is the founding father for the children’s cues and the standards he set are still used by manufacturers to this day.
Mark is on his way to establishing a 20-year relationship with billiard production factories. He creates one of the first affordable cues, priced at $139; the first “water label” application; and the first cue with a flare design, an industry breakthrough.
Stealth Cues markets and sells more than 65 tons of Stealth billiard fabric. It is a sad day when the fabric mills close….
Mark turns the industry on its ear by innovating the process of adding any full-graphic image to a pool cue. He also makes unique wood-carved cues and previews his designs at shows and tournaments across the country.
Mark spends the entire year in Las Vegas attending billiard tournaments. The year is of particular remembrance because on the night of May 15th, around 8:30 pm, all of the casino lights in Las Vegas are turned off to honor Mr. Frank Sinatra, who passed away the night before. Mark witnesses this historical moment from the 27th floor of the Flamingo Hotel.
Current picture of Mark shown
Mark invents the “Mutumba” cue, which measures 7.5 feet and weighs 44 oz. with a 21-mm tip, once again keeping the industry on its toes. After a seven-year hiatus, Stealth Cues will reintroduce the cue in 2014.
Mark refocuses Stealth Cues and ensures that everyone on the team is a great fit for his vision. Stealth does a complete employee makeover. He stays busy attending all billiard shows and visiting 75 poolrooms, where he shares Stealth Cues’ future plans.
Mark and Stealth Cues relocate to sunny Arizona from snowy Illinois to enjoy the warmth and invigorating environment. Mark did a complete staff and company makeover.
Mark introduces the unique ridged design, introducing 19 new designs to market this year. They are given the name “Dooley Handle Cue,” which harkens back to Mark’s childhood days on the BMX dirt bike track.
Stealth Cues’ Dooley Handle Cue receives exclusive designs and patents for changing the look and feel of a cue without altering the function of the 150-year-old traditional cues. The cue is forward balanced and an excellent choice for those with arthritis or grip issues. The cue remains a Stealth Cues exclusive.
Stealth Cues adds the AT-1 Jump Cue to its lineup, selling more than 50,000 this year. He and the team stay on the road for seven years, instructing 40,000 pool players how to use the new jump cue.
Ned Morris, the custom cue maker who designed the AT-1 Jump Cue, joins Mark on the road to promote it. They obtain great stories and meet some wonderful people.
Stealth Cues patents the Twist Cue, an aerodynamic design and work of art that embodies the Stealth name.
Stealth Cues creates another first, patenting the Octo-Cue, an eight-sided cue that still rolls like a traditional cue. In addition, they create a 16 oz. cue targeted at senior pool players.
This year brings about the rubber-handled cues, a technology applied to many of Stealth Cues’ designs. This comfortable feel provides an alternative to traditional Irish linen wraps.
Three new break cues, specifically designed for the initial break in the game, are introduced. Mark travels with the cues and a radar gun, tracking the speed of breaks and delighting players.
Mark travels to Los Angeles and enters the Eli Broad Art District to become a student of the giclee printing process and other creative art techniques. His goal is to expand his knowledge to add a canvas prints section to the company, bringing more art to the industry.
Stealth Cues is now manufacturing canvas art pieces in the US and getting more creative in bringing billiard art to the industry. This is one of our favorite canvas prints, designed by Mark this year.
Stealth Cues mixes geometric wood shapes with modern art and creates billiard-ball fusion racks to display the balls when not in use.
Mark renews his creativity and feels more focused than he’s been since the 1990s. He is inspired for another 20 years of designing cues and art for Stealth Cues, taking the company to the next level.
Mark has now acquired more than 15 art licenses and 2 more trademarks in addition to 5 US billiard patents. We have a total of 21 new cue designs and products. This has been a record year for designing. The new art company is forming with exciting designs coming in 2014, 2015, and beyond.
Mark has created new 8 & 9 ball fiberglass wall art. He has also acquired more us patents for Stealth Cues. He is still designing and coming out with more creative & unique innovations.
Mark Stoller introduced a new and unique feature to his cue line that he calls the Stealth Stash Can. The stash can is a special anodized canister that properly fits inside the unique custom cavity that is hidden in the butt of the cue. The canister fits snuggly inside of the custom cavity to ensure that there is no rattle or movement coming from the secret compartment. This invention is so unique that a US patent has been applied for and is currently pending. This canister falls under the Stealth Cues “Beyond the Imagination” line. Check out the video of the new stash can cue line here: Stealth Stash Can Video