Thread Number: 15215
Why Did Fantom Die In 2001/Euro-Pro Fantom Thoughts
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Post# 161566   12/9/2011 at 18:30 (2,022 days old) by director12 (Metuchen, NJ)        

Anyone wonder the reasons for Fantom's bankruptcy in 2001?

And when Euro-Pro Fantoms came out, where did they sell them? I saw them at BJs and Kmart when I was little.

Post# 161569 , Reply# 1   12/9/2011 at 18:49 (2,022 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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Target I know

Post# 161573 , Reply# 2   12/9/2011 at 18:56 (2,022 days old) by director12 (Metuchen, NJ)        

When I saw the Euro-Pro Fantoms at Kmart and BJs when I was a little kid, my dad found out they were expensive. And yes, when Euro-Pro got Fantom's name, things took a severe fall. They were a nightmare to clean, it was poorly built, the design was bad, they were made cheap as they are from China, and customer service was a scam, with the so-called warranties (I read on and some other sites).

Post# 161585 , Reply# 3   12/9/2011 at 20:37 (2,022 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

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The reason Fantom Technologies, formerly Iona, went out of business was this- their products were JUNK!! Especially the Fantom Lightning canister....that particular model, towards the end, had TONS of refurbished stock available for purchase on the Fantom website. The Fantom Wildcat, later to be made as the Westinghouse Unplugged, was also another bad model.

Bottom line....their products broke down, were poorly made, & the costs of warranty repairs put them into bankruptcy.


Oh-and one other thing....I beg to differ with you about what Euro-Pro did to Fantom. One of their models, the Fantom Twister line, was very well made, & was outsourced to Sanyo....they had a model that was IDENTICAL. I had one that lasted over 7 years after it was made before it died....for a Fantom, that's pretty good! And about those warranties....well of COURSE people are gonna say that when their warranty is a scam when they abuse their vacuums, like so many ordinary non-collector people do, & then bitch & complain about the company wronging them when they find out abuse is not covered under their warranty. There's NOTHING wrong about Fantom/Euro-Pro requiring their products to be mailed back to them for warranty service....Many vac companies, including Dyson, do this.

Post# 161589 , Reply# 4   12/9/2011 at 20:53 (2,022 days old) by director12 (Metuchen, NJ)        

Some say the Lightning was a decent vacuum. I agree, the Wildcat was shit.

And also, I heard there are no more Euro-Pro Fantoms being made. Wonder what went wrong?

Post# 161611 , Reply# 5   12/10/2011 at 02:43 (2,022 days old) by Vacuumfreeeke (Orlando, FL)        

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The Lightnings I see always have the power nozzle neck taped up with electrical tape.

I don't know what Fantom Wildcat you guys are basing your opinions on, but mine is awesome. I bought it used and not one of the plastic parts is so much as cracked, and it will clean circles around my Dyson DC 14 (which doesn't say much, I know). I use it as a daily driver exclusively (I did break out the Kirby Sentria just for fun the other day)... I use the Wildcat so often that I don't even put it away or wrap up the cord. For a machine like this to have survived an owner that likely wasn't a collector and didn't baby it and still be working as well as it does, that says a lot.

I was really sad when I heard that Fantom went out of business and that Euro-pro had purchased them... almost as sad as the day I found out that TTI bought Hoover!

Post# 161616 , Reply# 6   12/10/2011 at 07:21 (2,022 days old) by director12 (Metuchen, NJ)        

It is revealed that Fantomvacuumfan likes the Lightning and Fury. He had a Wildcat, but the handle broke off, so he returned it (he got it off eBay).

Post# 161625 , Reply# 7   12/10/2011 at 09:36 (2,022 days old) by sanitairered (Michigan)        

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Fantom vacuum cleaners weren't junk. I have a fury and a thunder and love them both! They are a very important part of vacuum cleaner history!

Post# 161640 , Reply# 8   12/10/2011 at 13:53 (2,022 days old) by director12 (Metuchen, NJ)        

What happened to the Euro-Pro Fantoms? They are discontinued.

Post# 161659 , Reply# 9   12/10/2011 at 15:54 (2,021 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

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I don't think they are entirely discontinued. There is a Fantom Power Pet bagless upright, & Fantom Power Pet bagged canister vacuum being sold in Zellers here in Canada. But I would agree they aren't as popular as they were in years past.


Post# 161676 , Reply# 10   12/10/2011 at 19:17 (2,021 days old) by director12 (Metuchen, NJ)        

Are you sure? Because we're talking the USA, NOT Canada.

Post# 161739 , Reply# 11   12/11/2011 at 12:43 (2,021 days old) by gmerkt (Edmonds, WA)        

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My only experience with Euro-Pro was with a Euro-Pro Shark UV209 Pursuit Bagless Upright. It was not in the usual line of country that I recondition and sell but I'd hit a dry spell on intake of product to work on. It was a mistake. The machine was whole and working when I got it. It had no broken parts; in appearance "just required a cleaning." Poorly made but worse, poorly designed because filtration was horrible. I wasted a lot of time going through this machine to get it clean, including the motor case. The bottom line was there wasn't any remedy for the problem. It's one redeeming quality was that it had a strong headlight, but this enabled you to see the gust of dirt that it would blow out past the final filter upon start-up. That filter was a joke, just a coarse, thin pad like a kitchen scrubber which was completely ineffective.

I had this machine for quite a while and in my line up of machines for sale, I'd use it as a foil to show buyers "what not to buy." Finally, a man came who would only settle on a bagless and this one was my least expensive. So he took it away but not for long. I guarantee satisfaction for 30 days with the machines I sell; it came back and the customer took a Kenmore Easy Clean bagless (and gave me more $) and he's been happy since.

The Euro-Pro I firmly decided not to waste any more time on, so I cut the cord off and sent it to the Goodwill.

In my own experience the earlier Fantom machines weren't too bad. The manufacturing quality was pretty good for plastic machines. The fact that the hefty filter was added after early production tells some of the story about bagless machines.

Post# 161740 , Reply# 12   12/11/2011 at 12:45 (2,021 days old) by director12 (Metuchen, NJ)        

Oh, why are there no more Euro-Pro Fantoms? And I heard their website got shut down.

Post# 161791 , Reply# 13   12/12/2011 at 00:42 (2,020 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

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Yes, I am VERY certain, William. Some Fantom/Euro-Pro vacums are also sold in Canadian Tire here in Canada, in additon to Zellers.

And I take offense to your comment "Because we are talking the USA, not Canada."! Last time I checked, there are Vacuumland members all across NORTH AMERICA, NOT just USA or Canada! And since there are members in BOTH countries, it is more than fair to mention whether a brand is sold in Canada. Don't hate on us Canadians if we can get products you can't get, & vice versa.


Post# 161817 , Reply# 14   12/12/2011 at 12:03 (2,020 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

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William, btw, I just watched a video on Kyle Krichbaum this that video, he had a Fantom Power Pet bagless upright beside him as he was talking about the Hoover Model O. It may have been called a Shark over in the USA, but it is sold as a Fantom here at Zellers in Canada. I will try to find a photo to post here later.


Post# 161819 , Reply# 15   12/12/2011 at 12:27 (2,020 days old) by ralph123 (Little Rock, AR)        

I'm relying on long term memory, but I vaguely recall Tom Gasko, the vac historian, post that Fantom got greedy and didn't want to pay the license fees for Dyson technology, so they dropped the second cyclone. The single cyclone models filters clogged up quickly and were filthy to empty.

Post# 161872 , Reply# 16   12/12/2011 at 18:34 (2,019 days old) by director12 (Metuchen, NJ)        

Um, yeah. And in terms about the US, why are the Euro-Pro Fantoms discontinued? Quality control issue?

Post# 161897 , Reply# 17   12/12/2011 at 23:15 (2,019 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

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William- to my knowledge, Fantom is NOT discontinued by Euro-Pro in either Canada, or the USA either. The only reason I would explain why you aren't seeing them on shelves in stores as much is I think Euro Pro decided to focus on the Shark line more, & just keep Fantom as a side line.

And with regards to Fantom models, I nearly forgot that in addition to the bagged canister, there is also a bagless straight suction Fantom canister, with a turbo brush.

Ralph- Yes, the fact they stopped using Dual Cyclone technology was a contributing factor to the company's failure, but ultimately as I stated before it was the warranty claims they had to pay out that bankrupted them. I remember to this day when they went out of business, I had a 2 1/2 yr old Fantom Cyclone XT that needed parts, & of course they were no longer available. The dealer was so desperate for parts, he traded me a refurbished Eureka upright he was gonna sell for $100 dollars, just to get his hands on the parts to fix customer's vacuums.


Post# 161974 , Reply# 18   12/13/2011 at 16:15 (2,018 days old) by director12 (Metuchen, NJ)        

There is also a hand vac that ripped off a Dirt Devil (I'd have that despite being loud and loaded with overheating motors and belt breakings), and a Bissell Powerpartner hand vac from the 90's (do they have bagged hand vacs anymore).

Post# 161988 , Reply# 19   12/13/2011 at 17:41 (2,018 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

Ive saw Euro-Pros at department stores like Linens &Things and B, B, &B

Post# 161991 , Reply# 20   12/13/2011 at 18:27 (2,018 days old) by director12 (Metuchen, NJ)        

Me to. Don't forget K-Mart and BJs. I saw them there when I was little.

Post# 161997 , Reply# 21   12/13/2011 at 19:54 (2,018 days old) by thevacuumman (Fritch, TX)        

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and its a shame that you can hardly find parts for the older Fantoms and it is hard for me to find parts for my Cyclone XT because they were so rare in my area and it doesn't help that the circuit board on mine is going out

Post# 162047 , Reply# 22   12/14/2011 at 00:12 (2,018 days old) by kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

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i'm looking for a power nozzle for the lightning canister if anyone has one to sell. I have 2 caisters two hoses and two electric wands ( i think one might be new old stock ) but do you think I can find one power nozzle.

Post# 162120 , Reply# 23   12/14/2011 at 18:43 (2,017 days old) by director12 (Metuchen, NJ)        

And also, did Fantom's website go offline?

Post# 163357 , Reply# 24   12/26/2011 at 08:55 (2,006 days old) by sirrookanga ()        

Kirbyvertibles - I have one each of the following Fantom Lightning accessories that I have never used: powerhead, mini powerhead, and bare floor nozzle. These are original OEM accessories purchased in 2001 the same time I purchased my Fantom Lightning and Cyclone XT. The accessories are in mint condition (see picture). Offer?

Post# 163358 , Reply# 25   12/26/2011 at 09:10 (2,006 days old) by director12 (Metuchen, NJ)        

I see the pics. And also, you got to be lucky to find these attachments and vacuums made by the said company.

Post# 164314 , Reply# 26   1/2/2012 at 11:18 (1,999 days old) by mjsosins ()        

I picked up a Fantom upright off the curb over the summer. It runs, but it is missing the filters and STINKS. I didn't want to put any time or money into fixing it yet. Are the parts for these things worth much if I part it out or trade it in?

Post# 164511 , Reply# 27   1/3/2012 at 16:28 (1,997 days old) by director12 (Metuchen, NJ)        

I don't know. You can try online. And also, why did Euro-Pro focus more on the Shark line?

Post# 164530 , Reply# 28   1/3/2012 at 18:39 (1,997 days old) by bravokid ()        

wasnt their a court battle between dyson and fantom of the cyclone tech. i know their is a older dyson canister that looks identical to the lightening minus the power nozzle .

Post# 164531 , Reply# 29   1/3/2012 at 18:40 (1,997 days old) by bravokid ()        

thats it pictured above

Post# 164544 , Reply# 30   1/3/2012 at 19:31 (1,997 days old) by director12 (Metuchen, NJ)        

Um, any reasons why Euro-Pro focused more on the Shark line?

Post# 238496 , Reply# 31   7/1/2013 at 15:53 (1,452 days old) by vacuumking (boston)        
fantom fury in the store

I saw a Fantom fury in Tuseday morning for $29.99 and I bought it so I think there are still Fantoms in shops still because they still have inventory.

Post# 238513 , Reply# 32   7/1/2013 at 19:08 (1,452 days old) by RainbowD4C (Saint Joseph, Michigan )        

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My mom and a friend of mine had a Fantom Thunder and both had the same problem with the switch. Finding the parts to put a new switch in was impossible so for my mom they put some kind of store bought switch that didn't match anything, and Theresa wound up leaving the switch in the on position and wound up plugging in to turn on and unplugging to turn off.

Post# 238626 , Reply# 33   7/2/2013 at 17:42 (1,451 days old) by dysonman1 (Rolla, Missouri)        
This is what actually happened...

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Iona Appliances (which became Fantom Technologies), licensed the dual cyclonic patent from James Dyson. That meant, for EVERY Vectron, Thunder, Lightning, Fury, and Cyclone XT, as well as the Dry Tech carpet shampooer, Iona had to pay James a small royalty.

During the 1990's, Dyson invented MEMA filters (MEMA stands for Maximum Efficiency Maximum Airflow). This is the washable pre-motor filter in all Dyson cleaners. James went to Iona and said "you have the right to use this feature". Iona said "you don't understand. We're in the BUSINESS of selling Hepa filters" James said "I'm not renewing my 10 year agreement with you which expires in October of 2001". (I'm paraphrasing - but you get the point).

After October, 2001, even though Fantoms were selling very well, they did in fact allow the agreement with James to expire. The Wildcat as well as the other single cyclone models were launched.

I was an authorized Fantom dealer and service center in 2001 when the change occurred. I knew that Fantom was soon to be history, so I bought the last Fantom Thunder from Iona then. By November, 2001, I was the USA's first Authorized Dyson Sales and Service Center. My account number was 0001. James himself set up the account for me, and I met with Dyson US's first sales director in my store in Festus, MO

The name "Fantom" was sold to Euro-Pro. Euro-Pro had Sanyo private label the line of machines for them under the Fantom name. Sanyo sold them under their own name as well. These were filtered bagless machines that clogged very quickly with fine dust. Interesting that Euro-Pro has never had a true dual cyclonic (not to mention true multi-cyclonic) cleaner ever. The Infinity does not count as the secondary cyclones are not the same design as Dyson's nor are they as effective.

It wasn't excessive warranty work that killed Fantom, it was greed. The $75 post motor HEPA filter was their downfall. By not having a pre-motor filter (in order to dirty the post motor filter), the motors took all the fine dust, resulting in early failure. How many times do you have to buy a $75 filter to say "no more" to the vacuum?

Of course, in 2002, Dyson's DC07 was launched and everyone forgot about the Fantom.

Post# 258927 , Reply# 34   12/8/2013 at 11:54 (1,293 days old) by director12 (Metuchen, NJ)        

Well Infinity vacuums are not effective.

Post# 260643 , Reply# 35   12/24/2013 at 11:32 (1,277 days old) by thevacuumman (Fritch, TX)        

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I had a Sanyo made Fantom Twister that worked good after I fixed the plug between the base and the rest of the vacuum, I used it for about a week then sold it. The Cyclone XT I have is still going very strong and I use it sometimes when I feel like using it other wise I use my Riccar or one of my Hoovers.

Post# 310357 , Reply# 36   12/30/2014 at 17:00 (905 days old) by Tcall (Dallas, TX)        
Drill oiling holes in Fantom Fury case to slow overheating?

>>>It wasn't excessive warranty work that killed Fantom, it was greed. The $75 post motor HEPA filter was their downfall. By not having a pre-motor filter (in order to dirty the post motor filter), the motors took all the fine dust, resulting in early failure. How many times do you have to buy a $75 filter to say "no more" to the vacuum?<<<

Might it be possible to drill a hole or two in the motor case of my Fantom Fury to allow for regular oiling of the motor axle? (Mine started overheating with just under 2 years of infrequent use.)

(I have an ancient Compact that I nursed its motor along for years by getting oil into its bearings about once a year.)


Post# 310362 , Reply# 37   12/30/2014 at 18:19 (905 days old) by sbakerde (Millsboro, DE )        
Not a good idea.

I don't and won't recommend blindly putting oil into a motor. For one ball bearings are sealed so that very little oil on the outside will actually make it in. I have often seen bearings become seized but spin in the socket do to the introduction of oil. To effectively oil a ball bearing it needs to be out of the vacuum. Secondly blindly putting oil into an electrical motor is a massive fire hazard. Oil which is flammable plus an electric motor that generates heat and spark from the brushes. That could easily go up in flames. One a few occasions I refused to even diagnose a machine that had wd40 sprayed into it. My recommendation for a bagless such as the fantom is to remove all filters, take it outside and turn on. That gush of air will clear a good bit of dust from the motor an inner working without taking the vac apart. It's not 100% or even close to it but better then letting it chock to death.

Lastly, most older motors are pretty easy to rebuild and new bearings are only a few bucks.

That's my humble opinion.

Post# 310364 , Reply# 38   12/30/2014 at 18:22 (905 days old) by parwaz786 ( )        

I dont wanna sound judgemental or anything, but the DC07 came out in 2001 :) DC08 came out in 2002

Post# 357040 , Reply# 39   8/2/2016 at 13:28 (325 days old) by VADEE (Hardy)        
Fantom Lightening LC51 parts

Did you sell these parts? If not I would be interested.
Post# 163357 , Reply# 24 12/26/2011 at 08:55 (1,681 days old) by sirrookanga ()

Post# 367684 , Reply# 40   2/28/2017 at 22:06 by Buster1849 (Chattanooga,TN)        

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People if you are smart STAY AWAY FROM EURO-PRO. I used to have a euro pro stick vacuum years ago and it did ok on bare floors but performed poorly on carpets. Their newer machines are even worse. I now have a shark rotator and a shark rocket and they both suck at cleaning bare floors and carpets. I actually had to go back over the carpets with my 12 year old bissell and it pulled more dirt out. I repeat STAY AWAY FROM EURO-PRO

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