Most things made today (85% of things) are not what they used to be. You can tell a difference from stuff you bought 5 years ago too todays.
The one your dad had is probably better then todays.
Now heres what I think you should do.
They look okay. I've never used one, but why don't you just get an Ugly Stick(or an Ugly Stick Lite). They might cost a little more, but everyone knows an Ugly Stick is impossible to break. You can whack these rods on the ground and they don't break. They get the job done without emptying your wallet!