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Dec 5, 2017
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While I don’t have any information on their currently financial status, watching the Arrow documentary by ACE made me think about B&M.

What lead to arrow failing was its inability to keep up and losing the market to manufacturers like intamin, B&m, and more.

I can’t help but notice some of the same mistakes arrow made happens by with B&M. Less innovation and what appears to be an inability to have a solid diverse lineup for the modern theme park economy.

Gerstlauer and Mach tend to offer more affordable alternatives with lots of elements. Intamin does launches. RMC takes older rides and gives them new life for a fraction of the cost of a new coaster.

All these manufacturers have family friendly options and extreme thrill machines. And this is where I feel B&m is lacking. They don’t have the same diversity Other manufacturers do and their designs can be pretty costly.

Do you think B&M is on its way of becoming the new Arrow? The visionary manufacturer turned obsolete relic of a bygone era?
 

BGWnut

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Sep 24, 2018
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No, I think that B&M has a niche in the market. They make super smooth rides that have a large amount of appeal to the general market. They might not be as flashy as an Intamin, but they are well designed rides that aren't going to push forces to the point that it will turn people away. Just look at the difference between I305 and Fury 325. Both similar but Fury has a lot more appeal because it is less intense than I305.

Also, B&M isn't overextending itself with rides. They make exactly the amount that they want to make each year and that is it. Other companies want to build more and push the envelope.

To compare to another industry, let's look at smartphones. Intamin and the others are like Samsung and other Android manufacturers. They make great rides that are pushing the limits and trying new and innovative things and they are making a lot of different designs. Meanwhile B&M is like Apple, they make consistent phones that might not have all the bells and whistles of their competitors but they are pretty consistent and they give you a consistent experience across the board. And they limit the amount of designs they sell. This has helped them to get very popular and sell a lot of phones.

To sum up, I don't think B&M is going anywhere any time soon.
 

Jonesta6

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Feb 14, 2019
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I'm not sure about the iPhone comparison given noted situations where Android manufacturers debuted certain features first, and B&M has been known to be the first for some of their ride types.

However, one thing that comes with a B&M is a relatively smooth maintenance experience with little downtime - their lack of constant innovation and pushing boundaries allows them the ability to perfect their product which in turn keeps them attractive to install.

It's actually only a few rare situations where their rides have been scrapped - most are still operating. Case in point, Alpie is still alive and kicking even though it opened in '97, yet how many Vekoma or Intamin rides still exist and are operating from back then?
 

b.mac

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May 14, 2011
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The biggest difference between B&M and Arrow is that Arrow's rides were not comfortable for guests in most cases and also suffered from drops in popularity over time due to their roughness. B&Ms have typically achieved ridership that necessitates the parks keeping and maintaining them for their service life until it becomes basically impossible to keep them any longer.
 
Dec 7, 2021
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I'm not sure about the iPhone comparison given noted situations where Android manufacturers debuted certain features first, and B&M has been known to be the first for some of their ride types.

However, one thing that comes with a B&M is a relatively smooth maintenance experience with little downtime - their lack of constant innovation and pushing boundaries allows them the ability to perfect their product which in turn keeps them attractive to install.

It's actually only a few rare situations where their rides have been scrapped - most are still operating. Case in point, Alpie is still alive and kicking even though it opened in '97, yet how many Vekoma or Intamin rides still exist and are operating from back then?
Dragon Challenge…. *sniffs* I’m not crying you are!
 
Mar 16, 2016
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I think a very underrated part of Arrows demise was the introduction of CAD design and their inability to adapt. They were not good at it. Then they were so willing to try new and weird things because they were losing business that the development and poor results sank them.

The company I would actually be worried about with it is RMC. They are quickly running out of woodies to redo, GG and others still control the new woodie market, the others are catching up on the rail design, and their ventures into other designs haven’t hit with the bang they hoped.
 

Jonesta6

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Feb 14, 2019
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The company I would actually be worried about with it is RMC. They are quickly running out of woodies to redo, GG and others still control the new woodie market, the others are catching up on the rail design, and their ventures into other designs haven’t hit with the bang they hoped

As long as parks keep getting new woodies, I feel there will be a RMC conversion market. The parks just choose which of their older rides that may not be as popular, drop a few million, and presto! A 'new' ride to market. A lot cheaper and easier than a new ground-up ride, and will likely be a huge draw.

B&M - safe, reliable, can offer a fully custom layout and elements - they're not going anywhere.

I remember watching a documentary on Arrow's downfall and Alan Schilke had mentioned that part of the issue with CAD usage wasn't necessarily the engineers and designers, but the fabrication shop and management. Fabrication was still using a hand-bent methodology which is imprecise. However, through repetition of certain elements such as helices, loops, and corkscrews, they were able to essentially create a physical stencil pattern to which they'd replicate those elements when called for. Because the forces exerted through each of these elements was easily calculable, management chose to not move into machine precision fabrication which in turn forced the designers to stick with those same elements... Which stagnated their designs.
 
Jul 14, 2019
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I dont think RMC will have an issue because parks will still want new wooden coasters and smaller parks will purchase their single rail models.
 
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One related note on B&M: Looking at the list of scrapped or even just SBNO B&M rides, it has to be the shortest in industry history among major ride suppliers that have been active for 30+ years. They have installed something like 170 rides and almost, almost, none of them have been scrapped.

Revenue is not only a function of new construction, but also parts and service for existing installations (one's own rides and, in some cases, others' as well). These pieces of the business won't land $30M in revenue for a single project, but they are substantial and ongoing contributors to the bottom line. Especially when you have a stable of installed systems as big as B&M's, and the reputation for quality that they have earned.
 

horsesboy

DarKoaster stalker
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Nope, Led Zeppelin is still operating in Vietnam. The only other B&M demolished was a Batman clone in Kuwait, that was apparently demolished with the park it was in. The only SBNOs I know of are in China, at a park who's construction stalled a couple years ago.
Yeah all 3 SBNO's were listed as Chinese.
 
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Another B&M thought: Arrow had multiple major challenges, one of them being that their technology was notably behind the emerging state of the art at the time. As far as I know, B&M suffers no such gross deficit of technology in design or in manufacturing vs. any new emerging standard. Rider comfort, injury/complaint rate, elevated requirements for repair and rework... none of those are characteristic of B&M.

Really different situation vs. what Arrow had back in the day.
 
Jun 13, 2011
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Dragon Challenge…. *sniffs* I’m not crying you are!

Fucking universal.
To be fair, that really was the fault of people that could not secure their articles properly and Universal had to enact safety measures that decreased capacity and indirectly, enjoyment, of the ride. They also rebuilt Hulk because it was the best thing for that site and still had the ridership and demand despite nearing it's EOS life.
I might be wrong?
 
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To be fair, that really was the fault of people that could not secure their articles properly and Universal had to enact safety measures that decreased capacity and indirectly, enjoyment, of the ride. They also rebuilt Hulk because it was the best thing for that site and still had the ridership and demand despite nearing it's EOS life.
I might be wrong?
I would’ve liked to have seen them to at least keep the ride operational, even if the ride had been receiving lower ridership. They could’ve just pulled a six flags and repainted (and in universals case) rethemed it and called it a new ride, problem solved!
 

Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
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Since it had recently been reimagined from Dueling Dragons to Dragons Challenge, and since it became part of Hogsmeade, I’m not sure what a retheme would achieve or how it could be accomplished.

Regardless of the combination of reasons for its being demolished (and I believe there were several), any coaster with low ridership in the most popular area of the park (a section that sometimes had controlled entry and lines to get inside the shops) probably won‘t draw more guests with a new paint job and storyline.
 
Apr 29, 2011
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To be fair, that really was the fault of people that could not secure their articles properly and Universal had to enact safety measures that decreased capacity and indirectly, enjoyment, of the ride. They also rebuilt Hulk because it was the best thing for that site and still had the ridership and demand despite nearing it's EOS life.
I might be wrong?

The underlying reason why Hulk was replaced and Dragon Challenge was scrapped was because the contractor that installed the original footers for both coasters did a botched job that caused cracks to form in the supports over time. Hulk was not nearing its EOS life. The two multi-loopers (Kumba and Dragon Khan) that opened before it are still going strong. Hulk and Dragon Challenge both became structurally unsafe. Universal felt it was worth it to replace Hulk since it still had great ridership as it's easily accessible for guests to ride right upon entry into the park and when they're heading out for the day. They didn't feel Dragon Challenge was worth replacing since ridership had waned over the last decade and Rowling was pushing for a more family friendly attraction to replace it.
 
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