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In your eye who is the most successful coaster manufacturer?


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I think in terms of getting their product out there, I'd give the award to either B&M or GCI, while Intamin and RMC ges the award for innovation.

 

It's great that companies like Mack and Zirer are upping their game, too. A little competition never hurts.

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I would say either B&M or Intamin.

 

B&M has the most reliable coasters in general and came up with the modern inverted coaster which was a game changer that may be imitated by other companies but never duplicated. You can tell when an inverted coaster is a B& M or not just by riding it.

 

Intamin has the most buzz worthy coasters in general and ones that make the top of people's' lists and ones that enthusiasts go out of the way for. Intamin also has broken the height and speed barrier on numerous occasions and currently holds both the tallest and fastest coasters in the world.

 

I might say Arrow if they were still in business as Arrow. They pioneered steel and looping coasters and came up with the 4D coaster, one of the most sought after coaster experiences and hard to imitate.

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PTC made amazing wooden coasters in the past and their wooden coaster trains are everywhere in the world. I think PTC is very successful.

 

As for innovative, I think RMC, Intamin, S&S and Arrow would be the winner. S&S has a tradition of failing on prototype coasters but their products after the improvements are usually amazing. Plus their towers are everywhere.

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I would define a successful coaster manufacturer as the one that creators a product for the buyer that is ultimately the best for them, which isn't riders, but instead is the parks themselves. In that case, you have to look for the rides that are the safest, most reliable, and cheapest to maintain after they are built, as well as rides that retain their popularity with the general public for the longest.

 

I think that pretty easily narrows it down to just a few that can be considered the most truly successful.

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Your mom, she is good at making "structures" erect.

 

In all seriousness, I think B&M is a candidate in this race. While they might not have the best coasters, they are efficient with little-to-no problems. They have good capacity for the most part and they make a lot of money off their rides. Intamin is also in the race.

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I just can't see including Arrow in this discussion, since they ultimately went bankrupt. Now, if you were to define a time period or decade, then I have no problem with Arrow being mentioned. It's obvious that they were the pioneers of the industry in the 70's and 80's.

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Due to the integrated nature of the relationship between WED and ARROW back when they designed the Matterhorn coaster, I would count them as Collaborative, as Disney likely had input into the support structure of the ride if not as far as the actual track/electrical/brakes/etc.

 

Therefore, Disney by FAR is the most successful company (unless we're very strictly separating designers and manufacturers).

 

Arrow is old timers winner if your category is Innovation and creativity: They pioneered or at some point built, oh I don't know, just about Half of the modern theme park. The first steel, the first successful loops, log flumes, flat rides megacoasters, 200 footers, the first Disney attractions, the first 4D...it goes on. Intamin has done enough to take over this category. Extensive ride catalogue including the first rapids rides, ferris wheels, monorails, hydraulic launch coasters, tallest and fastest rides, wooden, steel.

 

Vekoma wins if your criteria is Most installations. Almost 300 now, not counting all the other manufacturer's ripoffs. They've certainly benefited the industry with lots of installations at smaller parks, but are also found as big as Disney and Universal, and they also opened the first flying coaster.

 

B&M certainly wins the safest category, What a pristine record!

 

For wood, what a totally mixed bag. You could pick the Lehigh Mountain company, designer of the first American roller coaster, or Lamarcus Thompson of Coney island Fame...or John Allen or PTC or any of the mess of the Dinn/Summers/CCI/Gravity Group/GCI. Or Intamin/Rocky Mountain for making the best ones. I'd pick PTC for being the longest lasting.

 

COOL thread!

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Intamin, for me they make some of the most exciting coasters out there. At Cedar Point my friends & I are always re-riding dragster, maverick, & millennium force. Also my most anticipated coasters for this year are almost all Intamin like i305 & Skyrush.

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I would define a successful coaster manufacturer as the one that creators a product for the buyer that is ultimately the best for them, which isn't riders, but instead is the parks themselves. In that case, you have to look for the rides that are the safest, most reliable, and cheapest to maintain after they are built, as well as rides that retain their popularity with the general public for the longest.

 

I think that pretty easily narrows it down to just a few that can be considered the most truly successful.

 

If we judge by that then Arrow discredits themselves by the disaster that became X.

 

Maybe we can quantify success by profit margins instead of innovative progress or critical acclaim? If thats the case, Id be curious to see what the spreadsheets would show for B&M, Intamin, and GCi whom are probably the most active manufacturers. Guerstlaur may be on that list as well. They always pump out a couple of rides per year

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Even thiugh this company is gone, I think Arrow Dynamics is the most successful. They introduced the first tubular-tracked steel coaster, first successful inversions, early stand-up coasters, first mine trains, and the first hypercoaster (excluding Moonsault Scramble).

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I think Anton Schwarzkopf is the most successful roller coaster manufacturer, especially for their time. Unlike Arrows, his coasters stay smooth and well built even now. I have never rode a Schwarzkopf or Arrow coaster back when they first came out in the 60s, 70s, or 80s. But after getting to ride Colossus the Fire Dragon at Lagoon (which is was made in 1981), I was stunned with how smooth and fun it was. Meanwhile with other Arrow loopers like Viper at SFMM, they have become quite rough(could be Six Flags's fault, but it is newer and I have rode other rough Arrows at Cedar Fair parks). Anton understood the benefit of having lap bar restraints. He knew how to make the track flow smoothly and the coasters seemed well thought out (with the exception of Shockwave at SFOT), unlike Arrow's Ron Toomer coasters that have awkward turns and just seem to go all over the place, with the exception of some of their suspended coasters. Arrow finally got it right when Alan Schilke began making rides, like Tennessee Tornado.

 

As for today, I say B&M is best for rides that last forever and don't ever have major problems. They don't take as many risks as Intamin does, and thus don't have many mistakes, which may be a contributing factor to why I seem to be seeing less Intamins because in this economy, parks don't want to take the risk of paying +10 million on a coaster that may not turn out so well.

 

I respect Morgan/Chance whatever its called. They saved Steel Phantom, made Steel Eel (which is actually quite fun) and made lightning run. I wish more of their coasters were made.

 

I hate Vekoma coasters. I don't know how their rides are nearly as rough as 30 year old Arrows. It's the 21st century. Can we please create some smooth coasters using the same style track as Arrow? Morgan can do it, why can't you?

 

RMC is the new guys that have been kicking butt recently. All of their rides so far have been awesome(which makes sense, they have Alan Schilke). I see good things from this company. Like an all steel hyper/giga coaster with insane airtime and twists! That would be so awesome.

 

Yeah I know there are other companies, but I can't talk about them all.

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I'm going to go with:

 

Intamin for steel. Everything they have ever built seems to be, or have been for its time, ground breaking and amazing. They pushed the envelope in places others would not even think about going.

 

RMC for wood. For the same reasons as Intamin. RMC has gone where no one has gone before. They have built some of the most amazing, breathtaking coasters I have EVER been on, and I can NOT wait to see what they are going to do in the future.

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Wow, a lot of considerate and thoughtful posts in this thread. Let's keep it going.

 

They way I look at success, it's the impact the company made in the business. A lot of people coin Arrow for innovation, but there's been a lot of breakthroughs before and since Arrow's closure. B&M pioneered inverted, flying, floorless, and wing-rider coasters; it's almost impossible to go to a major theme park without seeing/riding one (unless it's Disney). Intamin re-invented the flywheel launch and pushed coasters way beyond their limits; the records for tallest height, tallest drop, fastest speed and most inversions on roller coasters are all held by Intamin. Even S&S is pushing boundaries with their new 4-dimensional model and compressed air launch models (we need more of those in this world). I'd put RMC on here too, but they don't quite have as many coasters built yet as these guys. Schwarzkopf's coasters are classic, but there's not that many left around, and I can't help but feel like I'm gonna get punched in the gut when I ride one of his coasters. I'm a sucker for Morgan, but they're like a one-trick-pony; a good trick, but only one.

 

With that being said, I'd be split between Arrow and B&M. Both have their own wealth of innovations that all the other manufacturers have used and replicated in one way or another (especially Vekoma), and both have a record of good, quality rides (unlike Vekoma). It's a favorite past-time to bash old Arrow coasters for their roughness, but that's why they're rough: they're old. No ride ages well if it's not properly maintained, and sadly, that's what happened with most Arrow coasters. Sure, they ran great the first few years when brand-spankin'-new, but so does any other ride built right. Then again, I've heard the same complaints coming from B&M coasters like Tatsu, Kumba and the Medusa clones, and some of those coasters aren't that old. Finally, you see the Chinese copy a lot of Arrow (and Schwarzkopf) designs; B&M, not so much. Yet again, they may not be able to at the moment; the only people I've seen come close to copying B&M is Giovanola, and they didn't last for long.

 

If you had to twist my arm about it and demanded me to choose between the two, I'd say this: B&M keeps competitors on their toes. Arrow kept competitors scrambling back to the drawing board.

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It is quite simple:

 

Steel - Arrow, without them none of this is possible.

 

Wood - PTC, they still have a huge amount of coasters in operation along with being forerunners in the industry building many of the coasters your parents, grandparents and yourself have ridden.

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I think Zamperla is much more successful than they get credit for. They don't offer large coasters, but they completely dominate the kiddie and family ride markets. Almost every park has a collection of Zamperla rides, and this year alone (2014) they built nine new coasters. They also have had incredible success with their larger flats, such as the Discovery, Power Surge, Disco, and Air Race.

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For steel coasters, B&M. Even though most of their more recent coasters aren't as great as their 90's creations, B&M still undoubtedly creates very fun, thrilling rides, and I've yet ride a B&M I don't like.

 

For wooden coasters, RMC. RMC is really pushing wooden coasters to the max. They continue to innovate and wow me, and while I've only ridden one, I'm sure the rest are still amazing.

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Either Arrow or Intamin for me. They both pushed every boundary they could and they all turned out well at first. I definitely think arrows problem was parks not taking the best care of the rides. To me the arrows at CP like Magnum and Gemini are way smoother than Bizarro at SFGAdv.

Really??

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