Coaster Kingdom


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If you asked me eight years ago who my favourite manufacturers were, I would have answered in a heartbeat.

Bolliger and Mabillard was the fashionable answer of course, and while I am often the first to turn my nose up at the latest trends, their rides were the first new ones in years that really captured my imagination.

Nemesis, a B&M coaster

B&M, like Huss, have a reputation for high quality, dependable rides 

The same can be said for spin ride manufacturers. This time, Huss were an indispensable asset to discerning theme parks and fair showmen. Parks without a Huss Pirate Ship were in the minority, just as fairs without a Breakdance were too.

While one manufacturer focused on coasters, and the other on spin rides, regardless of their obvious disparity B&M and Huss shared more than a few tangible traits. Working from Switzerland and Germany respectively, both manufacturers had earned a reputation for building robust, well-built machines.

Over the years, the question as to who my favourite manufacturer is has become harder and harder to answer. In the case of B&M this is a good thing. No longer rivalled by the likes of Vekoma and Arrow at best, other manufacturers have upped their game, while offering something that compliments B&M’s range, as opposed to competing against it.

The most obvious comparison is Intamin, of course. Ironically, Messrs B and M split from Intamin in the late 1980s, although Intamin have enjoyed a second coming in the late 90s as they grappled with bolshy concepts such as the LIM/LSM-launched coaster, their new breed of mega coaster as well as recently their hydraulically-launched Accelerator coasters.

Huss logo

A familiar symbol on many spin rides 

While Intamin up the ante, B&M are still very much the crème de la month. While Intamin offer exciting and often untried concepts to parks looking for something instantly marketable, B&M offer a portfolio of tried and tested designs that will provide parks with a long-term workhorse.

But what about Huss?

Sharing yet more similarities to B&M, Huss’ dominance of their particular market is a thing of the past, but unlike B&M that doesn’t mean they share the throne with other manufacturers. While other manufacturers like KMG and Mondial enter the battlefield, Huss seem to be running scared.

While a decade ago Huss were the cornerstone of the spin ride industry, I can’t think of many people who would mourn their passing, at least in their current form, for reasons other than prosperity.

Of course, the same could be said of Fabbri. And SBF Visa. And Technical Park. But at the same time, none of these manufacturers have really contributed enough to the industry for us to get emotional over.

Fabbri ride

Fabbri don't have the same kind of history as Huss 

To understand how Huss have fallen down the spin ride bell curve, you must first understand just what an incredible vintage they have, and just how much they have contributed to the world of spin rides. For a manufacturer that has brought us some of the most significant spin rides in the last thirty years, it angers me to think that their most popular current ride is the Topple Tower. However much fun the Topple Tower is, rest assured there won’t be any operating in 30 years time. If there are, expect an apology from me in Issue 377.

Huss were founded in 1919 in the port city of Bremen in the north of Germany. They originally manufactured parts for the shipping industry until in 1969 when they bizarrely diversified into manufacturing spin rides for fairs and theme parks. Continues...

Coaster Kingdom Magazine
Issue 17: Apr 2006

Issue 17
Giants are smaller than they first appear
Coaster Kingdom looks back at how Huss has changed over the years, arguably for the worse.

In The Picture
In The Picture
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