With great experience both on the manufacturing and operational sides of the Irish leisure market, Shane Murphy, managing director of Tobyco comments on the importance of kiddie rides in the wider gaming landscape.
Kiddie rides have been a stalwart of FECs throughout the British isles for decades and their appeal seems to show little signs of slowing. With the new year well underway Tobyco’s Shane Murphy believes that kiddie rides are performing as well as ever.
“We find the Irish market quite favourable at the moment. Mid-term was particularly good and Easter was up on previous years, this would be mainly due to the fact we invested significantly late last year to have the equipment on site and ready for early this year,” he said.
Able to assess the market both as a manufacturer and an operator Murphy added that a number of big name units from the likes of SB Machines and UNIS have been standouts so far this year. He added that the growing inclusion of ticketing output in the kiddie ride market has opened new doors in terms of performances as the coupling of the classic arcade fare with the biggest trend in the FEC market pays dividends.
Whilst such innovation is as exciting for customers as it is crucial for operators, the enduring popularity of kiddie rides remains as strong as ever, said Murphy.
“Let’s face it we’re all kids at heart, when you have the correct product, the kiddie ride is probably the first thing that will appeal to kids and parents alike.
However, this appeal is not to be solely relied upon, argues Murphy; the importance of consistently refreshing the portfolio is paramount for operators wishing to keep at the front of the pack.
“The range of rides can be the life blood of the kiddie ride offering. In our experience operators who don’t change their rides on a regular basis just fall by the wayside, so we have to stay on top of this all the time. We feel that our customers deserve the highest quality ride and service and in turn they can offer that to their customers and when that relationship works it is a win-win for all parties,” he said.