As one year draws to a close, Coinslot caught up with Paolo Sidoli of SB Machines, to get his take on what lies in store for 2019.
So, what are your objectives for 2019?
Our aim is to launch certainly four and possibly five new rides for 2019, some of which we presented to the industry at ACOS in October. All of our new launches will feature inspiring design, interactivity and performance these are the philosophies that underpin our launch strategy and that we are bringing to the market.
We see that multi-seat rides are a compelling purchasing motivator to operators, while interactivity and video-screen are now considered a standard part of the offering on nearly all of our rides. We are also deep into our testing of the £2 per play ride.
In our view and from what we’ve seen,this price of play barrier will soon be overcome. Our new range of rides have radical designs and the player experience is extremely fulfilling. This new pricing point can be justified without sacrificing cashbox revenue. Increased returns to the operator coupled with increased player satisfaction will certainly reinforce the idea of a children’s ride being a key attraction in any leisure destination.
By studying and embracing all these concepts, we can really differentiate our rides from those of the competition and ensure that their economic lifespan and as a consequence the return on investment is as long as possible.
What is the design process of a new ride and how long does it take to bring a new product to market?
It currently takes about 18 months to bring a new ride to market from concept to delivery.Each of our manufacturers develop their own models which we then evaluate on carefully chosen sites across the UK. After a period of rigorous site-testing, we then pick the rides that we feel are suitable for roll-out to the customer.
Our idea is to create a healthy mix of competition amongst our manufacturers which in turn stimulates their individual creativity. Children are extremely discerning and in many ways some of the most exacting customers that an attraction can have – there’s certainly no room for compromise!
Where does the inspiration for new rides come from?
It’s very collaborative and involves engaging with the entire network of people who are involved in the design and manufacturing process.These include the ‘modellista’(designer),the electronic engineer, the mechanical engineer, the fibreglassing team and the airbrush artists. We all have one common goal and that is to produce the next stand out ride. In my case, I have to guarantee that when a ride hits the market,it stays relevant for at least five years. This is super challenging in today’s fast paced digital era but fun at the same time.
How do you see the future – what’s in store for the sector?
We expect the £2 per play ride to become more commonplace as well as a much quicker than expected phasing out of older rides. In addition we expect rides to become larger and more impressive in terms of their movement and their looks.
Looking back on your long career in the business what would you say is your favourite ever ride?
There’s no doubt on this one,it has to be the Wild West Wagon by Cogan. Launched over 25 years ago, this was our first and I would say our most successful children’s ride.Great looks, captivating movement, two seats and fabulous cashbox performance. A real stand-out piece at the time and it represented everything we as a company still try and achieve.It was a classic in the true meaning of the word!