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James W

Roller Poster
Merlin's 10 Coaster Deal with B&M?

Hi guys. As lots of us already know, Merlin have seemingly struck a huge ride deal with B&M, so I felt this warranted it's own topic where everything was in one place. As the table shows below, there's eight confirmed additions across the Merlin parks and two speculative additions, although both likely in my opinion.

RideParkYearSerial Number (TBC)
Jumanji Wing CoasterChessington World of Adventures (UK)Early 2023WI-R
Mythica Wing CoasterLEGOLAND Deutschland (Germany)Early 2023WI-S
Nemesis RetrackAlton Towers (UK)Early 2024
Family Invert CoasterLEGOLAND Shenzhen (China)2024
Mythica (?) Wing CoasterLEGOLAND Shenzhen (China)2024
Family Invert CoasterLEGOLAND Shanghai (China)2024
Mythica Wing CoasterLEGOLAND Sichuan (China)2025
Family Invert CoasterLEGOLAND Sichuan (China)2025
Presumably at least 1 B&M Coaster?LEGOLAND Beijing (China)202X
Presumably at least 1 B&M Coaster?LEGOLAND Benelux (Belgium)202X

Does anyone else get the sense this partnership is somewhat of a lifeline for B&M? What does this mean for the future of both companies? It undeniably represents a distinct shift for B&M, into the family thrill market. Mods feel free to lock if you don't deem this relevant enough! 🙃

31/08/22 Edited to remove reference of a B&M at LEGOLAND Windsor, as new plans indicate they'll receive a Vekoma/Zierer twin boomerang instead.
17/09/22 Edited to reflect projects' updated opening dates
 
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Lori Marie Loud

Hyper Poster
Merlin's 10 Coaster Deal with B&M?

Hi guys. As lots of us already know, Merlin have seemingly struck a huge ride deal with B&M, so I felt this warranted it's own topic where everything was in one place. As the table shows below, there's eight confirmed additions across the Merlin parks and two speculative additions, although both likely in my opinion.

RideParkYearSerial Number (TBC)
Jumanji Wing CoasterChessington World of Adventures (UK)Early 2023WI-R
Mythica (?) Wing CoasterLEGOLAND Deutschland (Germany)Early 2023WI-S (?)
Family Invert CoasterLEGOLAND Sichuan (China)Oct 2023
Mythica Wing CoasterLEGOLAND Sichuan (China)Oct 2023
Nemesis RetrackAlton Towers (UK)Early 2024
Family Invert CoasterLEGOLAND Shenzhen (China)2024
Mythica (?) Wing CoasterLEGOLAND Shenzhen (China)2024
Family Invert CoasterLEGOLAND Shanghai (China)2024
'New Rollercoaster Plan' - Invert?LEGOLAND Windsor (UK)202X
Presumably at least 1 B&M Coaster?LEGOLAND Beijing (China)202X

Does anyone else get the sense this partnership is somewhat of a lifeline for B&M? What does this mean for the future of both companies? It undeniably represents a distinct shift for B&M, into the family thrill market. Mods feel free to lock if you don't deem this relevant enough! 🙃
LEGOLAND
we buy them in bulk every time
 

Indy

Mega Poster
Does anyone else get the sense this partnership is somewhat of a lifeline for B&M? What does this mean for the future of both companies? It undeniably represents a distinct shift for B&M, into the family thrill market.
While there is no denying that B&M is getting more involved with the family thrill market, I definitely don't see it as a lifeline. B&M has never really had much issue with demand. It feels more like an easy business decision; lock down a substantial contract that guarantees business for a few years (valuable in the wake of the calamity caused by the pandemic) for a bunch of rides that will mostly be clones. Large pay for minimal cost.

EDIT: For what it is worth, a 10 coaster deal seems pretty hard to believe, but Merlin is a substantial company so who knows.
 

roomraider

Best Topic Starter
While there is no denying that B&M is getting more involved with the family thrill market, I definitely don't see it as a lifeline. B&M has never really had much issue with demand. It feels more like an easy business decision; lock down a substantial contract that guarantees business for a few years (valuable in the wake of the calamity caused by the pandemic) for a bunch of rides that will mostly be clones. Large pay for minimal cost.

EDIT: For what it is worth, a 10 coaster deal seems pretty hard to believe, but Merlin is a substantial company so who knows.
Vekoma struck a 45 coaster deal not that long ago. Admitedly they only delivered 21 before the pandemic banjaxed the rest but big deals do happen.

The issue i think recently for B&M has been the huge slowdown in the Chinese market. Parks are still going in but at a much slower rate and alot of firms there seem to have opted for smaller models recently (With the exception of OCT but they only pump out a park a year and only half of those get B&Ms.

Leaning into the junior market isnt a bad idea for them at the moment with i imagine quite a few parks tightening their purse strings.
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
The issue i think recently for B&M has been the huge slowdown in the Chinese market. Parks are still going in but at a much slower rate and alot of firms there seem to have opted for smaller models recently (With the exception of OCT but they only pump out a park a year and only half of those get B&Ms.

Leaning into the junior market isnt a bad idea for them at the moment with i imagine quite a few parks tightening their purse strings.
That's one thing I noticed about B&M a while back: in recent years, they've been very reliant on the Chinese market. Their coasters tend to all be of the "biggest box" variety, and those aren't as popular among Western parks as they were a couple decades ago, and there's a lot of competition in that segment of the market. This chart is from last year, but it gives the idea. From installing 4-6 coasters in the Western markets every year, they're down to 1-2 in recent years, with China making up the rest of the margins.

1659686094229.png

I think it's wise of them to go into the small-to-mid size coaster market, as that's the vast majority of coaster projects out there. Everyone loves huge thrill machines, but parks rarely afford them, making it a bit risky to let one's entire operation rely on them. Going into the lucrative market of smaller coasters may indeed be a lifeline for B&M, even if it doesn't rely on the Merlin contract in particular.
 

ViperGTS500

Roller Poster
Seems like only big US park chains can understandably afford them (CF and SEAS). Disregarding Hershey and Dr Diabolical.
 

Coaster Hipster

Giga Poster
That's one thing I noticed about B&M a while back: in recent years, they've been very reliant on the Chinese market. Their coasters tend to all be of the "biggest box" variety, and those aren't as popular among Western parks as they were a couple decades ago, and there's a lot of competition in that segment of the market. This chart is from last year, but it gives the idea. From installing 4-6 coasters in the Western markets every year, they're down to 1-2 in recent years, with China making up the rest of the margins.

View attachment 19456

I think it's wise of them to go into the small-to-mid size coaster market, as that's the vast majority of coaster projects out there. Everyone loves huge thrill machines, but parks rarely afford them, making it a bit risky to let one's entire operation rely on them. Going into the lucrative market of smaller coasters may indeed be a lifeline for B&M, even if it doesn't rely on the Merlin contract in particular.
Much agree with you both @roomraider and @Pokemaniac with a small caveat: B&M would as such step outside their market niche (reliable capacity monsters) into a considerably more competitive market segment.

I am very curious what selling point will B&M emphasize against the competing and well established Vekoma family coasters - and Intamin and Gerstlauer's to a lesser extent.

Can B&M price their family offering to match Vekoma & other competitors'? Or will the Swiss engineers remain fairly upscale and somehow highlight superior ride hardware...


I might actually privately inquire this when talking to park operators at IAAPA Expo Europe later this year.
 

Tulum

Mega Poster
I would see a Hyper slotting into the lineup nicely

It would. But to be honest any decent addition to the park would be welcome. That park has to get out of the downward spiral. The rumors of a Hyper in the inner area of Colossus have been around for years.
 

emoo

Hyper Poster
A hyper as the little spoon in the middle of another ride is intriguing. Here's hoping to see the complimentary rolling hills side by side one day. Is this just fantasy?
 

Lukas D

Roller Poster
I reckon there might be even more to come. Merlin seem eager to roll out Mythica globally. All the resorts that have received their flying theatres as LEGO Movie Worlds might be in for a Wing Coaster as the headline attraction for their respective Mythica area sooner or later.

Concerning Heide Park, they are overdue for a major addition to their offering. I'm quite sure they want to bring in the Jumanji IP. Could a Jumanji theme work on a B&M hyper?
 

Christian

Hyper Poster
Seems like only big US park chains can understandably afford them (CF and SEAS). Disregarding Hershey and Dr Diabolical.

SDC, Dollywood and Holiday World have built B&M, so did Kentucky Kingdom back in the 90s. Most bigger parks have built them not just the big chains. In Europe and Asia, B&M buyers are even more diverse. B&M is more a big park thing not just a chain thing.
 
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