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IAAPA Expo: Thursday Highlights
KMG sells three Inversions for 2016 delivery; Rides 4U & Toy Factory report


By Matt Cook

Rides 4U - NEW AND USED RIDES Farrow Finance Rides 4U - LED LIGHTING PACKAGES Farrow Finance
Crowds increased even more on IAAPA's third day, when many exhibitors expect contracts to be written and deals to be finalized during the second to last day of the show.  "Most buyers do their window shopping on Tuesday and Wednesday and closing deals on Thursday and Friday" said Doug Herbert of Bobs Space Racers.

Some deals, however, were made early in the show.  Chicago based All Around Amusements was busy making purchases and adding new equipment to bolster its lineup.  On opening day, the show purchased a new trailer mounted Drop n Twist ride from Rides 4-U which is scheduled for a May delivery.  Company president Robert Salerno explained that they will be making some improvements on the design for his ride including stainless steel fencing and repositioning the rides entrance and exit stairs.  To make room for the new purchase, the show sold its Zamperla Lolli Swing.  

During the fall, the show also purchased a used Wacky Worm and is in the process of relocating its warehouse to accommodate a larger building and workshop to refurbish equipment during the off season.  

Robert's daughter, Amanda and fiance Walter also purchased 5 new Dodge pickup trucks to aid with moving the show.  

All Around will be getting an updated sign for its Chance Pharaoh's Fury, re-built by Showmen Supplies.  Showmen Supplies will be retrofitting the sign with LED lights and a digital signboard to scroll messages and or advertisements.

On Wednesday, the show also added a third food trailer, a grab from Hitch-Hiker Manufacturing.

KMG to deliver three Inversions in Gibtown 2016
KMG was pleased to announce that three Inversion deals had been finalized, all of which will be delivered and showcased at the 2016 IISF Trade Show in Gibsonton.  Wisconsin based Mr.Eds' Magical Midways, Butler Amusements, and All AroundAmusements have all signed contracts for new Inversions.  

Rides 4-U
Aside from the Drop n Twist sold to All Around Amusements Tuesday, Len Soled's Rides 4-U has been busy showcasing new rides and selling used equipment to parks, FECs and traveling carnivals.  

Rides 4-U had one of the larger booths at the tradeshow, proudly displaying the first version of the trailer mounted Compact Spinning Coaster which was sold to Butler Amusements.  The new coaster was introduced as a park model last year and has been extremely popular with parks and FECs.

At the show, a park model of the coaster was sold to a park in Destin, Florida and another was delivered to Edaville Park in New England.  The coaster sold to Edaville was a custom lady bug themed version.

The new trailer mounted, pneumatic Drop n Twist family drop tower that was on display at the trade show was purchased by Tommy's Amusements; the Frog Hopper on display outside was pre-purchased by Campy's Amusements and the SBF Pirate Mini Jet was pre-purchased by Butler Amusements.  

Rides 4-U also has a new ride from SBF/Visa on display called the Skate 360 which has not yet been sold.  

Aside from new purchases, Rides 4-U was also busy selling used equipment including a Orient Express to Tons of Fun Shows and a bumper cars to Adventure Park in Peru.  Many other deals were in the works for new and used equipment which we will report at the conclusion of the trade show.

Rides 4-U is representing a new company for LEDs, EworksPro.  Eworks has been in the industry for several years and its products can be seen on several high profile rides such as the Ferris Wheel in Santa Monica California, the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel in Tennessee, the Capital Wheel at National Harbor, and the Seattle Great Wheel in Seattle, Washington.  

All of Eworks products are made in the USA with corporate headquarters in Orlando.  

Rides 4-U recently installed a new LED system on the drop tower at Wonderland Park in Amarillo, Texas.  The tower features an LED wall washing system with high profile LED lights projecting light onto the tower from the base up.  The top of the tower is capped off with a video wall which enables the park to scroll messages across the top or display graphics.  

Rides 4-U LED expert Earl Heller explained that the video wall is compromised of multiple LED nodules on a mesh-like surface that is mounted at the top of the tower.  

Customers can save money on video walls by spreading the modules further apart which is not noticeable from large distances such as on the drop tower.  For customers who want a higher resolution video wall, the modules can be put closer together, resulting in higher cost.

Wonderland Park is excited about their new LED system and have tied the light show into a new marketing campaign for the park which lets guests scroll their name across the top of the tower.

Toy Factory
Sid Karmia of San Antonio-based plush supplier, The Toy Factory, reported excellent sales in 2014 and expects 2015 to be even better.  "Our licensed goods did very well including Pokemon and Minions" explained Karmia.  "The minions were tremendous" he echoed.  Karmia was pleased that another Despicable Me movie would be released in 2015 and yet another in 2017,  and he expects the minion stock to continue to be popular.  "Fortunate for us, Despicable Me II comes out right before the 4th of July this year".

Dreamworks will also be releasing another animated film in 2015 called Home, which features a colorful but friendly alien like creature, which Toy Factory has the licensing rights to.  

According to Karmia, they are already oversold but expect more in the coming months.

"Kids want recognizable characters.  Some of our generics are still good, but the licensed stuff has really taken off" explained Karmia.  Some of the company's generic items like the raccoon and over-sized huskies and Rottweilers still do very well at parks and carnivals.

For The Toy Factory, IAAPA isn't his biggest order writing show.  For parks, the STMA (Stuffed Toys Manufacturers Association) show in the fall is always a big hit as well as the IISF Trade Show in Gibsonton.  "Gibtown is one of our best shows and is the show to be at.  We write a ton of orders every year at the show" said Karmia.

Keep posted for our final recap on the 2014 IAAPA Expo to be posted on Monday.

2014 IAAPA Expo Media Coverage

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