Funtime threatens to sue Cedar Point if it builds Mondial's version of its StarFlyer

Posted Thursday, August 19, 2010 12:59 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Australian ride manufacturer Funtime Group, which has built 22 StarFlyers so far, thought it had a deal to build one for Cedar Point after amusement park executives flew to Orlando to see one. Instead, Funtime says they're buying a similar ride from Mondial, and intend to sue the park instead of the competing manufacturer.

Read more from The Sandusky Register.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010 9:32 AM

Perhaps the basis for suing CP instead of Mondial is the only reason they have the ride is because a customer requested a version of the Starflyer more resistant to wind. (that's a paraphrase from ride's site). The ride isn't even available yet (except to CP, presumably). Perhaps Funtime feels CP should have asked them to build the more wind-resistant version? I don't know, it still seems like you would sue both Mondial and CP. But maybe they know Mondial is good at avoiding patent infringements, so they aren't even going to bother?


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Thursday, August 19, 2010 9:48 AM

The real reason behind this is because Cedar Fair unfriended Funtime on Facebook.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010 9:49 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

LOL

Hey, I actually had a coaster geek start up a Facebook page about me defriending them. Stalker...


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Thursday, August 19, 2010 9:53 AM
LostKause's avatar

I'd love to see Cedar Point sue the newspaper for letting the cat out of the bag and ruining their marketing campaign. I still stand by my "stupid reporter" remark from the other thread.

If Funtime offered a solution to the wind problem, they would have probably sold the ride to Cedar Point, and wouldn't be in this mess.

There are rumors of more than one of this kind of ride being installed by Cedar Fair at other parks, so this may be a bigger bummer for Funtime than the selling of just one ride.


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Thursday, August 19, 2010 9:59 AM

You're suggesting the media should cater to corporations rather than the public? Brilliant idea.

And on what ground would CF sue a newspaper for reporting on something they're perfectly within their rights to report on? That makes less sense than Funtime suing the purchaser, rather than the vendor, of a ride that infringes on their patents.

Last edited by djDaemon, Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:01 AM

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Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:24 AM
LostKause's avatar

Okay then. Good point. Maybe Cedar Point should counter-sue Funtime for telling the reporter what the new ride was.

The new ride should not have been disclosed. Whoever is responsible for letting the cat out of the bag should not be able to get away with it.


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Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:27 AM
Rick_UK's avatar

I suspect they'd lose that battle, as most discussions over the last few weeks have pointed towards a Star Flyer.


Nothing to see here. Move along.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:31 AM

Unless Funtime was under an NDA, CF would have no grounds on which to sue.


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Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:35 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

And if there wasn't a contract for Funtime to build it, they probably wouldn't be under an NDA...


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Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:38 AM

And if you're committing suicide, are you really going to be worried about silly things like NDAs?


John
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Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:51 AM

In retrospect though, do you guys think that this is the attraction that Cedar Point was going to announce or do you think it could be just propaganda from The Sandusky Register and Cedar Point is going to open something else?

Or strangely enough, could all the parties involved just print this story to keep people guessing on the new ride announcement at Cedar Point? lol


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Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:52 AM

Didn't Tony make some sort of reference to Funtime a while back? I don't remember the exact language, and I don't even want to try to find it, but it was something along the lines of "going to have a fun time next summer" or some such.

Perhaps there was some sort of handshake agreement with Funtime at the time, which CF later abandoned when they found out they couldn't get what they wanted in the ride? If not, why make the reference publicly?


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Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:53 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

No.


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Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:53 AM
mlnem4s's avatar

It seems like anything and everything associated with Dick Kinzel turns into an absolute nightmare, his ego completely prevents him from seeing the reality of his doings. None of us were privy to what may or may not have been talked about between Kinzel and Funtime so I wouldn't be so quick to blast them (Funtime) over this. Kinzel is VERY shrewd and would screw a dead man over if he could.

Karma can be a bitch, no?

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Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:55 AM

mlnem4s said:
It seems like anything and everything associated with Dick Kinzel turns into an absolute nightmare, his ego completely prevents him from seeing the reality of his doings. None of us were privy to what may or may not have been talked about between Kinzel and Funtime so I wouldn't be so quick to blast them (Funtime) over this. Kinzel is VERY shrewd and would screw a dead man over if he could.

Karma can be a bitch, no?

That is a good point as well. It does seem he has taken on more of a "Build it and they will come" attitude as of recent years. It's a shame too since that was the way the Old Six Flags Management way of doing business happened as well. *SIGH*


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Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:58 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

None of us were privy to what may or may not have been talked about between Kinzel and Funtime so I wouldn't be so quick to blast them (Funtime) over this.

There definitely could have been some poor choices on Kinzel's part. That DOES NOT mean that Funtime isn't being stupid here. If another park chain was looking at their options of buying something like a Starflyer, then they aren't going to go to Funtime first now if there are other options, because they have to think now "Is Funtime going to blast us in the paper if we go with a knockoff"?

As a consumer, you have the right to buy whatever you want that is available, and in this case CP is the consumer. We don't know if there was a prior contract. If there was, CP should be sued. If there was only the implication that they may buy something from Funtime, then Funtime has shot themselves in the foot.

Don't automatically blame CP for this just because you have something against the company. You could be right, but we don't have enough info to make a judgement that CP broke any contracts.

What we do have is comments by a company and actions that suggest that they don't have any problems outing a potential customer's personal buying habits when it comes to a competitive business.


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Thursday, August 19, 2010 11:19 AM
mlnem4s's avatar

@Tekwardo, where did I say I was blaming Cedar Point? I did not. All I did say is Kinzel is getting a taste of his own medicine right now. He want's to play with the big boys; some big boys fight back. You don't screw with karma (or share holders.)

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Thursday, August 19, 2010 11:19 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

So, in reality, Funtime should be facing lawsuits from:

1.) Gravity Works for its Skyscraper knockoff - http://www.funtime.com.au/data/index3.htm

and

2.) SkyCoaster for the knockoff: http://www.funtime.com.au/data/index4.htm

Not to mention the numerous other companies that had reverse-bungee/slingshot style rides out before they might have.


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Thursday, August 19, 2010 11:21 AM

Raven-Phile said:
So, in reality, Funtime should be facing lawsuits from:

1.) Gravity Works for its Skyscraper knockoff - http://www.funtime.com.au/data/index3.htm

and

2.) SkyCoaster for the knockoff: http://www.funtime.com.au/data/index4.htm

Not to mention the numerous other companies that had reverse-bungee/slingshot style rides out before they might have.

Good points. There are plenty of rides that are essentially copied out there but they have some type of new twist or appeal to them. Happens alot in most industries.


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Thursday, August 19, 2010 11:26 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

It seems like anything and everything associated with Dick Kinzel turns into an absolute nightmare

It looks like you're saying that anything associated with Dick (which would be CP) turns into a nightmare, which I took as placing blame on things connected to DK.

It came across to me as a biased statement. I get it, you don't like certain aspects of the company, and that's fine. I don't think you'll find too many people around here that don't feel he should probably retire and let someone else try to run the business, but from the limited information we have, this looks like it's less about Karma and more about someone didn't get to be paid for something they didn't do, and now they're mad.

Ride manufacturers knock each other off all the time, but as a company, you don't go to a media outlet before another company that you want to do business with announces their new attraction...and announce it for them. Speaking of Bad Karma, Funtime is shooting themselves in the foot.


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