Thorpe Park's latest publicity stunt: Test dummies lost limbs in testing for The Swarm

Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2012 9:06 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Theme park officials had to take drastic measures to the £20million project after dummies were ''alarmingly'' damaged. Thorpe Park in Surrey said a number of the crash test dummies returned with scratches and limbs missing, forcing a costly operation to make changes to comply fully with health and safety requirements. This is the same park that asked for urine to theme a ride, required arms down for body odor.

Read more from The Telegraph.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012 9:09 AM

Nice train!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012 10:45 AM

You know, as soon as I saw the headline in the Amusement Today email, I was suspicious.

As soon as I saw the Telegraph article, I was even more suspicious. Particularly with the broken department store mannequins in the front seats of the coaster (but with more conventional water bodies further back).

Then I come over to CoasterBuzz and see the amended headline. I suspect we're all in agreement over the nature of this press release. My question is, why make it sound like they're incompetent at designing around a roller coaster?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012 11:13 AM

For added thrill value, I suspect. Or maybe to insure people will keep their arms and legs down once it opens? LOL!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012 11:37 AM

Just playing into the irrational fear of getting hurt on a coaster that a lot of people have. Better chance of getting hurt in an accident driving to the park than on a coaster.

I think it would be interesting to take a coaster that has a layout that is hidden from the station (like the Beast) and divert a train from the course, and remove a passenger or two and maybe stage some injuries with a couple of other people. How many people would get on the next train seeing that? A lot of people don't even pay enough attention to notice I suspect. Would work better if you have one train operation so you watch the people get on right and exit right before you enter.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012 12:28 PM

CPLady said:
For added thrill value, I suspect.

Absolutely. And I strongly suspect the Brits see this kind of publicity and chuckle (to themselves, whilst maintaining a dignified appearance). ;)

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012 5:48 PM

It's goofy but gets people talking about the new ride and probably has some viral legs to it.

I suspect that if a park in North America tried to go this route there'd be some sort of absurd legal fall out from it. Lawsuits for season pass refunds, trauma, lost wages, soiled underwear.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012 7:36 PM

I really like this one :)

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Friday, January 27, 2012 9:12 AM

This story actually mad the "Weird But True" column in yesterday's New York Post. But then, whattya expect? It's the POST!! I love it despite it's reputation.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012 12:10 AM

I was looking at the layout of this coaster on RCDB. If I am not mistaken aren't they building an identical ride to this at Six Flags Great America this year? I know it's called X-Flight keeping in their idea of having similar named rides at their parks. If anything, I think the design for X-flight would be more dangerous for passengers with its keyhole feature. But, really it doesn't seem that much different than a cross between a floorless coaster and Batman The Ride. And, unfortunately another short ride like Superman. A few inversions and its over. I don't see the big deal.

I have also seen construction pictures. It's not a big ride.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012 12:50 AM

^Some of the best coasters aren't big :)

Some lame coasters are big.

Either way, I know the crowds are going to go crazy for it. More Whizzer, Demon and Eagle rides for me!

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Sunday, January 29, 2012 4:55 PM

I would imagine that B&M wouldn't be too thrilled about this kind of report either unless they went to them first about it. I've seen a few fb status posts on the GAm album of people bringing up the idea about X-Flight being/not being safe. Yes, it's a far-fetched story for the common coaster junky, but not everything thinks that way or can be convinced otherwise if they read or see something like this park did.

At some point, you have to draw the line about attracting hype but keeping a reputation for a solid company in mind.

Last edited by F2006, Sunday, January 29, 2012 4:56 PM
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Sunday, January 29, 2012 6:58 PM

B&M's reputation among the people who actually purchase rides remains intact. I'd find it hard to believe that B&M could show any loss in business even if they were totally unaware of the ad campaign, so there are no real "damages" they could show.

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