COASTER-net.com > Blogs > September 2010 > Odds and Ends
September 4, 2010 - Nessie
In the coastering world, there are many cloned, formulaic coasters. With so many coasters that are just copies and rip-offs of an originally brilliant idea, sometimes a little uniqueness is nice. Something new, something fresh. In this blog series, I'm not talking about those new, fresh coasters. I'm talking about the coasters so far out in left field that they hit the grandstands. Every week I’m going to highlight one coaster or production model that is so original that I call it an odd or end. PAX is a fairly overlooked company in the coastersphere. It's only made 23 roller coasters, and many of them are production models and even more have little information on them. The company itself is based in Moscow and has been manufacturing coasters since the early 90s, and though it hasn't made any high profile coasters, it has made weird ones. By why else would I be highlighting it? Magic Steed and Astropax The company's first three coasters were fairly basic and stock. A loop and a few turns. But the fact that it is only about 30 feet tall and they still put a loop in there makes it worth mentioning. Astropax added a curving lift to the equation, but it is still normal compared to... Cobra (King Fahad Park) PAX had a lot of rides named Cobra, so I'll put the park name with them. PAX's first venture into shuttle coasters, apparently they couldn't figure out how to put supports on steep track really high. Or maybe they though it looked cool. Whatever happened, somehow this ride has a chain lift that starts off steep, and then has a weird bump into a shallower hill. While it certainly looks weird, it might actually be pretty neat, considering there would be airtime on the way down. Also included are an airtime hill, two awkwardly shaped loops, and some nice King Cobra theming. Wild Train PAX had entered the kiddy coaster scene with the rodeo, but it's the popular Wild Train model that wins the craziest kiddy coaster award. The ride looks like a really big coaster was made about 50% smaller and all the proportions were kept the same. It has a steep drop, tight curves, compact airtime hills, and a fairly random change in the type of track halfway through the ride. Honestly, this thing looks fun, especially for a family coaster. Similar is Jungle Storm, which is indoors and has lots of theming and could be even more fun. If you have ridden one of these rides, seriously, PM me on what you thought, because I want to know. Cobra (Attractionmania) Layout-wise, the ride is fairly average. It pulls you close to vertically upward, drops you, sends you through a loop, takes you up another hill, sends you back through the loop, and into the station you go. But somewhere in the design process PAX decided, "Hey, instead of being ordinary and using ties and a spine for track, let's make it all one piece of metal!" And throw in a purple and yellow color scheme, and you have this ride. And, despite being fairly obscure, it managed to get on RCT 3 as a Sea Serpent Coaster. Formule 1 Considering it is, at the end of the day, a Wild Mouse, this is actually mildly original. It has a little drop and swoop before heading into a larger drop. Only then does it head into the standard zig-zags, which look weird being closer to the ground than, say, a Mack mouse. Wait, did I say standard? Actually, each zig-zag is on a slight bank, and it switches sides in each turn, creating negative G-forces at the beginning and positives at the end, rather than just laterals. And after it does the abnormal zig-zags, it dives into a few low to ground turns. Honestly, they need to make more of these, as this ride looks really fun. Cobra (Conny Land) Another Cobra themed shuttle coaster...yet it is still a unique ride. Pax's most recent venture, having opened this year, takes you over two airtime hills before sending you through a really tight loop over a...parking lot. Nonetheless, it has a reverse spike that is insanely steep, beyond vertical in fact. It must have crazy hangtime. After examining these rides, PAX honestly looks like a solid company if their rides are halfway smooth. If they got themselves out of Asia and sold a coaster in the US, I'd ride it. They're still in business, so why not? With a new coaster opening in Russia at some point, hopefully, there is still hope we will get one. Next week-the weirdest in ride names.