TOGO

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This article is about the Japanese roller coaster manufacturer. For African country, see Togo. For other uses, see Togo (disambiguation).
Fujiyama, a TOGO hypercoaster

TOGO (株式会社トーゴ Kabushiki-gaisha Tōgo?) was a Japanese amusement ride company that built roller coasters, giant wheels, carousels, flumes, dark rides, sky cycles and other amusement rides.

History[edit]

In 1935 Mr. Teiichi Yamada founded the Toyo Gorakuki Company and built his first attraction, a five-foot mechanical walking elephant that was a popular attraction at one of Tokyo's neighborhood parks.[1] Yamada reorganized his company in 1949 and changed the name to TOGO. TOGO built its first roller coaster in 1953 at Hanayashiki Park in Tokyo. That coaster is still in operation and is the oldest coaster in Japan.[1]

In 1965 TOGO built Cyclone at Toshimaen Park that at the time was the largest coaster in Asia. The company also began to expand its export business, selling coasters in Russia, Cuba and China.[1] Although the company built a variety of different rides in Japan, its export business was primarily roller coasters. In 1982, TOGO installed standup trains on two of its existing coasters in Japan, at Yomiuriland and Thrill Valley, creating the world's first Stand-up roller coasters. These two installations captured the attention of Taft/Kings Entertainment company, who then purchased TOGO's Astro-Comet, the world's first coaster designed from the ground up as a stand-up roller coaster, installing at Kings Island as King Cobra.[1]

In 1986 TOGO developed the Ultra Twister Coaster. This unique concept had rails on the side of the vehicle allowing the coaster to perform true heartline rolls as it navigated the course. TOGO also incorporated a vertical lift hill and near-vertical drop into the ride.[2] TOGO built seven of these models, all similar, but not identical to each other. The original versions were not capable of making turns, so all seven operated as shuttles. However, TOGO did display a full-circuit model at the IAAPA trade show in the mid-1990s that was capable of making turns, but the ride was never built.[2]

TOGO went bankrupt in 2001 due to a lawsuit by Knott's Berry Farm for problems with their Windjammer Surf Racers roller coaster. TOGO created several unique coasters, including its combination of a looping sit-down coaster and a hypercoaster with its Manhattan Express coaster in Las Vegas (now known as "Roller Coaster"). The looping wild mouse by TOGO was a style of ride with a drop into a vertical loop, followed by the hairpin turns and drops of a wild mouse coaster. The former Windjammer coaster at Knott's berry Farm was a variation of the looping wild mouse; it didn't feature any hairpin turns.

TOGO is also renowned for inventing the Twist-and-Dive roll, an inversion maneuver that combines elements of a half-heartline roll with a half-loop.[citation needed] A version of this maneuver included a half-oblique loop instead of a half-loop, so riders exited the element at an angle. This was used on the now-defunct Viper at Six Flags Great Adventure.

Notable Rides[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Ruben, Paul (1988). "Innovative thrills from TOGO". RollerCoaster! Magazine (Chicago, Illinois: American Coaster Enthusiasts) 9 (3): 50–53. ISSN 0896-7261. 
  2. ^ a b Seifert, Jeffrey (2007). "The first pipeline coaster — Ultra Twister". RollerCoaster! Magazine (Zanesville, Ohio: American Coaster Enthusiasts) 28 (2): 50–53. ISSN 0896-7261. 
  3. ^ Holmes, Scott; Holmes, Carol (2009). "20 years of Magnum". RollerCoaster! Magazine (Zanesville, Ohio: American Coaster Enthusiasts) 30 (4): 4–11. ISSN 0896-7261.