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April 2006 | Vol. V - No. 4




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Riding High on Ride-Ons

Today’s Kids Are Cruising in Style


“We’ve always consistently done well with Kettler trikes. They just have a great product.” Tricia Cooper, Le Jouet Inc.
First we learn to crawl. Then we learn to walk. Then we learn … to ride! Since the invention of the wheel (or at least since the invention of the cart; the obuli were little wooden wagons that date back to ancient Greece), children have ridden. But it’s the 21st century: What are kids riding on now? TDmonthly Magazine talked to manufacturers and retailers to find out: What’s driving the new ride-ons?

Plasmart Inc.’s (ToyShow) PlasmaCar,” according to Kevin Hart, co-owner and buyer for the Toy Store in Atlanta. He explained, “We found it last year at Toy Fair, and we were one of the first in Georgia to bring it in.”

By fourth quarter, the product had received a bit of press which boosted demand. Sales shot up. “We were the only place to get it, so we saw a huge increase in sales. It just blew out during the holidays.” The PlasmaCar is a multiple award winning product, and many other retailers cited it as an excellent seller.

Kevin Hart’s newest top sellers are Kettler International Inc. (ToyShow) tricycles (also on last year’s TDmonthly Top 10 list). Michelle Duetschmann of Kaleidoscope Toy in Falmouth, Mass. and Idanna Smith, of Juggles in Wakefield, R.I., both found the sales from Kettler trikes and scooters to be strong, particularly the Navigator.

Tricia Cooper, buyer for Le Jouet Inc. in Metairie, La., explained, “We’ve always consistently done well with Kettler trikes. They just have a great product.”

Cooper mentioned that the Mason Corporation’s (ToyShow) Flying Turtles have also been a steady seller, and Terry Myers, owner of Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock, Texas, added that these are tops at her store. Dee Dee Culotta, owner of Victoria’s Toy Station in Baton Rouge, La., found similar results.

“They’re so unique that once I get a kid to try,” explained Donna Westwood, manager of Branch Toys in Salt Lake City, “they want one.”

Radio Flyer trikes and wagons (such as the Twist Trike) continue their long-standing rolling ways, as Betty Nobles, buyer for the Village Toy Shop in Hartford, Conn., and Jeanne Orland, store manager of the Purple Bear in Guilford, Conn., told TDmonthly.

Sol-Effect Enterprises’ (ToyDirectory) Zoom Scooter has recently come to the market, and looks to be a competitor in the ride-on market. Another new item is the Asphalt Scooter by Fuzion, which takes ride-on to a whole new speed and daredevil-may-care attitude.

Rolli Rider LLC’s (ToyShow) Rolli-Rider has been cited as being a top-seller for many retailers, as well as in the business section of the New York Times, and the president of the company, Noel Eberhardt has “had a lot of feedback from customers commending us for fabricating in the U.S. By the way, we've started exporting to Japan for retail sales there. They appreciate and want the handcrafted Made in USA product!”

International Playthings Light & Flight Airplane made many retailers’ best selling lists. Trish Garlock, owner of Treasured Child in La Grange, Ky., had this to say about it: “It’s one of our big sellers. A child can walk behind and push it, or ride inside. It has wings, and the propellers spin. It’s really cute.”

Schylling’s retro Speedster and fire engine ride-ons hearken back to yesteryear, and kids, as well as grandparents, seem to go for them. “I remember when I had something just like this growing up,” said Jeremy Robertson, owner of Oldies But Goodies in Boston, as well as a grandparent of seven.

Hans and Patricia Masing, owners of Brain Station in Ann Arbor, Mich., found Peg Pérego’s (ToyShow) John Deere Might Tuff Trax tricycle to be their top seller. Susan Sellers, buyer for Tree Top Kids in Washington, D.C., sells “a lot of the John Deere Gators — or any of the John Deere ride-ons.” Gladys Griffin, owner of the Main Street Toy Shop in Columbus, Ga., agrees about the Gators.

Whether fast or slow, two wheels, three wheels or four, ride-on toys are selling well. Right on, ride-on.





MSRP: $69.99
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: PC020
Launch Date: February 2005
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Riding
Preschool
Outdoor Fun



The Original PlasmaCar continues to intrigue and fascinate. Powered by kid power; no batteries, gears, or pedals needed. Just sit, put your feet up, and turn the steering wheel to propel yourself forward. The patented safety seat design places riders in a safe, comfortable position and minimizes tipping. Moves up to 6 mph on any smooth, flat surface. Supports up to 220 lbs. Visit www.plasmacar.com to see all the wonderful colors available.
— In a March 2015 survey, two out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Plasmacar is a best-selling outdoor toy.
—  As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 122 reviews on Amazon.com. Cons: Does not work well on surfaces that aren't completely smooth.
— This top-seller in specialty stores earned a TDmonthly Top Toy 2007 award for its distinctive aerodynamic design and ease-of-use. TDmonthly believes it has the potential to become a classic due to its fresh, contemporary appeal and application in a child’s formative years.
Awards: 2012 Parents Choice Awards Recommended, 2009 Green Parents List Check Mark, 2009 DisneyFamily.com Top Action Figures and Toys for Toddlers, 2009+2008+2005 The National Parenting Centre Seal of Approval, 2008 iParenting Media Toy Award, 2008 Fat Brain Toy Award Active Play, 2006 TIA Outdoor Toy of the Year - Specialty Toy of the Year, 2006 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, 2005 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award, 2005 Dr. Toy Best Vacation Products, 2005 Creative Child Seal of Excellence, 2001 International Patent Fair, Hong Kong Gold Medal
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3829      (added 6/28/2005)
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Age Range: 1 to 5
SKU or Item #: 8839-590
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Bicycles & Tricycles



The Air-Navigator provides a smooth ride with a push bar included. This is a family heirloom that children through the ages will enjoy and remember fondly when their own children are riding Kettrikes. It comes with a patented 3-in-1 Auto-Freewheel Coasting Pedal system, a patented Quik-Adjust Frame with low step-through design, and oversized tubeless air tires on German-made ball bearings. The rear-wheel navigation system includes a navigator mechanism with a simple on/off switch that can activate the navigator mechanism. No cables are needed.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12489      (added 4/26/2007)
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MSRP: $69.99
Age Range: 3 to 12
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Riding



This winner of the Dr. Toy Best Classic Toy Award allows kids to hop on the injection-molded polyethylene seat, throw their feet on the steel handle bars and use their hands to swing the handlebars side to side. The momentum caused by the child powers the ride. A great indoor or outdoor toy, the Flying Turtle can handle tough play and up to 150 pounds. It even comes pre-assembled.
— Of 45 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in early 2008, over eight percent shared that this item was the best-selling ride-on toy in their store.
— “Flying Turtles by Mason…we sell at least one a week,” Cassidy Conway, owner of Heights Toy Store in Little Rock, Ark., told TDmonthly.
— “We sell one or two a week,” Bob Colbert, owner of The Toy Box in Searcy, Ark., told TDmonthly.
— “Good enough for Montessori schools — good enough for your home,” Owner Diana Nelson of Kazoo & Company in Denver said of this best seller in her store in early 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6882      (added 2/8/2006)
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MSRP: $60.00
Age Range: 2 to 7
Gender: Boys
Category: Outdoor Fun



Radio Flyer has reinvented the classic tricycle with the Twist Trike. An industry-first, this two-in-one creation easily adjusts from a trike to a chopper in seconds, making it suitable for children as young as age 2 and as experienced as age 7. It’s really two trikes in one! The Twist Trike is designed after the look of a high-end sports car. The patented quick-release mechanism, front wheel tread grip and adjustable seat adds functionality to the sporty design. The Twist Trike is available in three color schemes: the classic red, blue and yellow; red and silver; and pink and purple. It's an iParenting Media Award winner.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4788      (added 9/23/2005)
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Age Range: 4 and up
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Riding



This award-winning invention comes with 2 flexible decks. It is propelled by weight being shifted between the two decks and provides a solid workout. It is new for 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7173      (added 3/9/2006)
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AD


MSRP: $54.99
Age Range: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Riding



What kid doesn’t want to fly his or her own plane? The press of a button on the steering wheel can activate the captain’s voice, realistic takeoff and landing sounds, or even music for the flight. The bin under the seat provides space to transport precious cargo, while flashing lights on the soft propeller keep kids engaged. The detachable rear handle transforms this colorful ride-on into a walk-along for the beginning walker.
— Of 45 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in early 2008, over six percent shared that this item was the best-selling ride-on toy in their store.
— International Playthings was named by over 13 percent of retailers – who spoke with TDmonthly in early 2008 – as the manufacturer of the best-selling ride-on toy.
— Diana Glaser, owner of the The Green Caboose in Stroudsburg, Pa., told TDmonthly that her store sells two to three units of this item every month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7367      (added 3/29/2006)
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AD


MSRP: $79.95
Age Range: 1 to 3
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Riding



This retro-cool ride-on toy features a vibrant colored steel body, detailed chrome accents, horn, working steering column, plastic fenders and rubber tires. It’s 29.5” long. Some assembly required.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7368      (added 3/29/2006)
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SKU or Item #: IGOD0033
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Vehicles - Riding



This is the most memorable gift your child can receive. Every child, ages 3 to 8, would love to have this child-sized version of a real John Deere GATOR. Complete with foot pedal accelerator and a 2-speed shifter, this John Deere GATOR travels at 2 1/4 or 4 1/2 mph on grass, dirt or hard surfaces, and it goes in reverse. Its huge 17” by 26” by 6” dumping bed with opening tailgate is perfect for getting help with the lawn hauling chores. This GATOR has it all: huge wheels, adjustable seats, a see-through windshield...even seat belts. High-speed lockout prevents beginners from going too fast. High-performance 12-volt rechargeable battery and recharger included.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 2656      (added 1/13/2005)
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MSRP: $69.95
Age Range: 7 to 11
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Outdoor Fun



The Asphalt design is simplicity in motion. Built on Nextsport's Quadcarver technology, the road hugging Asphalt introduces revolutionary riding performance in a compact package. The Asphalt features Quadcarver technology for unmatched ease of use, stability and stick to the pavement handling. The Asphalt is engineered for value, delivering fantastic performance for retailer and customer alike. This model is equipped with oversized wheels, precision bearings, high tech steel frame design, and a wide concave deck. All this plus the Quadcarver Technology let the Asphalt corner like it is on rails. The scooter comes with a video demo filmed by Big Shot Pictures that retailers can run in their stores to help move the product.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7428      (added 3/30/2006)
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