April 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 4
|April 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 4|
TDmonthly's Top-10 Most-Wanted Sleds, Wagons & Trikes
Flyers Pull Their Weight and Then Some
With additional reporting by regional correspondents Agata Antonow, Virginia Davis, Christine Lebednik, Terri Lazzell and Brenda Ruggiero
According to 38 specialty toy retailers, Plasmart’s Plasma Cars (ToyDirectory) are still one of the hottest new ride-ons out there, but there’s plenty of room for traditional wagons, sleds and trikes. Flyers named Radio and Berlin pull their weight in the wagons category, shop owners told TDmonthly Magazine. The Kinder Sled from Paris as well as Mountain Boy's Flyer prove that classic designs never grow old. And the Snyder Sled from Kettler (ToyShow) races with the King Size from Stiga for trail-blazing sleekness.
(To read about the latest trends in ride-on toys, click here.)
Here’s what kids are riding these days:
Radio Flyer has reinvented the toy wagon yet again. The company’s Ultimate Family Wagon sports a five-fold seat (patent pending) that allows for multiple seating and storage setups. Choose from 1) two children in seats with parent access storage, 2) one child in seat + covered storage area, 3) one child in seat + extra large storage area, 4) one child in seat + tray table + storage area, or 5) seats fold flat for flatbed wagon. Child seat belts are included, as is a UV-protection canopy that removes in seconds. There are two child cup holders and two adult cup holders.
— "The best quality wagons are probably Radio Flyer. They have a lock hold on the wagon market," said Casey Sartain, manager of Tutoring Toy Inc. in Salt Lake City, Utah.
— "We sell a wide range of Radio Flyer wagons, which continue to be a hit," commented Kim Emigh, managing partner at Growing Tree Toys & Books in State College, Pa.
— Cheryl Barrett of Mystical Toys in Mystic, Conn., said of Radio Flyer, "More of the toys are child safe and fewer things fall off or detach."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9639 (added 10/6/2006)
As with all Berlin Flyer wagons, the P-Wee is made by Amish craftsmen in Berlin, Ohio. The wagon consists of heavy-gauge metal and the finest hardwoods available. The bed of the wagon is varnished, while the sides are safe painted. A NO-TIP® steering mechanism is used in all Berlin Flyer Wagons. The P-Wee is ideal for smaller children. Some assembly is required.
— "For wagons, we have Berlin Flyer. They’re very easy to deal with. If you order three wagons, you’re going to get them," said Roger Lee, co-owner of Olney Toys in Olney, Md.
— Regarding wagons in his store, Jude Larene, owner of Izilla Toys in Seattle, said, "We sell from one manufacturer only. It's Berlin Flyer. They do very well. They're all hand made."
— "We sell the wooden wagons assembled," said Dan Marshall, owner of Peapods Natural Toys & Baby Care in St. Paul, Minn.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11904 (added 3/13/2007)
John Deere is a brand name passed down from generation to generation. So it's no wonder that the Stake Wagon is a pleasure for both kids and parents alike. Constructed of heavy-duty rust-resistant steel, the Stake Wagon rides on steel wheels with wide rubber tires. High stake sections are securely fastened. All edges and corners are rounded for safety. A wide wheelbase, easy-to-grab handle, and easy steering provide optimal riding.
— "John Deere is [a wagon] we have in store now — a throwback for parents of today. If they had one they're more likely to buy one," said Bob Breneman, co-owner of G. Willikers Toy Shop in Portsmouth, N.H.
— "We sell a lot of RC2 wagons," was the endorsement given by Peter Scott, owner of Perfect Toy in Avon, Conn.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11906 (added 3/13/2007)
Kettrike Air Happy by KETTLER INTERNATIONAL INC.
Other products from KETTLER INTERNATIONAL INC.
The Air Happy provides the smoothest ride available and the push bar is included. Customers say it best: "built like a tank." It's an instant family heirloom that children will enjoy and remember fondly when their own children are riding Kettrikes. This model has it all with the patented three-in-one Auto-Freewheel™ Coasting Pedal system, patented Quik-Adjust™ Telescoping Frame and oversized tubeless air tires on German-made ball bearings.
— Diane Robinson, owner of Silly Goose in Essex, Mass., told TDmonthly Magazine in fall 2007 that her number one best-selling item is Kettler bikes, such as the Kettrike Air Happy tricycle. "Kettler tricycles" are among the best-selling ride-ons, agreed Kristen Fennell, manager at Kids R Kids in West Roxbury, Mass.
— “The Kettler Air Happy continues to be our best seller,” said Jude Larene, owner of Izilla Toys in Seattle, Wash., during TDmonthly's March 2009 survey of ride-on sales. Larene said he sells an average of 10 Air Happy trikes per month.
— Ten percent of 60 retailers said in spring 2009 that Kettler trikes are their best-selling riding toy, with average sales of around four per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10196 (added 11/21/2006)
This colorful bike folds up for easy portability and storage, and has an easy-to-carry handle grip. It comes fully assembled for instant riding, and features sturdy steel construction, a low center of gravity for maximum stability, and a controlled turning radius. It is suitable for ages 18 months and up. The Fold 2 Go received the 2007 Outdoor Toy of the Year Award from the Toy Industry Association.
— Though Radio Flyer is known for its line of wagons, two retailers that spoke with TDmonthly specifically cited Radio Flyer tricycles as winners in the ride-ons category.
— “The RadioFlyer tricycle is a traditional ride-on that still sells very well,” Matt Sahagian, owner and manager of Learning Express of Action in Action, Mass., told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11682 (added 2/27/2007)
The Wham-O Boggan provides a fast, maneuverable and sturdy ride down any snowy slope. It can carry two people and is made of super-slick polyethylene and super-light plastic. The Wham-O Boggan possesses cutting-edge arrowhead design for speed and control, has four side handles for riding or carrying, and includes a tow-rope for pulling and transport. It's also crack-resistant. The shipping weight is 7 lbs.
— "For sleds, Wham-O is still good," said Roger Lee, co-owner of Olney Toys in Olney, Md.
— According to Shanna Frieling, owner of Giggles Toys & More in Bozeman, Mont., "Wham-Os" are among the "best sellers in sleds" in her store.
—"We’ll probably sell about 100 sleds this month," said Joanne Farrugia, co-owner of JaZams in Pennington, N.J. “It depends on if we have snow.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11908 (added 3/13/2007)
Stiga's King Size Snow Racer brings Swedish winter fun to North American outdoor lovers. Steer it down a ski slope or the neighborhood tobogganing hill. Built for performance, this sled comes with a standard safety steering wheel, shock absorber, steel frame and high-tensile steel brake. The King Size Snow Racer is built with adults in mind — it's an upgraded and bigger version of the Stiga racer line.
— "The best sled is the Stiga. They’re made with three skis and with a steering wheel. The actual skis are plastic but the frame is metal so they are very durable," said John Allen, owner of J.W. Allen & Sons in Park City, Utah.
— "The only thing that’s aggravating is that I sold them out,” Allen added.
— Stiga offers a wide range of sleds and racers that are sure to match the specific needs of individuals and families.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11909 (added 3/13/2007)
The Classic Flyer is what a runner sled should be: tough, with thick kiln-dried planks of beautiful northern birch and extra-thick powder-coated steel runners. It's built with only stainless-steel bolts, and it incorporates the pivot-front design of the Ultimate Flyer to increase the sled's turning power. This heirloom-quality sled is designed to last for more than one lifetime. The Classic Flyer meets all ASTM and USC child safety criteria.
— "There’s a great company called Mountain Boy Sledworks. They are the most beautiful and functional sleds I’ve ever seen,” said Jeff Boyd, owner of Peak-A-Boo Toys in Breckenridge, Colo.
— "They’re really neat — all wood. The Classic Flyer is a flexible flyer style," Boyd added.
— Mountain Boy Sledworks now offers 2" letter engraving lengthwise up the center of all its sleds, including the Classic Flyer.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8890 (added 8/4/2006)
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Writer's Bio: Dennis Furlan is a freelance writer who lives just outside of Toronto, Canada. He works on a variety of writing and editorial jobs with clients and publications worldwide. Dennis is proud to be part of the TDmonthly team, serving as a regional correspondent for the northwestern U.S. Read more articles by this author
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