April 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 4
Top-10 Most-Wanted Ride-on Toys
Plasmacar zooms ahead of the competition
With additional reporting from Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero
For the second year in a row, PlasmaCar by PLASMART INC. raced ahead of the competition in this month's Top-10 Most-Wanted Ride-on Toys list, with 7 of 12 retailers naming it their best seller in the category. EZ Roller finished in second, with three retailers naming it their best seller. Learn more about these, and the other products mentioned, below.
No manufacturer paid to be included in this article. All products listed were designated by editorial staff without regard to the company's relationship with TOYDIRECTORY.com/TDmonthly Magazine.
This sleek ride-on is fueled by cambering motion — the rider pushing his or her legs against the front bar, to the left and right. It has a hand brake and features an extendable design to host riders up to 6' tall. Maximum recommended weight is 150 lbs.
— Learning Tree Toys, Games & Books in Oklahoma City, Okla., sells about a dozen EzyRollers per month, Owner Patti Tepper-Rasmussen told TDmonthly in fall 2009.
— Jackie Roy, owner of Learning Resources Toy Magic in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., told TDmonthly in late 2009 that she brought in five EzyRollers on trial on sold out in a week and a half.
— Two of 37 specialty retailers cited the EzyRoller as a top-selling ride-on in spring 2010. “The EzyRoller, by far, continues to be the best,” Christine Osborne of Wonder Works in Charleston, S.C., told TDmonthly in March 2010, reporting sales of a couple dozen per month.
Past Videos: WTHRA 2008
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25944 (added 11/3/2009)
This “run bike” or “balance bike,” which is pedal free and without training wheels, is designed to help a child develop balance and motor skills necessary to later ride a two-wheel bicycle with pedals. Smart Balance Bikes work to develop a child’s balance and coordination by simply allowing the child to sit and walk or run with the bike by pushing with his or her feet. If the bike starts to fall, kids instinctively regain balance using their feet. Once they’ve gained some momentum and balance control, they can lift their feet up as they feel comfortable and start cruising. Smart Balance Bikes are made from birch wood from a replenishable source, with real inflatable rubber tires, handle bar grips, an adjustable, cushioned leatherette seat to grow with the child, and a distinctive carry handle incorporated into the bike's body. The construction uses formaldehyde-free lacquer and non-toxic paints, and the carton is made from recycled paper with water-based ink. Launch date: September 2008.
— In a March 2012 survey, Chris Lowe, owner of Beanhead Toys in Sandy Springs, Ga., told TDmonthly that Balance Bikes from Smart Gear were one of her best selling ride-on toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24458 (added 7/7/2009)
Kiddi-o Air Tire Swift by KETTLER INTERNATIONAL INC.
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Patented Limited Turn Radius reduces tipping. Patented Quik-Adjust frame to easily adjust the size to fit different aged children. Features Tubeless air tires on sealed ball bearings for a smooth and quiet ride. Attached the included Push-bar and take a stroll through the park. Launch date: March 2012.
— In a March 2012 survey, 2 out of 12 retailers said trikes from Kettler were their best selling ride-on toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33314 (added 12/9/2011)
This American-made, child-powered ride-on toy features an injection-molded polyethylene seat. Kids simply put their feet on the handlebars and swing the handlebars side to side with their hands to generate movement. The Flying Turtle, which comes pre-assembled, may be used both indoors and out, and holds up to 150 lbs.
— Deborah Smith, owner of Toys That Teach in Richmond, Va., listed the Flying Turtle as her best-selling ride-on toy in a March 2009 survey. “In spring and summer, [we sell] at least a dozen per month,” she said.
— Five percent of 60 retailers told TDmonthly in spring 2009 that Mason Corporation's Flying Turtle is a best seller in their stores.
— Three of 37 retailers named the Flying Turtle when discussing best-selling ride-on toys in spring 2010. Creative Kids Inc. in Columbia, S.C., sells about three dozen annually, Owner Melodie Ingwersen told TDmonthly in March 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23043 (added 3/27/2009)
The Spooner is a balance trainer that simulates board maneuvers associated with surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding but not limited to that. The Spooner helps to develop flexibility and strength in the legs as well as creating a better center of balance. The Spooner is a core trainer, a stabilizer and a pasteurizer because of the ability to work the muscles closest to the spine. Also, it's loads of fun and can be done on any surface indoors or out. Made of H.D.P.E. it is unbreakable. Our guarantee is "You break it, we replace it." Made by Hand in the USA. Launch date: 2006.
— In a March 2012 survey about outdoor toys, two out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Spooner Boards were among their best sellers.
— In a March 2012 survey, Chris Lowe, owner of Beanhead Toys in Sandy Springs, Ga., told TDmonthly that Spoonerboards were one of her best selling ride-on toys.
— Alexander McPherson, toy supervisor at Little Dickens in Lynchburg, Va., told TDmonthly in a March 2013 survey that Spooner Boards are their best selling item - they sell about 114 each year, with sales of the item concentrated in 4th quarter.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23177 (added 4/7/2009)
The Skuut wooden balance bike gives preschoolers the big-kid riding experience, as well as a leg up on the competition. Its design helps youngsters forgo the awkward "training wheel" period. The Skuut has no pedals, so children kick off the ground as if running, thus pushing or "skuut-ing" themselves and the bike forward. Developing strength and balance as they go, kids can walk, coast or "skuut" along before transitioning to a two-wheeler. Launch date: November 10, 2006.
— “People like it because it's a little different. It's not a bike or a trike; it's not an infant ride-on. It covers that in-between stage and has a nice age range,” said Owner Tye Steinbach of Thinker Things in Portland, Ore., during a March 2009 survey.
— “We're starting to see more interest in coaster bikes," Phil Wrzesinski, owner of Toy House and Baby Too in Jackson, Miss., told TDmonthly in spring 2009. Skuut offers “fun for pre-bike riders,” according to Patricia Fieldler, owner of Green Frog Toys in Portland, Ore. This bike was on her top-nine best-seller list in spring 2009.
— Two of 37 retailers named Skuut as a best-selling ride-on in March 2010. Skuut "is a huge seller," noted Elaine Hackney of Boing! JP Toy Shop in Jamaica Plain, Mass. Past Videos: Toy Fair 2008
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9999 (added 11/10/2006)
The Rockboard Scooter uses propulsion technology, allowing it to be ridden without having to put a foot on the ground. It can be used as a kick scooter or a Rockboard. When in Rockboard Mode it requires no kicking, batteries, charging or gasoline. It can also be folded up for easy storage and transport. The Rockboard combines fun, fitness and functionality into one product. "While standing on the deck in Rockboard Mode the rider shifts their weight back and forth, and this powers the drive chain. Propulsion is achieved with each rock, wasting zero energy and allowing the rider to reach speeds of up to 10 mph," Zane Andrews, Account Manager, M.Y. Products, told TDmonthly. Launch date: November 18, 2009.
— Thanks to a product demo in the store, Learning Express of Newton, Mass., had sold at least 15 Rockboard Scooters in 2010 as of July, Owner Richard Gibson told TDmonthly.
— In a March 2012 survey, Grafton Stine, owner of Toys on the Square in Hummelstown, Pa., told TDmonthly that Rockboard Scooters were one of their best selling ride-on toys.
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ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27575 (added 3/15/2010)
Multi-award winning and multi-directional Wheely Bugs, distributed in the United States by Prince Lionheart, go backward, forward, sideways and 'round and 'round. These ride-on bugs have a magical mind of their own. Their bodies have a padded layer of sponge, which is covered with a tough polyurethane skin that can easily be wiped clean. Handmade and crafted from the highest quality materials, Wheely Bug features multi-directional casters and unlimited mobility on all level surfaces. “The fact that the Wheely Bug is multi-directional, encourages gross motor skills and at the same time is heaps of fun,” explains its appeal, said Sarah Eastman, sales and marketing associate at Prince Lionheart. “In addition,” she continued, “this is a great product for the specialty market because it is handmade and beautifully crafted. Now moms can let their kids play with bugs, worry-free.”
― Wheely Bug was a Toy Fair favorite spotted by Terry Myers, owner of Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock, Texas. It was voted Toy of the Year in BabyTalk's Dec. 2006/Jan. 2007 issue and received the 2007 Silver Award for Best Baby & Infant Product in The Netherlands.
— This handmade Australian toy earns gold stars for everything — wooden base, sturdy construction, simple design, adorable themes, easy-to-clean seat, multi-directional motion and two size options — all adding up to its receipt of a TDmonthly Top Toy 2007 award.
— Two of 60 retailers in a March 2009 survey listed Prince Lionheart Wheely Bugs as a best-selling ride-in in their stores. The Wheely Bug was a best seller at Golden Apple Learning Store in Pleasanton, Calif., in summer 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10241 (added 11/27/2006)
This brightly colored trike offers kids and parents a large array of features to adjust to various situations. The durable metal body supports an adjustable seat to accommodate the growing preschooler, and the tricycle easily goes from a kid-powered pedal-along to a push trike that the parent can easily steer. Patented internal gears allow the wide, stroller-style push bar to turn the front wheel of the trike, and free-wheeling pedals allow the rider to comfortably coast while the adult pushes.
— “Radio Flyer Steer & Stroll Trike. [We sell] four per month,” Mike DiAndrea, manager of Hardware Centre Inc. in Paoli, Pa., said of his best-selling ride-on toy during TDmonthly's March 2009 survey.
— Seven percent of 60 retailers listed Radio Flyer as the manufacturer of their top-selling ride-on toys in spring 2009.
— Two of 37 retailers named a trike by Radio Flyer as a top-selling ride-on in spring 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 23042 (added 3/27/2009)
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Writer's Bio: Justina Huddleston graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing in 2009. After graduating she was the on-site director of the Boston Children's Museum gift store for a year, selling educational, developmental, and creative activity toys that tied in with the museum's exhibits. Justina also interned at children's book publisher Candlewick Press before moving from Boston to Los Angeles, where she is now Editorial Director of TDmonthly Magazine. Read more articles by this author
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