April 2013 | Vol. XII - No. 4
Top-10 Most-Wanted Ride-On Toys
With additional reporting from Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero
The Plasmacar from PLASMART was still driving big sales when TDmonthly Magazine interviewed retailers about their best selling ride-on toys in a March 2013 survey.
Learn more about the Plasmacar and the other Top-10 Ride-On toys 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.
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)
Kettrike® Happy Air Navigator by KETTLER INTERNATIONAL INC.
Other products from KETTLER INTERNATIONAL INC.
The nationally acclaimed and award winning HKS KETTRIKE® HAPPY® AIR NAVIGATOR™ simply is the smoothest, safest and most prized tricycle ride available. This tricycle continues the KETTLER® tradition by being the Best of the Best. Our customer’s ultimate compliment is that our trike is “built like a tank.” KETTLER®’s team of certified engineers is in constant pursuit of perfection to incorporate the latest in safety, innovation and quality in our products. This is well documented by numerous patented and exclusive tricycle features from KETTLER®. The HKS Kettrike® Happy® Air Navigator™ is well worth the investment in order to provide your children and grandchildren many years of safe and enjoyable triking. When you invest in KETTLER®, you invest in peace of mind for present and future generations.
— In a March 2013 survey, two out of 13 retailers told TDmonthly that the Happy Navigator is their best selling ride on toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32534 (added 7/5/2011)
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)
Rody Horse by TMI TOYMARKETING INTERNATIONAL INC.
Other products from TMI TOYMARKETING INTERNATIONAL INC.
Gymnic Line’s Rody Horse is a favorite with children to learn balancing and coordination while they hop on it. (A base is available for transforming to a Rocking Rody Horse.) Rody is used in therapy for handicapped children, owing to its softness and ride-on qualities. Made of super-strong, latex-free vinyl, Rody inflates according to the size and weight of a child with a hand or foot pump. The maximum inflated height to “saddle” is 12". Rody is recommended for kids ages 3 and up, with adult supervision.
Awards: A TDmonthly Classics Award for being an all-time favorite toy.
— As of 7/21/2011 this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 145 reviews on Amazon.com.
— “We do more Rody Horse [than any other physical fitness toy]. They look like a horse. They’re more unique and kids love them,” said Jenny Goodlund, manager of JT Puffin’s in Madison, Wis.
— Jennifer Blacklock, sales and marketing representative for Toymarketing International, told TDmonthly, “Even though the Rody is for 2- to 4-year-olds, my 7-year-old rides it and loves it. He plays games with it with his little brother. It’s just a really good toy that teaches balance and coordination. It’s fun exercise — what we need more of in this society today.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6701 (added 1/25/2006)
Hop Fantasy by TMI TOYMARKETING INTERNATIONAL INC.
Other products from TMI TOYMARKETING INTERNATIONAL INC.
Made in Italy, Gymnic’s Hop Balls are the very best quality in hopping balls! Made from super strong, yet soft latex-free vinyl material for long lasting use and durability. Great exercise product for indoors and smooth safe outdoor surfaces. Promotes children’s body coordination, balance, lymph circulation and provides a fun work out while hopping on the ball. Special patented handgrip safety handle. Ages 5 years and up with adult supervision.
— “Hop Balls from Toymarketing International — I think it’s just a classic kids' toy. They’ve been around forever,” said Kim Duff, manager at Giggles Toys & More in Bozeman, Mont.
— “I sell a lot of those Hop Balls … They’re fun. Kids like to hop around,” noted Amy Barrett, owner of Lasso the Moon Wonderful Toys in Helena, Mont.
— TDmonthly spoke with Jennifer Blacklock, sales and marketing representative for Toymarketing International, about why the Hop Fantasy is popular: “They’re made of heavy-duty vinyl, which makes them long lasting. They’re latex-free. They’re very durable. They have a patented handgrip. They’re made in Italy. It’s a better-made, higher quality, European-made product. It’s a phenomenal product. It’s been around for more than 25 years.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6703 (added 1/25/2006)
The ride-on toy features a colored steel body, detailed chrome accents, a working horn, a working steering column, plastic fenders and rubber tires.
— Nadine Walsh, manager of Yikes Toys in Tucson, Ariz., told TDmonthly that “push cars by Schylling” are the most popular ride-on toys in the store.
— For Susan Pruett, manager of Kilmarnock Toy Store in Kilmarnock, Va., Schylling’s ride-ons are her stores’ best-selling ride-ons. They sell on “average about three a month,” Pruett told TDmonthly.
— Two of 45 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in early 2008 singled out the Schyllilng when asked which manufacturer’s ride-ons were most popular. In March 2009, Jessica Jeffrey, manager of Red Balloon Toy Shop in Orleans, Mass., told TDmonthly this is her best-selling ride-on, reporting sales of one to two per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18092 (added 3/24/2008)
The KaZAM provides an alternative way to learn to ride a pedaled bicycle based on the concept of balance first, pedal last. It is a training bicycle that assists children to balance, increase coordination and ultimately ride a traditional bicycle for the first time with confidence. "This customized toddler bicycle has the steering and balancing challenges of a traditional bicycle but it has no pedals, chain or training wheels. Unlike all the competitors on the market, there is no more awkwardness with where to put your feet when gliding and cruising on a run bike — the KaZAM is uniquely designed with a foot rest area thereby making the transition onto a pedaled bicycle quicker and seamless! Because of its unique patented footrest and design, KaZAM appeals instantly to children and their parents," John Lugo, partner at KaZAM, told TDmonthly. Launch date: November 15, 2008.
Awards: Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products - 2010
— "All colors are great,"Kate Tanner, owner of Kidstop Toys, told TDmonthly at Toy Fair 2010.
— Glisyn Lewis Jarrells, manager of Imaginations Toy & Furniture Colo. in Blacksburg, Va., told TDmonthly in a March 2013 survey that they sell around 10 Kazam balance bikes during the warm-weather months.
— In a July 2013 survey Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo Toys in Denver, Colo., told TDmonthly that Kazam balance bikes are her store's overall best-selling toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24276 (added 6/29/2009)
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The original YBIKE features design, quality and attention to safety designed to make it an ideal first bicycle for toddlers. Its unique design enables toddlers to meet the challenge of independently riding a bike. Features include an extended front fork angle to allow for safe turning, and two closely aligned rear wheels to help with balance but still allow a child to lean from side to side while turning. It also offers high ground clearance to ensure safety regardless of terrain and large wheels for safe riding on uneven surfaces. YBIKE is made of high quality, smooth, durable injection molded plastic and comes in four vibrant colors.
Awards: 2015 TDmonthly Magazine Top Toy Award; 2010 Oppenheim Gold Seal Toy of the Year Award; 2010 Creative Child Magazine Toy of the Year Award; 2010 Creative Child Magazine Toy of the Year in Bikes and Ride-on Category
— Glisyn Lewis Jarrells, manager of Imaginations Toy & Furniture in Blacksburg, Va., told TDmonthly in a March 2013 survey that they sell around 10 Ybikes during the warm-weather months.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30189 (added 8/24/2010)
Black T-Bar Steering Maxi Kick Scooter by KICKBOARD USA LLC
Other products from KICKBOARD USA LLC
The maxi kick Scooter is an award-winning, high performance, 3-wheel scooter for kids ages 6-11. Weight limit 120lbs. The Swiss-designed maxi, like its sibling the mini (for kids ages 3-5), has a lean-and-steer mechanism that makes it unique and fun, giving kids the feeling of surfing the sidewalks as they curve and carve. The maxi has an amazingly smooth, quiet ride, even on urban sidewalks and it's light weight, yet exceptionally durable construction is easy for kids and parents alike to see and appreciate.
Awards: 2009 Oppenheim Portfolio's Gold and Platinum Award Seals; Oppenheim SNAP award seal; Toy Report Best Scooter for Kids ages 6-11; NBC Today Show 'Best Toys for Summer 2009.
— Alexander McPherson, toy supervisor at Little Dickens in Lynchburg, Va., told TDmonthly in a March 2013 survey that Kickboards are their best selling ride on toy, especially during Summer and around the holidays.
— Joe Barardoni Jr., owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in a March 2014 survey that Kickboard scooters were best-selling ride-on toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34170 (added 4/30/2012)
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)
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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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