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April 2009 | Vol. VIII - No. 4




Tools:

Unscooter Yields Great Workout, Incites Envy

Reviewer Chronicles 7-Day Journey With the Slider


Day 1
I was very excited to try out the new and bigger Slider since I'd had the pleasure of trying out the smaller version earlier. My coworkers and I were meeting for Happy Hour after work and since my car was out of the way to drop off the unit, I decided to Unscoot myself to the bar. Apparently, this is not an item one would bring into the bar — confirmed by the look of utter horror and embarrassment on my colleagues' faces. Despite not having the foldable version, I was able to easily detach the body from the footing to make it less conspicuous.

Day 2
I took the Slider out for a real test drive to the bank. George [of Idea Mill, the maker of the Unscooter] was right! It is a lot better than the child’s version. Insert Captain Obvious: “Yes, that’s why they make adult versions.” It was quite a workout on the thigh. Lookout Suzanne Sommers, forget the Thighmaster ... the Slider slims your thighs and gets you somewhere! You definitely get a lot of attention on this thing. I wonder if anyone is thinking, “What is that 30(almost)-year-old woman doing on a scooter?” I’d prefer, though, to think their looks are looks of wonder and envy.

Day 3
So I find out that there are actually THREE ways you can ride the Slider. Yes, there are directions explaining that in the package, but apparently I am not a big fan of reading directions. Also, I was probably too distracted by the coolness of the Slider to notice. So I tried out the “roller skate” method — a much easier way to ride! See, children, reading pays off.

Day 4
I Unscooted to get the Sunday paper. A nice old lady said, “Nice scooter!” On the way back, I crossed paths with a young boy on a small, normal, uncool scooter. He totally looked back with envy. I had a brief moment of Slider ego complex. "My (Un)scooter is bigger and better than yours!" I thought. Just for that, I almost ate it when I had to make a sharp turn at the bottom of the hill. (And by "hill" I mean the handicap ramp on the corner of the curbs)

Day 5
Took the Slider to the market. (Note to self: Need to get a lock for this thing so I don’t have to balance the shopping basket on the Slider). The guy behind me in the checkout line started to ask about the Slider. He said he works for a cycling magazine and is curious. I ended up holding a demo and tryout session in the parking lot. He seemed to have a good time with it. At one point his girlfriend said, “I don’t think we will see my boyfriend or your scooter back.” A few other people asked about it. I promptly dropped “Idea Mill” and pointed them to the website.

Day 6
I’ve been pretty comfortable with the “scissor” and “skate” method. Today I am trying out the "slalom" method. It is hard at first to keep the two “blades" close together. This method seems like the most advanced of the three — also like it would get the most acceleration of the three, once mastered.

Day 7
Today’s goal: Testing out how this baby does on an incline! First of all, apparently I live in the flat part of L.A. I could not find any sizeable hills in the neighborhood. It is kind of silly to be driving around looking for some place you can ride a scooter, completely feeding into the stereotype that people in L.A drive everywhere. I finally found what I thought was a suitable hill for the experiment. As it turns out, the hill was suitable; the body was not. I think I might need to practice a bit on some carpeting (to simulate the resistance of a hill), and discover a few more muscles first.


See the Slider and other products from Idea Mill below:




Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: February 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Sporting Goods & Accessories
Outdoor Fun



The freestyle vehicle features 3-wheel steering, action-decks and dual hand brakes, designed to propel riders without requiring feet to touch the ground. The highly maneuverable vehicle is extremely easy to learn and ride, and comes in a variety of colors, including red, pink, black and blue. This product received a 2008 NAPPA Honors award. Launch date: February 2008.
— “Sliders are doing great,” remarked Terri Bracken, owner of Earth Explorer Toys in Zionsville, Ind., discussing her best-selling ride-on toys in spring 2009.
— Four of 60 retailers listed scooters as their best selling ride-ons in March 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18503      (added 4/18/2008)
.
AD


Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: Z-280
Launch Date: July 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Outdoor Fun
Vehicles - Riding
Sporting Goods & Accessories



This scooter features steel construction, no-foot-down propulsion, a bicycle-style handbrake, 7"-diameter urethane wheels, a paddle-actuated gear drive mechanism, and a folding handle pole. It is height adjustable and is protected by a worldwide patent. Maximum height: 6'5". Maximum weight: 300 lbs. Launch date: July 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20445      (added 9/10/2008)
.
AD


Age Range: 6 and up
SKU or Item #: Z-288
Launch Date: July 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Outdoor Fun
Vehicles - Riding
Sporting Goods & Accessories



Protected by a worldwide patent, this aluminum-construction scooter features 7"-diameter urethane wheels, a bicycle-style hand brake, and a height-adjustable, folding-handle pole. Maximum rider height and weight are 6'5" and 300 lbs. Launch date: July 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20446      (added 9/10/2008)
.
AD


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Jenny WangWriter's Bio: Jenny Wang has been holding down the fort as part of ToyDirectory's Web team for nearly five years. Admittedly a few years behind on "growing up," Jenny played with Barbies and LEGOs well into Junior High. She still owns the N64 she acquired in college and plays Tetris when there's nothing to watch on TV. Read more articles by this author

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