The earliest ride on toys have been around as long as the automobile. Bicycles and tricycles have always been and still are very popular choices for pre-schoolers and adolescents of a variety of ages. Pedal cars, scooters, and wagons are all popular rides on toys that date back to the 1930s and remain popular today. The variety and materials of the riding toy has varied over generations and popularity of these toys has seen surges and waning over periods, but they always come back to popularity eventually.
Pedal cars have been around since the 1930s and were originally designed to resemble real life models of popular vehicles of the time. Children loved the idea of feeling grown up and grownups love watching their children emulate adult actions because it is cute and endearing.
The popularity of the pedal car lasted three decades before there was a decline in popularity due to change in materials from steel to plastic. Today there is resurgence in the popularity of this ride on toy as they are being made from their original designs, along with new models coming out.
Bicycles and tricycles are timeless classic ride on toys that have never seen a decline in popularity. Adult tricycles are becoming very popular for the senior community, but the smaller counterpart is designed for pre-schoolers and is a very fun way for a child to exercise and get around on.
Bicycles come in many varieties and there are even specific bicycles for trick riding, dirt riding, mountain biking, street riding and much more. Scooters and wagons like the radio flyer have been out as long as bicycles and tricycles.
In 1969, the Big Wheel was introduced at a toy fair and gained almost immediate success. A similar version of the Big Wheel was produced by a rival company, but the two companies eventually merged to form the Empire Company.
The Big Wheel was popular in the 70s through the 90s and this three wheeled fun machine has a super large wheel in the front and two wide wheels in the back. It is constructed mostly of plastic and early models of this product had a short life due to plastic breaking down.
Today's ride-on toys include a variety of battery operated vehicles from toy motorcycles to ATVs, jeeps, and cars. These toys serve to make the child feel even more grown up than pedal cars and bicycles because they have to use steering, a gas and brake pedal. For all intents and purposes it's as close to real driving as a very young child can get legally get to driving. They require an intense amount of absolute adult supervision.
The popularity of certain ride on toys ebb and fade, but the reality is that pedal cars are still popular with both children and adults who collect them. Bicycles will always retain their appeal; the scooter has regained their popularity since the 1990s. The most appealing quality of manual ride on toys is that they are foot powered and provide a child with hours of adventurous outdoor exercise and down to earth fun.