Having been around for generations, pedal cars must be one of the most popular toys to stand the test of time. There have been lots of advancements with ride on toys but it is amazing how some of the pedal cars are the same as the ones that were popular over sixty years ago, there are not many products that could claim that lifespan, and still be going strong.
Many of the classic pedal car designs have become collectorsí items and there is a growing market for fully restored models and of course a demand for old pedal cars which have become prime targets for restorers. The popularity of the old styles has led to a growing market in the manufacture of retro styles of most types of pedal powered toys. The designs are not limited to the original little red pedal car, most vehicle types can be found from classic racing cars to fire engines and aeroplanes.
As the styles of full sized vehicles have evolved, so have their pedal car versions. Many of the modern prestige cars such as Ferrari, BMW and Mercedes are available so that junior can have a car like daddy, or a car like daddy dreams of having! The range is so extensive that practically anything on four wheels is represented by a pedal car, such as kids tractors of many shapes and sizes, go-karts, trucks, quad bikes, racing cars, trains and fire trucks.
For the tiny tots they can progress from their first ride on toy which they simply sit on and push with their feet, to their pedal powered car, truck or tractor. All ages are catered for and the toys help the children to develop their coordination skills and imagination as they enjoy fresh air and exercise, what could be better?
As we moved into the electronic age, a whole new range of ride on toys emerged to form a new segment in the prestige toy market. Vast ranges of battery powered ride on toys are now available for kids of most ages to power themselves around the garden, park or farm. Sons and daughters of farmers can now emulate their dads by driving a tractor around the property, complete with a trailer and loading accessories. Miniature versions of major brands such as John Deere can be seen parked alongside their full size versions with the kids helping mum and dad as they practice for when they will one day driving the real thing.
In some parts of the country large numbers of children have been seen driving their electric powered ride on toys to school, the parents probably have to walk! As well as kidsí tractors, many of the other pedal powered types are available with an electric motor, some also have two seats so that the driver can enjoy the ride with their friend or sibling. Typical of the two seat versions are Jeeps, Mustangs and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
For the big kids there are some really hi-tech looking go-karts and quad bikes with gas powered as well as battery powered options. This starts to get into some serious power for children over twelve years old with speeds of around forty miles per hour and engine sizes of 150cc. This can hardly be classed as a toy and all the necessary safety accessories and precautions need to be applied.
The world of ride on toys is certainly changing, it will be fascinating to see what develops over the next twenty years!