The level of innovation in the category of ride-ons is quite amazing at the moment. There are fantastic products arriving to the market that appeal to every generation and gender. This article focuses on analyzing some of the main characteristics and product design strategies that are being implemented in ride-ons targeting children nowadays.
Currently, ride-ons are becoming so sophisticated that they look almost like the original adult product. In many cases, companies are featuring brands from actual cars or motorbikes with the end result of toys that really give children the feeling of using authentic vehicles. Injusa, for instance, has Moto ZX10 Ninja Kawasaki, or Porsche Cayenne among others. For the youngest Jamara has pushcars with brands such as Porche, Mclaren, Mercedes and Vespa. Big has Baby Porche or SLK-Bobby-Benz, and one of the latest launches by Chicco is Vespa Primavera Rideon.
Some celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian, are even buying toy cars that match their own luxury vehicles. Kids can get excited driving the exact same car that their parents drive.
As a reflection of what is happening in the adult world, Radio Flyer markets Tesla Model S for Kids, as the company describes it “a battery powered ride on car that comes equipped with high-end features to recreate the ultimate Tesla experience”. Their approach is similar to the one car companies are focused on: the experience of driving.
Tesla Model S, Radio Flyer
But the experience of owning a car goes far beyond driving. Modern cars open with remote keys and give the driver alerts if the car is not closed, they require maintenance, change of tires, tighten the engine screws, and to be refuelled, proposals that Feber has introduced in their new My Real Car 6 in 1. With this innovative toy they achieve to combine role play with a ride on by adding realistic functions, genious!
Key features of ride-ons: multifunctionality & convenience
Sophistication in ride-ons is also related to having a toy with multiple options. Highwaykick 1 by Scoot and Ride is a toy that can be converted from a kickboard with a seat into a kickboard with a handlebar without the need of any tools. The company Chillafish also has great examples of this trend with products such as SkatieSkootie that offers the user the choice between riding a scooter or a skateboard. Trackie, a toy that grows with the children’s height, offers the possibilities to use it as a rocker, a walker, a push & ride, and a connect & play train.
No doubt, convenience is another important factor for ride-ons today. Parents value products that are easy to transport, foldable, and have a potential to be used for a long time. An interesting innovative product in this line is Grow up scooter by Slex, a ride on with an extendable running board that can be adapted while the child grows. Another convenient feature is radio control by the adult. The company Injusa has some interesting ride-ons parents can drive very easily with the assistance of an app in their smart devices.
Convenience when travelling with kids opens great opportunities for the industry as well. In the market there are some options of ride-ons and suitcases all in one. The pioneer was Trunki, but now we have choices such as the Skoot case from Skoot and designed by SwissMiss, Jetkids Ridebox from Stokke, Smiler from Moltó, or Children's rolling suitcase children's by Zhan Hong.
New concepts for younger ages and all genders
Nowadays, there are a lot of great ride-ons that are conquering the hearts of girls. There are offers that really understand kids in a broader way. For instance, during the last Spielwarenmesse® My Buddy Wheels Unicorn was presented, a balance bike that has a soft unicorn cover, which adds a great feature to promote fantasy play. In a similar approach, Feber launched their successful My Lovely Unicorn a few years ago, and now they are ready to launch a version featuring a lama!
It’s interesting to point out that these kinds of toys also appeal to younger audiences, which is clearly one of the goals many companies are pursuing. Skip hop has done a great job with the design of its ZOO Ride-On Toys, a line of super cute evolutional 3-in-1 ride-ons that feature different animals.
And to reach the youngest, companies are greatly innovating and presenting toys that are easier to ride. At the latest Spielwarenmesse®, Yvolution presented their versatile new two-wheeled Y Velo Flippa Balance Bike, this update comes with a parent steering handlebar. But one of the most unique toys presented this year was Ookkie, “the world’s first learner skateboard”, as its design helps children learn how to skateboard in a safe way from very early on. To start the learning process the toy has a parent assisted handle, then there is also a handle for the child to grab, handles that can be removed when the child improves its ability to ride it.
World of ride-ons gathers momentum
The world of ride-ons actually has gathered momentum of innovation for children and for teens and adults. There are new amazing products as companies are responding greatly to the reality of the market and the desires of the consumers. Products that embrace hyperrealism, based on fantasy, are evolutional and easier to ride and transport. Those are just some ideas to consider in the design of new ride-ons that open many possibilities to create successful products.
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