The original ‘Big Wheel’ toys were low-rode style tricycles launched in the late 1960s by Louis Marx & Company. In no time these distinctive and very affordable plastic trikes won the hearts of consumers, and specifically those of the young children identified as the primary target market.
Inevitably it wasn’t long before competitors followed suit and introduced their own versions of this classic design, and to the public the phrase ‘big wheel’ was often applied to them all, regardless of the manufacturer. After a rocky few years following the bankruptcy of both Marx Toys in the early 1980s, and of the following two companies who bought the brand name and production equipment for big wheels, in 2007 the brand was revived once again and continues to be hugely popular for many reasons beyond childhood nostalgia.
Contemporary Big Wheels, and their generic equivalent, and mainly designed for children aged three to around eight, although there are some models catering especially to children under 3 and over eight. If you are buying or smaller children it’s worth checking the distance between the seat and pedals to make sure little legs will be able to reach.
What makes Big Wheels so great for children of all ages?
There are several very good reasons why parents get big wheels for toddlers, including:
Pricing – Being constructed largely from plastic has kept this toy in the cheaper price brackets.
Safety – Always a huge concern when you put together children and bicycles, but the large wheels on this style of trike provide stability, and as the low-rider design has a low level of gravity there is little chance of your child tipping it over.
Value for money – the adjustable seats mean that a child can use this toy for several years as they grow.
Appealing looks – Big Wheels are available in various attractive colors (which are all high visibility for extra safety), and kids love the decals they get to stick on too.
Durability – As Big Wheel toys are made (mainly) of plastic don’t rust so they should last for many years, and even be fine to pass on to younger children in your family when yours finally outgrow it.
Flexibility – children can ride their Big Wheels both inside and outside of the house, making the most of the yard and roads when the weather is kind, but then having just as much fun on both wooden and carpeted floors when indoor play is on the agenda.
Good for developmental skill building – by riding a big wheel toy children strengthen their muscles and also learn a lot about coordination through pedaling and steering.
All children love the freedom that riding a bike gives them, and a Big Wheel toy is a great way to let them experience the joy of speed with the added safety features that give parents peace of mind. They really are the ultimate toy for youngsters.