Thursday, June 03, 2010

the notsalgia surcharge

one of my favorite memories as a young kid was spending sunny Saturday afternoons tooling around on my Big Wheel, a toddler version of a tricycle with two flat wheels in the back and the titular big wheel in front. There really wasn't much cooler in those days than pedaling down the driveway at a furious pace only to jam on the handbrake and swerve into a cool-looking 90 to 180 degree turn.

but why explain with words when i can let some kids who are probably now construction foremen or maritime lawyers show you the magic:

having become a man since that time and having put an end to childish things (pay no attention to that xbox 360 on the entertainment system shelf), i hadn't spent much thought on Big Wheels in the last twenty-odd years until recently when Grace and i were looking around for gifts for Adam's first birthday.

a quick trip across Amazon revealed that the "original" Big Wheel was back! Adam's a bit too young for it now, but the inner fishtailing daredevil in me thrilled at the prospect of my own son one day being able to enjoy the same exciting Big Wheeling adventures that i'd once known.
notice the main difference between the late 70s/early 80s commercial and the updated modern image: the kid-Nerfing helmet that seems to have to accompany any product that moves today's kids at a pace slightly above three miles per hour.

something strange, though - the Amazon review rating was kinda low.... why so? didn't take too long to figure out.

Thirteen pounds of (apparently shoddily-produced) plastic costs nearly $180 + shipping? $180????

it's been a while since i can remember seeing such a naked play on a newly-of-parenting-age generation's sense of nostalgia for their past enjoyments. happily there look to be some very serviceable substitutes by Radio Flyer and others at a third of the price (which these days is about the price i've come to expect for a kid's vehicle), so there's still a chance Adam will become a handbraking expert like his old man.

(...... $180????!)

1 comment:

The Smith Family said...

Yikes!!! We got brinley a big wheel from target for $30!!! Don't pay that....and she doesn't wear a helmet either :-)