Synopsis of Toy
Its own power motor makes it go…”
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: Power Wheels were pretty much the domain of rich kids. Unless you happened to win one in a raffle or you ran across the most wonderful garage sale in the world, your Power Wheels vehicle was a sign that your parents were doing pretty well for themselves. And hey, if you’ve got the money, why not spend it on a battery powered ride-on vehicle that will make your little one the envy of his kindergarten class (and the terror of your local sidewalk)?
There was no aura of mystery around Fisher-Price’s Power Wheels cars—you stepped on the pedal, it went; you spun the wheel, it turned. That was the whole idea: it was like owning your very own car a good dozen or so years before you’d get your driver’s license. What kid wouldn’t want one?
Debuting in the 1980’s, the Power Wheels came in several varieties. For the adventurous, a Jeep or dune buggy would get you hauling across the perilous backyard grass. For the more sophisticated, a stylish luxury car or classic roadster said to the world, “Would you happen to have any Grey Poupon?” And for those who simply felt the need for speed (not that any of these kid-friendly machines topped five miles per hour going downhill with a tailwind), there were enough sleek sports cars and motorcycle-like vehicles to go around.
The Power Wheels fleet continued to expand over the rest of the 80’s and into the 90’s, as lucky kids were treated to everything from a replica Batmobile to an assortment of Barbie vehicles. And the line continues to grow today. In addition to going bigger (the Chevy Silverado actually has room for two), cooler (you can design your own Harley) and nuttier (the Wild Thing looks like no other vehicle known to man), the Power Wheels line has also dipped down to the very young. A line of Toddler vehicles like the Rock & Roll Ride-On Trike has not only made Power Wheelin’ a safe sport for one-year-olds, its more affordable price has helped break down the old stigmas. Power Wheels—they’re not just for rich kids any more.