These days, adults aren’t the only ones frequenting the strip. Kids have a racetrack of their own, and it starts — and ends — in the driveway.
Our fascination with cars is so ingrained in our culture that there’s an entire movie genre about it (think Thelma & Louise and, more recently, Ford v Ferrari). Maybe it’s because of this or some other reason that kiddie luxury cars are rising in popularity. Whatever the case, those little ones look darn cute tooting their own luxury horn.
Here’s the buzz on pipsqueak-friendly cars for kids.
Cars for kids have their own class
Kiddie luxury cars are more than just toys. They’re actually referred to as ride-on vehicles, a category of toys that includes cars, trucks and tractors — to name a few.
A quick Google search will show you just how popular these things are. All the big name department stores plus a few bespoke creators are selling kiddie luxury cars like they’re the real thing. Keep your eyes peeled for specs, trims and even customizations.
Despite their rising popularity, ride-on cars for kids aren’t a new phenomena — and I have proof.
In 1993, Angelica from Rugrats attempts to run away from home in none other than a toy Mercedes Benz. And she looks darn cool doing it.
Even before that, Power Wheels lit up the 1980s like no other. In 1995, after some safety issues were figured out, we saw the arrival of the Power Wheels® Super Talk™ Barbie Beach™ Patrol Jeep® (sheesh, that’s a lot of symbols).
The baby benz
Mercedes-AMG GT sports cars for kids seat one and come standard with electric braking, power steering, leather seating and spring shock absorbers. They’re four feet in length. The cost? A solid $400.
Moderno Kids has a whole line of kiddie luxury cars, including the Mercedes-Benz make. This one in particular is electric, goes up to 4 MPH (watch out!) and even features LED headlights, just like the real thing.
To keep the little ones entertained, there’s a touch screen on the dash that displays videos and plays music (I’m thinking the song from the opening scene of the Baby Driver movie, but it’s up to you).
My personal experience with ride-on vehicles stems from the Porsche Macan Kids Ride-On Car. My boyfriend’s nephew cruises around with this thing like it’s his job. The radio is functional and you can even plug in an aux cord. Our dog loves chasing him around in it!
Tesla is joining the bandwagon of kiddie luxury cars
Gone are the days when kids had the basic Radio Flyer red wagon. These days, Radio Flyer is investing in a different kind of manufacturing. Yes, it’s the Tesla Model S for Kids.
With features like headlights, a working horn, an MP3 sound system and even a “frunk” (just imagine that being your little one’s first word), the Tesla ride-on is the boldest new member of the kiddie luxury cars class.
It’s fully customizable, including rim and color configurations. And it charges via plug-in battery, just like mom’s version.
Are car companies really making money off this?
In short, not really. The royalties typically amount to less than 5% of the cost of the ride-on vehicle. However, it’s a solid marketing tactic for any luxury vehicle brand.
Just think about it: seeing a rugrat cruising the residential strip in an electrified Benz, Tesla or any other premium brand is bound to make you covet the super cool adult version, too.
That’s kiddie luxury cars in a nutshell. Time to bring cars for kids to the racetrack!