So here I am, totally enamored with ride on toys, and I got to thinking when did the world start to manufacture these vehicles and how prevalent were they. I started to dig, and I found a few tidbits about this history.
As far as we know, the first ride On Toys came around the Late 19th Century around the Turn of the Century. These ride on toys were called pedal cars to mimic the real-life new wave of automobiles being manufactured. These small vehicles were the toys children deeply wanted for themselves. The purchasing period for these pedal cars for your children peaked in the 1920s and 1930; wherein, department stores started carrying these ride ons made available to the average child.
So what happened into the 1930s Depression-era, these sought-after pedal cars now were the toys of the privileged children and no longer feasible for your average child in the average household with money challenging to come by.
Eventually, the market became so broad for these toys; manufacturers started making die-cast molds to reproduce in more significant numbers. Some of the original pedal car manufacturers that were seizing the market were Fantasy Flyer, Red Baron, and Shark Attack (very trendy names). In the 1920s, the Ford Model T in today’s cost would be equivalent to $2800.
Throughout the decades, toy manufacturers have changed with the times and made them more aerodynamic, leaving their mark as an enjoyable toy for your kids. Made sturdy, the original pedal cars will always be a classic and will continue to grace sidewalks for generations to come, I’m sure.
Here’s an early pedal car I found on eBay