InvENting 101: Hottest trends in ride-on toys and protective headgear!

InvENting 101: Hottest trends in ride-on toys and protective headgear!

One of the top six trends identified following the 2017 New York Toy Fair was toys that encourage kids to get up and move.

The latest active toys not only motivate kids to burn off excess energy, but they are also engaging for the whole family and are more seamlessly integrated into other types of play. This includes tech toys that weave in active components, classic outdoor ride-on toys and more…

From balance bikes to electric cars to electric scooters, ride-on toys run the gamut and appeal to children and adults alike. We’ve highlighted four major trends in this category as well as some key protective headwear trends to help you with our two Bravo Sports searches, and perhaps inspire your next great idea!

BALANCE BIKES

Balance bikes are among the best ride-on toys that you can buy because they help improve a child’s balance skills at an early age. Sometimes called “no-pedal” bikes, these pedal-less machines help a toddler quickly gain confidence and scoot around as if they were professional riders. Training wheels no longer required!

FirstBIKE Balance Bike

FirstBIKE Balance Bike

Some factors to consider:

  • The most inexpensive tend to be the heaviest.
  • Lighter-weight models use advanced manufacturing techniques and materials to gain advantage.
  • These bikes can also be called running bikes or strider bikes.
  • These bikes can be made of wood, metal or plastic.
  • Make sure the size of the wheels and height of the frame will suit the child.
  • Determine if the tires need air or are solid tires.

KICK SCOOTERS

As a potential next step from balance bikes, kick scooters can also help kids develop a great sense of balance and tight control. Kick scooters, also known as push scooters, cruising scooters or traditional scooters, require the rider to use their foot to kick along and propel the scooter.

Pulse Performance Products KR2 Freestyle Scooter

Pulse Performance Products KR2 Freestyle Scooter

Some factors to consider:

  • Kick scooters can have several different types of wheels and functionality.
  • Inline scooters that feature inline skate wheels were some of the first to hit the market. These provide good wheel bearing and a smooth riding surface.
  • Scooters with small wheels and solid tires allow riders to take longer and more comfortable rides. These types of scooters are more popular for younger children because they are easy to use and store.
  • Scooters with small wheels and pneumatic tires are suitable for kids playing in the park traveling a short distance (around the neighborhood, etc.).

ELECTRIC RIDE-ON CARS AND VEHICLES

There are a variety of different types of electric ride-on toys, from tractors to quad bikes to sports cars and SUVs. Electric ride-on toys are cute, safe and last a long time. Children love these toys because they get to imitate their parents. This category of toy introduces children to technology and the concepts of controlling a powered vehicle.

Peg Perego John Deere Tractor

Peg Perego John Deere Tractor

Some factors to consider:

  • These vehicles can be called electric ride-ons, electric tractors or electric cars.
  • Think about the ease of construction and assembly.
  • Question whether it is easy to learn and use the vehicle controls.
  • Determine whether the vehicle can move easily on grass or concrete.
  • Evaluate if the vehicle moves up inclines easily.
  • Consider how long will the child use it before it is outgrown.
  • Think about the battery life and charge time, most take between 1-8 hours to charge depending on the model.

ELECTRIC SCOOTERS

Many of the most popular ride-on toys are battery powered. Electric scooters, or eScooters, are well-built and are very similar to mini motorbikes. Electric scooters look like kick scooters but use electrical energy supplied by rechargeable batteries as the source of power instead of gasoline or oil. Products can range from toys to commuter vehicles and they are eco-friendly.

sonic electric scooter

Pulse Performance Products Sonic Electric Scooter

Pulse Performance Products Street Cruiser

Pulse Performance Products Street Cruiser

Some factors to consider:

  • Many eScooters can now travel up to 20 miles on one charge.
  • Adult electric scooters can travel at up to 30mph.
  • Children’s electric scooters usually top out at about 10-15mph.
  • Determine if and how it can be folded so it can easily be transported and stored.
  • Determine if the electric scooter needs to have air-filled tires.
  • Think about charge time, will the battery recharge in a few hours or does it require overnight charging?
  • eScooters can be sit-down models or standing only. Sit-down models typically have adjustable seats and standing only models have an adjustable handle bar stem.
  • The decks of scooter will be large enough for the rider to place both feet on them whether riding or sitting.

All this talk about ride-on toys leads to a follow up question, how is the rider protected?

The most common and serious injury sustained with scooters, skateboarding, bikes and inline skates is a head injury. Head injuries are known to be the leading cause of disability and death in these types of accidents. Wearing protective gear can reduce the risk of injury or death and reduce the severity of injuries in case of an accident.

A helmet is the most vital piece of safety equipment anyone needs when riding a bike, scooter, skateboard roller skates or a balance bike. A helmet has been shown to reduce the risk of head injuries by approximately 85 percent!

Pro-Tec Jr. Classic Fit Helmet

Pro-Tec Jr. Classic Fit Helmet

Some factors to consider:

  • The helmet must fit perfectly on the head on a level position that does not rock from side to side.
  • The helmet should have a hard outer shell with an absorbing liner.
  • Helmets should be bright colors and/or reflective so they are easily noticeable from a distance.

RECENT HELMET TRENDS

MIPS integration: MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, and functions as a low-friction layer between the head and helmet’s shell. This allows the helmet to slide relative to the head when subjected to angled impacts, significantly reducing the rotational forces on the brain.

Helmets with MIPS technology

Helmets with MIPS technology

Multi-Season/Multi-Sport Helmets: From removable padding to open up vents to full snap-in liner interchangeability, several manufacturers are now catering to the desire for a multi-sport, one-helmet-do-it-all product.

Bern Multi-Season Helmet

Bern Multi-Season Helmet

Materials of Helmet Construction: While the majority of helmets are still constructed with Styrofoam or some comparable foam rendition as the primary impact-absorbing material, technological advancements have introduced a number of new materials such as:

Koroyd – a patented honeycomb-like structure by Smith helmets that substantially reduces a helmet’s weight while simultaneously yielding a 30 percent reduction in energy transmission from impacts.

Example of Koroyd Technology

Example of Koroyd Technology

G-Form Reactive Protection Technology (RPT): a material by Anon is a rate-dependent technology comprised of molecular, responsive foam. Upon impact, the molecules instantly bind together to absorb and redistribute the force. It also comfortably conforms to the unique contours of the head without jeopardizing performance.

G-Form Reactive Protection Technology

G-Form Reactive Protection Technology

Other innovative characteristics of trending helmets include:

  • Head lamp holders
  • Soft, removable liners that wick away moisture and eliminate odor
  • LED lights affixed to the helmet
  • Carbon-fiber reinforced polymer shells
  • Customized fit systems
  • Increased ear and temple protection

Did these trends spark a new idea or two or three? We’ve got you covered with two new searches! Click on the links below to learn more and submit!

Pulse Performance Products is searching for innovative new scooter and ride-on products

Pro-Tec Helmets is looking for innovative protective helmet solutions

Happy Inventing!


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Sources:

http://culture.evo.com/2015/10/2016-helmet-trends/

https://www.kidsbalancebikecenter.com/various-types-kick-scooters-kids-market/

http://www.toyassociation.org/PressRoom2/News/2017_News/Top_Toy_Trends_of_2017_Announced_at_New_York_Toy_Fair.aspx#.WQImytLyvIU

http://www.toyrider.com/guide-to-kids-protective-gear-for-kick-scooters-balance-bikes-and-skateboards

http://www.toyrider.com/the-best-of-balance-bikes

http://www.toyrider.com/the-best-of-kids-electric-cars-and-rides

http://www.toyrider.com/the-best-of-electric-scooters-for-adults-and-kids

3 Comments InvENting 101: Hottest trends in ride-on toys and protective headgear!

  1. Derrick James

    Great information. Thanks EN (Michelle). Will have to give this one some serious thought.

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