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Thursday, March 29 2012 20:11

Father. Daughter. Big Wheel. - Ruling the Neighborhood on Three Wheels...

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This past Christmas, my sister bought my daughter an Amloid Toys Pretty Princess Cycle. It came as a surprise not only to my little one, but also to me, as my wife and I had long discussed my desire to be the one to buy my daughter her first ''Big Wheel.'' A cool gift, for sure - but one of those moments when you wish, as a parent, that you'd been consulted first. I've never discussed this with my sister, so I imagine her first knowledge of my reaction will come via this blog post, should she happen to read it. Regardless, the Princess Cycle was a thoughtful and fun gift that my wife and I appreciated for the little one. Since Spring is officially here, the time has come for the ''Big Wheel'' to hit the streets...

You might be curious as to why I've been placing ''Big Wheel'' in quotation marks...

That's because the term ''Big Wheel'' is actually a brand name that has become associated with all low-riding, plastic trikes. Much in the way people mistakenly use the word "binky" to refer to any pacifier (a practice so grating that I despise it) or "Coke" to describe any dark-colored cola beverage, "Big Wheel" just became synonymous with a style of ride-on toy - but to the point where it's acceptable, mostly due to the bankruptcy of original Big Wheel developer Louis Marx and Company.

Big Wheel

I had one of those original Marx Toys Big Wheels when I was just a tad older than my daughter. It saw a ton of wear, tearing up the asphalt not only on the streets of Park Forest, Illinois (the crap town where I had the misfortune of growing up) - but also at special "Big Wheel Races" held at intermission during Midget Auto Races held in Joliet, Illinois. Somewhere there's pictures of that.

Being made of hollow plastic, wear on a Big Wheel (or similar trike) can be rough. After a few years, my original Big Wheel was retired in favor of THE DUKES OF HAZZARD POWER CYCLE by COLECO. I remember this one as if I was still riding it yesterday...



IMG 7547Fast-forward 30 years or so, and after being sold off in various pieces and manufactured by several companies over the years the "Original Big Wheel" is being made once more by a company called Alpha International. But, over that 30 year timespan, a number of other companies picked up the Big Wheel torch, and began making their own versions. Ones like the folks at Amloid produce.

Yesterday, the little one stood watch as I put her "Big Wheel" together. The overall design certainly hasn't changed much over the years, and in no time at all we were ready to rock and roll. Toss that RIFF ROCKIT song Big Wheel into to the playlist and crank it up...



And the little one can't quite reach the pedals yet. With her little legs stretched out as far as they'll go, she can barely get there...

IMG 7549

But that's ok...

IMG 7548

Scooting along the sidewalk, The Rock Daughter had plenty of fun just fine.

Now can someone make an adult-sized "Big Wheel" for me?

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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