Here in the States, the kids lust after Power Wheels. On a recent shopping trip to buy my daughter her first real bike, she pointed at a red Power Wheels Mustang, and asked, "Can we get that?" One pink bicycle with handlebar basket later, the pint-sized 'Stang is but a distant memory (thank goodness). Still, the attraction is understandable -- those ride-ons are pretty cool.
In the UK, a company called Totcars appears to be the heavy hitter in this segment, and it's released its lineup of electric and pedal cars for Christmas 2007. From the looks of things, British moms (or is it "mums") and dads are just as likely to be besieged with pleas from their kids as we are. Since Totcars is on the other side of the pond, there are some models represented that we'd never see here. That Alfa 8C is pretty cool, as are the Ferrari F1 cars and Renault Megane Trophy. Oh, and dig that Caterpillar dump truck -- it has twin 12V motors. We've included pics of everything in the attached gallery, and Totcars' press release is pasted after the jump.
TOTCARS LAUNCHES ITS LARGEST CHRISTMAS LINE-UP
* Electric and pedal cars for virtually any child over the age of three
* New Caterpillar dump truck and Pontiac Solstice line-up alongside favourites such as the Ferrari Enzo
From Alfa Romeo to Audi, Mini to Mercedes and a line-up that includes dumper trucks, tractors and fire engines, Totcars presents its largest collection of children's electric and pedal cars in readiness for Christmas.
'Getting behind the wheel' is every youngster's dream and with such a wide range to choose from they can drive a car just like Mum and Dad, pretend to be the next Kimi Raikkonen or Felipe Massa in a Formula 1 Ferrari, or even start building their own tracks and circuits with a digger or dumper truck.
With over 500 products to choose from on the Totcars website – www.totcars.com – there's an electric or pedal car for virtually every child over the age of three including the ever popular Ferrari Enzo and new for this year, the Caterpillar dump truck and Pontiac Solstice.
Ferrari Enzo – 12 volt electric sports car
Your child can be like Jay Kay from Jamiroquai and live the rock star dream with this superb and very rare Italian supercar. Licenced by Ferrari and designed in conjunction with its engineers, this Enzo comes in iconic Ferrari red, and is finished with alloy-look wheels and a sports steering wheel.
The celebrity look is completed with a personalised number plate of your choice, and with a two-speed gearbox and scaled down top speed of 5mph (8km/h), is sure to impress neighbours and classmates alike.
Caterpillar dump truck – powered by two 12 volt motors
For the aspiring civil engineer or child who wants to construct a better world, this six wheeled, two seat Caterpillar (CAT) dump truck will provide hours of imaginative and creative play.
Complete with a flashing beacon and realistic CAT sound effects, this truck can help re-shape your garden – quite literally! With forward and reverse gears and a top speed of over 4mph, this bright yellow monster tipper will be a highly popular 'find' under the Christmas tree.
Kids can imagine they're Hollywood film stars cruising Santa Monica Boulevard, heading up Route 66 or driving off into the sunset with this two seater all-American dream machine.
What might be a bit of a gas guzzler in real life, takes its power from a single 12 volt battery, but feeds it smoothly to two electric motors that propel this slick open-top sports model to a blistering 5mph.
With the real AM radio tuned into the local rock station, big chunky tyres, cool graphics and a choice of blue, pink or green exterior finishes, this Pontiac will certainly cut a dash down your drive and across the lawn!