The last era before video games, cell phones computers or the VCR, the 70s was when toys were still king. Ride-on toys especially filled many a lazy summer day or evening right up until almost dark when Moms could be heard over the noise of the Big Wheel calling kids home. Take a trip down memory lane with some of these classic '70s ride-on toys.
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The Big Wheel
Arguably one of the most memorable toys of the 1970s, nothing beat the noise of the plastic wheels on asphalt on a hazy summer afternoon. If you were lucky enough to graduate from the backyard or the driveway and join the Big Wheel gang terrorising the neighbourhood sidewalks, you learnt the techniques of the power slide and pushing each other off for those important drag races. Made of heavy duty plastic, the worst thing about a big wheel was when your front wheel became worn smooth from hours of grinding pavement. The bike snapped together with a patented process of pushing plastic tabs into slots that fit tightly together, so the toy assembled easily out of the box. A simple low-riding tricycle, this symbol of the 70s endures.
A carry over from the UK, the Hoppity Hop as it is known in the US was a bouncer's dream. Originally with a horse head or a simple triangular handle, later versions came in popular character heads and colours. Made of heavy rubber, as long as the Hoppity Hop wasn't scraped along the pavement too much or over inflated, it typically would last a good long time. Nothing beat bouncing on the concrete or asphalt, so basements on rainy days or outdoors in the driveway or up and down the sidewalk were the Hoppity Hop rider's dream. Carpet and grass might be preferred by safety-minded parents, but you couldn't reach those amazing bouncy heights on those. Who would have thought the simple act of sitting on a big rubber ball and bouncing yourself all over could be so entertaining?
For the younger set that wanted a cool ride, there was the Inch Worm. Incorporating a scooter type ride with the up and down of a mini roller coaster, the inch worm loped its way down many a neighbourhood street for endless summer hours. A distinct ratchet sound made by the toy mechanics could be heard when the inch worm moved. A jaunty little hat and the saddle completed the cute look of the toy that was so popular, Hasbro brought it back for parents to share with their children.
Full spinning action combined with the capability of rolling down the open road made the Krazy Kar an interesting ride-on of the 70s toy market. Powered not by pedals but the upper body rotating handles on huge 18 inch plastic wheels, everything about the Krazy Kar was made to do 360 degree turns at insane kid-powered speeds.
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