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Big Wheel


An upside down trike that handled like a race car, the Big Wheel was a prized possession of almost every kid who grew up in suburbia during the 1970s and 1980s. The Big Wheel owed its novelty and high performance to its design. Molded entirely of plastic that absorbed shocks, the Big Wheel had a seat that-unlike other tricycles-rode but a few inches from the ground. This very low center of gravity made the trike less likely to overturn when travelling on uneven or bumpy surfaces, at high speeds, and around tight turns. Kids naturally sought out the obstacles, corners, and rocky roads that made the ride more thrilling. The Marx company introduced its Big Wheel at the 1969 Toy Fair in New York City. By the following Christmas, children all over the country delighted in riding their new "muscle" trikes. At about $15, Big Wheel remained Marx's big seller for a decade. But in 1978, Marx, facing bankruptcy, sold its Big Wheel to a competitor, Carolina Enterprises. The new maker then became Empire Industries, and it continued to produce the Big Wheel for a second generation of mobile American kids. Similar vehicles have been offered over the years by Coleco, Playskool, Alpha International, Gearbox Toys, General Foam Plastics, and Razor USA. Demand for this style tricycle keeps many models in production since its introduction.

  • Manufacturer: Louis Marx & Company
  • Material: molded plastic
  • Origin: USA
  • Object ID: 110.3745
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