We enjoy designing products for kids. Our Flippa bike was no exception.
Multi-purpose for better margins
Customers are willing to pay more for a multi-purpose product that can offer kids different experiences. Toy brands have focussed over the past few years on delivering these types of products because they provide an opportunity for greater margins. The cost of adding a couple of more parts is easily covered in the increased margins they can earn.
The most "multi-purpose" product we worked on was the Trikon, a 5-in-1 product that combined a 3 wheel Balance Bike, 3 wheel Scooter, Scooter, Trike, Balance Bike and Scooter. Confusing eh? This product never made it to market even though tooling was made for production. We were engaged to try and salvage the project but the ergonomics were never going to work.
Modified Trikon in prototype form
Our Flippa bike (you can buy it here) converts between a trike and a balance bike. Stylistically it is part of the Velo family that we developed for Yvolution.
The challenge with Flippa was to get the ergonomics right so that the product worked well in either mode for all kids in the age group.
The strength and durability standards of Toys-R-Us exceed the US, CE and Australian standards for these types of products and so we had to make sure it is strong enough for Uncle Sandy to ride after a few drinks late on Christmas day.
Recently the product received a facelift with a new seat (incorporating a handle) and modifications to the connection of the pedals.
We are always learning
As with most product design projects, not everything proceeded as planned. Our biggest learning opportunity was when we tried to ride the trike backwards. In that mode, the rear legs want to spread wider and wider until something breaks. The addition of a strap on tray between the back legs solved the problem. Not our greatest moment, but a workable solution within the laws of physics that we faced.
The thing we love - being able to store the pedals in the seat. It works a treat.
Was this article useful to you?
Sign up and we'll send you our monthly Re:Design newsletter.