Radio Flyer is a respected name in the toy industry and elicits fond memories from generations of Americans. The first Little Red Wagon baring the Radio Flyer name hit the market in 1927, and by the early 1930s, more than 1,500 Radio Flyer wagons were produced each day in the original, Chicago-based manufacturing plant. The popularity of the Radio Flyer continued to soar in the decades that followed, and the trademark red wagon became synonymous with the American childhood experience.
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Historic and Contemporary Products
Built to last, the original Radio Flyer was created from pressed steel, and many antique wagons remain fully functional today. Over the years, the company expanded its product line. Contemporary offerings include metal, metal and wood, and hard resin or plastic, cargo and transport wagons as well as tricycles, bikes, and scooters, among others.
The Traditional Little Red Wagon
Although a range of rides now don the Radio Flyer name, the vintage, Little Red Wagon remains the top seller. Perhaps nostalgic memories of parents and grandparents that keep the Radio Flyer at the top of the market, or maybe it’s because the name denotes quality. Either way, the Radio Flyer consistently maintains popularity.
Reputation and Quality
While the Radio Flyer name has held a strong reputation for nearly a century, that reputation did take a hit with some consumers in recent years. Since 2004, all products have been made in China, though the company headquarters and distribution centers are still Chicago-based.
For proponents of the “American-made” philosophy, the decision to outsource is a game changer, but many consumers accept the modern cost-saving trend. The company maintains quality control and product safety standards, including an American staff that oversees production. For many contemporary buyers, these measures are sufficient to assuage concerns, which is apparent from consistent sales.
Radio Flyer Models and Product Details
Top selling models include the Little Red Toy Wagon, the Pathfinder, the Classic Red Wagon, the Big Red Classic with All-terrain Wheels, and the Radio Flyer All-terrain Wagon, among others. Of these, the Little Red Toy Wagon carries the lowest price tag and is the most popular purchase. Affordability certainly plays a part, but parents, grandparents, and other buyers take a number of factors into consideration before making a buying decision.
Most buyers review product specifications and consider wagon uses before settling on a particular model. The Classic Red Wagon is appropriate for children ages 1.5 years and up. It has a seamless, steel design and features safety wheels that prevent tipping and keep kids’ fingers safe. It weighs almost 34 pounds and measures about 39 x 18 x 14 inches, which is plenty big enough for one older kid or two younger kids at a time.
The All-terrain model carries a higher price tag, but can head off the sidewalk or driveway with ease thanks to its tougher, higher-set wheels. This one features a wooden railing around the top, for added safety, and is a versatile model, appropriate for ride-alongs and cargo transport. It measures about 13 x 18 x 10 inches.
The Big Red Classic is also among the top-of-the-line models with a higher retail price. It is all steel, features higher walls, and has larger, air-inflated tires. This wagon measures about 36 x 18 x 6 inches and is appropriate for kids ages 1.5 years and up.
The Radio Flyer Pathfinder Wagon is also a really popular one. It was good enough to win the National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval and the National Parenting Publications Gold Award.
Here’s the full list of Radio Flyer Wagons.
While no longer manufactured in the U.S., the Radio Flyer continues to be an American classic, beloved by adults and children alike. Available in a variety of models and appropriate for all ages, there is a Radio Flyer wagon for every budget and purpose.