Little Red Wagons by Radio Flyer
The little wagon has been a part of childhood fantasies and adventures for over 90 years.
Sitting inside a little wagon, children have gone to exotic faraway places, sailed the seven seas fighting off pirates, blazed the Chisholm trail fighting off Indians, taken the family the family to the store to buy groceries, transported loads of building materials to construction sites, soared to the moon and around the Milky way, and raced against Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, all before mama called them in for supper.
The little wagon is so simple in its design, yet so innovative in its ability to spark the imagination of every child who plays with it. Everyone seems to have a little red wagon somewhere in their past.
The Story of the Radio Flyer Wagon
- Antonio Pasin, an Italian immigrant, created his first wagon in 1917 named the Liberty Coaster. He named it after the Statue of Liberty.
- His company took off in 1923 when an order was placed for 7000 wagons.
- In 1927 Antonio vowed to make his wagons affordable for every child. He began mass producing his wagons and was nicknamed "little Ford".
- He named his first mass-produced steel wagon the Radio Flyer. He named it after his marvel of the radio technology and the wonders of flight.
- Radio Flyer became the largest producer of toy wagons producing 1500 wagons a day during the Great Depression.
- Antonio Pasin went into debt to create a huge 45 foot display of a boy riding in a wagon for the 1933 World’s Fair being held in Chicago. Beneath the wagon was a shop where he sold miniature souvenir wagons for 25 cents. This turned out to be a huge success.
- The #18 Classic Red Wagon is the iconic little red wagon they are best known for and has been continuously produced for over 70 years.
- Not all wagons have been red over the years. The “Davy Crockett Wagon” was yellow and the “Mickey Mouse Club Wagon” was blue in the 50s. The "Evil Knievel Wagon" was yellow and the Bicentennial “Spirit of ’76” was blue in the 70s.
- The Inchworm we all remember from the 70s, formerly produced by Hasbro, is now produced by Radio Flyer.
- Today’s wagons are built in classic steel, steel and wood, and plastic.
Radio Flyer Goes High-Tech With a Prototype Called the Cloud 9
Researching material for this hub, I ran across a CNN article (see links below) that describes a new Radio Flyer wagon prototype. It has not be produced for resale at this point, but check it out. I was fascinated by the features offered.
This little wagon is called the Cloud 9 and it’s easy to see why. The little wagon has all the bells and whistles to pamper the pickiest of toddlers.
This little wagon comes equipped with padded bucket seats with 5 point safety harnesses, cup holders, foot brakes, fold-out storage containers, a digital handle that tracks the temperature, time, distance and speed, and just when you think they couldn’t think of anything else, it has a slot for an MP3 players complete with speakers.
Great Links and Resources
- Radio Flyer - Innovating Play Since 1917
Radio Flyer official website. Check out their entire line of products and watch the video of how it all started.
- CNN Article-Cloud 9 Prototype
- Radio Flyer Wagon, Trike & Ride On Store - Red Wagons (TM): Official Site
Larger Radio Flyer selection than Toys R Us - Red Wagons (TM): Official Site sells Radio Flyer wagons, tricycle, horses and toys