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The Big Wheels for Kids: A Little History, Big Wheels Models and a Funny Race

Updated on December 17, 2014

Boys and Girls, Get Your Big Wheels Here!

The Big Wheels riding toy for kids was extremely popular in the 1970s, but by the late '90s few were being made anymore.

Now, the Kids Only Company has brought this iconic toy back to the market for new generations to enjoy.

See the Original 16-Inch Big Wheels pictured here. (Sorry, child not included.)

On this page, you'll find Big Wheels options for boys and girls in both classic and "princess" colors, as well as two Limited Edition Big Wheels.

I wish they made one my size.

Big Wheels: Then and Now

Big Wheels: Then and Now
Big Wheels: Then and Now | Source

Me and My Big Wheel

I remember waking up that Christmas Day when I was five years old, racing downstairs and finding a shiny new Big Wheels waiting for me in the middle of the living room by the tree, with a large red bow on the handle bars. By the end of that day, I'd ridden it around the block at least a dozen times. Cold? I didn't care. I was thrilled with my new set of wheels. Do you have a similar memory?

Big Wheels for kids were originally created in 1969, the year I was born, when Ray Lohr took apart a tricycle and reassembled it upside down. This hot new riding toy was then introduced to the public by Louis Marx & Company.

Did You or Your Kids Ever Have Big Wheels? - A quick visitor poll

Did you ride Big Wheels?

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The Classic 16-Inch

One of the safest rides there is because of its low center of gravity

The last Big Wheels manufacturer to close up shop in 2001 was based in the U.S.

And now the classic retro model is once again available, 100% made in the U.S.A. with manufacturing taking place in Iowa and Michigan.

Like the original, all current models have three wheels and a wide base allowing for great balance with little to no chance of tipping over.

Other features include:

  • a handlebar that a child can easily grip and keep a firm hold on as he or she increase speed
  • highly resistant pedals
  • durability that resists damaged from over-use

The Original Big Wheel

Same colors, same design, but now with new and improved safety features that are required in today's market.

Big Wheels are also available with 11-inch and 9-inch wheels for smaller riders.

The Big Wheel was inducted into the

National Toy Hall of Fame

in 2009

The Classic 11-Inch Big Wheel for Kids

I remember riding so "energetically," I'd sometimes hit my arms or face with my knees. Or maybe I was just weird. But, yeah, I miss my Big Wheel.

The Original Big Wheel 11" SIDEWALK SCREAMER Tricycle Mid-Size Ride-On
The Original Big Wheel 11" SIDEWALK SCREAMER Tricycle Mid-Size Ride-On

The Big Wheel comes with a 47-Pack of weather-resistant decals.


The New and Improved Big Wheels - Includes stickers and hand brake.

The Original Big Wheel With Hand Brake
The Original Big Wheel With Hand Brake

Kids can fly around, spin and race without tipping over.

One reviewer writes, "I got this Big Wheel for my son's 3rd birthday. It looks just like the one my husband had when he was a kid. Everyone is very happy with this toy."


Big Wheel's LIMITED EDITION Hot Cycle Fashion Girlz 16" Trike

Perty, ain't she?

This Big Wheels with the classic design features a 3 position tall-back bucket seat. This model does not come with a brake or decals.

It has a 16" front wheel and steel reinforced fork.

Big Wheels for Girls
Big Wheels for Girls

The 11-Inch Princess Trike

Specially designed for girls

The Original Big Wheel 11" PRINCESS Tricycle Mid-Size Ride-On

This classic "low-rider" trike in lavender and pink has an extra wide rear wheelbase and steel-reinforced front fork wheel.

The 9-Inch Princess Big Wheel

This Big Wheel comes with a 20-pack of weather-resistant decals. Some easy assembly is required.

The LIMITED EDITION 16-Inch "Purple Streak"

With angled handle bars for racing

This model does not have a hand brake.

While supplies last....

Big Wheels Races (Not for Kids) On San Francisco's Lombard Street

Every Easter Sunday, oversized kids meet at the top of Lombard street to race Big Wheels....

© 2012 Deb Kingsbury

Did You Ever Have a Set of Big Wheels? - Share your Big Wheels memories here.....

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    • Wendy L Henderson profile image

      Wendy Henderson 

      6 years ago from PA

      My son loved his Big Wheels! This page brought back many memories.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This does look amazing..I am sure my kid would love it!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I can still remember our son and his Big Wheels - oh how he loved that toy! I am glad to see they are back again!


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