Radio Flyer makes a number of cute toddler-sized pedaless or scoot about four-wheel, tricycle-like riding toys. They are some of the highest rated riding toys we’ve seen. They’re tough, kids love then and parents love that they are made by a trusted brand like Radio Flyer. And, what’s not to love about that iconic bright red paint Radio Flyer is known for?
We’ve picked three of our favorites that were designed for children 1-3 years old. They all offer something a little different for little riders and their parents. All three weigh about the same and are of a similar size. Two offer steering and one will have your little one dreaming of riding on a rocket ship. Two do require some assembly but both manuals are fully illustrated and available on the Radio Flyer website.
Radio Flyer Scoot About
What’s not to love about the Radio Flyer Scoot About? We love that it was designed to protect the kids who ride it and your home’s furnishings. The “furniture-friendly” front bumper fits over the metal frame to protect your furniture and walls from dents and dings caused by young riders.
A wide front-wheel base provides added stability. Of the three models we’re featuring, this one provides the best ‘steer ability’ with the biggest turning radius. The shape of the handlebars is also more similar to that of ‘big-kid’ bicycles.
And, just because they’re cool and super fun, the Radio Flyer Scoot About has streamers on the hand grips and a silver bell; similar to the ones that we had on our bikes when we were kids.
The Radio Flyer Scoot About does require some assembly. For the most part, families reported few, if any challenges. Though one parent cautioned about ensuring the wheels are facing the correct way as they can be put on backwards. You will need a hammer, Phillip’s head screwdriver, an adjustable wrench and a pliers to assemble this toy.
If you would prefer a more hand-crafted or the classic look of a wooden toy, you could try the . It weighs slightly less than the metal version but has a little less leg room and a slightly narrower front wheel base. It has a padded seat but unlike the Radio Flyer Scoot About, it is not adjustable. Both models have the same bell but the streamers on the metal version are a bit nicer.
Radio Flyer Scoot 2
This Radio Flyer scoot about style toy is constructed of durable plastic. The Radio Flyer Scoot 2 does not have an adjustable seat, but, it can still grow with your child. Cleverly tucked into the hub of the front wheel is a pair of fold-out pedals. When your child is a little older, they can flip down the pedals and transition the toy from a scoot along to fully pedal-powered. (No tools are required to fold or unfold the pedals once the toy has been assembled.)
Kids can use the little compartment in the back to easily stash a treasured toy or some traveling food.
With this riding toy, we did see a bit of conversation about the turning radius. While it can be steered by the rider, the steering column does not rotate as far as the Radio Flyer Scoot About. Some families found that made the toy less fun; others thought it helped prevent the toy from tipping due to oversteering.
The Radio Flyer Scoot 2 does require some assembly but we did not find complaints that the process was time consuming or difficult. You will need a Phillip’s head screwdriver to assemble this toy.
Radio Flyer Retro Rocket
Little ones can take flight on their own personal rocket ship. The Radio Flyer Retro Rocket is a cute, pedaless ride-on toy that looks and sounds like a rocket.
Radio Flyer designers have perhaps exchanged being cool for the ability to steer though. While it does have handlebars, it does not have a working steering mechanism. However, of the three ride on Radio Flyer scoot abouts we’re discussing, we didn’t see any complaints about stability for riders with this toy. And, we noticed only one family reporting their child caught their heels in the back wheels. Perhaps the little fenders help children learn to maneuver their feet better than the other two Radio Flyer scoot about toys.
The nose cone is a dial that can be turned and makes a fun clicking sound as it goes around. That snub-nosed front and covered wheels make it attractive to kids to walk along and push the toy. However, at least one parent mentioned the toy rolls so easily that it can get away from their child. There are probably better options available if you are looking for a toy that will aid little ones in learning to walk rather than this pedaless riding toy.
Children love that they can hide their favorite toys inside the seat compartment. For even more fun, Radio Flyer added 3 flashing lights on the dashboard. When pushed, the lights have space exploration-related sayings. With the added lights and sounds, you will need batteries. In this case, it takes 3 AA batteries.
And, if all that’s not enough for kids and parents to love this toy… it comes fully assembled and ready to ride. OK, you will have to install the batteries first, but, definitely no worries about losing small parts or yet another panic-driven night before Christmas or birthday toy assembly marathon.
Suggestions for Parents
No matter the style and/or design of the toddler-sized pedal-less ride-ons by Radio Flyer we researched, they all had a handful of negative reviews. For the most part, the issue was the placement of the rear wheels. Some children, when pushing forward, delayed in picking their feet up off the floor. Their heels were ‘caught’ by the rear wheels. Unfortunately, it wasn’t clear if it was a design, coordination, scoot style or leg length issue.
Our suggestion is to consider the length of your child’s legs; particularly the length from their heel to their knee. How does it compare to the ‘seat to floor’ measurements? If your child’s leg is several inches longer, there’s a greater likelihood that their feet might catch on the back wheels.
Additionally, several families mentioned having mishaps when children stood on the front axel. If your child is prone to climbing, the Radio Flyer Scoot 2 might be the safer option.