August 25, 2004

OKO Trike, Like a Stroller

They sure are burning through the kids product R&D money in Europe these days, even in countries with no kids. The OKO Trike is from Italy, the product of extensive research into "child ergonomics."

That explains the easy on/off access, the optimized seat angle, and the low-strain pedal placement. But the crazy antenna-like canopy? That's pure Italian flair, my friends.

Or it's a stylized reference to a stroller canopy. With a detachable parent brake/handle and safety harness (and is that a storage bag underneath?), the OKO seems like an interesting stroller/trike hybrid, a way to transition or placate a kid who's tired of being pushed around all day., Mark Woodbury's online shop of cool stuff for kids, has just started selling the OKO Trike in the US, and he's predicting a Bugaboo-like redefinition of the trike market. Not at only $149, Mark. But when Matt LeBlanc's kid rolls on her preschool with a $500 titanium OKO sporting 22" spinners, watch out...

Buy the OKO Trike at for $149.95


OK, maybe it's just me, but this thing reminds me of Mr. Garrison's transportation device of the future (on "South Park") or maybe something that people would drive around the village in "The Prisoner".

But I do like the fashionable Euro-style Mom that is pushing the kid around on the trike in the picture on the Sparkability site.

We got one of these things. DON'T BOTHER!!!!!!
First of all, the entire parental control mode is worthless, as the steering lock function still allows too much play, and the thing veers off course.
Fast forward to last week. My son's nearly three now, ready to pedal and steer for himself. So I pull the thing out of storage, and I'm wiping off the dust, and I see that in addition to the grey/brown of the dust that my wet washcloth is also getting marked up in pitch black. It was coming from the foam padding areas on the seat. So I figure it's just because they're wet, but I let them dry and check them and they're still leaving black smudges on anything that comes in contact with them.
Now, maybe in Italy the babies are all black-clad hipsters so this is a non-issue there, but my kid wears a lot of khakis and light colored T-shirts, so this makes this thing a beautifully designed but unusable paperweight for us.
We're out over $100 bucks and still in the market for a trike.

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