One of the most fun ways to enjoy childhood is through ride-on toys. These can include bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, scooters, tricycles, pull wagons, and even electronic ATVs and cars as well as other forms of ride-on toys. As long as a child can hop on to a wheeled platform and then roll along a certain path, the smile you’ll see painted on the faces of your children as well as the happiness that is inherent in their laughter will simply be priceless. One of the current craze today is the Radio Flyer Cyclone. Honestly, the first time we saw the Radio Flyer Cyclone, we don’t really know what to make of it. It was part wheelchair, part tricycle, and part hoverboard. We are providing you with this review of the Radio Flyer Cyclone to find out more what people are saying about this particular ride-on toy and why you should seriously consider buying it for your own child.
Radio Flyer Cyclone Review
Design and Features
Looking at the Radio Flyer Cyclone it is actually more like the modified wheelchair that Paralympic athletes use. Your kid sits on a platform with a footrest up front, two large, hand-cranked wheels on the sides, and balanced by a third smaller caster wheel in the rear which technical serves as the Cyclone’s steering mechanism. Actually, steering involves the corresponding movements made on the hand pegs or handles on the two side wheels. To turn right, your kid needs to stop cranking the right and just move with the left wheel so that the Cyclone turns towards the right. Likewise, turning to the left simply means stopping the movement of the left wheel and turning the right wheel to move to the left. Your kid can also perform a full 360 degree turn depending on which direction he or she wants to turn into. If he or she wants to turn clockwise, or towards the right, then he or she must turn the left wheel forward and the right wheel backward. If he or she wants to do a full counterclockwise 360 degree turn, he or she will have to do the opposite; move the left wheel backwards and the right wheel forward. Like we said the Radio Flyer Cyclone is indeed more like a highly modified, low profile wheelchair except that there’s no backrest for your kid to lean on against. But the idea is generally there.
Now let’s look at some of the inherent features of the Radio Flyer Cyclone. First, the frame. The frame of the radio Flyer Cyclone is made of high grade solid steel that has been finished in glossy red paint. This essentially provides the structural foundation of the Cyclone giving it the ability to accommodate a child who weighs up to 69 pounds or roughly around 31 kilograms. The solid steel construction gives the Cyclone structural strength and durability without sacrificing ease of transportation or even storage as the Cyclone tips in at only about 10 pounds. This helps guarantee that you can easily transport it right in the trunk of your car or even inside your vehicle’s passenger cabin as the Cyclone only measures about 16 inches high, 27 inches long, and 26 inches wide. You can take it to the park or even to the mall and let your child use it while you’re busy exploring.
Second, the 16-inch wheels are superbly constructed of premium quality materials in one solid block. A hand peg is integrated on the side of the wheel facing inward. These hand grips are made of soft yet sturdy materials to help make sure your kid is not going to complain about getting calluses on his or her hands. Adding to the comfortable ride of the Radio Flyer Cyclone is an ergonomically designed seat. While it doesn’t have any backrest, it nevertheless provides enough support to the lumbar and sacral region of 3 to 7 year olds which the Radio Flyer Cyclone is primarily designed for. Speaking of the wheels, the outer side is adorned with a spiral pattern of red and grey in diminishing hues. This gives it the illusion of the circular rotation of a cyclone, spiraling with all its might.
Third, the caster wheel on the rear is constructed to be as durable and sturdy as the rest of the Radio Flyer Cyclone. This allows the Cyclone to spin in its place or even maneuver in really tight spaces. This also helps provide a more stable platform for the ride on toy giving it some resemblance to a tricycle except that the wheel for steering is located in front, not the back. Nonetheless, this helps ensure greater stability while riding on the Radio Flyer Cyclone. The low center of gravity, wide wheelbase, and a sturdy frame all contribute to the superb stability and balance of the Radio Flyer Cyclone.
What We Think
As we have already indicated in the earlier parts of this review, we find the Radio Flyer Cyclone to be a very peculiar yet superbly fun and functional ride on toy. We know that it is primarily designed more like a wheelchair but with greatly improved stability because of its low center of gravity, a three-wheel framework, and wide wheelbase. Just to give you an idea of just how well-received the Radio Flyer Cyclone is, we’ve encountered a lot of consumers who are actually bugging the makers of the Cyclone, Radio Flyer, to come up with an adult version of the ride-on. Many adults consider the design to be exceptionally sound and is an entirely different way of moving about. Because of this, we are pretty sure that Radio Flyer is already working on some designs that will help extend the benefits of this particular ride-on toy to be also enjoyed by adults.
Here’s what we think about the Radio Flyer Cyclone and why you really need to start counting yourself either as one of the growing fans of this fantastic ride-on toy or as a parent who simply wants the best ride for his or her child.
Develops upper body strength.
The design of the Radio Flyer Cyclone is basically to help improve the muscle tone of the arms since these are what will be needed to move the ride-on toy. It is also for this reason that many adults are clamoring for an adult version of the Cyclone since it can help strengthen the muscles of the upper body particularly the arms. This can have an implication in the overall physical development of children as majority of activities of daily living require excellent control of the muscles of the hands and the arms. For instance, taking a bath or shower will require kids to make full use of their arms to apply soap on their bodies. They will need to hold the soap as well as the body sponge to scrub their bodies. Brushing the teeth will also require the use of our hands and so does grooming like combing the hair and applying makeup. Of course, these are not the only activities that we need our hands. The point is manual dexterity is one of the cornerstones of optimum child development.
Great for kids with diminished mobility.
Akin to what we have presented above in the development of upper body strength as a benefit of the Radio Flyer Cyclone, it is thus a very important instrument or tool for children who may have lower body problems such as Spina Bifida, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and even, to a certain extent, cerebral palsy, or any other health condition that primarily affects the function of the lower limbs. Kids who may have figured in an accident or even sustained an injury that affected the level of the spinal cord that controls for the motor movement of the lower limbs can also benefit, we believe, from the design of the Radio Flyer Cyclone. Like we said, the Radio Flyer Cyclone is more like a highly modified wheelchair that’s been purposely built for kids with problems in mobility. As such, they are now able to explore their world, see things around them, and even learn a lot of different things and how such things and events relate to their being in this world. At any rate, the Radio Flyer Cyclone empowers kids who have lower body immobility to make them feel as functional as other healthier kids.
Aids in imaginative plays.
Regardless of who will use the Radio Flyer Cyclone, we can guarantee that it will provide endless hours of fun. More importantly, the thrills and joys of zipping along the pathways at the park or even in reserved walkways for kids in the neighborhood are simply incomparable. And we are all cognizant of the many benefits of ride-on toys especially in the enhancement of kids’ imagination. Riding on the Cyclone can conjure images of a law enforcement officer patrolling the streets of the neighborhood, keeping everyone safe. Or, kids can come up with an activity that sees them playing the role of a firefighter, rushing to the scene of a burning house or even playing the role of a famous race car driver blazing through the course. Kids can think a lot of ways in which they can enjoy riding the Radio Flyer Cyclone through the process of make-believe. And this can have a great and splendid effect on the cognitive development of kids.
You see, every time children start to imagine what they can do with the Cyclone, their brains are at work. Minute problem solving processes keep the mind busy trying to figure out what else can be done with the Cyclone. As in all scientific problem solving processes, this always starts with a problem statement followed by a listing of all the possible solution before eventually trying out each of these solutions to determine the best possible one. We often look at imagination as a very abstract concept but it really is a very complex yet very logical operation that starts with the recognition of a problem. For instance, kids can ask themselves if they would rather play with the Cyclone as a make-believe police car or as a fire engine. To help them decide, they will have to reflect on their understanding of what a police officer and what a firefighter does. They will also integrate other pieces of information such as their experiences, what they learn in school, or even what they see in the news. The thing is that they are integrating all of these bits of information to come up with a more realistic answer. This is problem-solving at its most basic form.
Promotes more positive self-concept.
If you can remember the very first time your parents gave you the keys to the family car, we’re pretty sure you felt as if you just won the lottery or something. Being able to freely move about is one of the most fundamental concepts that many have about freedom. While the idea may be too vague for young kids to understand, just imagine what riding on the Radio Flyer Cyclone can do for their self-esteem. The joys of being able to drive your own vehicle, be it a ride-on toy, can have substantial effects on the development of a happy and more positive self-concept. When kids are happy, this gets reflected in their emotional development which, in turn, has an impact on their social relationships. In a way, by being happy, kids are able to develop healthier and more positive feelings about themselves.
- Sturdy and durable construction help provide for endless fun.
- Low center of gravity and wide wheelbase ensure greater stability and protection against falls.
- Ergonomic seat and soft handles allow for more comfortable ride.
- Ingenious design to help kids with issues in lower limb mobility.
- Weight limit is just less than 70 pounds; hopefully, Radio Flyer will develop and roll out an adult version real soon.
You can view a video of this toy in full action here:
If you have a child who is suffering from impaired physical mobility, then the Cyclone is for him or her. If you have a child who wants a very unique ride-on toy he or she will be proud taking for a spin in the neighborhood, then the Cyclone fits the bill, too. If you want to give your child endless fun riding one of the coolest ride on toys, then the Radio Flyer Cyclone is simply the best.