This holiday season, Germany's three biggest automakers 9 BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen AG's Audi) are competing for your attention with their luxury toys that are aimed at the next generation of drivers. It would seem that the playground this holiday season would not be complete without their new push cars and snow sleds.
At the Nuremberg toy fair in February, Audi had displayed a limited-edition pedal-powered version of the Auto Union Type C, setting the standard for luxury kid toys. Designed for kids up to 135 centimeters (4' 4") tall, the scale model of the 1930s racer has an aluminum frame, hydraulic brakes, seven-speed hub gear, leather-clad steering wheel and oak dashboard.
Priced at 9,700 euros ($13,300), this would be Audi's most expensive kid toy. Only 100 of the 500 units of this toy have yet to be sold. Meanwhile, BMW AG is offering new BMW and Mini-branded sleds for 79 euros each.
The Snow Racer sled has replaceable metal runners, a suspension-system in the red steering ski, and a horn to warn pedestrians. Daimler AG's Mercedes is coming out with a version of the gullwing SLS supercar for toddlers this April. Each is priced at 90 euros.
The SLS Bobby-Benz, which is foot-powered, will have the same shape of headlights, grill, and rear end as Mercedes' $183,000 SLS sports car. It features quiet-running tires, an Ackermann steering system that makes maneuvering through a tight living room easy, and a steering wheel that absorbs impact to prevent injury during a collision.
But ultimately, these top three premium car brands can’t compare to Aston Martin when it comes to exclusive kid toys. In the late 1980s and early '90s, Aston Martin sold mini motorized replicas of the V8 Vantage Volante and Virage to customers including Prince Charles. Priced at 15,000 pounds ($24,000) plus tax, the Aston Martin Volante Junior had a gasoline engine, a radio, and it could reach a maximum speed of more than 30 mph (about 50kph).
Roger Bennington, managing director of Stratton Motor, an Aston Martin dealer, said that the cars have resold for as much as 25,000 pounds. Bennington explained that these were bought as a collector's item when the owners got their own new car and they had the Junior built with the same specs. He added that kids didn’t really get to use them as the Aston Martin owners considered them as their prized possessions. [via autonews - sub. required]