1. Pedal toys are a pain-free way to get kids outdoors and away from the TV. About one to two hours of daily exercise is recommended for children four and five years of age-but time flies when exercise is this much fun.
2. Another benefit of kids pedal toys is how they prepare young children for the experience of riding a bicycle. In fact, the very first pedal cars of the early 20th century borrowed design ideas from bicycles and velocipedes (that era's name for tricycles).
3. The earliest pedal cars were individually crafted, combining elements of kids wagons and the pedals and steering systems of bikes. Some were made entirely from wood. Others featured a tiller instead of a steering wheel, and oil lamps for night play.
4. The retro style of contemporary pedal toy cars is due to their ubiquity in the 1920s and renewed popularity in the 1950s. In the late 1920s, the pedal car accounted for 25% of all toys manufactured in the United States.
5. The pedal toy car may have been popular back then, but it was also pricey. Before WWII and the prevalence of mass production, pedal cars were made for the wealthy, selling for about $15 at a time when nice toys could be bought for a dime.
6. The 1950s was the golden age of the American automobile-and the pedal toy. Many of today's pedal car designs are a throwback to the hot rods of the 1950s made from steel and glistening chrome.
7. Farm toys have been around since the late 1800s, but pedal toy tractors gained widespread popularity in the mid-1940s. The first official John Deere pedal toy tractor was manufactured in 1950.
8. The kids pedal toy market changed dramatically in the late 1960s as steel was superseded by plastic. Today's pedal toy materials offer greater variety for the nostalgic or the practical shopper, including plastic, steel, and lightweight metal.
9. Pedal toy planes display a nostalgia for yesteryear as well. The Red Baron style is a nod to the WWI flying ace, while the practice of painting shark teeth on the nose was popularized by the Flying Tigers of WWII.
10. Not every pedal toy car owes its style to the heyday of classic American car culture. RidingToys.com also has licensed Ferraris and Lamborghinis that were crafted in Italy in conjunction with those carmakers' real-life automotive engineers.