My 2 1/2 year old son loves the swings at Madison Park playground. One day, while pushing Jonah on the swings, I noticed some small boys driving a battery-powered Gaucho Jeep replica. These are not little toy trucks like kids have played with since time immemorial (well, maybe not time immemorial!). These behemoths are larger than the boys themselves. They drive like the real thing including forward and reverse gears. And I’ve seen some of the children driving these machines on the public sidewalk as if they were driving the real thing. I’m just waiting for some kid to drive one of these right into a pedestrian. Shouldn’t they have a license?? Not to mention the serious danger which the chidren themselves face if they drive these things as erratically as a kid is wont to do. This Amazon.com product review boggled my mind a bit:
My 4-1/2-year-old received this for his birthday last winter. He’s been driving it ever since. It seats two kids comfortably and has velcro seat belts. We know they work because our two boys have flipped this Jeep twice. Once on a moderately steep, grassy hill in our yard (flipped over backwards) and once driving over a mound of dirt in the street. After the first rollover we started to make them wear helmets on it all the time. We have learned that this toy really does require supervision and the establishment of safety rules with the kids. Of course, we don’t let our 2-year-old drive. He’s content with being a passenger for now.
The kids love riding around the driveway, street and yard with their friends (who also have a similar Jeep). This Jeep is running very well and looking good even after some collisions with the neighbor’s Jeep and even after our son learned to drive off the curb into the street.
I think this woman should have her head examined. She’s letting a 4 1/2 year old child drive a vehicle into the public street?? If this isn’t a disaster waiting to happen, I don’t know what is.
When I first saw this monstrosity I thought it must cost $700 at least. But after checking online I see that they you can get a Gaucho for the low, low price of $538 (plus sales tax and shipping). Think how many nice books, DVDs or other toys one could buy for one’s child with that $500. I know, parents with $500 to blow on a toy SUV don’t worry about saving their money.
All of this begs the question: what has gotten into the minds of the parents of these children? Why does any child need such a gargantuan toy? The thinking of these parents is reprehensible. They’re inaugurating their children into the great American marketing extravaganza. If they’re driving SUVs at 5, imagine what toys they’ll be playing with at 55? Yuck.