Product Type: Scuttlebug baby toys
Newest Review: ... assistance from an adult. WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE? You can buy them in three different colours. Red/black, yellow/black and blue/green. ... more
Bug Red Scuttlebug
Member Name: historywitch
Bug Red Scuttlebug
Date: 15/09/10, updated on 20/09/10 (321 review reads)
Advantages: Lightweight, portable, loads of fun, cheery, sturdy, fast
Disadvantages: Slightly less stable than a four wheeled ride-on
A few weeks ago I saw a little boy on one of these at the park and I knew it would be perfect for my son who at that point was just coming up to his first birthday. I looked for it on Amazon with both fingers crossed behind my back (very hard to type with just your nose) as I was desperately hoping that it wasn't completely out of my price range. I discovered that the different colours all have slightly different prices, but are all around the £20 mark. Happily I entered my details and the red/black model was duly delivered to my door a few days later.
The scuttlebug is a little ride-on toy marketed for the 1-3 age group. We already have several ride-on toys of different types but this one looked quite different and like a lot of fun!
***Assembly and Appearance***
Put simply, there is no assembly required. No screwdrivers, no hammers, no fiddly screws, no swearing. Open the box, remove the plastic and cardboard packaging and click it all into place. The scuttlebug is foldable for storage and convenience with a sliding lock on each one of its three 'legs'. The back wheels have a sliding lock which you pull to extend or fold, helpfully labelled with the direction in which you have to pull. The front wheel/handlebars are held in place underneath with a clip; you simply lift the bar out of the clip, move the bar into position and it clicks into place. To refold the scuttlebug just pull the little clip underneath the seat and the bar is unlocked again. It comes with an instruction booklet and the instructions are also printed on the box, but it is very easy to see what you have to do and we didn't need to refer to these after the first time.
The scuttlebug has a very pleasing and child-friendly appearance as it is bright and colourful. The designers have made it look a little like a bug and it has eyes on the front and a patterned seat. The contoured plastic seat and metal legs all feel very sturdy and of very good quality and the locking mechanism feels very secure. The wheels are very similar to the wheels on my daughter's two wheeled scooter but the upper part feels more like a tricycle without the pedals.
My son was desperate to get on this as soon as he saw it and we were very pleased that it took us less than a minute to go from sealed box to completely ready to go. At first I was concerned that he would find it difficult to use as the handlebars are angled such that they look as if they will stick into the driver's tummy. They do stick in a little but this actually helps the driver steer as they can use the whole of their body to change direction rather than just using their hands. My son never seems to show any discomfort from the bars and they actively seem to act as a bar to him falling off. Having said this, falling off was in fact the very first thing he did! After a few minutes he got the hang of actually sitting on the seat and jiggled himself backwards and forwards a bit. Then he lifted the handlebars and jiggled around by physically lifting the whole front up and putting it down again. Then his sister gave him a gentle push around the room, which was fine, lots of giggling. She followed this with a more serious push and he fell off again. It took a day or two to realise that he had to hold on to the bars as he was moving along. By day 3 he was going backwards very fast and spinning in circles and by day 5 he was tentatively moving forwards. Now, several weeks later he is getting the hang of steering the scuttlebug in the direction that he wants to move in.
Before we got this ride-on he was taking his first tentative steps at walking and I really feel that this toy has helped strengthen his muscles and speeded up the process. It is enormous fun for him and he can zoom around the house at top speed, much faster than he can walk even now. On our laminate floors he can go almost as fast as his sister can run which is good for him (and bad for her as she can't run away from him as easily now). I can quickly fold it and pop it under the pushchair when we go to the park and he can zoom around there too; it is very small folded up - just 40 cms by 30 cms and slides easily in and out of my small pushchair basket. It is very light too, weighing just slightly less than 2kg - you'd notice it if it ran over your foot but its not very heavy to transport.
At just over a year his feet can just touch the ground on the scuttlebug so there is plenty of room on it to grow. I would definitely be inclined to buy this for a child at the beginning of the age range, perhaps up to 18 months, then they would get full use out of it. However for a 2+ year old there are many more suitable ride-on toys on the market and I don't think that you would get your moneys worth out of this toy. The whole toy feels very well constructed and would certainly take their weight (goes up to 20kg/44lbs) but they wouldn't have such freedom to move their legs as a younger child, and the instructions clearly state not for over 36 months.
The box has the usual common sense warnings about don't use near swimming pools or roads and don't let your child unfold or fold the scuttlebug themselves. It also suggests using a helmet or other appropriate safety gear - I haven't and he has come to no harm, but I suppose that is parental choice!
Overall I am very pleased with this toy. I am confident that we are going to get several years use out of it, my son loves it and it encourages him to be active and confident when moving. I think it is also helping his sense of balance, co-ordination and motor skills which I hope will come in useful when he moves onto the next stage of wheeled toys. Furthermore it is cheap, much cheaper than a Wheelybug or Scramble Bug and cheaper in general than the car shaped plastic ride-ons. We have one of the car ride-ons too but find he gets on much better with the Scuttlebug. This is because the Scuttlebug is faster due to the scooter-like wheels so he can really zoom around. Also his legs are closer together on the narrower seat and his hips are much higher than his knees so he can do a running motion with his legs to move rather than pushing it along with his feet. The motion uses much more of his body.
It is slightly less stable than a ride-on however, as even though a ride-on can tip backwards if it is being pushed from the back, it doesn't tend to tip when you get off it. While my son was getting off the Scuttlebug for the first few times, he did tend to bring the whole trike with him as well and it went onto its side. It occasionally happens now if he is in a real hurry to get off it, but he has not been hurt by this at all While he was learning to walk he pushed this around the floor to get to where he wanted to and it did not tip once, so I think he was catching his leg and foot as he was lifting it up to get off. Now we have taught him to get on and off from the back and this happens much less often. As this trike has three wheels this is understandable and it certainly wouldn't stop me from buying the Scuttlebug again.
You can buy the Scuttlebug in all sorts of colours on Amazon for as little as £18.74.
Updated to add further information: Apparently the handlebars are set at the angle they are to avoid young children tipping the trike forwards and going over the handlebars. At this angle this is no longer possible.
Summary: Think we will be scuttling around for a good few years.
- Manhattan Toys Bugboo Exploratory Book
- Massey Ferguson Tractor & Trailer Playset
- Little Tikes Rockn Scoot Zebra
- Jungle Junction Taxicrab Boat Play Set
- Hello Kitty Porcelain Tea Set
- Guidecraft 4-in-1 Flipping Easels Tabletop Easel
- Snuggle Pets Cuddleuppets Sulley
- Tobar Wooden Push a long Pink Mouse
- Vtech ABC Text & Go Motion
- Vtech 7.5v Adaptor