* Prices may differ from that shown
This item is listed as an ELC Go Kart, but the actual manufacturer is Ferbedo, a German company specialising in ride on toys. This Go Kart is sold in ELC, Mothercare , Amazon and many other stores. Ours was purchased from Smyths, but this is no longer listed on their site. Play.com sells these as well and appears to be the lowest price at the moment at £ 140.96 with free delivery. ELC is showing this as out of stock, but with a normal price of £199.99. Amazon lists this at £179.99, also with free delivery. We paid £135, so it really is worth shopping around for the best price on the day.
This was a terribly expensive toy for us, but it was the one thing my son wanted most of all for Christmas, and he has always wanted a large ride on car. The battery powered ones were even more expensive, and the one we had purchased for my oldest son had not lasted well at all. Additionally, I feel that the children do outgrow the battery operated toys quite soon, but these go karts seem to remain popular even with the older children. Our neighbours boys still used their pedal go karts up until age 13 -14, and my oldest was seriously considering asking for this as well. Thankfully we talked him into a scooter instead. It isn't only the price of this, it takes up an incredible amount of room in our hallway, and we could not fit two. Also the boys do share their ride on toys very well, and the oldest has been able to use this whenever he wants. There really isn't much point in having two, especially as the area they use this isn't wide enough for them to race side by side, and both going downhill together would lead to crashes.
Smyth's advised us that this was suitable from age 5, but I do feel this is pushing the age level up too high. Mothercare lists it as appropriate from age 3, and other sources recommend this for ages 3 -8. This was bought for my son this Christmas, and he was 3 years and 4 months of age at the time, and of average height. He was just able to reach the pedals with the seat adjusted all the way forward, and the seat is still in this position. This suits both my 3 year old and my 7 year old. There is quite a bit of adjustment available and I do feel a 12 -13 year old could still use this if they wished. It is a very sturdy build, and I expect it would even hold my weight if I were a bit younger and fitter and could actually pedal it. I suppose I could manage downhill :)
This has proper air filled tires, unlike some cheaper models which use solid plastic. The rubber appears far thicker than normal tires though and we have found it to be extremely puncture resistant. We have never had to fill these tires after the initial assembly, in spite of this being used in area that frequently has broken bottles and such. The air filled tires also make for a smoother quieter ride, and a bit easier pedalling.
The main construction is a good solid metal frame. The seat is a very heavy molded plastic, but there is a thinner plastic bit over the front with a picture of flames and a checkered racing flag that I suspect could possibly break given enough abuse, especially if this kept out in the weather. I honestly think you would be heard pressed to break any other part of this go kart if you tried. The steering wheel is also a heavy molded plastic and has a few buttons for sounds. These consist of a horn honking , an engine revving, another engine sound and the sound of an engine with tires screeching. This function requires 3 AAA batteries. My son did use this a bit at first, but it is rarely used now, and the original batteries are still going strong. We have this in red, but it is also available in pink.
This was really a huge hit at Christmas, and my son did not want it taken out of the front room for days, using it as a chair to watch television and play video games. Even now he still brings it in for this purpose at times. Both of my sons have really had fun riding this, but it does take some strength to pedal and neither they, nor any of the neighbourhood children can make it up the rather steep hill in front of our house. Instead they race down the hill and across the flat sections at the top and bottom of the hill and have to push it up again. I am not fit enough to try pedalling this myself ( and I'd look quite silly as well - but that never stopped me). It does look like much harder pedalling than a bicycle though, and my sons are able to get a bike up the hill most of time. For the most part, I think this is only suitable for relatively flat ground or downhill.
Speaking of downhill, this can reach some pretty decent speeds on a hill and I refuse to allow them onto really huge hills with this. This could be extremely dangerous on roads with cars and parents need to be aware that ride on toys like this are very low to the ground and difficult for drivers to see. This needs to be kept away from traffic. There is a hand brake on this - which my sons never use. This is a simple bar that presses against the wheel, and looks like it would be very prone to causing the kart to spin out at high speeds as well being very difficult to stop a very fast moving vehicle with. That is not to say this kart is dangerous - only that it should be used with a bit of common sense.
My sons use this on a footpath around a large green. If they need to pull stop, they simply turn into the grass which will quickly slow them down to a halt. They only do this when a pedestrian is present, and generally prefer to go faster. This is extremely stable and easily copes with the change from hard ground to bumpy grass, but of course would be very difficult to pedal on soft ground. My sons have taken relatively sharp turns on this, and hit the odd bit of broken bricks, stones and even bottles which are frequently thrown across this footpath, and this kart has never shown any sign of tipping. My boys have quite a habit of deliberately trying to tip things and love nothing better than to get a quad onto two wheels, so I suspect if they could tip this - they would. The fact that it has always stayed on four wheels tells me that it has a very good centre of gravity and is not prone to tipping over.
Even shopping around, this is an expensive toy. I do feel that with a bit of looking after this will last my sons many years though, and both boys have really taken a lot of pleasure from it. My oldest son was heartbroken when his battery powered car died after very little use, so I am glad there really isn't much that can go wrong with this kart. It also has the added bonus of knackering them out a wee bit, and it is good physical exercise. My son honestly loves this, and I am very pleased our purchase. My only regret is that I didn't buy one of these instead of the battery powered car for the oldest child. The only disadvantage I can find to this toy other than the price, is the fact that it is big and difficult to store. I do feel that it would be ruined if it were just left outdoors - not to mention the fact that my son would be very upset. He had even wanted to take this thing into his bed on Christmas, but that was not on the cards. This is only getting 5 stars because I can not give it 10. A great toy.
This sturdy large go kart features an automatic free wheel system with rugged all terrain pneumatic tyres, a multisound steering wheel, an adjustable racing style seat and a handbrake. Requires 3 x AA batteries / Age range: From 3 years.