“ Brand: Fliker / Type: Scooter „
Last Christmas my 8 year old daughter asked for a tablet, consistently from around September. Despite me trying to dissuade her, she was adamant there wasn't anything else in the world she would like, leaving me in a bit of a pickle as I wasn't keen on the idea at her age, while also feeling it was unnecessary as she could use my gadgets, kindle, ipod etc if she wanted. Then right at the very last minute she changed her mind and asked for a Fliker.
I didn't even know what one was at the time, but after some research I was happy (ecstatic!) with this new request (not least financially too). It turns out the Fliker is a fancy scooter, with two platforms rather than one and is ridden in a kind of slalom ski style. It comes in several different models (F1, F3, F5 etc) for different height and age children. Browsing the various sites I found it confusing to decide on the appropriate model for my daughter, who is perhaps slightly on the small side. This in part was down to the conflicting advice offered by retailers, or in some cases none at all. In the end I went with advice from reviewers on Amazon, and opted for the F3 thinking that if it was slightly too big, by the time summer comes around she should be fine and it will last. The issue of which size is further confused by the none adjustable handle bar, so getting the right one is pretty important. Unfortunately we didn't have a retailer near to try them out, but if you do then I would strongly suggest doing so to avoid a costly mistake.
I also found the price varied widely between retailers and in the end I purchased my daughters from Smyths online for £50, but they can cost up to £90! The Fliker was delivered quickly and well packaged, and when I came to assemble it on Christmas eve, I found it pretty much already to go...it just needed unfolding and the handles slotting in and tightened. However, I was very surprised at the size. It looked huge in my sitting room and weighed a ton. I was really concerned that it was going to be too big to ride! Luckily I have a garage, so storage wasn't a concern, but is something you may want to think about. It does fold but is still bulky.
Christmas morning came and my child was over the moon to find this taking over half the living room and was out on it very soon after. She did look a little on the small side, but not drastically so and she could reach the handles no problem. Because there's a specific technique to riding the Fliker, she found it quite tricky to begin with and I thought maybe this was going to sit in the garage unloved and forgotten. However, practise definitely makes perfect and within a couple of days she'd mastered it and since then has sped about all over on it. It takes a slight push off with one foot to get going, then a hip twisting motion similar to what I imagine skiing to be like. It works well on most surfaces too once the technique is fully mastered, and although we had a bit of frustration in the early days with frantic hip swinging and not getting anywhere, once learned it is automatic (like riding a bike) and my daughter hops on and speeds off without even thinking about it now. On even slight downward declines, it picks up quite a bit of speed but has excellent brakes on it.
The Fliker has had masses of use, and my daughter became quite a bit of a celebrity in the neighbourhood on it. Everyone wanted a go! And since then many have managed to get their own. It's provided lots of fun with races and at times up to four kids clinging onto various parts of it and hitching a ride. It's stood up extremely well to all this use and still looks immaculate and strong. £50 may seem a lot for a scooter, but you can certainly see the quality and its been worth every penny. The only complaint is the folding mechanism, which I do find difficult and stiff, and so tend not to fold it at all, which is a shame as it means it's left behind at home quite a bit when it could be slung in the car boot (which it would fit when folded, although wouldn't leave much room).
I would certainly recommend the Fliker, and am surprised myself how what I thought may be a bit faddy and useless is actually a great, fun toy which also promotes exercise, co-ordination and strength. My advice to anyone thinking about buying one though would be to think very carefully about which size. I almost bought the smaller F1, but after having a huge growth spurt this year it would now be too small for us after just a few months. I think Fliker could offer a clearer sizing guide, but in my opinion if your child is of average 7 year old size (as my daughter is a bit small and slight) then go for this one. I can fit on and ride, so it will last for years!!