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Unhinged: The Radio Flyer Tesla Model S, And My Immediate, Irrational Hatred Of It

Unhinged: The Radio Flyer Tesla Model S, And My Immediate, Irrational Hatred Of It

Before I begin, I should probably make the following admission: I know that I’m diving off of the deep end here. I’m losing my head over a kid’s toy, one that might actually sway Junior over to the world of automobiles. But there is something about this particular one that just scratches my nerves like an angry cat. Why does the Radio Flyer Tesla Model S ride-on irritate me so? Is it because of the car it portrays? No, not really…honestly, the Tesla Model S is an EV model I would choose, mostly because they have real-world usability and because Musk and Company didn’t ignore the looks, features or performance…remember the Ludicrous Speed acceleration videos, where one press of the pedal turned passengers into an expletive-laden Speak ‘N Spell? Turn on the psychotic launch mode and the next thing you know, “…Your grandmother goes SLOW THE $#!@ DOWN!!” It might not be your favorite car, but at least it isn’t a Chevy Spark or a Nissan Leaf. But watch the promotional video and see if you can pick up what is bothering me:

It’s essentially an upper-end Power Wheels, with some neat touches like the headlights and a useable “frunk”. It even has an auxiliary jack and a small sound system that can play music off of your favorite portable music device. I don’t know if you’d get that in a real Chevy Spark without paying for an upgrade! Real paint colors and lots of details that match the real Model S appeal to both myself and the five-year-old version of me, who could pick out the differences between his Power Wheels Jeep and the real deal in half a second. But where do the issues begin, then?

tesla personalized plate


tesla price form

To try to answer this, I went onto Radio Flyer’s website, which has a builder feature for the Model S for kids. Base price? $499, but that is only just the vehicle itself in the color choice you pick and one basic battery. Let’s go overkill, then: two of the upgraded batteries, the chrome turbine wheels, the personalized license plate, and the Tesla car cover comes out to $804, before shipping. The most expensive Power Wheels product that can compare is the $420 Cadillac Escalade Custom Edition, which also comes with a sound system.

No Power Wheel-type toy lasts forever. They are bought, enjoyed until either it breaks or the kid outgrows it, and sooner or later winds up at the top of a dirt hill being ridden by a grown man to it’s death. The Radio Flyer Tesla isn’t any different, so why would anyone spend twice as much on a child’s toy? Am I going to far to assume that it has something to do with a superiority complex? I can appreciate a Tesla for what it is, but I know why people really purchase them: it’s the latest and greatest way to appear better than others. And teaching Junior about the positives of being better than others doesn’t start with a caring personality or the desire to help others. It starts with having a car that tells other people that “I care more about the environment and current affairs than you do, yet I’m still stylish and love power”. Give me a break.

For a second opinion, I brought my wife in to watch the video. Unlike myself, who was seething, she was in love. “It’s so cute! How can you not like that?” Her only offense against the video: “How come the girl has to drive the slow one?”

Here’s a life lesson for you, readers: Don’t answer with, “Safety.” That frying pan hurt.
tesla 3

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9 thoughts on “Unhinged: The Radio Flyer Tesla Model S, And My Immediate, Irrational Hatred Of It

  1. Brett

    I don’t understand, are you against the idea of a monetary based system that favors those who wish to spend more money than others?
    Maybe for a start, you should teach your children that people who spend their money differently, are just that, different, not “better.”
    And since you brought up complexes, I gave Lohnes this advice. Your insecurities are showing!


    Considering a motorcycle or ATV is far more expensive and far more dangerous I could see this being an alternative to doting parents….Realistically, if you can afford a Tesla, a G for a little one for you kid is not gonna be an issue.

  3. Anthony

    Just was thinking about getting my old AMF pedal car out for my 4 year old nephew. Its got a little windup radio on it so it does kinda have a sound system too.

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