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Power Wheels are among the most fun and exciting products on the market as far as miniature vehicles for children are concerned. Power Wheels come in an impressive variety of different models, from cars to trucks, to Jeeps, and practically anything else you can imagine. However, many people may be less familiar with the Power Wheels Wild Thing version and will naturally wonder about the pros and cons of this model.
The Power Wheels Wild Thing is cheap and affordable, has extensive safety features, is compact and easy to store, and has incredible tire traction allowing it to conquer various terrains. The drawbacks are its lack of seating for two and lack of comfort due to the low seat backing.
In this article, we will go over how the Wild Thing works, its functions, and how to operate it. Next, we will look at the pros and cons of this unique ride-on vehicle. Finally, we will provide the reader with our conclusion on whether or not the Wild Thing is worth the purchase, so keep reading.
How the Power Wheels Wild Thing Works
The classic Power Wheels versions that most are familiar with are classically modeled after scaled-down cars and trucks and the like, but the Wild Thing is radically different in its design.
The Wild Thing features a unique open design concept, with no roof and very little surrounding enclosure. The Wild Thing is more or less just a chair on wheels, which adds to their fun for reasons soon to be explained here.
Wild Things have two large wheels, one on each side of the vehicle, and then a third smaller wheel in the back to aid in handling and stability. The third wheel, which lies directly behind the driver's seat, can freely rotate 360 degrees, making maneuverability incredibly advantageous.
The green metal bars which surround the Wild Thing add a very distinct and special look that is unmistakable. These bars not only look cool but also serve to keep the driver safe at the same time.
The color of the Wild Thing is not only appealing, but it can also serve as a sort of safety function in itself. The bright, highlighter yellow/green bars can act as a means of increasing visibility for other full-sized car drivers, bicyclists, or pedestrians in general.
The Wild Thing, like all other Power Wheels, is powered by a single rechargeable 12-volt battery. The battery is conveniently stored directly underneath the seat, which lifts up. Another genius way that Fisher-Price devised to increase the compactness of the Wild Thing.
Moreover, the under-seat battery storage compartment also contains top speed adjustment button settings that can be quickly changed on a whim.
As opposed to the original Power Wheels models that feature a standard car-like steering wheel, the Wild Thing is operated and controlled by two joysticks, one per side.
Pressing both joysticks forward simultaneously will cause the Wild Thing to accelerate forward in a straight line. To reverse straight backward, simply pull the joysticks back. To perform turns and spins, pull or push only one joystick opposite to the direction you want to turn. For example, if you are performing a right-hand turn, press only the left joystick forward.
The Wild Thing can turn on very sharp angles and spin in place, making it incredibly versatile. The handling on the Fisher-Price Wild Thing very much resembles that of a typical forklift.
The spinning motion that the Wild Thing can generate is unique to it alone. No other Power Wheels product can spin and rotate on a dime the way the Wild Thing can. This adds a whole different element of fun and excitement to the Wild Thing. Kids who use the Wild Thing will have a blast circling until their heart's content.
Steering and handling will take some time to become familiarized with, but the possibilities are endless once you do.
To stop the Wild Thing once in motion, simply release the handles, and the vehicle will immediately come to a stop.
Pros of the Wild Thing Ride on Option
Fisher-Price designed the Wild Thing to serve a very different purpose than the classic Power Wheels designs, making this product extremely unique among the collection.
In designing such a drastically different concept, naturally, many pros and advantages were created.
Here we will discuss the many different pros that the Power Wheels Wild Thing offers its users.
The first issue on our list of pro/con inquiries is, naturally, the price.
Prospective buyers will be pleased to learn that the Wild Thing is featured at a reasonable and comparatively low price.
The original Power Wheels models are not all evenly priced. There is a range.
The price of the Wild Thing is comparable in price to the lower-priced classic models in the Power Wheels product line.
The price can be made affordable without sacrificing any of the reputable quality because of the small compact design of the Wild Thing, which requires less gross materials to produce.
If you are on a budget and still want to get the most quality and enjoyment for your money, you will be well advised to consider investing in the Wild Thing seriously.
However, the fair and affordable price is far from the only pro that this product has to offer, as we will see.
Required Storage Space
Another one of the most appealing pros of the Wild Thing Power Wheels is how they can be stored, compared to the alternative models.
We determined above that the Wild Thing costs merely half the price of some of the more expensive Power Wheels models, but even more incredible is the fact that it also takes up half the space.
If Fisher-Price had one thing in mind when they built the Wild Thing, it was storage conservation.
If you have a small garage, shed, or limited space in the home where you will be storing the vehicle, you will surely want to consider the Wild Thing an option.
The Wild Thing can easily be tucked away in a moderate closet or the garage or shed corner when it is not being used.
Typical Power Wheels models require a great deal of space to store them, which could be better maximized and used for other items.
For how much power the Wild Thing can generate, it is impressively small and compact.
Tire Traction/Off-Road Terrain
The one thing that Wild Thing owners always boast of is the Wild Thing's ability to handle just about any terrain that it encounters with ease.
The two large tires that generate the vehicle's force in motion are surrounded by a strip of tough and grippy rubber, making the traction incredibly efficient.
Unlike many other Power Wheels models, which are intended purely for use on the concrete, the Wild Thing has no trouble going off-road.
The Wild Thing can conquer grass, dirt, snow, and gravel with very little chance of getting stuck.
This fact of the improved traction adds a new element of exploration and entertainment that kids are guaranteed to enjoy.
Being able to leave the sidewalk and venture onto the less beaten path on your powerful Wild Thing is a powerful selling point all on its own. Essentially, you now have twice the area to explore.
Because of the open concept style, and the extremely sharp turning capabilities of the Wild Thing, many will wonder about the safety.
Many people will speculate whether or not the Wild Thing is likely to flip, have a rollover, or dump the driver out of their seat and on to the road.
Ride-on toy vehicles are not the average child's play toy. Power Wheels are much more fun and versatile but also pose more potential risks.
Fisher-Price prioritizes safety about all else, and the Wild Thing is no different.
Wild Things come with a strong and secure seatbelt so that the driver may be buckled in at all times and eliminate all possibility of falling out of the vehicle in motion.
Furthermore, the Wild Thing cannot be operated without a driver sitting fully and properly in the seat. Weight sensors located under the seat prevent the Wild Thing from driving or being powered when no person is occupying the seat. This stops the vehicle from being ghost-driven or driving off by itself, creating risk and danger.
One of the greatest safety features of the Power Wheels Wild Thing is the front roll bar.
The braking system of the Wild Thing is aggressive and immediate. If the joysticks are abruptly let go of while traveling at top speed, the Wild Thing may come up on the front tires due to the excessive inertia. Thankfully, the front roll bar has been designed specifically to counteract this problem and make a forward roll over a virtual impossibility.
When it comes to the Wild Thing's safety features, you can rest assured that the engineers have thought of everything.
The Power Wheels Wild Thing was designed to overcome obstacles, and for this reason, their durability is a huge consideration.
Throughout the course of fun and adventure, the Wild Thing will no doubt take some bumps and bangs along the way.
With the Wild Thing, you will not have to worry about being overly cautious, as they are built incredibly tough to stand the test of time.
Due to their simple, compact design, fewer materials and gadgets need to be used to construct the Wild Thing. This means there are fewer things to break or go wrong.
The incredibly strong metallic-framed structure of the Wild Thing ensures that this product is designed to tolerate whatever you can throw at it.
As long as the Wild Thing is used properly and for its intended purposes, the odds of it becoming severely damaged or broken in any way are slim to none.
Speed Control Settings
A couple of very common concerns expressed by prospective Power Wheels and Wild Thing owners alike are a) how fast it can go and b) how are the speed controls to be set and adjusted.
To answer the first part of the question, the Wild Thing tops out at 5 mph (8 kph) while traveling forward and 2.5 mph (4 kph) while in reverse. This is a lot of speed, especially for younger drivers and those new to the product and still getting a feel for it.
Thankfully, there is a convenient and safe way to modify and reduce the Wild Thing's top speed.
To adjust the speed governor, the vehicle must be stopped, and the driver's seat vacant. From there, lift up the seat, and next to the battery, you will find buttons for altering the top speed.
Once set by the buttons, the speed cannot be readjusted while the driver is operating the vehicle. This is a further safety feature of the Wild Thing.
Another great aspect of the Wild Thing is that the battery tends to last a long time before needing to be fully recharged, despite whether or not it has been rigorously driven around in.
This is very advantageous because having to recharge the battery all the time can really take away from the overall fun. For this reason, the Wild Thing was designed to optimize battery power in the most efficient way possible.
Even having said that, there is no shortage of power behind the acceleration of the Wild Thing. When the motion is initiated, and the wheels start spinning, if you're not ready for it, the Wild Thing might just take you by surprise.
The power behind it is not to be understated.
Cons of the Wild Thing Ride on Option
Now that we have covered the many great pros and unique selling features that can be expected with your purchase of the Power Wheels Wild Thing, it is time to look at the cons.
Truth be told, there aren't too many bad things to say about the Wild Things. It essentially does exactly what it was designed to do, and if you are in the market for that, it will be a perfect fit. If you are not in the market for a super-compact concept, Fisher-Price has you covered there too. In speaking of the Wild Thing, though, there are a few valid criticisms of this product.
While the Wild Thing is an objectively good product with a very high use-value, there are a few commonly reported drawbacks and downsides that some customers have pointed out, which we will now go over here.
The first thing that leaves a little to be desired from the Wild Thing is the comfort or lack thereof.
Because of the compact style that is so advantageous when it came to storing the Wild Thing, we lost some of the legroom and comfortable enclosure found in the more classical Power Wheels models.
Certain luxury and comfort elements are bound to be lost by deciding to go with such a scaled-down and compact Power Wheels, and this is to be expected. However, it would be nice to have a little more support behind the back, and we see no reason why the Wild Thing could not be designed with this in mind in the future.
The back of the seat is relatively fairly low, even for smaller children. Due to the safety features explained above, the driver must remain fully and properly situated in the seat before the vehicle can be operated. In some instances, this may result in the back of the seat digging into the lower back. Over time this may become growingly uncomfortable.
There may, however, be some creative ways to rectify this problem, such as a modified backrest or cushion. These modifications will, of course, be left up to the driver/owner's discretion.
Another frequently cited problem with the Wild Thing is that the driving motions can, at times, lack fluidity.
Because the Wild Thing is driven and controlled by dual joysticks instead of a circular steering wheel, owners have found that turning and going from drive to reverse can be rather jerky.
There is a slightly delayed reaction time between when the joysticks are engaged and when the vehicle actually commences moving.
This can seem very awkward at first, but users have reported that this lack of fluidity is reduced as familiarity and competency increase.
Like anything, it just requires some getting used to. And judgments here should be reserved.
It is to be assumed that anyone who is seriously considering purchasing a Fisher-Price Wild Thing has done at least some research on the product. As such, they will likely be aware that this vehicle is only intended for use by a single person. However, it is still worth considering this as a potential drawback.
Many of the other Power Wheels, such as those modeled after the Ford Raptor, can fit a driver as well as a passenger. This is ideal for those who anticipate more than one child will want to share in the fun.
If only one person is planning to use the Wild Thing solely, you can overlook this as a con entirely.
Never under any circumstances attempt to share a ride on the Wild Thing with a second passenger. This is unsafe and can result in a serious injury.
This next con on this list may seem arbitrary and subjective, but to many fans of the Power Wheels brand, it will be a big deal, and that is the look.
While there is no question that the Wild Thing has a look and style all its own, which is certainly not lacking anything in terms of visual appeal, it takes a back seat compared to the more popularized Power Wheels models.
Fisher-Price has always put a very strong emphasis on not only the safety and performance of their Power Wheels products but also on their style and design.
This tireless prioritizing of style has brought us such classics as the Ford F-150, the Jurassic Park replica Jeep Wrangler, and the trail racer ATV just to name a few. This is a tall order to fill, to say the least.
The bright neon green and black contrast give the Wild Thing an overall sleek presentation. Still, it was clear that the total focus was not on the outward appearance on this particular occasion but rather on making a minimalistic concept that would appeal to users based on its utility rather than its looks.
Again, if this is not an issue for you or if you happen to feel that the look is something that you personally admire, feel free to disregard this criticism in its entirety.
The Wild Thing is only available in one color scheme currently at this time. It would certainly be nice to have a little bit of variety and customizability there, but if they were to settle with only one color, we are happy they chose the one they did.
When it comes to Power Wheels, there is no one size fits all, but we can confidently guarantee that there exists a car or truck in stock to suit anyone.
This next point is one that could easily be overlooked if not brought under closer attention, but nevertheless, it is a point of consideration, and it matters.
There is a slight difference in the Wild Thing weight allowance compared to some of, but not all of the other Power Wheels products on the market.
The Wild Thing has a recommended weight permission of 100 pounds, which is also true of some of the smaller conventional Power Wheels models. However, some of the more heavy-duty and sizable Power Wheels vehicles are rated for weight accommodations of up to 130 lbs. This may not seem like much, but for a child, this can make a big difference.
A Power Wheels with a greater weight allowance can effectively extend the product's use-life and allow for an alternative for a child around the 100-pound mark.
Part of the reason why some of the Power Wheels allow for a greater weight limit is so that they may account for multiple drivers riding together at the same time. If you are riding alone, this can work to your advantage because you may now solely occupy the full extent of the weight capacity by yourself.
It is always highly advisable to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for capacity. Failure to do so can damage the product or, even worse, injury to the user.
Where to Buy a Power Wheels Wild Thing
By this point in the article, we have gone over all of the many pros and a few of the possible cons, which has allowed us to say that the Wild Thing is a very impressive all-around product.
All we are left with now is the question of where to purchase one of your own.
The best place to purchase the Power Wheels Wild Thing is by following this link to the official Fisher-Price website. Here you will be able to reliably order this fantastic product at the lowest price available.
If you already own a Wild Thing or any other Power Wheels product, and you require a replacement battery, this Power Wheels Brand 12-Volt Rechargeable Battery will be exactly what you need.
Power Wheels Safety
Any time a child uses a Power Wheels product, safety measures should be strictly followed to ensure that all potential risks and hazards are minimized and avoided. Adhere to the following safety guidelines for safe measures:
- When operating any Power Wheels vehicle, minors should always remain under the supervision and in the sight of an adult.
- Never drive without or remove the built-in seat belt for any reason.
- Never drive the Power Wheels on the road or anywhere else that involves real vehicle traffic.
- Always avoid and stay far from lakes, creeks, rivers, and all other water bodies while operating a Power Wheels.
- Never attempt to drive a Power Wheels down excessively steep hills.
- Wear a helmet whenever necessary.
With such a small and compact toy, you always want to make sure that you remain as visible as possible at all times. This also means being very conscious of your environmental surroundings, and any dangers posed therein, such as blind turns.
In closing, although the Power Wheels Wild Thing does have some downsides, such as the relative lack of comfort, the lack of fluidity when stopping and starting, and the fact that it only seats one, it is still a good product for the price.
The appeal of the Wild Thing lies in its ability to tackle any terrain, the ease at which it can be stored away, the price, the durability, and of course, the immense line of safety features.
Ultimately, if having fun is the goal, the Wild Thing will never fail to deliver.