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Grossman My First Scooter for Girls
My daughter is very much an outdoor person and loves going for walks and simply playing outside. She already had a three-in-one child's bike bought for her the year before, so we decided to look around for a little scooter for her. I spent quite a while hunting around for different prices and scooter abilities, keeping in mind that my three year old is quite small for her age and lacks the physical balance that my nephew of the same age has! After looking into different scooters which matched the criteria we were after, we decided to buy the Grossman 'My First Scooter' from Amazon for £14.99 reduced from £24.99. It seemed to have the same capability as a few other scooters, though what I particularly liked before purchasing about this model was the fact that the price was a lot lower than the others, and it came in a lovely pink colour - something my daughter loves!
So did the scooter live up to expectation?
************************************************ A SCOOTER WHICH GROWS WITH THE CHILD ************************************************
Occasionally, when buying a present for our daughter, I (or rather my husband!) take it out of the box and assemble it before wrapping it up to save my little girl growing frustrated when having to wait for something to be put together and finding out it takes hours to work out! We did not actually have time to do this with the scooter, though, but luckily the assembly of it was quite simple. It was just a matter of finding the right nuts and bolts and fitting it altogether in the right places. It took my husband no more than five minutes to build the whole scooter and then it was ready to go, much to my daughter's excitement.
The image on Amazon is actually quite precise for once, with the pink colour matching the actual shade found on the scooter. This bold pink covers the majority of the scooter with a bold yellow colour finishing the appearance off nicely on the wheels and trimmings. The whole scooter also has a slight shimmer to it (apart from the wheels which are more of a matte texture) which creates a much newer appearance even after months of use. There are two stickers which come automatically stuck onto the scooter; both having the words 'My first Scooter' on them with what I believe is the logo of the scooter. The first is on the front and is very small and barely noticeable. The second is on the actual scooter base which doubles
Pictures of Grossman My First Scooter
My daughter loves it though a lot of upset ensues every time it comes apart!
up as a foot gripper with its sand-paper type texture. This helps my daughter keep her feet still upon the base to a degree though do not expect any miracles!
On to the frame itself as the appearance with regards to colour is only a small part of the scooter and not really something which would overly matter in a decision for purchasing if the scooter itself is not up to scratch! The majority of the scooter is made from a hard metal which makes it quite heavy and something I unfortunately overlooked on purchase. At first my daughter did struggle a lot when manoeuvring the scooter around due to the weight, though after a year of use she has become a little stronger and is now three and a half which I think is the ideal age when thinking about its weight. The wheels are made of a similar strength rubber though if the scooter rolls over jagged stones, we have found that the rubber becomes much rougher though this does not seem to interfere with the wheels turning. Upon the handle bars there is a spongy material with a groove in the centre of each, perfect for little hands to hold on to without slipping. I have seen this same type of material on other outdoor toys in which, after hours of use and little finger nails digging away at it, it becomes ripped and full of holes, though even after nearly a year of use, these handle grippers are still as good as new.
You may be wondering why I have not mentioned the height yet as this is another important feature. The reason for this is simple; the height is adjustable! Now apparently, this scooter is ideal for children aged from two years plus, and apart from the weight issue which I have already mentioned, the adjustable height and adjustable wheels are perfect for such a young age. The height reaches up to approximately 61cm (with the rest of the measurements being 54x30cm) and lowers down approximately six to seven cm allowing a great amount of growth for the child. Unfortunately, it is not all sunshine and rainbows with this height adjuster. The bars are secured only by a screw tightening against the inner bar opposed to height variable holes in which to secure a screw. This causes many problems as, no matter how tight the screw is placed, it always becomes loose in next to no time at all. Once this loosens even a little bit, the handle bars pull out easily, or slip down unexpectedly, causing the child to fall forward, and also the turning mechanism becomes obsolete as the screw does not only keep the height in check, but also secures it to the pole leading to the front wheel which is used to steer the scooter. When we first purchased it, after making sure it was completely tightened, it lasted approximately a week before the screw began to fail. My husband has been looking into buying a new screw for it in case that it the problem, though I personally think the problem lies with the pole being too thin for the screw to pull together secure enough. If this is the case, then this design flaw can not be undone unfortunately. I also want to mention here that when the screw is tight enough and the handles and wheel does turn, you have to put up with an annoying squeak!
As mentioned briefly above, not only is the height adjustable, but also the wheels too. Our daughter is not great with balance (she takes after me - I could never have been a gymnast!!) so we have put the full four wheels on the scooter and have not yet changed this (two at the back and two at the front). With the four wheels, it does give a certain amount of balance though my daughter has fallen sideways occasionally! I think it would have been better if the back wheels were more spaced out to allow a better balance, though that is another gripe I can not do anything about! When the child grows and becomes more adept at riding the scooter, you are able to go down to three wheels and then finally two wheels. In this aspect, it does grow with your child, though if your child is anything like me, then the two wheels will be a long time coming I think! If this is the case then the child may not actually get down to two wheels before the height of the scooter makes it too short for them!
The height adjustable feature alongside the wheels adjustable attribute was certainly something which pushed me towards the purchase of this scooter, so I was extremely annoyed when the main features did not work right, and in the case of the height (as the wheels are actually fine from what I can see), it can be quite dangerous for a young child.
Another feature which looked much better on paper than in reality is the folding mechanism. A scooter is quite a bulky toy and without a garage or room in our shed to keep it, it was an important feature that I considered when purchasing it. Not only this, but it is also something which comes in handy when we are out for the day and my daughter tires of riding the scooter and it is down to me to carry it or, if I have her pushchair, hang it over the back...this is of course if I was able to collapse it easy! The concept is a basic one for folding it. There is a small part on the bottom near the base with a yellow top to it which you need to pull out and push down on the handles to fold it up. Easier said than done! It takes a lot of strength and more than two hands to wiggle the bars down the curved hole and even when this is finally completed, clicking the screw into the lock position is nearly impossible! Even my husband has a lot of difficulty with this which means that the scooter is left up most of the time in our hallway causing many a trip and fall!
Apart from the problems already noted, the durability is above average (as long as you ignore all the problems!). Due to the hard metal, the scooter does not scrape easily and the handle bar sponge area is as good as new. The wheels are a little rough and ready now from constant outdoor use though this does not hinder the wheels going around at all.
So what does my daughter think of her scooter?
My daughter loves her scooter...when it works! The amount of understandable upset we have come across from her when the handle bars come loose when we are out is beyond ridiculous! I feel quite sorry for my daughter when this happens and if the design could have been thought out a bit better then my little girl, along with other young children, would not have any need to get upset. It is the worst feeling when you buy something for your child with all high hopes of it being great and then it lets them down! We are now considering buying her another one as, although money is tight, she does love her scooter and I really want her to be able to make the most of it, and unfortunately with this one, that will never happen!
********************** FINAL WORDS **********************
The appearance of this scooter is probably the best part of it! The mechanisms with the adjustable height, the turning wheel and the folding part are all terribly thought out and cause a lot of problems and upset. In my opinion, although cheaper than many other scooters, £15.00 is still a price in which I would not want to go over too much, though have I just got what I paid for? Perhaps spending a little more may have ensured a better model, though I guess you can not really tell until you purchase something and then try it out yourself, which then it is often too late!
Do I recommend this scooter?
I think you know the answer to that already! Ignore all the 'easy to use' statements on the box and Amazon as this scooter creates more problems than what it is worth!