Pros: Princess theme, big enough for older kids
*sigh* This has been a summer of much whining, and if they made a Children's Chewable Midol, I'd be buying it by the vat. My five-year-old daughter Beanie is at that whiny stage, and the realization that most of the plastic ride-on toys we have are too small for her was met with such crying and carrying on that you'd have thought she lost her best friend. Enter her adoring grandmother, who took pity on her and got her a plastic ride-on that was her size for her pre-K graduation, the Disney Princess Mighty Wheels from Disney Direct.
::: This Is NOT Your Former Big Wheel :::
Remember the good old days? When your parents bought a Big Wheel that could be put together in five minutes? Not happening here. When we arrived home from Beanie's graduation ceremony, there was a small white box on our porch. I literally had no idea what it could be, since the only thing I was expecting was the Disney Princess Mighty Wheels, and there was no way it could possibly fit in the box on my porch.
Boy, was I wrong. The Disney Princess Mighty Wheels showed up in pieces, and I was left alone with a very impatient five-year-old who wanted her new toy put together NOW. I convinced her to go read books while her brothers napped so I could have some peace and quiet for assembly, and it still took me the better part of an hour to complete the assembly, with a few breaks to preserve my sanity. I think that I was able to complete assembly with a hammer and a screwdriver (Phillips head) and several strings of curses, but bear in mind that everything from the handlebars to the wheels to the seat has to be assembled from scratch, and that's before you get to the myriad of stickers.
As far as the actual look of the Disney Princess Mighty Wheels, the picture is a bit deceptive. The color scheme is purple, pink, and blue, but the blue is a much lighter blue (think Cinderella) and there are only three Disney Princesses featured: Cinderella, Aurora, and Belle. Since my daughter is a huge Cinderella fan, this doesn't bother her at all, but if your little one is expecting all the Princesses, she might be disappointed.
Once assembly is completed, the Disney Princess Mighty Wheels measures approximately 19 inches high by 21 inches wide by 37 inches long, and is recommended for children from three years up to about 70 pounds. The seat has four adjustable settings to accommodate little ones of all sizes, and I've found that my average-sized three-year-old son can reach the pedals with a little bit of effort.
::: This Is No Pumpkin Carriage :::
The Disney Princess Mighty Wheels is actually made by Processed Plastics, a company we've already had some experience with over the years. The plastic seems just as durable as the other toys we have that were made by Processed Plastics, and the style is definitely reminiscent of the Big Wheel I had as a child, with a few differences.
The first thing I missed was the plastic piece that made the sound on the back wheels. Any other children of the 1970s remember that? There was a plastic tab that would "click" against the wheel to make even more noise. While as a parent, I'm probably very glad for the relative quiet of the Disney Princess Mighty Wheels, my inner child let out a silent wail about this missing feature. As far as the other things you remember, they are pretty much the same. The wide plastic tires will still skid on asphalt, especially if you are trying to slowly pedal up an incline. The angle of the handlebars will still cause the ends to knock into the knees of a child with long legs (not that I ever had that problem, but Beanie doesn't exactly take after her short-legged mama), and the high seat back will still leave a bruise on your child's back after a long day of riding.
A few other minor quibbles are how the seat adjusts (FOUR screws that are hard to access with most screwdrivers because of the oversized wheels) and stickers that I'm not convinced will stand the test of time for the Disney Princess Mighty Wheels to be passed down from Beanie to her forthcoming little sister. However, in terms of sizing, Beanie is a tall five and only on the second seat setting, so I'm assuming we will be able to get at least two more summers out of the Disney Princess Mighty Wheels. And the pink, purple, and light blue Princess theme has given Beanie something that is quickly and easily identifiable as her own, especially since the rest of our ride-ons all seem to be a gender-neutral blue, red, and yellow that make my garage look like a toy warehouse.
Overall, Beanie couldn't be happier with the latest addition to our future garage sale, and I'd highly recommend the Disney Princess Mighty Wheels for anyone whose little one has outgrown most of the other ride-ons but still wants a plastic play thing.
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Other Processed Plastics toys we have:
Processed Plastics Rescue Rider
Processed Plastics Scoot & Go