Beep beep! It's hard to imagine a suburban street without at least one Cozy Coupe set in the front yard. But have you ever wondered how the Flinstones-esque yellow and red toddler moving machine came to be? Wonder no longer, here's the Cozy Coupe's history in 10 fun facts!
The original Cozy Coupe (1979)
1. The original Cozy Coupe was released in 1979.
2. It was designed by Jim Mariol, a former car-parts designer for Chrysler.
3. It broke all the rules for car styling, namely that they should be "long, low and look like they're going 60 when standing still." (Quoting Mariol from the Cincinnati Enquirer).
4. It was an unusual toy car because, "at that time, toy cars that size were all pedal cars. You had to be a certain age to operate them. This one was foot-powered", and in this way, Mariol opened up the market for these cars to younger kids.
5. By removing the pedals, Mariol was able, within budget, to add other features like working doors and a roof. "Other (toy cars) were something you sat on. This was a car you get into. It was a different world for kids."
6. It was the USA's top-selling car in 1991, with 500,000 units sold that year, while America's other two best selling (and actual, real cars), the Honda Accord and Ford Taurus, sold 399,000 and 299,000 respectively.
7. In 1996, Little Tikes introduced a range of Cozy Coupe-type vehicles, including an SUV, pick up trucks, a roadster and the yellow and teal "Grand Coupe".
8. In 1998, the company released the Cozy Coupe II, which featured thicker pillars on the front roof.
9. In 2009, the 30th Anniversary edition of the Coupe was released, which features a handle on the roof for parents, a cup holder for the kids, and a face for the car made out of cartoon eyes and a big toothy smile.
10. The Cozy Coupe is part of the permanent collection at the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland, alongside the DeLorean, the Corvette, and the Model-T Ford.
(Images: 1. Flickr user abbybatchelder licensed for user under Creative Commons 2. eBay, 3. Amazon, 4. Little Tikes, 5. Amazon)