Top critical review
30 people found this helpful
Very good, if all you want to do is use ride mode.
on January 19, 2010
We received the Radio Flyer "3-in-1" as a Christmas gift. My daughter is 15 months, and was an early walker, so the "learning" angle of this toy was limited for us. Like another reviewer, however, I would hesitate to use this toy for a child that hasn't really grasped walking yet, as the axles are very smooth and there is less friction than in other walker/ride-ons. This is a huge plus, however, for little ones that already know how to walk, as it is less frustrating to push around.
Although I am happy with "ride-on" mode of this toy (pictured), the "wagon" and "walker" modes are not very good. The darker-pink "shell" of the toy clips into the "ride" position, and can be unclipped for the "walker" and "wagon" configurations. However, for these modes, there is no way to secure the shell, it is very loose, and easily comes off. This essentially turns the toy into a scooter. There are ample warnings against letting your child use the toy in "scooter" mode, but all the child has to do is lift the shell off when using "wagon" mode, and voilà, instant scooter. (another caveat - the instructions warn against letting children ride inside the "wagon" or "stroller," but a child's bottom fits very comfortably within the shell, and the temptation to get in is really too strong for any child to resist).
I fixed this problem by drilling two holes through the shell and into the base and securing the shell in "wagon" mode with plastic bolts. This fixed the problem, but it is very frustrating that this step was necessary. I would have simply left the shell in "ride" mode except, at 15 months, my daughter's legs are not long enough yet.
Despite the obvious design flaw, the toy is very well-made, rides very easily compared to most walker/riders, and is pretty adorable. Those prepared to drill a couple holes, etc, will enjoy the versatility of the toy. Everyone else should just stick with "ride" mode and wait until the child is old enough to have their feet touch the ground while riding.