Big Wheel

A Big Wheel is a type of tricycle, traditionally made of plastic, with an oversized front wheel, that rides very low to the ground. Introduced by Louis Marx and Company in 1969, the Big Wheel was a very popular toy in the 1970s in the United States, partly because of its low cost and partly because consumer groups said it was a safer alternative to the traditional tricycle or bicycle.

The design was quickly imitated, under a variety of brand names. Although Big Wheel was a registered trademark, it was frequently used as a generic name for any toy whose design resembled that of Marx. Marx sold the Big Wheel brand name and molds in the early 1970s to Empire Plastics, makers of the Power Cycle brand, which was Marx's biggest competitor.

By the late 1990s, few manufacturers were making these toys, and Empire filed for bankruptcy in 2001. The Big Wheel brand was reintroduced under new ownership in 2003.

Popular culture

*On "South Park", the boys are often featured riding Big Wheels, particularly in the episodes "Chickenlover", "Kenny Dies", "The Jeffersons" and "Cartoon Wars".
*On The Simpsons episode Moe'N'a Lisa, the Rhode Island state trooper rides a Big Wheel (lampooning the small size of the state).
*VH1's mini-series "I Love Toys" ranks the Big Wheel as the 40th most popular toy.
*A yearly Big Wheel race takes place on Easter Sunday in San Francisco. Formerly raced down Lombard Street, the event moved to Vermont St in 2008 under threat of lawsuit. [ [http://www.jonbrumit.com/byobw.html Bring Your Own Big Wheel ] ]
*In the Stanley Kubrick Film "The Shining", Danny, the son of Jack Torrance rides through the long halls of the haunted hotel on a Big Wheel.

References

External links

* [http://bigwheelriders.com Big Wheel Riders] Site dedicated to all things Big Wheel.
* [http://www.originalbigwheel.com The Original Big Wheel] Present manufacturer of the Big Wheel.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Big wheel — may refer to:* a big shot; a person of great importance. * Big Wheel, a type of tricycle. * Michigan logging wheels, also called Big wheels, large wagon wheels used in logging * A Ferris wheel, commonly called a big wheel in the United Kingdom *… …   Wikipedia

  • Big Wheel — Personnage de fiction apparaissant dans Amazing Spider Man Alias Jackson Weele (véritable identité) Pouvoirs Roue …   Wikipédia en Français

  • big wheel — big wheels N COUNT A big wheel is a very large upright wheel with carriages around the edge of it which people can ride in. Big wheels are often found at theme parks or fun fairs. [BRIT] (in AM, use ferris wheel) …   English dictionary

  • big wheel — n BrE a machine used in ↑amusement parks, consisting of a very large upright wheel with seats hanging from it, which turns round slowly = ↑ferris wheel …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • big wheel — noun count 1. ) INFORMAL a BIG CHEESE 2. ) BRITISH a FERRIS WHEEL …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • big\ wheel — • big cheese • big gun • big shot • big wig noun informal An influential or important person who has the power to do things and has connections in high places. Uncle Ferdinand is a big wheel in Washington; maybe he can help you with your problem …   Словарь американских идиом

  • big wheel — ► NOUN ▪ a Ferris wheel …   English terms dictionary

  • big wheel — big′ wheel′ n. Informal. inf an influential person • Etymology: 1905–10 …   From formal English to slang

  • big wheel — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms big wheel : singular big wheel plural big wheels 1) informal a big cheese 2) British a machine at a fair or park in the shape of a large wheel with seats on the edge, that takes people round and round in the… …   English dictionary

  • big wheel — noun a) A person with a great deal of power or influence, especially a high ranking person in an organization. Shes a big wheel at IBM. b) (UK) Ferris wheel Syn …   Wiktionary


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