June 14, 2005

Due Date For New Bugaboo Cameleon and Gecko: 'Sometime in September'

DT reader Michael just posted this in the comments on the new grey-market Micralite. Sounds like the era of importing your own Bugaboo Cameleon from Europe is coming to a close:

"For what it's worth for anyone else dealing with the stroller dilemma, I called Bugaboo U.S. HQ here in NYC this morning. They say that the Gecko will be $679 and the Cameleon $879, available sometime in September."

That's the first I've heard of their US pricing; seems pretty well-priced.

57 Comments

With the Euro dropping to it's lowest levels in 9 months, ordering one from Europe and using the cheapest shipping method or combining shipping on multiple items can be cheaper than the $879. For example, we purchased our chameleon for 663 euros which would be roughly $840. Of course you have to factor in shipping...

wait a second, you spent $840 on a stroller, plus shipping? Let me guess, you also drive a Hummer. People, people.. having a nice stroller is one thing, but this is reduction to absurdity.

How is it any skin off your back if someone wants to spend big money on a stroller?

- already shopping for mine, pre-conception

No skin off my back, but I will have to disagree with the statement...

"seems pretty well priced"

I'm glad someone out there can affort to support the economy. For me the statement just made me feel like I might be going elsewhere for stroller advice.

It was the MBA in me talking, sorry. I was trying to figure out how to say the prices made sense compared to the Frog, not how they compared to a college education.

It looks like by dropping the price for a Gecko, Bugaboo's betting that there are more people who'll stretch a bit (but not to the price of a Frog) to get the core features of the Bugaboo design, while there are others who'd spend 700, 800, 900, whatever to get the sweet, kind of fashiony one.

Oh my God - $600-800 for a stroller?

Can't you hire a poor person (to carry the child from place to place) for much cheaper?

Shannon

For my wife and I the cost wasn't the factor. We needed a baby carridge that was not only flexible and maneuverable but also light in weight.

My wife experienced some problems with bladder control since the birth of our son. We live on the second floor and it just wouldn't do for her to lift not only a growing child but also a heavy carridge up the stairs.

The bugaboo is light in weight, well balanced for lifting (nifty lifting bar as well), as well as being easily maneuverable through a city or store.

We took some time to think about this decision knowing also how much it was going to cost, what finances were, and so on before we decided to buy one.

I would agree that the bugaboo is not for everyone. If you don't see the need for this buggy then by all means look at other ones, there are plenty out there.

finally a rational explaination for getting one of these (I say this without sarcasm, by the way). while I'm sure they're nice, until now they seemed to be more of a status symbol than anything else?

It is a status symbol - and an especially hilarous one at that.

Love,
Keepin' it Real

I think BeyoncÈ said it best:

When I First Met You You Were Cool
But It Was Game You Had Me Fooled ...
'cause You A Bug A Boo
You Buggin What You Buggin Who You Buggin Me
And Don't You See It Ain't Cool

---

Besides, the Mountain Buggy Urban is the baddest stroller around. And you can get 2004 models on clearance for $299.

Mountain Buggy is alright, just too darn big to take in the malls. The Cameleon will fit the bill just fine. If ya don't wanna swing due to cost, then don't. No status symbol for me, just want the best all around stroller and I'll have it in the Cameleon.

1) actually, Shannon, there are many more New Yorkers who hire poor people to carry their kids around than have Bugaboos.

2) We used our Bugaboo as the kid's bassinet for the first four months, wheeling her around the apt., so that was one purchase we didn't have to make that offset the cost a bit.

3) Two points to Andy for making the site's first Beyonce' reference.

I can completely understand the need for a Bugaboo, not everyone's lifestyle is compatible with a cheapie stroller.
In my case, the Bugaboo was completely inappropriate. It is too expensive ($1100 CDN) and the seat is far too short. Also, I live in a relatively rural and snowy area, so I have unlimited stroller storage, weight is of no concern but I needed something that could accomodate my now 47 lb, 43" tall 3 year old. We also walk everywhere, generally 6-10 km/day when we go out.

So after 6 *very* broken craptastic strollers (in order: Evenflo, Graco, Peg Venezia, cheap umbrella, slightly more expensive umbrella, Eddie Bauer) I am now the proud owner of a Kelty jogger and a Zooper Rhumba for quick trips. If I has just bought 1 decently constructed stroller to start with, I would have saved myself plenty of cash, more than the cost of a Frog.

Now, my friend who lives in the snow-free city appreciated her frog for the cracked sidewalks, maneuverability in smaller shops and the bassinette feature, which she used constantly for the first couple months. She looks at it this way: the $1100 that she spent on the stroller is actually less than she would pay for the privilege of a space to park a car at her apartment building.

I thought I remember hearing the Bugaboo was good in snow? At least in the city...

Any ideas on how to pre-order a US Cameleon? Despite the few comments on who would spend $800 for a stoller, these will sell out fast, would love to make sure I score one of the first ones if anyone has any leads or good ideas it would be much appreciated.

Tim,

You could order one from www.babycare.nl in the netherlands but shipping may end up costing you quite a bit. It should be available here in the states in Sep/Oct and I know a few stores are already taking pre-orders.

Severum

I have also heard that the Bugaboo is good in snow, but not in 15" of snow. City snow only. It also wouldn't work to get over the snow banks along the curbs like the jogger does, thanks to it's longer wheel base.

As for city snow, those of us in the Northeast can tell you that we seem to be in a climate cycle that is bringing us regular snowfalls of 15" and more every winter...

But as for "well-priced", I fail to see how $879 for a stroller that is largely the same as the currently $750-800 Frog can be considered "well-priced".

I won't be waiting for the Cameleon. I need a stroller *now*, and I have no problem spending $750 for something that's going to give me enough utility to justify the price. I've seen too many people go through multiple craptastic behemoth strollers to know a good value when I see it.

And no, I don't drive a Hummer. I drive a 1993 VW Passat (222K miles and no payments) and a 2001 VW Jetta (80K miles and two payments to go)--which is how I can afford the Frog in the first place.

just what we all suspected. and you have at least one Mac, tattoo, and wear dark-rimmed glasses, right? ;-)

Just put together a "group order" for the Cameleon.

With the sinking Euro, the cost per stroller has fallen to about $705. When the Customs and shipping charges are added, the total came to about $815.

So, at least for the time being, you can do better by buying from NL. Just find four people who are willing to trust you.

I've had a Cameleon for three months. I've used it three times. My two year old is too big for the seat, it IS NOT an "all-terrain" stroller (unlike my much loved and much used and $175 Teutonia Y2K), so it sits, unused in the garage, awaiting the arrival of my DD in September. My wife loves the thing, won't let me sell it--for now--but I have hope.

That much money for this little stroller is beyond silly. Ax the man what owns one.

bobw, were you talking about me? :)

Sorry, can't stand tatoos and I don't wear glasses...but I do have six Macs currently running in the house (two servers, one recording workstation, one laptop, one desktop, one old desktop), as well as two PCs...and that's not even counting the museum pieces, like the Color Classic or the Atari 800...

um, I just stayed quiet because yesterday, we had two Macs out on the table (and the Thinkpads on the shelf), and I had my downtown glasses on.

No tattoos, but I DID have a fountain pen leak all over my hand, if that counts.

It's done. Pulled the trigger tonight. Will shortly be in possession of a Sand-Coloured Frog with all the trimmings (except for the foot muff). I even bought the wheelie board just in case I want it in the future and they become discontinued. Parasol and diaper bag in black, Peg Perego seat adaptors, bag clips, transport bag, and an $1132 dent in my credit balance. Will match nicely with the Black/Tan Jetta...

Now if I can just figure out how to order new fabrics (or make them myself). I'd like a set in black for the winter months, please. Too bad black is too hot for Madeleine Delphine Marie Amper (our new little princess) in the summer, or I'd enforce the goth baby look--which might be a little hard with the khaki lining, anyway. ;) Nature baby will have to do for now...

All in all, I've read probably hundreds of opinions on the Frog, and I think we'll be pleased with it. As for the lack of cup holders, well...there's a reason why there is an epidemic of obesity in the US, and I think cup holders may just be part of the problem. We're not the sort of people who take four-hour long trips to malls, anyway, and if my cell phone is out of reach, tough luck.

I also don't plan on hanging 100 lbs. of shopping bags from the stroller. I'm sure our consumerist culture won't suffer a bit.

Of course, *I* wanted an Xplory. The *wife* wanted the Frog. That's OK. I'm still getting my Xplory (in "such a nice" green). Looks pretty neat pulled up to a bistro table--and I do frequent places with sidewalk tables, provided that the sidewalk doesn't sit on a major bus route (cough, cough). But I'll wait for the bassinet's appearance in the US (assuming it doesn't take too long). I'll justify the expense by having a second baby!

Just a suburban mom weighin in - I drive a Peg Perego Venezia in black denim - gotta love this thing it's got every possible position, the handles flip so you can look at the baby or turn away. $375 or so. Large enough to full bassinet it does have its own zip code. Bought a Combi Savvy for traveling due to the full recline (rare in a lightweight), 5 pnt retraint,and baby jams with tunes with the speakers in the canopy. Around $100. Lookin for a jogger next.

I have been researching the Cameleon. I am a city girl and take the metro EVERY day. I need something that baby and I can both manage. Plus, I need to be able to also get it in and out of a car. I'm not set on the Cameleon and appreciate any other suggestions. I found a very helpful store you can have it shipped for 50 euros, www.babytrader.co.uk They charge 663 euros for a new Cameleon, any color combo you want. We have a beach house and being able to manage the thing in the sand is also of concern. I do choke at the price, its well beyond what I would ever dream to spend on a stroller. Anyone out there love their Frogs or something else I should consider? How about the Quinny? This LOOKS very similar to the Bugaboo.

For those who can wait until the Cameleon is released here, strollandgo.com is taking pre-orders. They aren't guaranteeing anything, but they will place an order with Bugaboo in the VERY near future, with the hope that they will have all orders in stock by early September. Cost is $879 (free shipping and no tax (for most)).

I am going to order, but would LOVE color selection recommendations. I just can't tell from the photos, how bright the colors are. I was thinking of the grey/orange or sand/orange or green/blue combinations. Any advice from those who have seen the actual colors (or anyone else who wants to weight in) is greatly appreciated. Feel free to email separately!

Many thanks to all!!!

Has anyone priced out stroller shipment from Europe yet? The best I've found (for a Janes Powertwin with 2 seats) is 300 euros.

All in all that will bring my Janes Stroller to about $1450 Canadian, or about $1100 US.

And for those who are criticizing the willingness people have to pay the price, I'd rather get the right one the first time than have to buy more than one. Especially when dealing with twins.

For those with imported Cameleons, have you had any problems with accesories (ie carseat adaptor) not fitting properly? I understand that the straps and snaps are different from the Netherlands model and the US model, different laws afterall. Has anybody found a reason to not import one? Other than the cost.

I ordered my Cameleon from Babycare.nl. Had it shipped to SoCal. When I ordered in mid-May, it was 650 Euros, and shipping via UPS was 130 Euros. Also bought a parasol for 30 Euros. Total came out to 822 Euros, or $1020. Oh, plus another $44 I had to pay for customs. It came about 2 weeks after we ordered, had to wait an extra week because our color combo was not in stock. Babycenter.nl is a great place to order, you can call them and they will answer all your queries.

I bought a PegPerego car seat adapter from a local store here in California. It uses the same adapter as the Frog. Fits fine.

We got the sand base and red top. Wife doesn't like the sand base too much because it seems too muted.

The Frog is somewhat of a trouble and it gives your backaches pretty quick,bending to attatch the seat chassis unfolidn takes time etc...also kinda big to find in a small 330i BMW i have.
I just sold mine and now discovered am pregnant again.... So now I am looking into colors. Does anyone know how the pink/blue look like?

For those who can't justify the price ,find comfort in the fact that these can be sold in a jiffy even used.Mine went for $670 used.only 50$ less than new.

please do not flame me as I am new.
are the cameleon, gecko, and frog all by bugaboo?
what are the differences? (besides the cameleon not being released in the States yet?)
thanks!

Hey Ariella, don't sweat it, and congratulations/good luck.

The Cameleon and Gecko are new Bugaboo models which will replace the Frog. They're both very similar to the Frog's original design, but the former is a slightly larger, more deluxe model, while the latter is an "essentials" version, with fewer frills (as much as an austere Dutch stroller can have frills to start with).

My suggestion would be to surf around the archives on the blog, either in the stroller category, or by searching for Cameleon, etc. to see previous posts about it. But don't worry that your questions might be dumb newbie ones; I'm sure if they are, someone'll let you know. heh.

Help-frog or gecko?

Baby's due early October, and through we'd prefer to spend a little less on the gecko, am worried that it may not arrive in time (and local stores are saying last date for Frog orders is this/next week).

anyone have the gecko? worth waiting for vs a Frog? Am also concerned I wont be able to get replacements, accessories, etc with the Frog...

Does anyone know if the wheeled board that fits the frog will fit the new Cameleon?

My husband brought me a Cameleon from Holland three weeks ago. I like it very much. My baby is five months old and likes to sleep on his stomach. He can play in the bassinet and then lie down and sleep when he wants. I put all kinds of toys in it and he can be occupied while I shop or talk to other people or tend to my other two boys, which is invaluable and worth the cost already. It's light and easy to push. I have had three Combi strollers and this is my favorite.

Nancie...what colors did you get and how do you like them? How is the fleece fabric working for you?

Thanks!

If you are thinking of importing a Gecko or Cameleon, email me - a group of us put together an order and have a couple of extras. When you email, let me know which you are interested in and colors, along with your zip or postal code and I can give you a specific price with shipping from me to you (UPS)- and if your first or second choice is coming. I have already received the first couple of strollers and they really are awesome!

For those who think $600-$800 is excessive for a stroller, I wonder how much use you expect to get out of it. We got a Frog shortly before our son arrived, and he's used it once or twice every day for the past five months. We live in a city, and our primary mode of transport with junior is the stroller. We used the bassinet as his first cot, as Greg did.

My experience of the Frog has been very good - cobblestones, dodgy pavements, light snow, mud, gravel, sand - it handles very well. It can turn on a dime in its standard position, and it's very configurable - truly a well-thought out design. Most importantly, it's both sturdy and light. I don't worry that it's going to come apart on bumpy ground (although I have had one puncture), and my partner can carry it herself up stairs to our 2nd-floor apartment.

Quite honestly, I had no idea that the Frog was "trendy" until after we got it; I just thought it was well-made and a bit funny looking* but that it handled better than anything else in the shop. Assuming we continue with at least an average of daily use up to junior's second birthday, the cost of the pushchair will be about $2 per day.

*From a strictly appearance point of view, I'd prefer the Stokke Xplory, but the chassis doesn't make sense given our storage capacity.

Does anyone else think that bobw is just the bitter owner of a crappy Graco Travel System? I bought a Frog because it is made for people who actually consider walking a viable mode of transportation. Yeah, I own a car (black Saab) and yeah I'm a gadget geek (and an architect) but dammit, if I didn't have that Frog I would cry everytime I saw one. Plus, the kid spends 3-4 hours in it a day, and loves it.

If anyone is interested, I have a Cameleon with a sand base/red tailored fabric sitting in my front room - brand new, unopened - that I would LOVE to ship out to someone! A group of us imported some strollers a few weeks ago and this one is orphaned since the "friend" that ordered it has now changed her mind. $900 and I will ship via UPS with tracking to anywhere in the USA - if you are outside the states, email me and we can check the shipping costs. Thanks!

OOPS - I just double checked and sorry, it is a red base with sand tailored fabric. Thanks!

Firstly - great site!

My wife appears to be assembling a national collection of baby magazines, but I have found that this site has provided far more of an insight when it comes to strollers!

Our first child is due in November, and given the time strollers take to order in the UK, we are doing our research early.

We were originally planning to buy a JanÈ Powertrack, but having seen it, and having seen the Frog, we have decided that we will probably go with the Bugaboo.

The powertrack was too fiddly with its straps, clips, pull hoops etc.. it appeared there was a different type of control for everything you would want to adjust on the buggy. It did look like it was very capable off city streets though.

I think the frog is a fantastic design that appears well thought out. My main concerns are that the seat appears to be very small and the bassinet is very low. The Cameleon (due out late Sept/early Oct) is supposed to have a larger seat frame, but does anyone here know how much bigger this is? I am concerned that our expensive purchase will be outgrown too quickly.

Also, once the "little one" is a bit bigger we will be planning to do some walking off the beaten track. Whilst bugaboo claim that their buggy will convert to two wheels for off road use, I suspect this will become tiresome after a few hours. Can anyone recommend an offroad capable, rugged 3-wheeler for the 5% of time that we are out of town in the country?

The Frog is 27.5î and the Cameleon is 35.4î.

I e-mailed bugaboo with the same question about seat size. Does anyone have a 3-4 year old and a Cameleon to comment on the fit for the older toddler?

Thanks :)

Valerie

It appears that it is possible to get additional suspension for the Frog by replacing the existing two front wheels with the new Cameleon front wheels. Has anyone tried that? Are the wheels the same size?

And while we are talking about mixing up Frog and Cameleon parts...does anyone know if you can purchase a Cameleon under seat storage bag and attach it to the Frog? (The lack o storage is the one thing that really "bugs" me about the Frog)...

Thanks for the answer on Frog/Cameleon Size Valerie.

I asked the same question about size difference between the two bugaboos on ebay a few days ago. The seller was auctioning a cameleon, here is the response I got:

"I don't have a frog anymore but from measurements I've found on the net the frame width on the inside is 33cms on the frog and 36cms on the cameleon. Lengthwise on the inside of the frame the frog is 82cms and the cameleon 87 cm. ( all measurements are approx)

I can't find a measurement for height, but it seemed about 3-4 inches higher than my frog was. It definately seemed better. "

When I used to study design technology at school, we had to learn about ergonomics,how people interact with designs. Surely it would be easier if stroller manufacturers gave child height indicators as well as approx age's that their stollers are appropriate for.

I recently tested the Cameleon side by side with a Frog; it's like 2 inches longer wheelbase, not any wider, and the seat frame is maybe 1.5-2 inches longer to extend the suitable kid age upward. The adjustable handle has avery wide range, so it's much taller or shorter than the Frog, depending. -ed.]

Sory this has to be such a short note but just saw the Cameleon for the first time in buybuybaby $779 ,Gecko had a tag @ $679 but was no where to be seen & the frog was still being sold side byside @ full price $729...

Hi - I asked Bugaboo USA & they said the wheels are not interchangeable between the Cameleon & the Frog. I was trying to figure out what improvements there are between the 2. Longer, taller, bigger basket, adjustable suspension wheels, handle bar adjusts...We bought our Frog a month before our son was born & we used the bassinet for 6 mos straight - talk about gliding around - I haven't cleaned the wheels as often as I should + I've been rough on our wheels. Just ordered 2 new ones. Although I like the sound of the new improvements on the Cameleon, I don't think we'll be going for it. All in all, I bought 8 different higher end strollers after buying the Frog (sold/returned many of them though) but we won't be selling our Frog. I returned Perego Venezia, Perego Converse, sold 04 Bebecar Raider AT+, sold 04 Zooper Swing + kept 05 Maclaren Volo, 05 Zooper Swing, 05 Mountain Buggy Breeze & the "who cares if we lose it in Mexico" Chicco Caddy. Have always wanted to have a Mtn Buggy Urban, but it's quite hefty (not so much weight wise). I wish I could try them all.

[You: "Hi, my name's Elsa, and I'm a stroller addict." Us: "Helloo, Elsa." -ed.]

I just saw the Cameleon and fabric swatches at Babystyle. I think they are also taking preorders. They did not have a Gecko to view, but the sales girl explained it as a stripped down version of a frog.

My daughter is 2 years old and because of developmental problems she is not currently walking. I am not sure when she might start walking and even though she is a lot older I am thinking about buying the Cameleon. The price is pretty ridiculous, but I figure that I will get most of my money back when I resell it. The peg perego pliko which we also considered buying will not have a high resell value.

I figure in the end after selling the Cameleon it will cost about the same as the pliko.

If we finally decide to buy the stroller I will post how the stroller works for a toddler. Also, wanted to note that my daughter is only in the 30% range for height and weight.

Just made my first trip to Buy Buy Baby and it was a little overwhelming. One place I was in my element was on the lower floor where they have the Stokke Xplory, the Bugaboo Frog and the Cameleon.

The Cameleon was $879. Has adjustable height push bar, wheel lock, longer bassinette, and two-toned color options. Also something about adjustable shocks.

Still a big fan of the Stokke, but have the Cameleon on order. There's always ebay if I change my mind.

Just a quick note. Babycare.nl is closing for a couple of weeks. As compensation though, all items are 10% off, including the bugaboos. Tomorrow is the last day for a phone order; e-mail orders will apparently be accepted. Ordered my cameleon today for 593 euro. But it won't be shipped until early September.

Hi - just wondering if anyone has a Gecko and how they find the absence of a handlebar? How do you pick up the bassinette without one? We're deliberating between one of the last of the Frogs and waiting for a Gecko or Chameleon.

i just went to my local babystyle store yesterday. when the lady asked if she could help me with anything i asked her "so when are the cameleons going to be in stock?" to my surprise she said "we have them right now".

they have the grey base and all of the top colors. $879 + tax. i ended up ordering mine online at strollandgo a couple of days ago and it already shipped. it should be here 8/25. i got the red base with orange top.

so it looks like these are finally here. at my local store, they are having a demo session tomorrow with the bugaboo representative so i may stop by to give it a little whirl.

Dan.

Has anybody got any info on the new "Orbit Baby Transport System"?. It looks like it may give the Bugaboo product a run for it's money. Check it out at www.orbitbaby.com

Hello,

About to become a dad for the first time in December I am currently researching strollers.
Has anybody got any insight into the Stokke Xplory versus the Bugaboo Cameleon?

Thanks,
Karle

Does any one know if there is a such thing as a second child adapter or some kind of frame one can add to the Cameleon or Frog to seat a second child?

[nope. not in time for THIS Christmas, anyway. The only 2-kid option is the skateboard standing thing. -ed.]

i live on a canal narrow boat in enland, our baby is due in april. we need a lightweight frame for carrying over gangplanks and carrycot that takes up no space inside the boat. IMPOSSIBLE. the chameleon should just about do it. as for the cost, a second hand one will save loads of money and fit our enviromental beliefs. just gotta find one now! cheers

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