May 1, 2007

Micralite Toro: Sweeter Than The Micralite Maguro

micralite_toro_joeflickr.jpg

Here's another JPMA Innovation Award Finalist product that got zero PR bang for its manufacturer's payola buck: the sweet-looking, new stroller model from Micralite called the Toro.

DT reader LT spotted some photos of the Toro on flickr, of all places, which were posted from Korea. [Where, if I'm understanding the captions correctly, the Toro was designed by a company called MotherBe. Any Korean-readers out there want to clarify this a bit? I always thought the Micralite was designed by a trio of golf-loving British engineers.]

The Toro's family resemblance to the original Micralite Fastfold is immediately apparent. It looks as though the Toro keeps a lot of the Micralite undercarriage, which gives it the same sweet turning and handling performance as the Fastfold.

But it trades the Fastfold's distinctive double-wedge seat & canopy for a more--I'll say it--Bugaboo-like, floating chair. That gives the Toro one and possibly two more seat angles than the Fastfold's two, including fully flat.

The British baby store Oliver's Babycare is taking deposits on the Toro for May delivery. The price: 259 pounds, about 100 pounds more than the Fastfold. What it'll be in the US, where the price for the Fastfold was recently dropped by a couple hundred dollars, is anyone's guess [or anyone's good email question, if you're slightly less lazy than me.]

See photos and promo pics for the Micralite Toro in Joeyongwon's flickr stream [flickr via dt reader LJ]
Toro Buggy by Micralite [olivers-baby-care.co.uk]
Micralite Fastfold, $369, Newborn System, $579 [sparkability.net]

10 Comments

Bugaboo may have a trade-dress infringement case with this design. The floating chair is one thing, but Micralite would have a hard time explaining the similarity of the big white button on the attachment point.

And look at the canopy!

Yikes.

[yeah, they can add it to their "to-sue" list -ed.]

it appears to be the lovechild of a bugaboo and an explory but with a contribution to the March of Dimes we can put a stop this sort of thing.

I actually spoke on the phone with the US micralite distributors - May, first of all optimistic. It will be about $100 more than the Fastfold, the fastfold will not disappear, but remain in production and this "new" Toro will be significantly heavier - like 3-4 pounds heavier.

The one thing he couldn't answer me and this is KEY... is the seat small? is the canopy low? I don't undertand this "attached to the back of the seat" canopy that bugaboo uses and now micralite. The xplory at least bubbles up by 2-3 inches ABOVE the seat back and when folded, the baby/toddler doesn't rest their head on it.

Oh, and it is still a one part/piece fold. I think the fastfold, honestly, will be a better stroller for the older child and possibly the toro for the younger child. The problem with the Micralite is that time that they are too big or too unhappy in a bassinet, but not quite ready for the regular seat of the micralite.

[isn't that the time that you use the carseat adapter? I've seen a lot of Bugaboo users, too, forgo the bassinet stage--or at least switch to the seat too soon--and put a too small kid in the seat fully reclined. awkward. The Micralite's original seat always seemed a bit narrow to me; and the Fisher-Price Bugaboo knockoff turned out to have a too small seat, too; they had to redesign it. Guess it's one of those things you'll have to see in person. Oh, and the date I heard was late June/July. Thanks for the hustle, btw. -ed.]

If you're interested in the Micralite Newborn system (stroller, bassinet), go to the amazon 'gold box' today -- they're selling it for $329! we got ours (stroller only) for $200 on amazon a while back.

Also, for those wanting to bridge the gap between the bassinet and the stroller, you can now buy the Graco car seat adaptor for the Micralite. It saved our ass recently.

[wow, nice catch. I'd given up on gold box a long time ago. -ed,]

Lawsuit? Whatever! You have to take off the seat on the Bugaboo before you can fold it and carry it as two separate pieces. That was the deal breaker for me with the Bug besides the fact that it is all too common among among the fashion over function crowd. The Toro folds up easily WITH the seat. How is that anything like the Bug? Yes, they are both baby strollers and they both have seats and that's about where the similarities end. Forget about the stupid white button (which doesn't even look like the one on the bug) and focus on the bigger picture here. Bug = impractical, Toro = practical.

My lady has just bought a new Toro for our cub and I have to say it's pretty cool. One point though, you can't adjust the handle height, so I have to stoop (I'm 6'2) which is a pain. Also, it's supposed to be 8kg, but I'd say it's more like 12.5-15 (but I am just using my judgement against a pair of dumbells, nothing as scientific as using scales!) Our other pram is a Mutsy and it already feels good enough to consider getting rid of the old Dutch warhorse.

I've seen several websites that have adjustable handlebars as part of the specs for the Toro, yet one of the comments here says that handlebars are not adjustable. My husband's 6'4" and if it is not adjustable, I will need to find something else. Can someone confirm?

Thanks!

the stores say the handles adjust. the picture of the folded Toro clearly shows the handle back telescoping shorter. UPDATE: see Andy's comment below for the adjustment mechanism, which doesn't sound very convenient for folks with significant height differences. -ed.]

Sorry, but I actually HAVE one and they are not telescopic. The "handle" adjusts i.e. the black bit can be angled, but only by loosening the allen key fastenings. The handles on ours are pointing straight up (meaning less stoopage) which might be where the name came from, as they now look like horns!

[adjustable NOT telescopic, thanks for the clarification. Is it comfortable at these angles? -ed.]

Surprisingly so. You sort of prop the ends of the "horns" into the palm of your hands and pretend like you're in an X-Wing fighter. Much fun on Chiswick High St zapping passing Bugaboos.....
I am, as I said, chuffed with it, so much so we are deffo getting rid of the Mutsy. Plus, my cub loves it.

The toro Rocks : It folds up super small : Stands when folded : and bumps its way down subway stairs ( if you live in a city)...Its By far our fastest selling stroller. The toro is great from Birth bc the seat fully reclines and tilts to many positions. The Fastfold I think is best for the older child or if your looking for a durable umbrella. The toro can get you from birth (you can use the bassinet : but I think its best to get the adapter with graco or maxi cosi). you can also buy an all terrain kit for 100 bucks that turns it into a jogger.

Only complaint I ever get is that the basket is little hard to get to and you cant put a ton it it ....but hey : you dont have a beast of a stroller :

copletely different from the bugaboo : this stroller is practical : easy and very modern

use' daddytypes ' as coupon code to receive 10% off entire order at chulamama

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