The company that made the original Big Wheel, Louis Marx, sold out to his competitor in the early 1970's. That company, Empire Plastics, went bankrupt in 2001. Some other company reconstituted Empire and now makes the Original Big Wheel [sic]. So that's what I saw at Target the other day.
The little rig above, however, is the real original deal: a Marx-era Big Wheel in seemingly great shape, especially considering. When Andy sent this to me this afternoon, there was only a couple of hours to go, and no bids. Eighty dollars for the Big Wheel of my youth? Ain't gonna happen. I'll wait for the guy to relist it. Well, I just got back from the gym, and it's already relisted. And it's still eighty bucks.
RARE VINTAGE 1968 MARX BIG WHEEL RIDE ON TRICYCLE EAMES, $50 first bid, + $30 shipping, auction ends Oct. 7 [ebay via andy]
Must check out gallery: Original Big Wheel [originalbigwheel.com]