August 9, 2006

Barney Shopping Cart Saves Children's Lives--For A Dollar

tv_kart.jpgHow would the shorties of this world get around if it weren't for New Zealand? Think about it: Mountain Buggies, Phil & Ted's, Ents, TV Karts...

The TV Kart is the most popular television-equipped, mini-car/grocery cart in New Zealand, and it is slowly making its way into stores in the US. Two kids can sit in seat-belted comfort and safety, with that low center of gravity that the American Academy of Pediatrics is demanding. The AAP's recommendation, to use carts "that allow children to ride closer to the ground (for example, in a small model car in front of the cart)," why, they might as well spell it with a "K" it's so perfectly--

Oh, what's that? Did someone mention a TV? You say the Karts come equipped with onboard computers and an LCD screen down below, where, for a dollar, parents can let the kids watch Barney, Bob the Builder, or The Wiggles while they shop? And that stores don't even have to pay for the Karts, the maker, Cabco, will provide, maintain, and upgrade them for free, in exchange for that dollar? And that the AAP doesn't approve of television for kids under 2?

Well, unless the AAP is gonna watch the kids while America goes shopping, I have a feeling TV Karts are gonna take over this country, one Kroger at a time.

"TV in our Karts means happy children and happy parents."
[ via dt reader tommy]


Great. Now all the stores will have products targeted at kids on the bottom shelf. Say hello to more sore backs.

Maybe they'll redesign carts so that parents can pedal them and they sit low to the ground. Kind of like my '79 Firebird (the sit low part, not the pedal part)

[yeah, or my '72 harley, er, I mean 'big wheel.' -ed.]

At least they appear smaller than the ridiculously massive NASCAR-esque monstrosities at our local Dillon's (Kroger). Those behemoths are incredibly hard to maneuver around a grocery store and, ironically, hold less groceries than a standard cart because they're totally sheathed in useless kid-friendly primary colored plastic. Hmm, a lot like the SUVs the kids came to the market in...

Wait. Kid-friendly primary colored plastic SUVs?

Man, and I thought it was just a slow news day here in Atlanta. The AJc actually had an article on these karts on the front page this week.Talk about a massive media push.

[thank you? -ed.]

I just used the TV Kart for my first time today and I can tell you I would have paid even more than a dollar for it. I set both children in the kart, locked them in and forgot I even had children. (I am saving that quote for my Mother of the Year Speech) :). Shopping was so much easier and Meijer is so smart for carrying them. In fact, the way the whole deal works with the stores not being charged for them is fantastic. True Meijer doesn't make money off the actual Karts, but I can guarantee that more people will shop there and shop longer because of them. I can't believe that I am so excited about a shopping cart...I guess that's what parenthood does. :)

[fascinating and depressing at the same time, thanks! -ed.]

By the looks of the thing, it appears that I could buy exactly 7 food items and no more per shopping trip, but it would totally be worth it to keep my kid entertained and thus not shouting "bwoooon!" every time he saw one of the hundreds of balloons my grocery store cruelly places every four feet throughout the store.

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