October 25, 2008

Whatcha Got There, Kind+Jugend Dude? Is That The Hoppop Motta Walkbike?


Why, yes, yes it is.

Hoppop is a Belgian outfit founded by baby footprint art mogul Christophe Verlinden, which came to the Kind+Jugend expo last year with the Hoppop Original, a hardcase diaper bag that converts into a booster seat. At this year's K+J, Hoppop set its sights on the vast, lime- and fuschia-colored plastic kid doodad market: bath stuff, meal stuff, giant art nouveau changing table stuff, some random tractor.

But then there's the real eyecatcher: the Motta, which works like a typical Like-a-Bike-style walkbike, but which looks like it got lost on the way to the X-Games. The whole thing is made out of dense plastic, and that flying seat, which looks like a motocross bike or a bicycle fender, is only attached at the head tube. So it has some bounce to it.

Don't worry about your little dumpling breaking it, though; it's supposedly lasts from age 2-6, and is weight-tested to 25 kg. Though forget a 6-yo; I can't imagine a 4-yo wanting to ride a 2-year-old's bike. That's for little kids. Also, the seat doesn't adjust.

Fortunately, the Motta also comes in blue.


check out Hoppop's unlinkable flash site [hoppop.eu]
Try to buy a Hoppop Motta walkbike from Switzerland, CHF169, about USD145 [paysdesjouets.ch]


Clearly the target demographis is tri-geeks trying to raise same.




I like the plastic frame vs. the wood of many competitors. (We did not get a Like-a-Bike or any of the other wood framed options because of the poor low durability, high weight issues. If would was a good bike material, they'd make real bikes out of it.) Anyway, this thing has two features that catch my eye.

Does the bounce in the seat provide firm suspension or ridiculous Buick-like floating? I don't know what materials we're dealing with here but the geometry looks like it's probably more floating and I think that would be annoying.

Finally, can you put plastic in the same molds as plywood? If not, these guys must have copied the specs of this POS: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41p5MX1jOTL._SS384_.jpg
The entire front fork and handlebar section looks identical, as do the wheels. All that's missing here is the smiling Elmo face.

I think the wood is plenty durable and can be high quality, too. it just doesn't scale to adult size. the plastic looks heavy, but you're right; it bounces. it's in the video, so they must consider it a feature, not a bug.

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