Americans’ tastes in vehicles preserve getting larger. This sucks — massive vehicles are worse for the world, worse for your pockets, and worse for all of the individuals they mow down. But now, the American obsession with dimension has come for our most beloved automobile: The Little Tikes Cozy Coupe.
Don’t fear — the Coupe, and its eight variants, are nonetheless round. But they’re joined by a sinister alter, a twisted parallel universe model with malicious intentions: The Cozy Truck. This un-cozy impostor is a pox, a menace, and I want to speak about it. I don’t care that it’s been round for 12 years.
See that darling youngster over there, enraptured by the controls on America’s finest promoting automotive? That’s a really younger Steve, beneath two years outdated if the date within the shot is to be believed. He’s sitting in what seems to be a second-generation Cozy Coupe — arguably the height of Little Tikes design — and clearly having a improbable time. Sure, it is a scene from a bygone, car-loving period, however did we actually want to vary issues so drastically? Weren’t these days higher?
The Cozy Coupe is smoothed-over, spherical, approachable. The truck, in contrast, is all arduous edges advert sq. corners — its headlight eyes and smiling face aren’t sufficient to distract from its inherent unapproachability. It’s a meaner, extra aggressive automobile, and it parallels the alternatives grownup Americans now make when shopping for vehicles — a should be larger, angrier, to win collisions.
The Cozy Truck additionally mirrors one other odd side of American consumerism: The incessant must gender every thing. Look on the Cozy Coupe above, with its purple physique and yellow roof. It’s not a “boys’ toy” or a “girls’ toy” — it’s only a toy. The Coupe does are available a pink Princess colorway, aimed toward “any little girl,” however the one blue variant is the Ice Cream Cozy Truck. Despite the identify, it makes use of the Cozy Coupe physique, and its promo photos present a woman behind the wheel.
The non-ice cream Cozy Truck, in contrast, is barely out there in Genders: The blue Cozy Truck, and the purple Princess Cozy Truck. There’s no default choice right here, nothing supposed to be gender-neutral. Of course, younger youngsters of all genders can get no matter coloured toy they like, however the best way these toys are marketed and focused is obvious: The Cozy Coupe’s broad attraction is now not legitimate, the fashionable Cozy Truck’s gendered play is the long run.
The Little Tikes Cozy Truck is a microcosm of every thing flawed with the fashionable automotive market — dimension, aggression, gendered attraction. These issues are all horrible in actual vehicles, so why are we extending them to the idealized shapes of kids’s toys? Why should we defile the Little Tikes Cozy identify with this truck, when the Coupe has been so good for thus lengthy?