Radio Flyer is making tiny Teslas for kids now


I recently got my very first Tesla. It’s a Model Y. It’s very environmentally friendly. It doesn’t use gas. Actually, this particular model doesn’t use electricity either. It’s completely foot powered, which could make long trips pretty tiring. Also, it’s way too small for me. In fact, it’s so compact that I park it every night in my living room.

OK, OK. I didn’t get a Tesla. But, my kids – age 5 and 1 – did. It’s the new My First Model Y by the classic American toy company Radio Flyer. The vehicle is part of a new line of ride-on children’s toys the company has made in partnership with Tesla. 

My 5-year-old son, Ezra, parks the My First Model Y in our New York City apartment-sized living room.

My 5-year-old son, Ezra, parks the My First Model Y in our New York City apartment-sized living room.

As the Mashable tech team’s resident dad, I took the reins on this one when offered a pre-release sample to try out.

First of all, the kids love it. It’s just a big red car, large enough for the hood of the vehicle to act as the seat for children to ride on. There’s a steering wheel that sticks out and is easy enough for both kids to turn. The horn actually honks, which, obviously, kids love.

I’m not a big car person, so I had to seek out a photo of a red Tesla Model Y to see if they got the likeness down. It’s a red car with a Tesla logo on it. It looks close enough to me.

The vehicle’s body is rather well-made. It has some scuff marks from 5-year-olds bouncing soccer balls off the hood and ramming it into other toys, but there are no cracks, nothing has broken. Radio Flyer is known for its sturdy red wagons and trikes, so the quality is no surprise.

One-year-old Enid is a big fan of riding the My First Model Y, but she's still a little bit too small to use it on her own.

One-year-old Enid is a big fan of riding the My First Model Y, but she’s still a little bit too small to use it on her own.

The box says it’s made for children 2-4, which seems accurate. My 1-year-old daughter enjoys sitting on it and pretending to drive, but her feet don’t touch the floor. My 5-year-old son, on the other hand, looks a bit too big for it, but it still works for him at this point.

My dad critique is that it’s sort of weird that the seat is embedded on the hood of the car. But, it appears Radio Flyer is selling a more realistic battery-powered toy Tesla that kids actually sit inside of for five times the price. This one is only $99.

Also, there was some assembly required out of the box…hardly ever fun from a dad’s point of view!

But, my review really doesn’t matter. The most important criticism is from my 5-year-old son and he raises an excellent point: The hood and/or trunk of the car should open up! It doesn’t. It’s just a solid tiny model of a Tesla car. Being that Radio Flyer is known for its famous red wagons, you’d think they could have added a small storage compartment in the hood for kids to put their toys in. Perhaps they should consult my son in the future.

From my perspective, My First Model Y doesn’t beat out Radio Flyer’s other products. But, if your kid really wants a car, specifically a Tesla, I doubt you’ll find a cheaper option. 

If kids weren't familiar with a Tesla beforehand, they will be after playing with the My First Model Y.

If kids weren’t familiar with a Tesla beforehand, they will be after playing with the My First Model Y.

Since getting the My First Model Y, my son is suddenly very aware of cars with the Tesla logo, something he never ever noticed before. So, the whole partnership with Radio Flyer is really smart on Tesla’s part, by the way. Well played, Elon Musk… a much more clever idea then, say, tweeting about Tesla stock or the coronavirus.

My First Model Y ships in November, but you can preorder it now at Radio Flyer’s website.