REPLICA CARS FOR YOUNG­STERS

Replica ve­hi­cles for young car fans are all the rage, as Tom Zed dis­cov­ered.

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OS­CAR Goodrich may not be the next Mark Web­ber – but he does have pedal power. Test-driv­ing a blue M6 con­vert­ible and a white 328 road­ster, in minia­ture reproduction pedal car form, of course, at Ade­laide BMW this week, the car-lov­ing three-year-old had mum Ge­orgina run­ning to keep up with him.

‘‘Os­car thought they were ex­cel­lent,’’ Ms Goodrich says. ‘‘He got in, had a bit of a pedal and loved it. He said they were just like big cars but smaller, a bit like Daddy’s car, not that we have a BMW.’’

Car man­u­fac­tur­ers and toy stores are work­ing to keep up with a grow­ing de­mand for pedal, elec­tric and ‘‘push along’’ cars.

The self-pow­ered chil­dren’s range cov­ers ev­ery­thing from plas­tic po­lice cars for about $100 to BMW ‘‘baby-rac­ers’’ at $189, pedal-pow­ered Mercedes-Benz go-karts for $425 and the BMW M6 con­vert­ible at $649.

Elec­tric ver­sions range from $150 to $200 at the cheaper end of the mar­ket, to $750 or more for some Porsche and BMW elec­tric ride-on mod­els avail­able on­line.

Ade­laide BMW parts man­ager Jamie Woods said while pedal cars pro­duced by car firms came at a pre­mium, it was worth spend­ing a bit more. He says the baby-rac­ers are sturdy com­pared to some cheaper brands.

‘‘We sold about 70 to 75 of those last year and about 12 pedal cars. We sold 14 babyrac­ers in De­cem­ber in the lead-up to Christ­mas,’’ he says. ‘‘Peo­ple see them in the win­dow and come in and buy one, so it’s not just BMW own­ers, but we do sell more to our cus­tomers.’’

Ms Goodrich says a pedal car would be an i deal Christ­mas gift.

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