Ford takes wraps off '15 Power Wheels F-150
Photo credit: FORD
Editor's note: An earlier version of this report incorrectly attributed ride-on vehicle sales figures. It has been corrected.
DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co., in partnership with Fisher-Price, today unveiled the 2015 Power Wheels F-150.
The third generation of the ride-on toy -- designed for children 3 years and older and a key product of Ford’s merchandising and licensing efforts -- is a child-sized version of the aluminum-bodied truck due to be launched late this year.
It comes with LED headlamps, off-sidewalk capabilities -- and a maximum speed of 6 mph.
Ford revealed the Power Wheels pickup at the Westin Hotel at Detroit Metro Airport with the same pomp and music it used in January to unveil the F-150 at the Detroit auto show.
Fisher-Price will release the Power Wheels F-150 in September with prices starting at $349.
Mark Bentley, Ford’s licensing manager, said the toy truck is the company’s top revenue-generating product among all licensed goods.
Ford partners with more than 400 companies to license products ranging from Mustang pool tables to video games. The company also sponsors an exhibit at Legoland in Winter Haven, Fla. The company’s licensing deals generate about $2 billion per year, according to License! magazine.
The toy truck can carry two passengers with a combined weight of up to 130 pounds, runs on a 12-volt battery, can drive off-sidewalk on wet grass and gravel, and comes with an MP3 jack and FM radio. The Extreme Sport version comes with LED headlamps that mimic those of the larger 2015 F-150.
“It is definitely a capable vehicle,” Bentley said.
The toy truck was spotted this month being towed by its adult-sized counterpart around Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.
The toy truck’s plastic body is stamped in Windsor, Ontario, and final assembly takes place in Mexico. It underwent product testing and validation at Fisher-Price headquarters in East Aurora, N.Y.
Ford has partnered with Fisher-Price for about 15 years, Bentley said.
While Jeep, Cadillac and other brands are featured in the Power Wheels lineup, the F-150 is the only Power Wheels pickup. Fisher-Price also produces a Power Wheels Mustang.
Power Wheels is the No. 1 battery operated ride-on brand in the United States, according to the NPD Group, which tracks retail activity across product segments.
Ride-on vehicle sales total $600 million a year in the United States and nearly $3 billion annually worldwide, according to EuroMonitor, which conducts market research.