Electric Scooters to take Aust by Storm
Reported by AAP
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Toy distributor Funtastic says kid's electric scooters will take Australia by storm this Christmas following runaway success in the United States.
Chief executive Stewart Downs said he was comfortable marketing the electric scooters to children following a wave of poor quality imports a few years ago.
"We believe electric scooters are going to be the next big category, so we'll start to push electric scooters through TV," Mr Downs told AAP.
The Melbourne-based company is positioning itself to launch a range of new products after booking a 15-fold increase in first half profit in February.
As part of the launch, Funtastic plans to heavily promote four new electric scooters which travel up to 24km/h, including an all-terrain electric quad bike, a moped aimed at girls and a go-kart-type "ground drifter".
Mr Downs said the products had all been approved for use by the consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
In October 2008, the ACCC recalled Razor PowerWing three-wheeled scooters which were supplied by Funtastic.
Following a series of analysts briefings on Wednesday, Funtastic said it had a cautious outlook for the rest of the year due to the uncertain retail environment.
But Mr Downs believes consumers are still prepared to put their hands into their pockets for the right products.
"It's about having a good brand, with innovation and value," Mr Downs said.
"Value doesn't mean the cheapest price.
In the United States, a Razor E100 electric scooter designed for children eight years and above sells for around $US150 ($A145).
"Consumers are cautious, but if there's freshness and innovation out there it seems to be working okay," Mr Downs said.
He also remains bullish about the Pillow Pets brand as it begins trading in the UK, France, Germany and Italy.
"By Christmas we'll know how its tracking and from that we can get a lot more guidance as to what it will mean for our overall business."
Guessing Razors are pretty low quality, but if I were an Oz ebiker I'd be looking at putting together after-market upgrade kits to piggyback on the Funtastic promo effort...