A Christmas Toy Story: Ford Raptor the Most Popular Toy Truck, Maybe Generation Z Kids Will Drive After All

Ronnie Schreiber
by Ronnie Schreiber
a christmas toy story ford raptor the most popular toy truck maybe generation z

As millions of kids get ready to unwrap their Christmas presents Ford is making a big deal about the fact that in the three years since its uber F-150, the SVT Raptor, was introduced, licensees selling toy Raptors have made them the most popular licensed trucks in the toy industry. With all the discussion about a possible lack of interest in cars and driving by young people now reaching adulthood, it’s interesting to see that toy trucks are still popular with kids, which might bode well for the auto industry.

Licensed merchandise is a win-win situation for car manufacturers. Essentially they get paid for licensees to promote their brands and in the case of toy cars and trucks those brands are being promoted to children, which may establish lifelong brand loyalty. It’s not much of a stretch to assume that a boy or girl who drives a toy Jeep Wrangler as a six year old, might just want a real one after they turn 16. Besides the promotional aspect, the money is non-trivial. Royalties for licensed goods are typically 7 to 12 percent of the wholesale price. For every Powerwheel SVT Raptor that Fisher Price sells at $340 retail, Ford is probably getting somewhere between $12 and $20.

Little Tikes ubiquitous Cozy Coupe. Six million sold as of 2004.

Ford may be hyping the Raptor’s popularity as a toy (and using that as an excuse to hype the fact that real Raptor sales are up 40% from 2011, the SVT truck’s best sales ever) but it’s probably appropriate to mention that the Raptor is the most popular licensed toy truck, not the most popular toy vehicle. That probably would be one of the Little Tikes ride-on cars, which aren’t licensed from any auto manufacturers. Little Tikes Cozy Coupe is quite possibly the best selling “car” in the world at this time. In the 1990s it was outselling the Honda Accord and the Ford Taurus, the best selling sedans then, and continues to sell hundreds of thousands every year. The Cozy Coupe has also been in production longer than most real cars, 33 years and going on strong. Toys can be evergreen products with life cycles longer than that of cars. The toy truck that the Raptor displaced from the #1 spot was the Hummer, a brand that’s been dead (at least for real vehicles) for three years. Thinking about those ride-on Hummers and looking at the Hot Wheels model of a ’63 Studebaker Champ sitting above the number pad on my keyboard, I’m reminded that in the toy world, some brands never really die.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper and get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading– RJS

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3 of 25 comments
  • Kurtamaxxguy Kurtamaxxguy on Dec 24, 2012

    What? No pictures of the Disney Princess Escalade? Those cute little mugs on a pink truck with huge black wheels?

  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Dec 25, 2012

    As much of a Ford guy as I am, I wouldn't put much stock in this, I don't think this translates into sales in any real sense. I mean, I had a 1959 Tonka/Ford pickup when I was a kid, and I've never had the urge to own one new or vintage in my life.

    • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Dec 25, 2012

      You may never have bought a Ford pickup, but you admit to being a "Ford guy". You think playing with your Tonka Ford might have had just a little bit to do with now being a Ford guy? I'm a big fan of Jim Hall and his Chaparral racers. I haven't checked the actual records, but I'm pretty sure that Bruce McLaren's cars were more successful, overall, than the Chaparrals. The McLaren CanAm cars are beautiful race cars, but I'll always be fonder of the Chaparrals. I blame Cox and Monogram, .049 engine powered model cars and slot racing sets.

  • SPPPP The little boosters work way better than you would expect. I am a little nervous about carrying one more lithium battery around in the car (because of fire risk). But I have used the booster more than once on trips, and it has done the job. Also, it seems to hold charge for a very long time - months at least - when you don't use it. (I guess I could start packing it for trips, but leaving it out of the car on normal days, to minimize the fire risk.)
  • Bader Hi I want the driver side lights including the bazl and signal
  • Theflyersfan One positive: doesn't appear to have a sunroof. So you won't need to keep paper towels in the car.But there's a serious question to ask this seller - he has less than 40,000 miles on some major engine work, and the transmission and clutch work and mods are less than 2 months old...why are you selling? That's some serious money in upgrades and repairs, knowing that the odds of getting it back at the time of sale is going to be close to nil. This applies to most cars and it needs to be broadcasted - these kinds of upgrades and mods are really just for the current owner. At the time of sale, a lot of buyers will hit pause or just won't pay for the work you've done. Something just doesn't sit well with me and this car. It could be a snowbelt beast and help save the manuals and all that, but a six year old VW with over 100,000 miles normally equals gremlins and electrical issues too numerous to list. Plus rust in New England. I like it, but I'd have to look for a crack pipe somewhere if the seller thinks he's selling at that price.
  • 2ACL I can't help feeling that baby is a gross misnomer for a vehicle which the owner's use necessitated a (manual!) transmission rebuild at 80,000 miles. An expensive lesson in diminishing returns I wouldn't recommend to anyone I know.
  • El scotto Rumbling through my pantry and looking for the box of sheets of aluminum foil. More alt right comments than actual comments on international trade policy. Also a great deal of ignorance about the global oil industry. I'm a geophysicist and I pay attention such things. Best of all we got to watch Tassos go FULL BOT on us.