Big Wheel (tricycle)
A Big Wheel is a type of tricycle, usually made of plastic, with an oversized front wheel, that rides very low to the ground. Introduced by Louis Marx and Company in 1969 and manufactured in Erie, Pennsylvania, the Big Wheel was a very popular toy in the 1970s in the United States, partly because of its low cost and partly because consumer groups said it was a safer alternative to the traditional tricycle or bicycle.
The design was quickly imitated, under a variety of brand names. Although Big Wheel was a registered trademark, it was frequently used as a generic name for any toy whose design resembled that of Marx. Following the bankruptcy and liquidation of Marx Toys in the early 1980s, the Big Wheel brand name and molds were sold to Empire Plastics, makers of the Power Cycle brand, which was Marx's biggest competitor.
By the late 1990s, few manufacturers were making these toys, and Empire, too, filed for bankruptcy in 2001. The Big Wheel brand was reintroduced under new ownership in 2003.
Popular culture 
- On South Park, the boys are often shown riding Big Wheels, particularly in the episodes "Chickenlover", "Kenny Dies", "The Jeffersons" and "Cartoon Wars".
- On The Simpsons episode "Moe'N'a Lisa", the Rhode Island state trooper rides a Big Wheel (lampooning the small size of the state).
- VH1's mini-series I Love Toys ranks the Big Wheel as the 40th most popular toy.
- A yearly Big Wheel race takes place on Easter Sunday in San Francisco. Formerly raced down Lombard Street, the event moved to Vermont St in 2008 under threat of lawsuit. 
- The character Stewie Griffin from Family Guy is often seen riding a Big Wheel.
- An annual Tulsa Big Wheel race is hosted by Tulsa Big Wheel Racers, LLC as a charity event in which the proceeds go to benefit the Tulsa, OK based cancer research non-profit charity "Cancer Sucks". 
- In the Stanley Kubrick Film The Shining, Danny, the son of Jack Torrance rides through the long halls of the haunted hotel on a Big Wheel.
- During the 2008 Christmas Holiday Season, Lexus ran a commercial featuring the Big Wheel.
- In James Cameron's 1986 film Aliens, children are seen driving Big Wheels in a terraformed colony building. It was also featured in another Cameron film, Terminator. 
- On Nitro Circus Travis Pastrana lands the longest backflip on a Big Wheel.
- In Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the main character, Greg Heffley, is given a Big Wheel for Christmas by his friend Rowley.
See also 
- The Original Big Wheel Present manufacturer of the Big Wheel.
- The Original Big Wheel Company The Big Wheel's distributor in the UK.
- Tulsa Big Wheel An annual big wheel race to benefit cancer research.
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