In 1995 we were looking to start our own business and had the inspiration when we noticed our neighbour’s 1 year old boy wanted to ride a toy just like his big brother. Unfortunately the only thing he could sit astride was his toy dump truck which had straight ahead wheels. He would happily push along until he met an obstacle then scream until someone physically pointed him in another direction. Needless to say it wasn’t long until the next screaming fit!!
The Design of our first Wheely Bugs- Ladybird, Bee and Frog, was inspired by a fridge magnet, an office chair and visits to Toy Museums.
We made a prototype which we took to a number of Child Care Centres to test and get some professional feedback. After a few small changes to the shape and the filling we had it safety tested and began making about 50 a week under our house. Initially we sold only to Child Care Centres because we felt they appreciated the robustness of our design, we hated seeing needless waste of cheap plastic toys ending up in the bin in less than a year! Eventually on one of our sales trips we came across a fantastic toy store which we felt matched our ethics and were delighted when the owner immediately bought 12 from us! From there it was simply word of mouth from one good toy store to another and the Wheely Bug was launched into the Australian retail market.