This one is a bit out there, even for me. But stick with me here, because there’s just something about a giant ride-on electric dinosaur powered by a mystery electric motor that feels perfectly fitting for the Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week column.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is perhaps one of the least useful yet most fun-looking Chinese EVs I’ve featured yet in this exploratory column.
I can think of absolutely zero utility for this ride-on dinosaur, other than separating parents from their money at amusement parks. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; it’s a fine use indeed.
And if there was ever a truly awesome parental money separator, this would be it. I’m not even a kid and I want to beg someone to pay for me to ride this thing.
There’s a coin collector or card swipe option (I’m really curious where they put that swipe – do you lift the tail?), and then it’s off to the dinosaur races!
Of course no one will be moving very fast on their triceratops or brontosaurus. The speed is rated at 50 meters per minute, which Google kindly informs me is around 3 km/h or 1.8 mph.
Controls are mounted on the dinosaur itself, but there is also a remote control that an operator can use to take over driving responsibility. I assume the kid offers up one of those pilot-style “You have the dinosaur,” “I have the dinosaur” hand-off moments like in the movies.
And if you’re wondering just how complicated the controls could be, you might be surprised.
There’s more than just forward and reverse here. In addition to standard dinosaur walking, there are also functions to open and close the mouth, blink the eyes, raise and lower the head, swing the tail, and engage the “light effects.” I don’t remember any of the animals in Jurassic Park coming with their own Laser Floyd show, but perhaps I need to rewatch the originals.
Power comes from a 700W motor (nearly one whole horsepower!) and is provided by a pair of rechargeable batteries. There’s no word on what those batteries are, but I’m guessing it’s more than a couple AA Duracells. The vendor says a single charge is good for six hours, which seems like a surprisingly long time. You’d be lucky to get half of that from an electric bicycle under continuous use.
But then again a triceratops is significantly larger than an e-bike, and I assume that means more room for batteries, so perhaps I should have seen that coming.
One of my favorite features of the walking electric dinosaur (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d say) is the 150 kg weight limit, meaning riders up to 330 lbs. can go for a spin. This ain’t no kids toy, this is fun for the whole family!
And I haven’t even gotten to the coolest part yet – the way it walks! Based on the pictures, I assumed it was just a rigid model with little hoverboard wheels mounted in the bottom of the feet. The wheel part is probably correct, but you can see from the video below that the legs actually walk. There’s another motor that seems to move them back and forth. I don’t think it actually provides any walking power (it seems the two non-walking feet still roll forwards), but it sure gives the illusion that it is walking instead of rolling.
So what does something like this cost? From the looks of the sales page, it will set you back $3,500.
I’m not even sure if that’s a good deal or not. What’s the going rate on a walking electric dinosaur? Is there a Kelly Bluebook value I can refer to?
Since I can’t really tell if I’m getting ripped off or not, I think I’ll sit this one out. I’ve bought a bunch of weird EVs in the last few months, so I think my wife deserves a break from my stupidity.
But hey, if your partner yells at you for buying the kids (or yourself) a walking electric dinosaur, don’t come complaining to me!
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