Even though Power Wheels has become a common household name associated with ride-on toy cars, Peg Perego was the first company to produce battery-powered toys.
Power Wheels and Peg Perego have been the two major players in the ride-on toys industry for the last three decades. And despite the fact that they have been competing for years, many people don’t know the difference between the two.
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History of Power Wheels
It won’t be far-fetched for us to claim that Power Wheels is to this industry what Coca Cola or Pepsi is to the soft beverage industry. In fact, many people refer to all the ride-on toys in the market as Power Wheels irrespective of the brand.
This was not always the case; in fact, there are numerous manufacturers in this industry, with Peg Perego and Power Wheels being the main ones. Despite being competitors, these two brands have more similarities than you would think.
Other than the similarities in their ride-on toy car’s designs, would you believe us if we told you that these two brands have the same origin?
Well, it is true; Power Wheels can trace its origin to the firm opened by Peg Perego’s engineers. The Italian producer of kids’ products was a well-known manufacturer of baby carriages and strollers in 1950.
After being one of the key players in the industry in Europe for a few years, the company ventured into the United States in the 1960s and started producing kid’s pedal-operated vehicles.
After dominating the pedal-operated toy vehicle industry in the U.S. for a few years, the company’s engineers decided to start manufacturing battery-powered toy vehicles. Therefore, they opened another firm to handle this business, which they named the Pines of America.
Peg Perego sold the company to Kransco in 1984, and thus the brand Power Wheels was born. Kransco renamed these battery-powered toy cars Power Wheels two years later and became a hit.
Peg Perego decided to get back into the battery-powered toy car industry in the late 1980s and started manufacturing these toys under their brand peg Perego.
And with this decision, their rivalry, which has been going on for over three decades, started. Power Wheels thrived, and their sales exceeded one million toys per year by 1990. The brand’s sales improve after Mattel purchased it in 1994 and placed it under Fisher-Price.
The Difference Between Peg Perego and Power Wheels
Despite having the same origins and many similarities, these two brands have numerous differences that make them stand out. Power Wheels may be a household name, but Peg Perego toy cars have two or more advantages over Power Wheels.
Some of the main difference between these two brands includes:
Peg Perego vs Power Wheels
The names of these two major players in the ride-on toy car industry speak for themselves. They have been dominating the industry for over three decades and are known for producing high-quality products loved by kids worldwide.
Even though Peg Perego started earlier than Power Wheels, the latter’s name has become a household name associated with all the ride-on toys in the market thanks to their marketing strategy. In fact, Power Wheels became a household name after Mattel acquired it in 1994.
Since then, they have been producing high-quality ride-on toys for kids all over the world.
Even though Peg Perego started in Italy, this company made it big after venturing into the American market. The Italian firm started producing ride-on toys for kids in the 1970s, which was unprecedented.
They started with pedal-operated kid’s riding toys in 1960 before advancing to battery-powered toys. Peg Perego dominated the market from the 1970s to the early 80s when they sold Pines of America to Kransco, a San Francisco-based firm that would eventually become a household name.
Therefore, in terms of value, these two competitors are not that far apart.
While Peg Perego and Power Wheels produce ride-on toy vehicles, their products are very different. Peg Perego manufactures building ride-on toys while Power Wheels’ toys resemble motorcycles and fancy cars.
Power Wheels launched their battery-powered Harley-Davidson motorcycle in 1999, which increased their sales.
On the other hand, Peg Perego currently produces battery-powered Vespa, Cub Cadet, Polaris, Ducati, and John Deere. While Power Wheels introduce kids to modern fancy cars, Peg Perego shows them the importance of real-life tools like tractors and farm trucks.
Therefore, you could say that they both produce different lines of ride-on toy vehicles. The main difference between these two companies’ toy vehicles comes in performance. After all, even a toy ride-on farm truck needs to be powerful enough to carry some loads.
Many parents have complained over the years that Power Wheels usually have one of the rear wheels powering the entire vehicle forward. The motor of the Power Wheels is normally attached to the left rear wheel, which means that these toys get stuck easily.
They may have corrected this issue in their newer models, but they are still not as powerful as Peg Perego, which is the main reason why most parents end up upgrading them.
On the other hand, Peg Perego’s toys have been using both rear wheels to propel the toy; therefore, their cars rarely get stuck. And that is because they have two motors powering the rear wheels. This makes it possible for these toys to get out of sticky situations easily.
With Power Wheels, most kids have been stuck in weird places while playing with their pals. And reversing with only the left wheel powered by the motor can be tricky when stuck.
Reversing with Peg Perego is quite easy and fun even when stuck. Peg Perego is powerful enough to get out of tough situations without your kid alighting in most cases.
As aforementioned, Peg Perego is better than Power Wheels in numerous aspects, and one of them is speed. Power Wheels are slower than Peg Perego toy cars. And that is because Peg Perego battery-powered toy vehicles come with one reverse and two forward speed options.
This is what makes Peg Perego ideal for both young and older children. Some Peg Perego models like the Polaris Sportsman-850 twin, which is powered by a 24v battery, are powerful enough to support the weight of an older kid and still perform efficiently.
Increasing the power of the toy car means that it can go faster and carry heavier loads. Therefore, to some extent, Peg Perego toy cars are the best option for parents who don’t want to upgrade the toys in the future.
Peg Perego toys have half the power of most golf carts and are way lighter and smaller in size. The combination of the two motors powering the rear wheels and its power makes Peg Perego ride-on toys the best option for tackling rough terrains.
Plus, with the two forward options, you can control the speed of the toy car when it’s being driven by young kids.
You won’t find these features in any Power Wheels ride-on car, which is the reason why they get stuck easily. Power Wheels don’t produce toys that can easily draw power over 12 volts, which is probably why our kids ask for better performing and faster toys after using their power wheels for a few weeks.
This is also the main reason why most parents end up upgrading the Power Wheels, by either installing a powerful battery, motor or changing the plastic gears with steel ones.
Upgrading power can be quite costly since you have to match a 24-volt motor with a 24-volt battery if you want the car to serve your kid for a very long time. After all, a 24 volt can end up damaging a 12 volts motor.
As we have just mentioned, Peg Perego toys have a 24-volt battery system, but they also manufacture toys with 12 volts and 6 volts batteries. The lower the voltage, the smaller the toy and the younger the kids who have to drive it and vice versa.
The size of the batteries helps the parent limit the speed of the toy car in terms of age. So if your kid is about two years old, you will have to get him a Peg Perego toy with 6 volts battery.
On the other hand, Power Wheels toy cars come with either 12 volts or 6 volts batteries.
Remember, Peg Perego produces tractors with trailers for carrying anything your kid is playing with. Therefore, it needs the power to move both off-road and tarmac.
And since it rarely gets stuck, your kid can play anywhere in your compound without worrying about the battery running out.
After all, the huge battery capacity of the Peg Perego can serve him for an extended period. But make sure the battery doesn’t run out completely, as this can be disastrous.
The Design of the Battery
Peg Perego has had a wide range of batteries that vary in size over the year, which has added to the confusion of which one is ideal for your kid’s toy. But one thing they have maintained over the last three decades is their battery color system which they refer to as tamper-proof.
The system includes Peg Perego color-coding the battery cases to help their client differentiate between batteries based on voltage. This system has remained the same for years, and it is as follows:
- Yellow is 24 volts,
- Blue is 12 volts,
- Green is 6 volts.
Power Wheels also have a similar color theme, but instead of voltage, the colors represent battery type. For example, this company has a small-sized blue colored 6 volts battery with a one-style connector and a huge red 6 volts with a different kind of connector.
There 12 volts batteries are actually grey. Therefore, when looking for a replacement battery, you should match your kid’s current battery’s connector and color with the new one. But in most cases, the aftermarket batteries are black; therefore, you have to pay attention to the connectors.
Peg Perego uses a straightforward approach when designing their batteries, which makes it easy for folks to understand. With power wheels, it may be a bit challenging at first, but learning how it works is useful for repairing, fixing, and wiring.
Can You Upgrade These Two Ride-on Toy Vehicles?
Depending on the model you purchased, these toy cars can be easily upgraded if you want to increase their performance. Even though Peg Perego is more powerful than Power Wheels, you may have to upgrade it at some point if you purchased a 12-volt toy car.
Luckily, there are numerous replacement parts that you can use to upgrade your toy car. For performance, you may have to switch from brushed to brushless motors. And then replace the plastic gears with steel ones before proceeding to the batteries.
Can My Kid’s Peg Perego Ride-on Car Use a Power Wheels Battery?
Yes, but you have to make sure that they’re compatible and that you have replaced the connectors.
Remember the original Peg Perego toy car’s batteries tend to be quite costly, so when your kid’s toy car’ battery gets damaged, you can look for a cheaper compatible Power Wheels battery and install it.
This can end up saving you some cash while ensuring that your kids remain entertained.
Despite being industry rivals, Peg Perego and power wheels have produced some of the world’s best ride-on toys. These two top brands also have the same origin, although Peg Perego has been producing kids ride-on toys for over four decades.
Power Wheels focus more on fancy cars, while Peg Perego focuses on real-life situations by producing trucks and tractors, among other toys. Even though Power Wheels has been a household name for years, Peg Perego toy cars have a number of advantages over them.
Peg Perego ride-on toys are more powerful than power wheels and fast. But Peg Perego still manufactures toy cars that use 12 volts and 6 volts batteries.