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The Kiddie Ride
Ah, kiddie rides. Those things that practically suck the spare change out of your pockets (particularly if you're a parent) and are largely found in or near shopping malls. The things that attract little kids (and Periphery Demographic
crowds like bored or drunken teenagers) like magnets.
Originally introduced as a portable alternative of the carousel (and additional income earner for grocers), these have since crossed into Merchandise-Driven
(and occasionally, Misaimed Marketing
) subtrope territory with the introduction of the licensed kiddie ride. Now kids will be able to rent up to one and a half minutes of their favorite characters' time for a dollar or two.
Subset of The Merch
If a TV show targeted at children gets too famous, it's bound to spawn at least one kiddie ride. If it has an Earworm
theme tune, the ride will play it every five minutes to attract attention
, and on repeat while in operation.
This index is a list of shows and franchises that have been immortalized by having their characters licensed for being made into a kiddie ride. It does not involve works that feature a kiddie ride in their plots; those belong under another trope.
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Anime and Manga
Word of warning: The Japanese are very fond of kiddie rides. Expect to see quite a number of them, especially in Misaimed Marketing
- Doraemon: All made by Namco Bandai under the Banpresto brand, there's a Doraemon time machine ride with an interactive screen and buttons (actually, there are two versions of the time machine ride- the one with the interactive screen mentioned, and a older, smaller version of the ride that lacks the screen), a Giant Doraemon that fits two kids and move in a spinning motion (also having an interactive screen and buttons), a Doraemon pirate ship (again, with an interactive screen and buttons), one with Doraemon sitting on a cloud with the rider, and a fire engine with Doraemon on it. Again, sadly, officially they're No Export for You and can only be found in Japan, although like other Japanese arcade machines they've been unofficially exported to other Asian countries via grey-market imports. Aside from that, however, there's also dozens of Chinese-made unlicensed knockoffs which are sadly, much more prevalent.
- Hello Kitty
- Ojamajo Doremi
- One Piece: A textbook example of Misaimed Marketing.
- Sailor Moon (A Namco Bandai ride. It dispenses either candy or capsule toys when the ride ends).
- Astérix: An Obelix see-saw, courtesy of EMT (the makers of the offensive Donald Duck and Marsupilami ride).
- Batman - Tons of Batmobile rides. Perhaps one of the earliest known example of licensed vehicle rides.
- The Incredible Hulk
- Peanuts - Two reasonably well-designed rides, and one that's just da-da. And oh, dozens of unlicensed ripoffs.
- Spider-Man - Since when does he have a helicopter?
- Superman - Yep, he's stopping the train you're in.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The turtle van.
- Garfield - Two models exist- one with Garfield driving a taxi, the other design is a giant Garfield which the rider sits in. Plus one unlicensed rip-off of the latter model, complete with a bow on Garfield's head, if you want to get technical. The rides were made in the 1990s by Jolly Roger, the same company that put out the Stuart Little, Clifford, Arthur and the da-da design Peanuts ride.
- X-Men - Wolverine in a (disproportionately tiny) Blackbird.
- Arthur - A school bus ride was made by Jolly Roger in the United Kingdom in the early 2000s.
- Blinky Bill
- Richard Scarrys Busy Town
- Clifford the Big Red Dog - One made by Jolly Roger in the United Kingdom in the early 2000s.
- Mr. Men - Two models (a Mr. Funny car and a Mr. Bump seesaw) were made by Jolly Roger in the 1990s. There was also a Mr. Happy Train that was made in limited numbers, apparently by OMC electronics.
- Noddys Toyland Adventures - Noddy rides are just as popular as the Postman Pat rides, and it shows. Almost a dozen designs exist (including one version that plays back a LaserDisc video onto a monitor positioned in front of the ride), and the ride manufacturer license has changed hands several times. The latest ride designed is a carousel by Kiddy Rides UK. Perhaps unsurprisingly, all the rides feature Noddy's little yellow car. The rides has also been exported worldwide- one has been seen in a Walmart in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA, of all places.
- Paddington Bear - an open-top blue taxi by OMC electronics based on the 70s stop-motion series, and later, a regular taxi by Jolly Roger (which comes in two colors- Dark Red and Black) which was based on the 1997 Cinar series.
- Spot the Dog - Did not do well in arcades and malls in the United Kingdom due to the design (most operators complained that the ride design put too much focus on the train as Spot is just a relatively small figure on the back. Allegedly only 11 units were produced in the UK OMC factory for the entire European market), but apparently did well enough in Australia to warrant a rumored second design.
- Stuart Little - One by Jolly Roger.
- Thomas the Tank Engine - At least half a dozen models (including a carousel plus a roof-less variant of said carousel) come from the UK alone, and with at least three more models (including an interactive model with a video screen) being produced in Japan by Banpresto (Namco Bandai).
- Winnie-the-Pooh - No less than 5 designs exist, including a spinner, a carousel and a see-saw.
Live Action TV
Yes, even video games, a distant relative to the Kiddie Ride, are not exempt from this trope.
- Super Mario Bros.: Yeah, there's one where you get to ride on Yoshi and watch a Mario figure kick a Koopa Troopa shell repetitively while the ride was in motion. It's by Banpresto (now Namco Bandai), who at that time (the mid-90s) has an alliance with Nintendo for amusement arcade games. There's another ride in the shape of a carriage with a monitor and interactive buttons. Unfortunately, they're Japan-only (although they've been parallel imported into several Asian countries).
- There's also a Mario Kart ride made by OMC Electronics.
- Sonic the Hedgehog is also not exempted- the infamous Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car and Sonic Cosmo Fighter are two early kiddie rides made by Sega themselves (although these rides also featured built-in monitors that played out a basic "game" while the ride is in use, blurring the line a bit between them and arcade games). There's also a new Sonic ride based on Sonic's car in Sonic And Sega All Stars Racing (unlike the other Sonic attempts, this one is a straight up kiddie ride), again built by Sega themselves.
- Alvin and the Chipmunks
- Bob the Builder
- Budgie The Little Helicopter
- Classic Disney characters- Perhaps most infamously, this Donald Duck ride which got people wondering what Disney was thinking when they approved the design. It could be Fridge Brilliance (do ducks even have manhoods?) or it could be a successful case of Getting Crap Past the Radar of an unfortunate Cloud Cuckoolander rep that Disney sent to meet with the designers. The world will never know. And we'll leave it at that.
- Also from the maker of said Donald Duck ride: Donald not spicy enough for you? How about getting laid by Marsupilami instead◊?
- Dora the Explorer
- Fireman Sam
- The Flintstones. Yes, really. Milked to the bone in that Dino, as well as Fred and Barney's cars, were made into rides, and the milking is still happening with ride design revamps due to the license changing hands!
- The Koala Brothers - the brothers' plane.
- The Lion King. They made a Pumbaa ride. Why Pumbaa? Why not cub!Simba? No one knows. Then again, it's from the same maker as the offensive Donald Duck and Marsupilami ride, which is probably self-explanatory. Just thank your lucky stars that they didn't put Pumbaa in that pose.
- Little Einsteins - A Rocket ride, but the kids only exists as stickers stuck to the ride.
- Mighty Mouse
- My Little Pony (Specifically, My Little Pony Tales. Practically inevitable, that one.)
- Muppet Babies
- Peppa Pig
- The Pink Panther - At least three designs were made by Jolly Roger in the 1990s: a police van with the Panther sitting on top, a seesaw, and a train with both the Panther and Clouseau.
- Postman Pat - The infamous post van (which has been redesigned twice overnote ), the helicopter from Postman Pat: SDS, and a strange ride where you get to sit on a sack of mail next to Pat. The signature van design is a pretty common ride all over the UK.
- The Real Ghostbusters - Now you can drive Ecto-1!
- Woody Woodpecker - Two designs were made by Jolly Roger in the 1990s: one with Woody and Chilly Willy in a plane, and another with the two on a fire engine.