The New Trend is Royal Racing Green

RoyalGreenRoddler_Front copyRoyalGreenRoddler_Fender

The birth of the new prince has unquestionably been the talk of every town. Some more affluent towns are even talking about what pushchair the little guy is going to be riding in. He’ll certainly have a life in the lap of luxury, so why not think he isn’t going to start expressing his position of royalty with some regal wheels. We are by no means implying that we have any purchase orders from the royal family, but we do have a lot of inquiries on where one could receive a British themed customized buggy. Strange terms those brits have for a stroller, but we are happy to entertain all of the requests we get.

In this case, the classic metallic British Racing Green is a slightly tamer tribute to the royal theme. The inspiration is from 60 years of British Racing and their most iconic car, the 1955 Jag Type D style. It is actually a commissioned specialty project that is a royal baby collectible themed for Price George. The Union Jack and number 2 emblazoned on the fender symbolizes who’s next on throne. That would be one slamming ride for a stroll along the British countryside. Serial #001 is heading to the UK, but a limited edition run of our model 5 will be offered this holiday season.

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VW Bus Magazine – Hippy Hauler’s Love the Roddler Too

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There is something about our products and brand that really strikes a cord with custom car and motorcycle enthusiasts. They all seem to love the design of the Roddler and understand our mission for the brand. Many don’t have stroller-bound kids or any at all, but given their penchant for customizing things, you feel it’s secretly a toy they wish they owned. Recently, we were featured in the New Product section of VW Bus magazine. Definitely one of those, “how’d you get featured there?” kinda placements. In the same instance, if you have been following us at all over the last 5 years, they keep us close like butter plays toast (in the infamous words of Biggie Smalls). It always gives us a great sense of pride and accomplishment to see our product wind up in print in any capacity, and this one is especially cool. It really is a tough selection process and for them to have found us is a testament to their Google-ing ability and the extent of our reach. Much thanks to Ian Garrad for helping to make this happen.

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Inspiration is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

So, I was trolling online as I usually do and I stumbled on a website by January Holmes, and these three mock advertisements of the Roddler she took the liberty to piece together. We didn’t solicit or authorize the work, and it is clearly a school project or something to that effect…but still, your first first reaction definitely has to be WTF?! When I got to thinking about it, having inspired January to take the time to create the pieces was pretty awesome. I mean, its not like she is trying to profit from our idea by knocking us off (which is hardly the flattering side of imitation) she was inspired by us! And this stuff takes a lot of time, just cropping around the wheel spokes is a chore that Joe will still cry about. Anyways, so, while the ads are not really how we want our product portrayed, its pretty good stuff. We bet she will have a promising future.

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Kid Kustoms on E! – Blinging Up Baby, The Roddler Way

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Despite the fact we have been running a muck, we have always had a little je ne sais quoi when it comes to the media and Hollywood scene. We are admittedly a bit of a head turner and we have a laundry list of celebrity followers, so it garners some unsolicited attention. We are finally coming to our own and got a nice call from a girl from the E! channel and she wanted to feature us on the show Blinging Up Baby. We graciously accepted her offer and here you have it, the fruits of our labor on prime time TV. Seeing you invention aired never gets old, but the next chapters will be the ones that will truly define us. 

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Kid Kustoms and The Elephant in the Room

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I know and fully understand, we’d better have a really good excuse where the heck we’ve been for so long. We are certainly not short of news, mostly just short on time, juggling all sorts of balls that were not our own. There is no denying there is an elephant in the room and its is bigger and bolder than Banky’s at the Barely Legal show. There is a new Roddler on the way…Model V. Made the way it should have been and priced to be accessible. We couldn’t be any happier with the progress and platform and will be excited to share more news along the way. If everything folds and unfolds as it should, we will be ready for re-launch by the end of fall. Stay tuned,  we are back bolder and better than before!

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Baby Daddy Makes the Roddler the Big Daddy for a Day

Derek Theler, Tahj Mowry & Jean-Luc Bilodeau

A few months ago we were given the official notice that we were going to be featured on ABC Family’s new hit series, Baby Daddy. It was hard to contain ourselves for so long, especially when we were dying to share more information on the kind of type casting that was going on.

When it comes to press features and product placement, let me start of by quantifying the levels of coolness so we can have a better grasp at rating how impactful this type of marketing should be. We can use the standard 1-10 scale with 10 being and off the charts kind of opportunity. A really good feature in a magazine with real circulation, maybe a 3 or 4. An a-list celebrity being caught with your product, give that a 5 or 6. A TV feature; well prime-time is hard to come by so lets go up a notch to an 8 or 9. Think about it, a TV endorsement was the kind of stuff that made Bugaboo a household name. What the heck is a 10 then? A custom model for the Queen?? Well, how about a 30 minute episode of a hit series on prime time TV being written entirely about how your product imparts “stroller confidence”.

You can’t make this up, and you can’t buy it unless your someone we’re not. From the very first scene of the show where it panned slowly over “the Roddler” chrome badge on the fender to every other cameo appearance, the plot had become how our stroller was the ultimate tool for picking up hot women. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out how the Roddler was gliding around,  in and out of tight spaces with the utmost of ease. Anyways, to put the cherry on top, the cast and crew were about the coolest bunch of people you will meet. They were grateful to have our help to get them a Roddler (thanks again Mad Mike!) and we’re not entirely sure how to contain the excitement or return the thanks.

Check out the ABC Family Baby Daddy site for more show highlights >> HERE

or, click HEREto watch us in a trailer from the show

Chelsea Kane, Derek Theler & Jean-Luc BilodeauChelsea Kane - awesome

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The Roddler, Re-Invented; Act 2_scene 2

Livermore, California // April 23rd, 2007

My high school motto was ‘dont just do it, do it justice’. It used to be printed it on the back of our gym shirts, and since I was a little heavy in grade 7, I saw the back of a lot of gym shirts. I guess it stuck with me because the older I got, the more I started to realize that it is really hard to do everything the justice it deserves. There is just too much to do, so you have to pick your  battles. There are also those people who are fine with the idea of coasting through life just doing enough to get by. That is not our modus operandi, we are more to the other extreme – if you’re going to do it, go balls to the wall. The Roddler being the perfect example.

We already admitted that our concept to redesign a stroller was a lofty one. So, when we set sail on this adventure, we didnt exactly pack a life jacket, or a lunch for that matter. We just decided that its time so there was no margin for error. That is why when our first Roddler came out exactly as it was designed, we scrapped it and started again 3 more times. The second design was arguable the most influential and certainly the one that set us on course. It is still being circulated online as some new product design and in every instance we wish we could tell the rest of the story.

I guess when you dont have kids, it is really easy to design something for kids that is pretty cool. It is hard not to have any design sense polluted by the amount of useless and ill-conceived products that make it to the shelf. Everything looks like it is made for your kids to play with or at the very least with no consideration to what Dad is going to do. It is no wonder why fathers  tend to feel alienated when baby comes along, we get a couple weeks to figure out what’s going on and back to work. The evolution from Baby Bomber to Roddler was the result of us making the journey into the kiddie world without losing focus on our original vision, which was to make a really cool product that dad can connect with too. It was still clear that a slammed stroller with the wheelbase and width of a Harley wasn’t going to help sell mom. So we made some compromises that we thought we were the answer. We pearlized the paint, added the turning wheel and boom, ready to roll. Holy crap, now that mom got a kick out of it, we forgot that you actually need to push a kid…

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The Ultimate Indulgence

We’ve already been undergoing a refreshing change from business as usual. Summer is only a few weeks away and there is already a palpable hue of anticipation. We can’t seem to put our finger on what is bringing on the renaissance, but it’s more then just Hollywood getting in the mix .

Indulge Magazine from Fort Worth casually reached out to offer us an incredible shout out in an article they were running on luxury strollers.  We were really not expecting a solo, but we’re also not stopping to ask where the other strollers disappeared to from the feature. It sure cleared out a lot of space for a stark white background, contrasted by some glimmering complements and images of the Roddler, Trike and Buddy Wagon in all their glory. I been to Ft. Worth a few times and have still never figured out how Texas is not one of our bigger markets. Maybe a full page feature in one of their top design magazines might help. Pleasant surprises don’t need to come with an explanation, but holy moly I didn’t see that coming.

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ABC’s Baby Daddy Scripts the Roddler a Love Scene

Excited can’t begin to explain the myriad of emotions you feel when you get a call that you’ve been casted in a TV show, and it was unsolicited. We’ve been blessed by Hollywood before but this kind of typecasting opportunity is a little more then a pleasant surprise. There isn’t that much we can divulge about this beyond what we have in the title, but what we can say with certainty is we could not have scripted ourselves a better role for our cameo appearance.  It is definitely going to be worth watching and puts the cherry on top of the message we’ve always been hoping to covey about our pride and joy.

Calling Baby Daddy their highest testing comedy pilot ever, ABC Family’s new sitcom premieres on Wednesday, June 20th at 8:30PM ET. From executive producer Dan Berendsen (“The Nine Lives of Chloe King,” “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch” and “Hannah Montana: The Movie”), the series is about a young man (Jean-Luc Bilodeau) who becomes a surprise dad to a baby girl when she’s left on his doorstep by an ex-girlfriend. He decides to raise the baby with the help of his mother (Melissa Peterman), his brother (Derek Theler), his best buddy Tucker (Tahj Mowry) and his close female friend, Riley (Chelsea Kane), who is harboring a secret crush on him.

Click the image below for more details on the cast and schedule from the show’s official site.

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Rocking Lebron’s Roddler at the Grand Nationals; Act 3_scene 4

Pomona,CA  //January 23rd, 2008

After months of grinding the pavement and some very large chucks of ABS plastic, the third iteration of the Roddler was born. Joe and I have thrown everything but the kitchen sinks into our business and we were set to make our mark. We had lined up an investor meeting, an interview with TV Guide, and a booth at the Grand National Roadster Show. All this and we were to be toting around Lebron James personal Roddler and set to hand off before we head home. It was going to be a marketing weekend of epic proportions.

I was on a plane back out west, with butterflies in my stomach and our new potential suitor sitting next to me. I knew that what would happen in over the next 4 days would seal our fate. Most of the hype we had generated to this point was emanating from our launch at the first Kids Expo, so this type of press was even new to us.

DAY1:

Given the fact we were working from lap top bags and Blackberrys, Joe rented and converted the conference room of a hotel into our showroom. An hour past the start of the meeting, I’ve detailed the nuts and bolts of the business and there was no more drinks or lip service that I could offer that would cut the tension in the room. There was no Roddler on site, just a bunch of parts, printed pictures and flyers. I had never even seen a picture of what Joe was working on so I was working on blind faith. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Steph roll in, pushing Lebron’s Roddler with 13 fresh coats of clear and a newly programmed GPS unit. Meeting adjourned. Money on route, on to the next stop.


DAY 2:

After processing the insane reality that we were about to make a business of the monster we’d created, we were set to embark on a blissful weekend to tell the world about it. Our caravan’s en route down the 5, a quick stop at Jack in the Crack for their famed breakfast Burritos and we’re on our way. We’ve spoke a few times about the Grapevine. It’s the most heavily traveled freeway connecting Northern andSouthern California, and it’s just treacherous. So when you get stopped at the base and the Highway patrol is telling you that you can’t pass due to snow and ice, it is a very difficult thing to process. Two hours of waiting later and this is starting to settle in as reality. I left a Canadian winter for a weekend to have some ass tell me that I can’t drive because there is a little snow?! FML. 40 calls later to the TV Guide booking agent and we were notified that we could take all the time we needed to get down there because the interview was not gonna happen. Strike one.

DAY 3:

Even after the setback the day prior, every days is a perfect day for the Grand National Roadster show in Pomona. We filed out of our hotel and over to the show grounds to set up our stand. We had our life-size Lebron James wall sticker stuck to the floor under the Roddler, just in case you missed his signature on the Fenders and a big Kid Kustoms ol’ banner from the trade show. As people starting pouring into the show and gawking at our baby, we knew we were finally at home with a crowd that can appreciate the craftsmanship and hours of work that were poured into this. This isn’t your every day Roddler and never was. It was one of 3 we ever made with that chassis (pre-pre-trike conversion), all parts are real chrome, the seat is real leather and suede, the GPS unit is harmon/kardon, one-of-a kind red wall tires, there are disk brakes, billet wheels and about $2,500 worth of the best paint money can buy. All said and done, it cost a real $15,000, without accounting for the tooling. Needless to say it was a showstopper. So when it came to award time, it was no surprise that we were called to the podium. The only surprise was that the trophy we took home was for second place. The first place stroller was some stupid shopping cart with a stick that was modeled into an old mustang or some crap. Strike 2.

DAY:4

Well, at least to close off what was a relatively unsuccessful weekend, we were headed back to LA with one final highlight to write. The Cavs were set to play the Lakers, and before he hit the court, we were scheduled to meet the legend himself and hand off our pride and joy. Another 40 calls to his assistant, 3 hours of waiting and finally we’re exasperated. I need to make my flight and Joe’s still gotta head back North. Very unfortunately will a full load that we inevitably need to still ship toAkron,OH. If you can believe it, Joe still built a wooden crate for it and we shipped it for $2,000 to whatever farm address his assistant gave me. Strike 3. We never got even so much as a personal thank you let alone the picture we were promised, only some satisfaction in the fact that we were on to a new chapter.

After that whole whirlwind of a weekend I felt like I needed a rubber donut to sit on for the flight back. Holding my head in disbelief, all I end up coming home with is a phone bill to rival that a teenage girl and 7 more months to figure out how we are going to turn this fate and epic roller-coaster ride into a business.

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