(USA TODAY) -- Still miss that Big Wheel trike that your mom sold in the yard sale - decades ago?
Nostalgic grown-ups now have a head-turning adult option: the High Roller.
Unlikethe Big Wheel for kids, which sells for $59.99, the adult-targeted HighRoller - which comes with an extra-cushy seat made with 4 inches ofplush foam - fetches a cool $599.99. And, yes, it comes complete with abell and handle-bar tassels.
But it's not Jakks Pacific, thecurrent owner of the Big Wheel brand, that's making the adult-sizeversion. At least, not yet. Jakks tells USA TODAY that it, too, plansto roll out an adult-targeting Big Wheel. But that one, for about $400,won't be available until 2014, says Ron Cohen, president of the KidsOnly division of Jakks Pacific.
Until then, tiny High Roller USAis the company behind the adult three-wheelers. The giant trikes are solow to the ground that they're arguably too dangerous for most folks toeven consider riding anywhere but on the sidewalk. "Cars in the streetmight not see you," says CEO and designer Matt Armbruster.
Eventhen, the 45-year-old entrepreneur says he's already sold his first 300 -and plans to sell at least another 1,000 this year. His sales pitch:pure nostalgia for the trike that changed the suburban landscape afterit rolled out in 1969. "We may call it High Roller, but every kid bornafter 1969 calls it a Big Wheel," says Armbruster.
Beyondnostalgia, another growing trend could propel its sales: adult play."There's an interest in introducing more 'play' into our alreadystressed lives," says trends guru Janine Lopiano, partner at Sputnik."As adults, we don't allow ourselves to experience the creative energythat play releases in us."
High Roller recently earned the dubious distinction of being named to The Worst Things for Saleblog. "Childhood joy was more about exploring a world of endlesspossibilities and less about your material possessions (like BigWheels)," the blog said.
"That might be true," says Armbruster, who laughs-off the blog's comments and prefers to revel in the free publicity.
Asa kid, Armbruster recalls blasting his way through three Big Wheelsbefore moving on to bikes. "I just wore them all out," he says.
Buthis passion never wore out. As a student at University of Colorado, in1991, he founded an annual Big Wheel rally - a night-long fund-raisingrally across local bars and restaurants. Twenty years later, the annualevent attracts hundreds of participants.
Folks at the rallies keptasking Armbruster where they could get adult-size Big Wheels. Hecouldn't find any either, so the aerospace engineer quit his job todesign them himself. He raised $89,000 through Kickstarter and found amanufacturer in Taiwan to make them.
"High Roller has taken over my life," he says.
Histarget: men 35 to 45. Some grandparents have ordered High Rollersfor their adult children, he says, so they can ride along with their BigWheel-peddling kids.
"Everyone wants to tell me their Big Wheel story," he says. "I'm happy to listen."