September 12, 2004
If you don't currently have a baby, you may not be aware of the stunning advances in stroller technology that have been made lately.
The higher-is-better philosophy is the chief selling point of the Stokke Xplory, a new entrant in the luxury stroller market. At $749, it is $20 more expensive than the Bugaboo Frog, which is a souped-up stroller from a Dutch design company and is favored by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow.
In any case, the Xplory trumps competitors in height. According to Stokke, the adjustable seat can be positioned up to 27.6 inches from the ground.
Though Stokke reeled off other features that differentiate the Xplory, like the telescoping handle and the arched bar between the rear wheels so mommies don't bang their shins, the stroller's marketing campaign focuses on height.
"Children deserve a better view," declares the sales brochure, juxtaposing the slogan with the jumble of human feet and asphalt that babies in low-slung strollers must face.
The stroller we have, which is light years more advanced than the old-fashioned plastic-wheel perambulators we grew up with, is still a fairly low-end model, something which just amazes me. I expect that some day soon, you'll be able to buy one with a coffee maker and WiFi access built right in. It's just a matter of time.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 12, 2004 to Society and cultcha
I don't know if you've ever read a children's book called "The Phantom Tollbooth". That stroller reminds me of a place in it called "Point of View". In that place, children were born floating in the air, at the exact height they would be as adults, so they would always have the same 'point of view'. (An additional benefit being that they couldn't fall down and hurt themselves...).
It was written in 1961, the author is Norman Juster. Find it if you can, it's a delightful read for adults as well as children. (ISBN 0-394-82199-8)
The latest will also come with a robot nanny, I'm sure.
"I expect that some day soon, you'll be able to buy one with a coffee maker and WiFi access built right in. It's just a matter of time."
Of course, since this will be for the upscale market, the coffee maker will only make double mocha lattes. And the Wi-Fi access will lead to a new source of spam. :-)
Of course you missed the other big point regarding modern strollers: Specialization. You can't just get by with one stroller anymore. The modern parent needs at least three!
1. You need your basic suburban mall-cruiser stroller. Something big with losts of storage underneath and various features for long-term cruising such as cupholders for the parent and a snack tray for the kid.
2. You need your jogging stroller, preferably an ATV-style one with shocks and big wheels for going off road on trails and the beach. These are the ones that usually catch Dad's eye because they are usually done in sporting colors as opposed to the mall strollers which are usually done in soft mom colors like baby blue with ruffles and pleats on the trim.
3. You need your portable umbrella stroller, especially if you live in an urban environment. These are the little ones that fold up like an umbrella that can be tucked under an arm and brought into a taxi, bus, or subway. The big mallcruiser strollers are generally huge and heavy and you can never get one into a city bus.
Anyway, if anyone is actually looking for strollers, go check out the ebay shops for new strollers. You can get the higher-end strollers not seen in places like target and walmart for about half-price on ebay compared to the fancy high-end mall shops.
Yeah, yeah. We had a big fancy stroller too. After the second child was out of the attached rear-facing car seat, we found we stopped using it entirely. It's just too damn big compared to the