Big toys for little kids

Scaled Rigs toy trucks aimed at children have taken off with the corporate sector

Each Scaled Rigs model cost upwards of €25,000 to design and develop and retail prices start at about €4,500. Photograph: Scaled Rigs

Each Scaled Rigs model cost upwards of €25,000 to design and develop and retail prices start at about €4,500. Photograph: Scaled Rigs

 

It’s every child’s dream. An exact ride-on replica of a big truck. The trucks are scaled to size for kids aged five and upwards and, while truck-mad parents or parents of truck-mad kids may have started out as the company’s main target buyer, company founder and design engineer Wayne Auchmuty says Scaled Rigs is doing unexpectedly brisk business in the corporate sector with companies buying the trucks for advertising and promotional purposes.

Auchmuty studied product design at DIT and subsequently worked in the engineering sector designing machinery for agricultural and quarry use.

He set up his own engineering and design business for heavy machinery in Roscommon in 2014 and, once that was successfully up and running, he turned his attention to realising his childhood dream of producing miniaturised trucks for the toy market.

Scaled Rigs was established in 2018 and Auchmuty now divides his time between the two businesses.

 “My father owned and drove trucks, so they were my passion from a very young age,” Auchmuty says. “As a kid, I always wanted a toy truck but there was no such thing available at the time.

“When I was finally in a position to be able to develop the truck myself, I set up Scaled Rigs and we spent a couple of years designing and preparing the prototypes before launching two years ago. There are some toy trucks available but they tend to be one-off self-builds that parents make for their own children. So developing a commercial version was breaking new ground and creating a completely new market segment.

“Between trucks and trailers we have sold close to 200 units so far and they have literally been bought by people all over the world.”

Auchmuty began by contacting Scania to get permission to replicate the company’s iconic look in child-size form and they granted him a reproduction licence. He was then approached by Mercedes-Benz and asked to design a replica of one of their trucks.

There are now three models in the line-up, the original Scania truck, a Mercedes Benz Actros and a limited-edition T cab (Bullnose), all powered by 24-volt batteries.

Each model cost upwards of €25,000 to design and develop and retail prices start at about €4,500.

Scaled Rigs has been supported by Roscommon LEO from the off and now employs four people. The main “test pilots” for the trucks are Auchmuty’s three young daughters.

“Our trucks are made from high-quality components and built on a stainless-steel chassis that can carry an adult. The trailers are also made from steel and the whole product is built to last and to hopefully become a family heirloom,” Auchmuty says.

“About 90 per cent of what goes into the products is sourced in Ireland as I felt it was very important to support local and source local to maintain quality.

“Interestingly, our trucks are already becoming collectibles and appreciating in value, especially the limited-edition ones.

“What we hadn’t been prepared for was the degree to which the trucks would take off within the corporate sector and that is fast becoming a very significant part of our business,” he adds. “Usually these orders are bespoke so they cost more and that’s good for our bottom line.

“People just love our trucks and they tend to generate a huge amount of interest when they’re used in videos online. They also attract a lot of attention at trade shows and exhibitions.

“We’ve discovered that companies are finding them a very eye-catching catching marketing tool whether their business is related to trucking or not.

“The toy market will always be important to us, but we believe the real growth potential lies within the B2B market where we can see multiple uses in areas such as attention grabbing point of sale displays.”

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