September 25, 2010

Sky King Velocipede

A little history

We often discussed the topic: aerodynamics, or rather streamlining as it was then called, affected aircraft, then automobiles, then locomotives… What else was next? Why not a kid’s bicycle, so the tiny tots could pedal with a lesser effort?

It’s finally as early as 1935 that Sky King provided American kids what would make them think “Suddenly it’s 1940!” Well, okay, this didn’t really caught on, but at least for a while the young riders of the Velocipede could tour their neighbourhood with something that would make all of their little friends jealous.

I didn’t find anything on the Sky King Velocipede on the net. Fortunately a little card was included inside the model’s box, with some description that I’ll share with you now:

1935 Sky King Velocipede
This fully streamlined Sky King Velocipede is styled to fly down the sidewalk. Handlebars, with reflective headlight and cruising lights, are curved in the shape of gull wings. The smart frame, built-in step plates, sleek wheel hoods, and even the pedals are aerodynamically designed for the path of least resistance!

The original Sky King Velocipede had the following specifications:

Body – Sized to fit children with an 18” to 21 ½” inseam.

Finish – Red gloss with white trim and white spoked wheels.

Equipment – Headlight and cruising lights; built-in step plates.

Gear – Rubber hand grips; adjustable saddle with cushioned top.

12” front and 9” rear wheels with white, 1” rubber tires.

I said that I didn’t find anything about the Sky King Velocipede, which is quite true as far as the original thing is concerned. I nonetheless discovered that a modern-day Velocipede can still be purchased today as the rather unconventional Airflow Sky King, painted in traditional red, but also sold in pink as the Princess variant. Recommended age is up to five years, the machine being actually rather tiny in size. From the pictures I saw, that seems to be an exact replica of the Velocipede that Airflow now produces.

About the model

Model: Sky King Velocipede
Year: 1935
Maker: unknown; the only mention is “Made in China”, which is quite vague nowadays...
Scale: 1/7 (no mention either, but an exact computation can be made from the figures given above)
Distributed by: Hallmark, “Kiddie Car Classics - Sidewalk Cruisers Collection” ref. QHG6311
Acquired: brand new, in December 2006, in Hong Kong, S.A.R.

If you think that it’s not exactly in line with what I usually collect, I should clarify that it’s actually my wife who liked it so much when she first saw it at the shop that she made me buy it for her. I don’t regret it however, for it’s extremely well made and highly original. Plus, I got it for a song while original retail price was $45, and leftovers that I saw on the net still cost about the same today. Equally original was its brand, as after greeting cards then a TV channel Hallmark seemed to be willing to sell diecasts for a while – their Sky King Velocipede was produced from 1995 to 1999, and I ignore what they did next in this field, if ever. My rating is 15/20.




JDMike's Diecast Site said...

i love this one simply because it reminds me of my childhood days when i used to hang around our neighbor who has a similar looking bike.

it reminded me also of one of my favorite motorbike, the Indian.

Kin said...

Hi There,

I like this children's tr-icycle very much.
The design , the colour combination is just superb.



lorenzo721 said...


Your neighbour had the same sort of bike? Happy kid! :)

I like the Indian too, over the Harley-Davidson. I hope you found time to have a look at the post I published long time ago about the Chief model. Yes you're right, putting them side by side you can find similarities!

lorenzo721 said...


Welcome Kin, and thank you very much for your visit! I hope we'll read again from you in the future. :)

You're right, the design is superb. It seems that the engineers at Sky King put a lot of efforts into designing their little toy. Decades later, it's still a joy to look at what they've made.

komenda said...

This is so cooool!

lorenzo721 said...


So our childhood neighbour had such a tricycle? Happy kid!

lorenzo721 said...


Thanks Kin!

Regarding the colour combination, I noticed after posting this that the description of the original Sky King mentions a "white trim", while the scale model sports a light yellow trim, as the modern Airflow if I remember well. Same remark about the tyres, which are supposed to be white on the original, but are black on the model and the Airflow. So the Airflow is perhaps NOT the exact copy of the original Sky King after all.

lorenzo721 said...

@ Komenda:

Glad you like it! :lol: