March 2, 2022
Who remembers the original Razor A Kick folding scooter? It arrived in 2000 and, in many ways—just like the phone of nearly the same name—it epitomized Y2K design, reports Fast Company; which gushes about “its colorful hand grips and shiny aluminum frame glint[ing] in the sunlight, hearkening a joyous, technological future.
Indeed, the Razor A Kick became a massive hit that was named Spring/Summer Toy of the Year by the nonprofit Toy Association and sold 5 million units in the first six months.
Two decades later, the kids who loved the Razor scooter are now adults. And so the company is building the toy for them. Starting at $550 on Kickstarter, the Razor Icon is a full-size modern electric scooter that can hit speeds of 20 mph on the street. But visually, everything from its polished aluminum frame to its candy-colored handlebars and tires is inspired by the original Razor.
It might sound obvious: Turn an old toy into a full product, right in time for its original fans to buy it as adults. But Razor has spent 20 years becoming more than its original scooter. Today it sells electric skateboards, e-bikes, go-karts, and three-wheelers.
And its aesthetics are all over the place. You’ll see bikes that hearken back to the ’70s, scooters topped head-to-toe with rainbow LEDs, and dirt bikes with a classic racing look.
“There’s an interesting story behind that [variety],” says Ian Desberg, VP of design and development at Razor. Desberg is a trained toy designer who used to race BMX bikes, and he says Razor is full of people who used to race cars, skateboard, and practice all sorts of other wheeled sports. “You don’t need to be on the design team to influence the products here,” he says.
The Razor Icon was born from a request by Carlton Calvin, the company’s cofounder and president. Calvin pointed out that the electric scooter industry had grown stale. Every design (ranging from scooter rideshares to Razor’s own E Prime line) seemed to be the same old dull black finish. Calvin wanted something different that would stand out—something that wasn’t at first obvious to a company that developed so many different design motifs.
“I walked around for a few days thinking about that challenge from Carlton. As a design team, we’re always looking at the benchmark products, like the Apple iPhone—why is that so successful and iconic?” Desberg says. “It was one of those light bulb moments where we asked ourselves, ‘What is our benchmark, our iPhone at Razor?’ And it dawned on us, it’s the A Kick scooter. We could turn it into an adult scooter so [that] it looks like the one you had as a kid. That would be a head turner!”
The company immediately started making prototypes, building atop its know-how from having released three E Prime scooters already.
The final product, Desberg hopes, is the perfect mix between a premium electric scooter and playful nostalgia. “We love that visual,” Desberg says. “We want a pink-and-silver scooter to be cruising down the street at a good clip, turning heads.”
The Razor Icon is on Kickstarter starting at $550, discounted for launch. Final MSRP will be somewhere under $1,000.
Research contact: @FastCompany