Mission Not Accomplished: the Thomas Lo Rider

by mssinglemama on April 29, 2008

This weekend Benjamin discovered that if he took his tricycle to the top of our front yard he could zoom all the way down the little hill, down the driveway and then take a hard right turn onto the sidewalk. He nearly flipped twice. So after his nap on Saturday it was off to Target – to find a safe replacement – one with rubber wheels and more weight.

Our pick: the Huffy Thomas Lo Rider Bicycle.

When Benjamin saw the box he started jumping up and down, “Train! Thomas! Traaaiinnn…chooooo…biiiikkkkkeee! More? More? More?”

“Okay, baby.” I know, I know – I’m a sucker.

But it’s only the Thomas obsession. Gets me every time. And the box said it had rubber coated wheels. It’ll do, and if not, I’ll just sell it on Craigslist and find a different one.

So we buy it. We come home, jump out of the car and open the box. His two-year-old ameba brain is, of course, expecting a bike to pop out. Mine is more prepared. I have my little screw driver, my hammer (don’t know why I grabbed a hammer) and some scissors.

And then, there it is. A pile of pieces. This is easy? I tried to breath, it had been a long day…a very long day. And for a split moment I actually wished I had a husband to help. But I sucked it up and dove in.

The two page instruction manual was useless. There weren’t even clear labels or illustrations of each part. Yes, guys, I need them to tell me what each little screw, nut and bolt is. Then Benjamin took off with the bicycle seat and two tires. He stopped at the front porch where he knelt down and started hammering the tires ferociously into the pavement. BANG. BANG. BANG. I think he was trying to help.

But not even Benjamin could save me from the Thomas Lo Rider. I had to give up. He didn’t even mind. He knew it was a piece of junk anyway. So we piled all of the pieces back into the box and now they’re in the trunk of my car. I’m trying to simmer down a bit before I bring it or should I say them back to Target.

Do the people who make these products actually open them up and try to set them up themselves? Who wrote those instruction manuals? WHY???? WHY HUFFY??? Big jerks.

Or…am I a total idiot because I couldn’t put this thing together?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Red Wine Gums April 30, 2008 at 8:11 am

I think it’s a myth that guys are better at putting stuff together. Sometimes yes but if it’s complicated or instructions are inadequate it’s difficult to do unless your job is something like an engineer, mechanic or carpenter etc


Tracy April 30, 2008 at 9:07 am

Oh no honey…you are not the oly one….they make those instructions so impossible!!! I always have the guys at the back of the store assemble it for me……


polisny April 30, 2008 at 11:29 am

Well, it is certainly a myth that guys are better and that kinda thing! But, I could not help laughing when you talked about the hammer. WHY DID YOU HAVE A HAMMER!! Not to mention taking it out to the shop with the power tools, chainsaw, hacksaw, bolt cutters, riding lawn mower… that would be funny!

I can imagine how frustrated you must have been! Wow, those pictures on the left, grass! Here in Europe, there is no grass on sidewalks like that, at least… not like in the states! Even a lot of city parks, here in paris, do not allow you on the grass, or simply dont have grass. It was such a surprise when I first came.. I was like… but, why do they have grass if we cant go on it!?

At least you have grass!
No, kidding
yeah, I hopefully they will take it back there at Target. Here in Europe, we dont have all the great customer service that we do in the states! I once bought a hugo boss blazer and, asked them if the could fit it; of course they did free of charge–was spensive!
But, before they had even started, I came back the next day to cancel the buy… and they flat refused to give me my money back. I dont think I have been to a single store here that has really ever been so customer-oriented as in the states! Take advantage, I am telling you!
Better luck next time 🙁
ciao Alaina!


Jenny April 30, 2008 at 11:48 am

Well, you did say it had been a very long day…. I actually like assembling stuff, but I can’t do it when I’m dead tired. The best time for higher-order thinking of that sort is in the morning, on the weekend, after coffee.


Hanna April 30, 2008 at 12:28 pm

I would like to offer my sympathizes, having experienced the full body workout that was putting together a “kangaroo climber” for my own almost-2-yr-old. I felt like I was in a Charlie Chaplin movie, trying to get one end to fit, while the other side kept slipping out, it was MADDENING!


dadshouse April 30, 2008 at 2:16 pm

It’s funny – when I was married, I always got stuck putting stuff like this together, and my ex thought I was such a doofus when I had problems.She never looked at the “instructions” and had no idea they were usually illegible! Pre-assembled is the way to go!


The Queen Chimes In April 30, 2008 at 3:08 pm

UGH! The dreaded assembly of toys.
Jenny…you are welcome in this queen’s kingdom any weekend morning, I will supply that coffee and you can assemble away!
Alaina- honey I feel your pain.
I usually have this experience every single December 25th at about 2 am.
Oh, and what is up with the trist ties they need to tie every toy into it’s packaging with? I need an army of adults just to extract one Imaginext soldier from his package! And to do this on the sly, quietly at 2 am it is nearly impossible.
My advice? The $10 assembly fee is the best money you will ever pay to the guys at the back of the store!
Take it back to Target and see if you can get is assembled at Toys R Us. CHOOCHOO away Ben and enjoy:)


mssinglemama April 30, 2008 at 5:44 pm

Tracy & Queen – no way! You can pay to get it assembled. Wonderful! See – no need for a husband at all. : ) Ha.

Polisny – you’re funny – are you in Paris then? I’ve been and I know what you mean about the grass.

Red Wine & DH – thanks for admitting that men aren’t much better at it than we are.

Jenny – yes, better to tackle after coffee.

Hannah – you’re hilarious.


Tracy May 1, 2008 at 12:18 pm

yep you can pay just a couple extra bucks….or sometimes a sweet smile does the trick!…..(LOL)


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