Home » A Coin-Operated Children’s Ride Just Sold On Bring A Trailer For More Than What My Actual Car Is Worth

A Coin-Operated Children’s Ride Just Sold On Bring A Trailer For More Than What My Actual Car Is Worth

Childrens Ride Topshot 2
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Every so often, something sells on an online auction platform for a price that makes your jaw drop so hard, seismologists detect it. This is one of those times. A coin-operated amusement ride for small children just sold on Bring A Trailer for more than what my actual BMW 325i is worth, and I’m flabbergasted.

This is an Amutec Dune Buggy Racer, the sort of thing you’d find in a dead shopping mall. It was made in England to pry quarters from parents, and the listing claims it will give a 50-second simulated ride for just 25 cents. Unsurprisingly, considering this thing was built to take years of use and abuse, it’s in outstanding shape, with gleaming yellow paint, simulated velocity stacks, and a roll bar that appears to be made out of conduit. Sure, the spoiler and the base sport some patina, but what old and well-used amusement apparatus doesn’t see some wear and tear?

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Still, $5,400 seems like an insane price to pay for something that operates like a motorized rocking horse while playing simulated combustion noises from a single speaker. I mean, I’m sure it seemed great before we were tall enough to go karting, but it seems insane that this thing sold for more than the value of my actual car. Plus, where do you even find something like this?

For what it’s worth, I don’t drive a complete shitbox, partly because it didn’t come with a complete factory toolkit and partly because my 2006 BMW 325i is actually a pretty nice car. Sure, it may have 287,000 kilometers on the clock and a little rust bubble on the hood, but it’s a three-liter rear-wheel-drive manual sports sedan with plenty of functioning luxury tech. I’m talking 14 speakers fed by a Class D amplifier, auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated seats, self-leveling xenon headlamps, power-adjustable front seat bolsters, a heated and cooled cupholder, and automatic power windows in all four doors. Sure, it needs a brake fluid flush soon, but that’s just routine maintenance. It’s a fully functional car that’s worth less than a children’s ride.

Childrens Ride 1

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Intriguingly, this auction was slow at first, but then two bidders really got into it. In the last hour of bidding, the top bid climbed from $700 to the $5,400 hammer price, proving the old adage that auctions get really interesting right at the very end. So, what could you do with a $5,400 coin-operated children’s ride? Well, you could place it somewhere and see if it could pay for itself.

Childrens Ride 2

Jason thinks, and I quote, “You’ll make that money back so fast,” but I’m not entirely sure. At its current rate of $0.25 cents a ride, assuming zero operating costs and free electricity generated by magical opossums or something, it would take 21,600 rides to just break even on buying the thing. Mind you, it doesn’t seem like the ride’s new owner is particularly interested in that. The winning bidder commented “MY GRANDSON WILL THANK YOU” in all-caps, meaning that they are about to become the coolest grandparent of the year.

Childrens Ride 3

Still, $5,400 seems like an absurd amount of money for something like this, especially when you can buy a coin-operated ride-on car for less than $1,000 on eBay. Oh well, at least one kid should be getting an incredibly cool toy that will eventually be a rather intriguing piece of garage art.

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(Photo credits: Bring A Trailer)

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Goblin
Goblin
19 days ago

30+ years ago a standard overhead system (OHS) – powered bumper car (for amusement parks) was something like $15k a pop (in 80’s-90’s dollars), new.

There was no real reason to buy them new though, as they simply didn’t break. They’d last 30+ years, the only real reason to replace them was if one wanted to build a new bumper car facility.

They would eventually wear out the motor, which was some quite exotic think. I forgot the details, but the replacement part was about $3-4k on its own.

The only guy in our country who knew how to fix these was an old gentleman who would graciously fix them for about $1.5k. This was at a time, and in a country, when (and where) said gentleman’s monthly income would be in the $100 ballpark.

The only reason I remember all this useless trivia is that a friend of mine ended up being the second guy in the country figuring out how to fix these, as he didn’t feel like coughing $1.5k every time one of his old bumper cars would break – he was already barely breaking even.

All this to say that these pieces of machinery can be surprisingly expensive. Or at least they were before China stepped in. Not sure how things are nowadays.

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
20 days ago

Why was this on BaT?

Chronometric
Chronometric
20 days ago

$5400 for an EV that is guaranteed never to strand you. Bargain.

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
20 days ago

“50-second simulated ride for just 25 cents.”

Sounds good to me…finally, something affordable!

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
20 days ago

My questions WHY is this on BaT? I would never go there looking for something like this.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
20 days ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

Well, after all it does need to be trailered.

Buzz
Buzz
21 days ago

I have a regular search for Minis at BaT. Sometimes other things pop up if they happen to have “mini” in the name. You should see how much these stupid go-karts sell for.

https://bringatrailer.com/search/?s=Mini+monster

Church
Church
21 days ago

Is this a money laundering thing?

Frankencamry
Frankencamry
21 days ago

Ignoring the cool grandparent angle, these have never made their cost back from the quarters. They pay for themselves the same way the McDonald’s playland did.

If you can get the kid in the door, they bring adults with money.

It’s why Sandy the horse is free at Meier.

Considering some of the stupid things my parents have bought my children with actual money, this looks like a wise investment.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
18 days ago
Reply to  Frankencamry

If you can get the kid in the door, they bring adults with money.

Our local grocery chain (HEB for you Texans) uses what is essentially a kid’s slot machine for this. They get tokens for free spins and can either accumulate “Buddy Bucks” for prizes or win an instant prize. The mascot is a sentient grocery bag named H.E. Buddy.

Nothing like teaching kids the joys of gambling at an early age!

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
21 days ago

I’ve bought real cars that were made in the UK and real cars on BaT, even going so far as buying British cars on BaT, and this is still more than I’ve paid for any car from anywhere, ever.

I suppose that’s not a fair comparison, as this isn’t a car.

Ben
Ben
21 days ago

Based on the condition I find it difficult to believe this was ever used. Every one of these I’ve ever seen has the paint worn completely away on all the common touchpoints.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
21 days ago

So… they’re gunna charge their grandchildren a quarter to ride it?

Do kids even know what a quarter is?
I hope these grandparents are set up to take ApplePay or something. Sheesh, what is the world coming to.

A. Barth
A. Barth
21 days ago

At its current rate of $0.25 cents a ride

Solution: take it to Canada and run it on $1 coins (aka loonies) until it’s paid off, monitoring the exchange rate as you go.

Or keep it in the US and attach a change machine that dispenses Sacajawea dollars.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
21 days ago

For a child this is a: PHEV

Plug in

Happiness

Evoking

Vehicle

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