RollPlay Nighthawk ride-on toy review
This ride-on toy is fun, safe, and a great gift for kids
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When my 7-year-old son asked for a battery powered ride-on toy, I got a little panicky. After all, I’d seen older kids zipping down our neighborhood sidewalks on ride-on toys—somewhat out of control—and couldn’t picture a way this would be able to happen safely. Not to mention the mayhem that would ensue if I let my oldest get a ride-on toy while his two younger brothers (ages 5 and 3) were unable to try it.
Once I caved, our first experience with a ride-on toy was a disaster—it was hard to use, extremely fast, and only my oldest son could figure it out. After lots of wipeouts and tears, we returned it, and tried again.
This time, we tried out the Rollplay NightHawk (available at Amazon for $189.99) ride-on toy. Much to my relief—and surprise—all three of my sons can safely use it, and they can’t get enough of it.
So, what makes the Nighthawk ride-on toy different?
Unlike other kids’ electric ride-on toys, the Nighthawk has a mechanism that prevents tipping. This means that even if my wobbly 3-year-old tries to ride it, he doesn’t crash onto his elbows to his left or right.
This makes it much safer than other seated ride-on toys that require more balance, but more long-lasting than a ride-on toy for toddlers.
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How long does it take the Nighthawk ride-on toy to charge?
On first use, you should charge the battery for 24 hours. After that, you can charge for at least 8 hours, which will produce a 90-minute span of playtime. This is pretty long compared to our other kids’ ride-on toys, especially given that kids stop and start, so they can end up playing longer than that hour and a half.
How fast does the Nighthawk ride-on toy go?
The ride-on toy goes up to 6 mph, fast enough for my kids to think they are in Nascar.
Here's what we like about the Nighthawk ride-on toy
Kids can use it independently
The Nighthawk doesn’t have a parent remote control, so the fact that it has a large, simple, and easy-to-use “on” button avoids me having to constantly come help them operate it.
The pedal is also kid-friendly and simple to push. The handles mean that they’ve had no accidents, and the seat seems comfortable enough for them to wear out the long-lasting battery.
It’s easier to see them riding it
I appreciate the stick with the flag on the back of this toy—this safety function indicates to cars that a kid is riding a low-to-the ground device. This makes me feel better as they zoom around on sidewalks, and it also makes them easier to keep track of.
However, one thing to be aware of is that the flag comes off easily. Ours is now lost in the depths of the garage toy bin. If you think the flag may inspire use as a sword in a fake pirate battle, make sure you establish a rule that it needs to be put back when the battle is over.
It has a wide turning radius
The Nighthawk has a 6.5-foot turning radius, which means leaning into a turn is an adventure itself—as long as your kid remembers to hang onto the handlebars.
It plays music
The Nighthawk has an MP3 player so your kids can jam out to their favorite tunes while they cruise around the neighborhood.
What we don’t like about the Nighthawk ride-on toy
It’s difficult to access the battery
The battery is only accessible behind a lock that requires a butter knife, or similar, to open. As someone who has trained my kids to safely charge their own ride-on toys, this adds an additional step that prevents them from independently taking care of their own toy, and charging it when it’s time.
This seems a bit unnecessary because the battery isn’t the kind a kid would swallow, but rather a larger rechargeable one.
Should you buy the Nighthawk ride-on toy?
Yes. It’s the perfect holiday gift
If a ride-on toy has a prominent place on your child's Christmas list, the Nighthawk is the perfect one to get—especially for beginners.
Some kids might need a little practice to balance initially, but once they get the hang of it, the Nighthawk provides hours of fun for boys and girls of a variety of ages.
This is the toy that my boys want to ride more than any other bike, scooter, or ride-on toy. With a weight limit of up to 110 pounds, we will be able to use the Nighthawk for a long time. I applaud Roll Play for making a product that kids ranging in age from 3 to 7 can all enjoy and play on equally. Any product that gets my kids outside, and learning body awareness by leaning to turn, is a must-have in my book.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.