The company behind one of the most annoying crazes of the 90s and 00s—the Razor micro-scooter—has its sights set on annoying a new generation of parents, just in time for the holidays. Razor, according to BuzzFeed, has acquired the rights to Inventist’s Hovertrax—the company with the US patent for the two-wheeled, self-balancing scooter things that the internet has taken to calling hoverboards, even though they don’t hover.
Shane Chen, the founder of Inventist and the US hoverboard patent-holder, had recently entered into a deal with Mark Cuban, the entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks. Cuban had agreed to buy an exclusive license to Chen’s intellectual property, and had been boisterously defending Chen’s patent in a lawsuit against another overboard manufacturer. Cuban called off the deal on Friday, and BuzzFeed reported that on the same day, it was contacted by Razor that the company had secured for “an undisclosed sum” the rights to sell the Hovertrax in the US.
“The Hovertrax is a progressive extension of Razor’s commitment to innovation in ride-on products,” marketing vice-president Katherine Mahoney told BuzzFeed. “Combining quality, technology and our dedication to giving our customers the most current in electric scooters, Razor is continuing its mission to expand the audience for electric-powered ride-ons.”
Razor, known for its compact and foldable scooter, produces a wide range of zany transport devices for children and adults alike. There are the “pro” scooters, which people are inexplicably using to perform tricks; the “crazy cart” and “ride-ons” go-kart lines; the RipStik, which is sort of like a cross between a manual hoverboard and a skateboard; and, of course, the electric scooters. The Hovertrax hoverboard seems to fit nicely between the RipStik and the electric scooters in both utility and ridiculousness.
Mahoney confirmed that Razor-branded hoverboards will be available in time for the holidays. Hoverboards have blown up in 2015, although it’s still quite hard to figure out where to buy one, or whether the one you’re purchasing will literally explode. While retailers like Walmart and Amazon have a few different boards in stock, many consumers are still buying them through sites like Alibaba, and it’s difficult to determine the quality of the boards.
Razor’s brand awareness may well help the company stand out in a crowded field. No word yet if they’ll become as popular as the original scooters were in the 90s, or if POGs, Tamagotchis, yo-yos, or anything else that also occupied schoolkids’ time then are about to make a comeback.
Image by Ben Larcey on Flickr, licensed under CC BY 2.0.