Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Assembly Nightmare

But look, it has googly eyes!

Three-and-a-half hours. That’s how long it took me to put together one of Baby Frugalista’s Christmas presents, the ubiquitous little red car many of us had as kids called the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. I bought it because I had fond memories of playing with it at my cousins’ house, AND I got a great deal on it post-Black Friday.

It was the last thing left for us to assemble after Christmas. At first, I was just going to leave it in the box until spring, but the hubby suggested we put it together now, and I acquiesced. And I figured I could do it all by myself. With all of our newfound experience in assembling the baby’s other toys, this would be a snap.

Boy, was I wrong.

First of all, we were missing half of the directions. Yes, we scoured the inside of the box to see if it got stuck in the cardboard somewhere. It didn’t. Then, instead of opening the directions flat, I had it folded in half, looking only at the left page. This caused me to put it together out of order and screw it up. But to be fair to myself, the directions were terrible — unclear and almost impossible, even for someone like me, who can put together almost anything with barely a glance at the directions. ::brag::

The problem with putting it out of order? The wheels were now screwed up because I forgot to add the spacer to keep them away from the frame of the car.

After getting to the end of our half of the directions, I searched the Internet, hoping to find the rest of the directions by typing in “Cozy Coupe assembly.” While I did find the directions (printed AND video-demonstrated), I also stumbled upon a whole slew of message boards with comments from other frustrated parents who thought this Cozy Coupe was by far the worst kids’ toy they’d ever had to deal with assembling.

I also discovered that most of the parents also screwed up putting on the wheels. And that the manufacturer included extra parts because they KNOW most people will screw it up. It took both me and Mr. Not-So-Frugal to pry off the “acorn nut” caps that held the wheels to the frame in order to install the spacers, and it involved two pairs of pliers (needlenose & regular), two screwdrivers (for prying) and a hammer. The extra parts? Those acorn nuts caps.

So now, our almost-1-year-old daughter has her Cozy Coupe. She currently enjoys being pushed around the house in it — there’s a removable floorboard so her feet don’t get run over. I’m glad that she likes it and hopefully, she’ll use it for years to come.

A few days later, I was talking to my aunt, and I was complaining about how hard it was to put together this simple Cozy Coupe. Her response? “It was 25 years ago, but I remember it being a pain in the ass for us, too!”

Little Tikes, are you listening? Sheesh.

6 comments to Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Assembly Nightmare

  • […] has a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, a Radio Flyer wagon complete with seats, seat belts and canopy, and, not to be outdone, a […]

  • yvonne

    Oh I just bought this same Cozy coupe for my son and it’s true the assembling process is a pain and I screwed up the front wheels. Forgot the spacers too! Now I have to take it out but it’s so tight. . geez.. why oh why can’t they make it easier..

  • Catherine Showalter

    I also bought this today. While I was putting it together I would turn y back to find my toddler (23 months) sitting in the car playing. I got so excited he liked it so much I forgot a spacer. After it was all ready for him to play with it I set it up to find it wobbly. Thats when I discovered I for got a spacer. Ugh now cant get the acorn nut off. Got the plastic off but not the rest of it. Lets hope I have better luck with it tomorrow.

  • i bought one for my daughter she’s two I have to put it together as im the only one here flying through without looking at instructions got one wheel on just as little one got in and refused to get out and I realised the wheel was wrong way round argh bloomin acorn nuts can’t get it off without damaging the plastic body little tykes supply spare nuts out of knowledge that this happens most people but they don’t show you how to remove them the institutions are out of order they have directions for parts like the pretend fuel tank which is already assembled think I’ll just have a cry wit frustration along with my daughter and try again later

  • Shirl

    Wish I’d read all this before starting. We too had to resort to video instructions which showed that we’d put the wheels on wrong and had to remove 4 axle nuts (which wasn’t easy). We’d used the bushings on the axles as thought they were shown in the instructions. It was only when we come to attach the front wheels we discovered our error!

    We’d offered to assemble this for our grandson to save his mum and dad having to do it on Christmas Eve, what a mistake. Can’t imagine how they would have done it without killing each other, so glad we didn’t leave it until Christmas Eve.

    Well, calmed down, so now to carry on ……… hopefully no more mistakes.

    Good luck if you’ve got one of these to put together, do it sooner than later.

    It should come with a health warning!!!!!!

  • […] internet–maybe there would be some good tips on how to remedy this situation? Grandma found this blog post. We weren’t the only ones with the […]

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