Israeli-Dutch bike-baby carriage hybrid hopes to stroll to success

Award-winning device described as an urban parent's dream.

taga 88 (photo credit: )
taga 88
(photo credit: )
Is it a bike? Is it a stroller? No it's a Taga - a hybrid between a bicycle and a baby carriage, jointly produced by Israeli-Dutch designers. "A multifunctional urban vehicle for parents, not a bike or a stroller but a whole new concept," is the description of the Taga given by Hagai Barak, the general manager of the self-titled company producing this new invention. Essentially the product is a cross between a bike and a baby carriage, which can be transformed within a minute into either. It was created over four years by a team of Israeli and Dutch designers, and is made for city and suburban living, where parents wish to get around quickly and easily, while simultaneously being able to go into shops and buildings one could not enter with a regular bike. The Taga has won a host of prestigious awards, including the King-Jugend Innovation Award 2008, the Eurobike award and the Red Dot Design Award 2009. So what's the catch? Unsurprisingly it's the price tag, around NIS 8,000. However Barak insists: "It's not cheap, but there are strollers that cost NIS 6,000 and people also spend a lot on bikes. There is a reason for the price; it is very sophisticated and a lot of work went into its design. It's built to a very high standard, so it can be used for many years and many children." Barak also revealed that "a number of people have bought the Taga instead of a second car, as it is far more cost effective; you don't pay for parking, fuel or any taxes." The Taga was launched in 10 European countries in April including France, Spain and the UK, where 20 stores are stocking the product. Daniel Terminiello, managing director of UK store Peppermints Designer Clothes and Nursery, told The Jerusalem Post: "It has been fantastically popular; it redefines mobility for parents, certainly in London." The store has sold 14 Tagas over the summer, a very high number for such an expensive product, he said, but added: "The buyers are fairly affluent and certainly not short of a few pounds." The Taga is to be sold in the US and Israel in the coming months, with the company planning to open a Tel Aviv shop dedicated to selling the product in the next month or two. Asked whether a Jerusalem store could be in the pipeline, Barak said "Possibly, but in Jerusalem it's very hilly, which may discourage buyers." There are also plans to widen the variety of models in the Taga range, to include a two-seat option, car seat adaptors, shopping baskets and even a model offering extra protection.