The Hero Wagon

Radio Flyer teamed up with Starlight Children’s Foundation to design the ultimate wagon for hospitals.

About the Hero Wagon

The Hero Wagon is specifically designed to accommodate the hospital environment and provide comfort to kids who need it most. This compact folding wagon features an IV attachment on the back of the frame that folds away when not in use. The lock on the frame also keeps the wagon in the folded position when it is being stored.

The fabric is a medical-grade vinyl that makes this the easiest wagon to clean. Playful icons, including Captain Starlight, on the side of the wagon add a fun touch. The Hero Wagon also features seat belts and padded seat to add safety and comfort. The 8.5” x 11” rear clear pocket allows each wagon to be personalized per use. For added convenience, the Never-Fall™ pull handle will always stay upright.

Please note that the Hero Wagon is not available for purchase. If you are interested in making a donation, visit Starlight to learn more. If you are a hospital partner, please visit the Starlight Hub page for more information on how your hospital can receive Hero Wagons.

Development Process

Our team sought to design a wagon that brings joy to families in hospitals, while making it easy and functional for hospital staff. We innovated our patented folding wagon to provide a solution that is easy to store, sanitize, and carry necessary equipment like IV poles.

Our process started with research, collaborating closely with hospital staff, and observing how they use our wagons in hospitals. We learned from hospitals that patients and staff love and use our wagons, but hospitals only have space to store a few. Hospitals struggle to find places to store their fleet of wagons, often leading them to not have as many wagons on hand as they need. This led us to use our patented folding wagon design as the base frame for the Hero Wagon, allowing more storage space. Hospitals can store more wagons on hand to provide more wagon rides to patients at a time.

We designed the Hero Wagon to include a mechanism in the rear of the wagon to pull any IV pole, making it easier for all patients to enjoy a wagon ride. We also sourced a premium, durable, and easy to clean fabric to use on the Hero Wagon. Hospital staff sanitizes the wagons between each use, and any nooks, crannies, or porous materials make that more difficult. We designed our wagon to have smooth surfaces and thick coated fabric that is easy to wipe clean. Our seatbelts are also removeable and can be machine washed.

“We were thrilled to team up with Starlight and hospital staff to design a wagon made specifically to bring joy and comfort to hospitalized kids.”

Mark Johnson VP of Product Development at Radio Flyer Mark Johnson VP of Product Development at Radio Flyer
  • Since 2001, Radio Flyer has donated more than 15,000 wagons to Starlight Children's Foundation. Our Product Development team conducted interviews and observational research with hospital partners to learn how we could design a better wagon for the hospital environment.
  • Through the research process, our team was able to translate key insights into design solutions. By combining our patented folding wagon as the base frame with these newly designed features, we created a wagon that worked for both hospital patients and staff.
  • One of these design solutions is the fold-away IV attachment in the rear of the wagon. This feature allows any IV pole to move along with the Hero Wagon as it is pulled, making wagon rides easier and more accessible for all patients.
  • The Hero Wagon’s unique folding mechanism allows it to be compactly stored, giving hospitals additional space to keep more wagons on-hand. More wagons means more rides for more patients.

Impact

When a child has to be placed in a wheelchair, it can be scary to young patients, and they may be worried about where they are going in it. That is where the Hero Wagon come in: it transforms a hospitalized child’s experience by replacing a wheelchair with a more magical way to move around the hospital.

For over 100 years, Radio Flyer has been powering play and inspiring imagination in kids of all ages. Generations of kids have played with them in driveways, down the neighborhood streets, at parades or even at the beach, but few of us understand that for some, Radio Flyer wagons are a critically important resource for improving child health and wellness.

Doctors, nurses, child life specialists and caregivers across the US rely on Radio Flyer wagons every day as an integral part of a child’s pediatric care. The Hero Wagon will be able to make an even larger impact.

Our Partnership with Starlight

Since 2001, Radio Flyer has supported Starlight’s mission of bringing joy and comfort to hospitalized children and their families by donating more than 15,000 of its iconic red wagons to children’s hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Children diagnosed with a serious illness or injury are often scared, lonely and endure long periods of hospitalization and painful medical treatments. That’s where Starlight and Radio Flyer come in. Together, we turn a child’s pain, fear, and stress into laughter, fun and joy. We believe that every child deserves to experience the wonder and magic of childhood.