The ‘man pram’ is a new concept dreamt up by marketing executives. It describes prams and buggies specifically targeted to dads.
These types of man prams are typically more streamlined, tend to be black with chrome finishes, and have more than a glancing nod to the motor industry.
So why is the retail industry suddenly turning their attention to dads? One programme thinks it has the answer.
Super Shoppers aired on Channel 4 last week, and featured several of these new man prams, including the new Aston Martin Silver Cross Surf for £3,000, and the Ferrari Stroller at £1,999.
If these prices make your chin drop to the floor, let me tell you that even a middle-of-the-range man pram can cost around the £800 pound mark.
And here we have the answer, as the programme’s presenters Andi Osho and Anna Richardson say that generally speaking, it is men that are willing to pay more, rather than women.
They naturally assume that higher prices mean better quality and extra safety for their children.
“Men really want to feel involved and supportive, so the showrooms are filled with expensive man prams,” says Richardson.
“The buggy manufacturers have worked out that if you want someone to spend big on a pram, don’t target the mums, target the dads instead.
“They are absolutely targeting that masculine side of things because they think they will spend more money.”
So what kind of man prams and buggies are we looking at?
Well, as we mentioned, cars are where we start, as Ferrari, Jeep, Aston Martin and BMW have all lent their name and status to several man prams.
The Aston Martin Silver Cross is actually a gorgeous man pram, with cool detailing such as the super posh suede used on the exterior of the pram unit, which is the same fabric they used on the roofs of Aston Martin cars.
There’s the pearlescent white paint finish and the alloy wheels. Also the smooth as silk wood panelling on the handles. These are limited edition and you get an engraved plaque to state you are the owner!
Accessories include a 100% cashmere blanket for the baby.
Celebrity fans of the Aston Martin Silver Cross include Simon Cowell and Marvin Humes.
Again, at the top end of the market, the Ferrari Stroller and the Ferrari Kooga are both said to be ergonomically designed with attention to safety, a lightweight frame and small front wheels for easy manoeuvrability.
But it’s not just car manufacturers that are creating prams for men. Also getting in on the man pram market are designers such as Jeremy Scott.
Described as the ‘last rebel of the International Fashion World’, Scott has come up with a futuristic style pram for German company Cybex, covered in gold hardware, including trekking wheels with shiny gold spokes and Scott’s signature gold wings on the side.
The cost is an eye-watering £1,500 and you might have to have nerves of steel to push this decidedly different pram around.
So are we right to assume that higher prices mean better safety or are we being taken for a ride by the manufacturers?
Super Shoppers compared two man prams, McLaren’s £525 BMW model and the £175 Triumph model. They found only a ‘few minor differences in spec’.
“Could it be that daddy has paid £350 for a BMW badge?’ asks Osho.
“A cheap pram is every bit as safe as an expensive one.”
But why are men being seduced by these overpriced prams?
Dr Gorkan Ahmetoglu, from University College London, thinks that prams have joined sports cars as a status symbol.
“It’s a bit like a car, men will be comparing cars and comparing prams,’ he said.
“Men would be much more happy to purchase something that looks slightly more manly and slightly more pumped up and even spend more on a pram.”