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Virtual bikes in race for fat-free kids

U.K. exercise game challenges Fisher-Price.


Let the octogenarians have their Wii Bowling. At the other end of the life cycle, kindergarteners are getting their own indoor workout with virtual bikes.

As childhood obesity persists as a mainstay in headlines, more companies are looking for ways to make exercise fun--or at least seem like fun--and e-bikes are apparently leading the trend. Fisher-Price debuted its "Smart Cycle" earlier this year, for example, but it has some competition from across the pond in U.K.-based Gymkids and its "Cyberbike."

Both have brightly colored toy-like designs and can hook up to a TV or computer monitor for the requisite games that are supposed to fool the kids into sweating off excess poundage during play. Yet on paper, at least, Gymkids would seem to have the advantage for a couple of reasons: For one thing, unlike the mass-market toymaker Fisher-Price, its expertise is childhood fitness equipment that includes such products as treadmills, steppers and even rowers, as well as the Cyberbike. And second, perhaps more important, it didn't hire Richard Simmons to do its marketing.