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The History of Razor Scooters

In 1999, American entrepreneur Carlton Calvin read an article in the Los Angeles Times that listed Razor Scooters as the hottest new thing in Tokyo, Japan. He called the Taiwan-based company with an idea to produce a miniature version — essentially a finger scooter — but quickly realized that the larger models were a bigger opportunity. Since Razor Scooters had already been invented by Gino Tsai, Calvin teamed up with Gino Tsai and Robert Chen to create Razor USA in 2000. The trio began marketing the brand worldwide and sales exploded almost immediately. From a small warehouse in Cerritos, California, they sent out nearly 1 million scooters a month, relying on a small team of just 30 – 40 employees. Razor Scooters were so popular that they won various accolades, including the Toy of the Year Award. The craze didn’t last, however. According to Calvin, just about a year after they became the most sought-after toy in America, every major retailer besides the now-defunct Toys R Us removed Razor Scooters from their shelves. Since Razor held the patents for their scooter design, they began suing numerous copycat competitors to protect their brand and generate cash, which they then used to create new products. Today, Razor has expanded its product line to include dirt bikes, RipStiks, go-karts, hoverboards, and even a line of dock-less e-scooters called Razor Share, which have been rolled out in various cities across America. Recently, the company debuted the Razor Icon, a full-size modern electric scooter that can hit speeds of 20 mph on the street; the design is an homage to the original Razor Kick that was so popular in the Y2K era. Notably, the company also still produces several different kick scooters that are similar to the product line that originally made the Razor name famous all the way back in 2000.

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