To promote the new Toyota Hilux, Toyota UK have recently released a series of short videos featuring one of Tamiya’s famous R/C hiluxes – the Toyota 4×4 Pickup Bruiser.
Shown racing around in mud, water, and even towing the full-sized vehicle, the Bruiser may be small, but it’s the most fun part of these new videos. Though the “towing” trick actually harks back to the 1980s…
With R/C still at peak popularity in 1988, Tandy/Radio Shack filled their stores with a range of off-road vehicles, and one of the very best was the Red Arrow Buggy.
A popular ‘little brother’ to their top-of-the-line Golden Arrow Buggy (manufactured by Nikko), the Red Arrow was actually manufactured by an entirely different company. And as such, gave it’s ‘sibling’ quite a run for it’s money…
When collecting valuable items, there are always dodgy sellers you need to avoid. Some eBay sellers use tricks like shill-bidding and short-selling to make bigger profits, and this is no less prevalent in vintage toys and vintage R/C, than any other area of collectible.
Here are some very simple tips to help you avoid these two dimwitted eBay scams, which are common among vintage R/C items, and probably common among a lot of other vintage toys as well.
Despite having already written about the original Taiyo Jet Hopper, plus it’s American release the Tyco/Taiyo Turbo Hopper, I also wanted to share some additional photos and clippings relating specifically to the Jet Hopper in Australia.
And since 2016 actually marks the 30th Anniversary of the release of the Jet Hopper worldwide, this seemed like the perfect excuse for one more article about this legendary R/C toy. So let’s enjoy some memories of the Jet Hopper as it was “Down Under”, here in Australia…
While less well-known to most backyard R/C drivers than Tamiya, Kyosho was another Japanese icon of 1980s R/C modelling who created a range of stunning, high-end, kit-based vehicles in their heyday – often with a race-winning edge.
Like Tamiya, original examples of their early R/C models are now highly sought after by collectors.
Some of those kits are now being remade as well, and the new models are different. So if you’re nostalgic for the original Kyosho models, here are some quick buying tips to help identify them.
When I first began buying things online in the late 1990s, I was amazed at how much ‘old stock’ there was in the world. Prior to eBay, I hadn’t imagined that any unbuilt vintage R/C car kits from the 1980s (or earlier) still existed, let alone that anyone would be able to find them.
Nearly 20 years later, the Internet is still a great source of vintage toy treasures. But inevitably the supply of unused ‘old stock’ out there, is in decline. And it’s only going to get harder to find things in the years ahead.
Many of the popular Tamiya R/C models we knew in the 1980s have been remade in recent years. But the remakes are quite different to the original ones.
If you are looking for an introduction to this subject, please see my earlier article A quick guide to Vintage vs Remake Tamiya R/C kits.
However, if you need some more detailed information about actual parts differences between vintage vs remake Tamiya R/C cars, this is the article for you.
When it comes to vintage kit-based R/C models from companies with a past history in plastic models, many people think only of the red and blue stars of Tamiya.
But rival Japanese plastic kit maker Marui made the same transition from plastic model kits to R/C buggies in the 1980s. Their models, while less well known, were just as detailed and beautiful as those from Tamiya. And around their peak in 1986 they even had their own promotional videos for playing in hobby stores…
The Turbo Panther was Nikko’s perfect little R/C buggy for 1986 – probably the peak year of the R/C buggy craze, when they were among the hottest toys in the world.
Looking like a smaller version of the more expensive 1/10 scale buggies, yet still quick for it’s 1/16 scale, it was a big seller both in Japan and abroad. It even had it’s own TV commercials and was a direct rival for Taiyo’s Jet Hopper, released the same year.
This month, Australia loses another “hobby” store when Dick Smith Electronics shuts it’s doors for good, after 48 years.
I really enjoyed visiting DSE stores while growing up in the 1980s, just as I did with Tandy stores – mainly due to the toys.
So if anyone else can remember the days when they sold Tamiya R/C cars, electronics kits, and some of the 1980s coolest robot toys, then let’s take a look at some archive material that proves they really were a fun store to visit back in their heyday.