In the days prior to the more typical sand-rail or baja buggy-styled R/C cars of the mid-1980s, an “off road” toy-grade R/C car tended to be more of a Meyers Manx style dune buggy design.
And for the Tandy/Radio Shack electronics store chain, the “Dune Buggy” was their top-of-the-line model way back in 1981…
The Tyco/Taiyo Turbo Hopper was a hugely popular R/C toy buggy in the USA in the mid 1980s.
It was the US release of the original Taiyo Jet Hopper of Japan – a popular ready-to-run R/C buggy with a spare tyre on it’s roof, which was making waves in the international toy market.
With the help of Tyco’s glossy marketing and exciting TV commercials, the US model sold in phenomenal quantities over several years from the mid to late 1980s. Let’s look back at the Turbo Hopper, it’s popularity, and even it’s distinctly American TV commercials featuring the buggies jumping along dusty country roads (set to banjo music of course!).