Toyota’s full-size Tamiya Bruiser

In a follow-up to my previous article, it appears Toyota UK have continued their cross-promotion with Tamiya by now creating a full-size Tamiya Toyota 4×4 Pickup Bruiser.

Also, a quick update from me about the future of this website…

Continuing their earlier cross-promotion effort, Toyota UK have now released a full-size one-off “replica” of the famous 1/10 scale Tamiya Toyota 4×4 Pickup Bruiser, which was first released in 1985. Complete with a bonnet clip, detachable aerial, and more features copied from the R/C model, this full-size Bruiser even comes with a full-size kit box.

Not a bad effort.

It’s all just a one-off promotion piece of course, put together by an Icelandic off-road specialist called Arctic Trucks, together with a local UK model-maker. The vehicle is based on the 2012 remake of the Tamiya Bruiser kit though, not the 1985 original. Which means it actually has the remake toy’s fake sponsor decals – like “Z-Point”, “R.P.M.”, “T.V.A” etc – brands that never actually existed. This is because all of Tamiya’s remakes of their classic kits have left out the original sponsor decals, in favour of cheaper (non-licensed) pretend decals.

The vehicle itself is of course a modern 2017 Hi-Lux, not a 1985 Hi-Lux (like both versions of the toy).

For the record, the original 1985 Tamiya Bruiser R/C kit decal sheet is shown below. Accurately based on real Hilux pick-ups of the mid 1980s, the kit’s decals were originally packed with sponsor logos like “Valvoline”, “BF Goodrich”, “Champion”, “Bilstein” and “Monroe” etc. I know I go on a lot about authentic decals on this website, but – it was precisely those small touches that added to the appeal of the original models.

Anyway, check out the replica in action below. And it’s fun to see some recognition of a model car from the manufacturer of the real thing, as this inevitably leads to some mainstream news coverage as well.


All of this 1:1 replica-building seems to be inspired by some earlier, and highly accurate independent efforts, such as the full-size Tamiya Sand Scorcher and Tamiya Wild Willy that were both created by German car restoration workshop Bug-Box.

These creations are truly incredible, right down to the tyres (and the genuine sponsor decals). And both of these vehicles recently appeared at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed, also in the UK. Here’s the video coverage…

And while we’re on it, there have been many other independent efforts over the years as well, such as this excellent Tamiya Bruiser which is much more authentic to the original model…


Also, a quick note…

On the personal front, 2017 has seen some big changes for me – all positive ones, but for a while it has left me with less time to add anything new to the website. So I just wanted to reassure readers that things are slowly getting back on track. This should mean more new articles in 2018 🙂

So thank you for stopping by. And a big thanks to those who’ve kept in touch over the months.

By the way, one area that always remains active (even when I don’t have time to write articles) is of course, any vintage goodies I may sell. So you’ll usually find new things appearing every couple of weeks on the For Sale page.

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4 responses to “Toyota’s full-size Tamiya Bruiser”

  1. Dave Gannaway says :

    Thanks for the update – though you really should have all this on Facebook now as well. I steer as many ppl as I can here but you’d find a much greater audience/market.

    • R/C Toy Memories says :

      Thanks Dave 🙂 Appreciate the traffic. I’m afraid I will never join Facebook though, nor post anything there. I’m actually one of those annoying people who believe in an open web, not a corporate web. Check out (Facebook founder) Sean Parker’s recent comments also (here).

  2. Rhoonah says :

    I still have an original Bruiser that I got back in 1996 or so. It still runs but it is in “gently” used condition… lol. I had a lot of fun with that as a kid. I used to tie a rope to the rear bumper and attach the other end to my skateboard and tow myself around the neighborhood. People got a real kick out of it. I never met another person that had one because they were so expensive… I caught my dad in a rather generous mood and he paid the roughly $500 for the truck and 4000mAh 6v batter (which I still have and still works too). Sometimes I think about selling it in eBay so someone else can enjoy it because it just sits in my basement. My children are in their 20’s now and don’t have a lot of interest in my vintage collection which includes cars like The Hornet, Monster Beetle, Porsche 959, Monster Beetle, Lunchbog, Mugen Bulldog, Marui Hunter, 2 RC10’s and one RC10 with the truck conversion. Yeah, I spent some coin on that stuff back in the day!!

    • R/C Toy Memories says :

      Thanks for sharing this Rhoonah, and that story about the skateboard is fantastic. I never knew anyone who had a Bruiser, as a kid… I was lucky to know someone who had a picture of it, from the Tamiya catalogue. So if I were you, I would never sell it 🙂 Great collection you have too. Bonus points for Mugen Bulldog ownership.

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