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First topic – What are your top 5 favourite vintage R/C models?

As the R/C Toy Memories forum is completely brand new as of today, and I am keen to see if it's actually working for everyone, here's an easy question to get things started...

What are your top 5 favourite vintage R/C models of all time?
They can be kit based or ready to run. And on second thoughts, this is not such an easy question 😛

I'll go with:

  1. Tamiya Hornet
  2. Tandy Jeep Renegade
  3. Kyosho Tomahawk
  4. Nikko Unimog
  5. Tamiya Frog

Actually I could easily rearrange that list, it's nearly impossible to choose 😛

Saito and Mad-Bee have reacted to this post.

Your right! On the surface, I thought this would be an easy question, but I found myself mulling about it all day.

I went with:

1. Tamiya Monster Beetle

2. Tamiya Lunch Box

3. Tamiya Wild Willy

4. Tamiya Egress

5. Tamiya Super Shot

That was sooo hard to narrow down to five. Great opening topic!


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R/C Toy MemoriesMad-Bee

Agree, this is too hard. 😄 But I am going to go with....

  1. Frog
  2. RC10
  3. Hotshot
  4. Super Champ
  5. Sand Rover


Branko has reacted to this post.

Hey, H! I like the new site, looks great!

Top 5... let's see... I think instead of just a list, I want to explain these... and they're in no real order.

Tamiya Grasshopper: Where it all started for me (and hundreds of thousands of others). I still love the looks of this buggy, and the poor handling and slowness of it, once seen as "faults" to be "corrected," are now part of its charm. Just a nice, relaxed, bouncy fun runner. Eventually I need to find an original again; all I have now is the "R" word...

Kyosho Javelin: The Optima/Javelin chassis captured my imagination as soon as I saw pictures of it, in the very first issue of RC Car Action. I love how complex and parts-heavy it is, sort of the "anti-Grasshopper." I'm lucky to have an original Optima, built from two basket cases, but I sure would love to drop an original Javelin roll cage onto it someday.

Tamiya RM Datsun 280ZX: When I was young, there was a hobby shop in the basement of the Fox Valley Mall that sold (or rather, stocked) a variety of models that would make collectors drool these days. I say "stocked," because every box had the full MSRP price listed on it, so he didn't move much merchandise. I remember buying one or two Tamiya static kits there (no one else in town had them), but I spent a long time gazing at all the Tamiya RC kit boxes on the shelf behind the counter, including, but not limited to: Wild Willy, Blazing Blazer, Rough Rider... and a Datsun 280ZX. I probably asked the grumpy old guy behind the counter to take that box down for me 10 times over the years, and each time I sighed, looked at the price tag, and let him put it back. The kit was still on the shelf when I left for college in 1990, but the shop was closed and everything gone when I came back in the summer of 1991 to buy it. If I ever drop hundreds of dollars on a new-in-box vintage kit, it will be one of these.

Bolink (any): My absolute favorite all-time on-road car manufacturer. I owned several of these over the years, and raced one on a carpet oval for a while. Dead simple, incredibly tough, and very very fast, they were my go-to "I want a new kit" for a while. The Eliminator, Digger, and Lil Red Wagon were particular favorites. Still available under the RJ Speed banner, and still made in the USA. I think, writing this, that it might be time for another one.

Associated RC10: Another long-time favorite of mine. I don't have any interest in anything but the original tub design (no B2, etc), but I've owned and run and tinkered with and raced nearly all variants of it, including the RC10T and the Dual Sport. And I still do. And I will continue to do so for a long time to come.

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R/C Toy MemoriesMad-Bee

Great story Mark. Especially the basement hobby store... wow

I don’t remember seeing the Tamiya Blazing Blazer in stores as I was too young. But in the very early days of my “collecting” (or aspiring to collect) in the early 1990s, I already found myself lamenting the disappearance of the classic Tamiya models I knew from the catalogues. It was at that time, getting hard to find them in stores. And therefore, with no internet, there was nowhere to actually see them at all.

Then in the early 1990s a very, very small Hobby shop opened in my local area. And the owner, a man in his late 50s, was mostly into model trains. But he still stocked a few R/C kits like the Tamiya Grasshopper II, and parts, and I was quite excited that a store like this existed only 10mins from my home (when previously the nearest store had been 1 hour away).

Best of all though, he personally owned a Tamiya Wild Willy - which he kept on display at the store. At that stage, I had never actually seen one in real life before, only in the pages of the Tamiya catalogues. So seeing this car for real was completely amazing to me.

Like you, I must have asked him numerous times if he would take it down off the shelf and put it on the counter, so I could have a proper look at it. I remember thinking how heavy it was. It wasn’t for sale of course 😆

I sometimes wonder what happened to that car, since the guy may still live in the area 🤔

Great stories - oh, and Bolink - I used to have a poster of the Eliminator on my bedroom wall as a 12 year old ☺️ Never owned one and knew they were simple and fast, but its all nostalgia to me now and I wouldn’t mind getting a look at the Digger or something like that.

Mad-Bee has reacted to this post.

If I had to guess, I would imagine that this particular hobby shop had the same 7 or 8 Tamiya RC kits on the shelf for at least 10 years. I first remember going in there in the early 80s, when I was maybe 9 or 10 years old, and the same kits were still there when I was in high school. It was a tiny, dingy little place, stuck in a corner of the basement of the mall, next to the toilets. Not exactly prime retail space. But if I had a time machine and a couple grand to spend, it's the first place I'd go...

I'm not surprised that you never had a Bolink car. I don't think they made much of an international splash, but they were all over the US. Very popular not only for their car kits, but also their body shells (including several direct-fit designs for Tamiya and other cars) and foam tires, which were available pre-mounted and with adapters for all kinds of different cars. Everything they made had this great "made by a man in his shed" feel to it, very low-tech, but effective (mostly). If you want to see something wild, look up the "Invader Monster Truck" sometime. I still want one.

R/C Toy Memories has reacted to this post.
R/C Toy Memories

Toy grade:

1. Tyco Rebound - The true "basher" of the time, 4x4, skid steering, plush oversized tires. This thing was just to much fun since it could drive even when flipped over. Pretty fun stunt machine to do backflips against trees, 360s, bombing stairs, etc.

2. Tyco Fast Traxx - This was a beauty, futuristic alien like design of a body. Treads just like a tank. This was one of the fastest Tyco models if I recall correctly, perhaps the twin turb0 9.6v Lamborghini was a close match?

3. Nikko Thor - I didnt own this model but a friend did, such a cool monster truck for the time. This was the black/purple colorway with the stones and lightning livery. Pretty slow but it looked good in motion.

Hobby grade:

1. Team Associated RC10 B3 - This was my first hobby grade RC car and I loved it. Had a LRP speed control, speed gems motor, forgot the brand of the servo and some Airtronics transmitter. It was after owning this model that I realized my favorite class of RC vehicle is a 2wd 1/10th buggy. Such precision with its handling and I loved the fact I wasn't just limited to smooth roads. I feel like a buggy is perfect for people who want something that can handle on road well while still having some ground clearance to not be limited to parking lots/smooth pavement. Plus buggies just look so awesome. It may not have the charm of a Tamiya buggy with the driver inside but at least it was during a time when buggies looked like buggies. Now a days with the forward cab design of modern buggies they have lost that beauty.

2. Mugen MTX-2 - This was my first nitro rc, 1/10th touring car. It was a whole different experience from electric. I enjoyed it but I still preferred my RC10 buggy.

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R/C Toy Memories

This is impossible to do a top 5 but here goes and they are all tamiya in no particular order.... sorry l just can't do it!!! Top 12 ok to do Rob🤣👍

1. Sand Scorcher / Super Champ

2. Monster Beetle / Blackfoot

3. Frog / Brat

4. Grasshopper / Hornet

5. Hot Shot / Boomerang

6. Wild One / Fox

So many more could be in this list but l did my head in thinking about it!😉

Damn l missed the Avante and Falcon!!!

Optima and RC10 deserve a mention too! Haha can l break the rules will the top 20 be ok to do???