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…
In 1986, a low-budget Australian comedy called Malcolm featured a Tamiya Sand Scorcher R/C VW buggy in what you might even say was a “Supporting Actor” role.
Little-known outside Australia, the film was a local success. And on a tiny budget, it’s portrayal of a social recluse whose love of toys and gadgets leads him to become mixed-up with a couple of aspiring bank robbers had a quintessential Aussie blend of humour, characters and pathos.
All up, you should spot two R/C cars in the film, plus lots of other cool 1980s gadgets.
One of the most popular articles on R/C Toy Memories to date has been “Racing Drivers & R/C Cars“, probably in large part thanks to the images of Ayrton Senna and his Tamiya Hotshot.
But there’s more where those came from.
Here are some never-before-published photographs of Ayrton, enjoying his R/C models way back in 1986.
Remember the days of the local Hobby Shop?
Not only are there far fewer hobby shops around now, but it’s actually quite difficult to find photos of hobby shops from their heyday in the 1980s – or earlier. Nevertheless, here’s a selection that is sure to make you wish you could travel back in time.