Friday, 3 June 2016

Kyosho - Garden Off-Roaders

Along with Tamiya, Kyosho is one of the cornerstone names in RC history. They released the "DASH 1" in 1970, generally regarded as Japan's first ever RC car, going on to decades of racing success. They shouldn't require much of an introduction here, so here's a few lesser-known models.

Garden Off-Roaders

Kyosho made two versions of the 1/16 scale "Garden Off-Roader" chassis in the early '80s that I am aware of. One was a Toyota Hilux and one was the seemingly more common dune buggy-styled "Shuttle". The cute bathtub chassis is 2WD with a rear-mounted small (380 maybe?) motor running on five AA size cells, and sprung independent wishbone suspension. The driver figure makes up part of a white lid that covers the tub and electrics to complete the body of the Shuttle, the Hilux has an additional Lexan shell to go over that. The car is controlled by any standard 2ch radio gear and it comes with a wiper-style variable MSC.

Hilux version Garden Off-Roader NIB
Hilux version Garden Off-Roader NIB
source: challenger-RT @

Shuttle and Hilux
sources: Japanese blog & tomolupus @

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The memorable buggies of Hirobo

Japan's Hirobo now specialise in Helicopters alone, but in the eighties and before they made some of the most fondly-remembered and innovative RC cars there have been. Read about them on the Hirobo page I have started here!

Hirobo Jealousy
Hirobo Jealousy

Legacy of Bandai's Interceptor and Mad Wolf

Japanese toy giant Bandai briefly delved into higher-level RC in 1986 with the 4WD "Interceptor" which many liken to Tamiya's Hotshot, and the "Mad Wolf".  These quirky buggies spawned a swathe of clones and you can read about it on the Bandai / Monogram / MRC / Maplins page I have just added! Check it out.

Monday, 30 May 2016

AYK page added!

So, AYK was a Japanese brand that made some great looking buggies in the 1980s. While "borrowing" some design ideas from popular buggies of the times - you'll notice striking similarities to Tamiya's SRB and the Kyosho Scorpion on their 2WD's for a start. They made some nicely engineered kits which also had plenty of their own character, the earlier ones having a lot of metal parts which is a feature I particularly like. Largely with help from the excellent resources at, I have made an AYK page; you'll see from the new tabs at the top that I plan to populate them all with basic information and links about the various obscure classic RC buggy brands that I have been looking into recently. Check it out here!

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Mugen Bulldog & Bulldog II

Perusing old Ebay sales yesterday I found out about a 4WD '80s kit for the first time, from a Japanese company called Mugen which I was only vaguely familiar with. The Bulldog came around in the mid '80s and ticks all the boxes for me as a unique and interesting kit! What I immediately dug about this one is the seriously chunky looks, the air-damped monoshock suspension (i'd sure love to see/hear how that works close up), the vertical chassis design, the 4WD four-wheel steering (which somehow all adds up to the acronym "AWDS") and the cage body, which was complemented by a polycarb body for the Bulldog II.

Bulldog (left) & Bulldog II (right)
The cage buggy design seems very reminiscent of the Kyosho Vanning, Hirobo Zerda and AYK 4x4 Viper. 1985 certainly was the yeah of the cage body! In fact just from looking at pictures you'd be forgiven for thinking it's a 1/8 scale or larger; the blunt and functional design just makes it look bigger than a 1/10 which it is.

Bulldog II body
The Bulldog is a really great example of the variety and innovation that kits displayed in the 1980s. I have read in a couple of places that out of the box it had a few flaws if you wanted racing performance, which required some ironing out, but with big bruiser looks like this and it's unique design I'd be happy just to own this monster and admire it's character! They go for rare-kit money these days but i'll keep my eye out for a non-silly priced one from now, what a great looking car! Thanks to besty22 for his showroom images at and there's a cool rebuild article at MSUKFORUM here:

The four wheel steering linkage, vertical chassis design and
large air-damped monoshocks are all clearly shown here: