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Just saw the headline on TamiyaBlog.com.  No pictures yet.  Will all the buggies get the comical treatment?  What say the hive?

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I think I like the nice green box of the Comical Grasshopper, more than the Comical Grasshopper itself...

The completist in me is drawn to the packaging...

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Frog will no doubt be cute also.

But the problem is they are over-egging the "comical" aesthetic with these, both in proportions and naming. "Wild Willy" was inspired by anime cartoons (Tamiya even consulted an animation designer for it) and had exaggeration of proportions, but in a seriously heavy and intricate modeller's-model - collected by everyone, including Jeep fanatics.

Now the "Comical" series just seems next-level cartoony. It reminds me a bit of when soft toys have disproportionately large legs, or large heads.

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I'm sympathetic to a new chassis or idea from Tamiya. But I almost feel dumb commenting on these things because I'm in my 40s :D and the target market really does feel like it's "Fisher Price" level here.

This was all OK when Tamiya sold these types of things as tiny little R/C souvenirs called "Q Steers" 10 years ago, which I collected. Because they were just cheap table-top novelties.

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But full 1/10 scale, exaggerated, cutesie R/C cars just aren't doing it for me so far... :mellow:

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I'm loving the comical and good times releases. When I break out the Konghead, for example, at one of our bashes, everyone wants to drive it. The Heavy Dump/Metal Dump was pure gold, and the wheelie tractors draw kids like flies. So many of us have forgotten the "fun" side of our hobby, the sheer goofiness of poppin' wheelies in a vacant lot, the all-nighter builds, just the plain joy of it.

If these comical releases allow more people to share in our hobby, keep 'em coming. I'd rather sell these things than yet another Traxxas Slash any day.

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I'd be interested in a Frog version...also a Fox one would be cooll

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1 hour ago, Big Jon said:

I'm loving the comical and good times releases. When I break out the Konghead, for example, at one of our bashes, everyone wants to drive it. The Heavy Dump/Metal Dump was pure gold, and the wheelie tractors draw kids like flies. So many of us have forgotten the "fun" side of our hobby, the sheer goofiness of poppin' wheelies in a vacant lot, the all-nighter builds, just the plain joy of it.

If these comical releases allow more people to share in our hobby, keep 'em coming. I'd rather sell these things than yet another Traxxas Slash any day.

I do agree with that. And totally support good times and novelty releases, as you say. As opposed to boring stuff.

Just wonder at the level of "cute" though. Is it possible to take cute, too far in R/C? Because Tamiya appears to be testing the limits. The golden era Tamiya releases seemed to balance cute with realism. Most classic buggies had cute logos, colours, graphics, slogans etc (see: Frog logo, Hornet logo etc). But that was balanced with significant adult appeal and realism as well. Most of us were 10 year olds back then. And we didn't have "comical" cars tailored to us, to help attract us. We were drawn to the fun side of Tamiya because they seemed to have friendly colourful products that were also exciting and real looking. We aspired to them.

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Maybe when the current Japanese 10 year olds are in their 30s+ Tamiya will release a scale builders series also, with all the details people are hankering after

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Should have seen this coming, I suppose. Any bets on whether or not it has pink wheels?

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I'll add my thoughts to the topic too...

I think there is room for everything - and certainly in Japan it appears that Tamiya's focus is (has always been) about the actual 'sport' or hobby of getting together and goofing around and racing - ie. a social scene amongst friends and/or more formal clubs - hence why their kits tend to have a high percentage of plastic (ie cheaply replaceable) parts, and that pretty much everything is available as a spare with it's own part numbers too.

In that regard, the Comical range of releases is just the latest incarnation of that ethos - brightly coloured and robust vehicles, that really only need a battery charging to have a heap of fun with - be it a group of kids together, or adults and their respective offspring, or a bunch of big kids too of course ;o)

Personally I see the Comical range (certainly once they have 5 or 6 different versions) as essentially a real-life Mario Kart game - just think of the fun you could have designing your own obstacle course!

At the same time, Tamiya also have been (continue to be) a leading manufacturer of more scale/static models (not least their tanks and semi-trucks), and certainly the tag line from the late 70's early 80's of "Scale model suitable for radio control" is the thing that personally appeals to me...

I love taking the wheelie cars to the park or a woodland trail with my niece and nephew; and I also love the engineering and scale detailing that Tamiya include in their more 'mature' hobbyist kits.

It's all good!

Jenny x

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Surely the first ‘Comical’ Tamiya was the Willy’s Wheeler/City Honda? Distorted proportions & wheelies, nobody seems to have a problem with that 🤔

Or is the problem more that the new models are based upon the stylings of some of the original cars?

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6 hours ago, max69vk said:

🤔Surely the first ‘Comical’ Tamiya was the Willy’s Wheeler/City Honda? Distorted proportions & wheelies, nobody seems to have a problem with that  Or is the problem more that the new models are based upon the stylings of some of the original cars?

Willy's Wheeler wasn't as distorted as the Comical buggies, I don't think. That, plus the fact these are called "Comical"... feels a bit over-emphasized.

And I know I'm making a fine point about aesthetics. But design is everything. Without clever and long-lasting design, aesthetics, marketing and appeal... this website (TC) wouldn't be here. And neither would we, discussing ;)

9 hours ago, JennyMo said:

It's all good!

Indeed it is, and I don't mean to sound negative. ^_^  Perhaps I'll end up buying these Comicals one day.

I liked the Tamtech-Gear buggy line more though... it was cute, theme-driven, miniature, appealing to kids, but with a bit more purpose. And lots of spares and parts and hop-ups...even accessories. Imagine a Tamtech-Gear scale Sand Scorcher. That would have been an instant buy for me.

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5 hours ago, Hibernaculum said:

I liked the Tamtech-Gear buggy line more though... it was cute, theme-driven, miniature, appealing to kids, but with a bit more purpose. And lots of spares and parts and hop-ups...even accessories. Imagine a Tamtech-Gear scale Sand Scorcher. That would have been an instant buy for me.

It's not that I disagree and I have all the TTG's myself, except the Wild Boar, Desert Gator and Jimny as they aren't retro. However, it seems pretty clear that the TTG's failed on the market and though I of course don't know the actual reasons, I can at least imagine why; the use of propriatory RC gear, batteries and hardware (generally 2.6mm) meant that they weren't much compatible with other Tamiya models. Also, the use of lots of tiny spacers and washers bothered me, making them a lot fiddlier and more timeconsuming to work on that for instance the WR-02CB.  The small scales of the TTG's may also have been bad for the popularity. I actually think that the "Comical Buggies" just might be what the TTG's should have been to be successful in the market, whereby the GT-01 was a niche of its own It just maybe it would have been more sensible to make them 1/10 scale and drop them on a simple RWD touring chassis, like for instance the M04 with TL01 suspension arms?

It seems that the WR-02CB is about to establish a firm position in the market and with the GF-01 chassis, 4WD versions if the "CB" are possible and won't require much more than making new bodies and molding the centers of the wheels in different colours. That said, especially the Hornet body doesn't look really right on the high WR-02 frame, and I wish Tamiya would have developed a new frame specific for the buggies. Apart from that, I really like the combination of parts, no fuzz-assembly, large and chunky parts that are easy and almost intuitive to work in the field and quite a lot of suitable hop-ups are available and more coming.

As for Sand Scorcher, I too hoped for a TTG Sand Scorcher and if the series had lived longer, it might have materialized. At least I can't imagine that the GB-02 was developed with the intention of offering it just with the Buggy Champ body.  That hypothesis is history now, but a WR-02CB Sand Scorcher must surely be a no-brainer?  One of Tamiya's relatively few models that are equally popular in the export market as the domestic market. In my humble opinion, a Comical Sand Scorcher simply must be in the pipeline! Guessing future releases from Tamiya has turned out to be next to impossible, but I really can't imagine the series without a Sand Scorcher version. I just hope Tamiya won't be lazy and use the QD-body.  Knowing Tamiya's tendency to make shortcuts the last 1-2 decades, that's unfortunately a possibility.

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3 minutes ago, Mokei Kagaku said:

It's not that I disagree and I have all the TTG's myself, except the Wild Boar, Desert Gator and Jimny as they aren't retro

I avoided those too, so we have the exact same ones in fact. :)

Re: proprietary - that is actually one of the reasons I quite liked the Tamtech-Gear buggies. They were a totally new line that didn't re-use anything from before, other than the car themes and colours. Even the packaging was totally new. They produced 3 chassis across just a tiny handful of buggies. And they also reintroduced some of Tamiya's earlier (1980s) philosophy/behaviour whereby they produced some odd parts quite specific to particular cars in the line (e.g. all the pink parts for Tamtech Gear Frog - yes they also fit others in the series, but clearly they were intended for the Frog). This fussy and specialized approach was no good for people who just want broad, generic, standardized stuff... but great for those who like the "uniqueness" and quirkiness of Tamiya's older models.

I actually enjoyed working on them. Pulling apart the Tamtech-Gear Frog's gearbox, and fine tuning it to run smoothly with the optional pink anodized gearbox parts, was actually good fun I found. To this day, I still think about buying more spares and things for them.

Tamiya even went and did things like produce special carry bags, just for the Tamtech Gear buggies.

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Also, semi-related rant :D...

Just the very fact we all have to refer to Tamiyas post-1990s, in terms of "chassis IDs" instead of car names - that concept alone - I find a bit sad :(

It's the opposite of the more specialized, less organized, but more personal way in which Tamiya originally approached its products. And yes, I know that even in 1976 Tamiya re-used some chassis with different bodies. And yes, I know those old kits were less convenient for people who only care about modding and performance...  But the fact the earlier kits had more unique parts per kit, than today, was more interesting. It felt less cookie-cutter, and each model felt more special. And it wasn't until the 1990s that things started to go really mass-market "generic", with endless slapping of plain body shell variants across the same chassis, up to 10 or 20 times per chassis.

I prefer it when Tamiya produces things that feel just a little unique, and less of a rehash. It lends itself better to collecting, nostalgia, and enthusiasm. People obsess over the Porsche 959 for many reasons, but one of them is it was almost a completely one-off unique kit. Sure the Celica GrB shared the chassis, but the Celica GrB still differed in additional ways (extra differential). Step back for a moment, and consider why those vintage cars (even the ones nobody could afford back in the day - like the Porsche!) are so revered and collected now. Part of the reason is because they were a bit special, per kit. And when it comes to buggies and rally cars, Tamiya simply doesn't take that approach any more. Everything feels more generic, for sheer cost-effectiveness.

.:. Sorry I digress :D  And I write too much off-topic rubbish...

In short, the Comical buggies line is... less unique than the Tamtech Gear line was. But I will watch the Comicals with curiosity. And I kinda like the kit boxes.

And at the end of the day, I always hope Tamiya survives and succeeds. And I remain a supporter. But the collector in me, can never quite get what he wants. (And I won't be buying the new QD-bodied rehash of the Monster Beetle, as that really does seem lazy)

H.

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The Comical buggies, to me, feel like the same sort of thing Tamiya has done for a long time, doing variations on a theme: there's the original kit, and the 1/32 "Junior," and the QD version, and the Tamtech version, and now Comical. If you look at it in terms of a specific buggy presented in many different formats, it feels a little more special from the collecting point of view. If you really love the Frog, you can have all the different flavors of it, all united by the same basic style and paint job, and who cares if some of them share the same alphanumeric chassis designation as other cars? 

I would expect we'll see more Comical releases, and I welcome them. I think they're a fun take on the classics, sort of like a cute hipster girl playing Led Zeppelin covers on a ukelele. You know the tune, but hearing it in such a unique way makes you appreciate it all over again. Sincere, earnest, but not really serious, nor meant to be. And that's fine; we could all do with a little less seriousness in our fun these days, I think.

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If a hot pink Baby Frog gets my 7yo daughter into RC Cars, it will have been worth it...

Terry

 

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It's cute and perfectly decent but I'm getting bored of these already. Just another nostalgia cash in using a "modern" platform which itself is now 20 years old.

 

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My daughter's going to love this :)

And it'll be nice to have a Frog without a self-destructing diff!

So this is the third model in the series and yes, they're a bit same-old, same-old now. They seem to be Marmite cars - love 'em or hate 'em.

For me, it was nice to see that Tamiya have made quite a few changes to the chassis for this series, hopefully we'll see more development as the series progresses. I'm hoping that we see some tyre options, the Frog and Hornet should have spiked rear tyres, the Grasshopper (and the Scorcher if it comes) should have paddles.

It'll be interesting to see what they do next. Now they've resurrected the QD Beetle body I think we're almost guaranteed a comical Sand Scorcher with the QD body in white, probably before Christmas.

After that? I wonder if they'll go for another 2WD buggy like a Fox, or will they branch out? Maybe we'll see the GF01 chassis used for a comical Hotshot, Boomerang etc. They'd be daft not to.

Maybe they'll push the envelope further and use the Honda City Turbo WR02C chassis for some comical road cars? Comical Quattro or Ascona, Lancia 037 or Escort Cosworth? I'd buy those in a heartbeat, overdraft be damned!  They could lengthen the chassis a bit to improve the proportions but either way I think they'd be winners.

Potentially the comical series could be massive so it's going to be interesting to see how Tamiya choose to develop it.

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6 hours ago, Mokei Kagaku said:

 10_58673.jpg

I really hope we see a race series full of Comical Tamiya buggies - and I don't mean the DT Fighter Cup, purists :P

The pseudo-dampers on the side are a fun touch.

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Hmm. Not pretty, but captures the key points of the original IMO. Should sell well. (Just not to me.)

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Not really feeling it (and I love the comical releases and have an original Frog). The Frog's stance is what made it so iconic. It looked like a Frog. Long, low nose with no dampers. This version completes deviates from that with the front suspension. 

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For me the TTG series is much attractive as these buggy's are unique in parts and performance compared to the Comical series. I fully agree with Hibernaculum on this. The TTG's are not easy to work on and that is what is making them a challenge. The Hot Shot is technical marvel. I hope the series will ever be relaunched.

See my showroom for VW Bug on a TTG GB01 chassis: https://www.tamiyaclub.com/showroom_model.asp?cid=119261&id=31421 . Tamiya missed the boat. On a GB02 chassis a Sand Scorcher would have been possible.

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18 hours ago, No Slack said:

See my showroom for VW Bug on a TTG GB01 chassis: https://www.tamiyaclub.com/showroom_model.asp?cid=119261&id=31421 . Tamiya missed the boat. On a GB02 chassis a Sand Scorcher would have been possible.

Did this too, although on a GB02. It has different wheels and tires left and right in the photo because I wanted to see what looked best.

 

TTG Baja Bug 3982.JPG

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