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What has been the least popular tamiya model?

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I was looking through the list of tamiya rc models, up to the ate 80s/early 90s and was wondering what the least popular model as far as sales was.

You see lots of Sand Scorchers, Wild Wily's and Sand Rovers etc on Ebay these days, but don't see very many Road Wizards or group c cars, which means that they are rare because collectors aren't selling them, or there just weren't that many sold in the first place.

Was it the price of these kits, or was it just that they didn't catch the imagination of kids back then like say, the Frog did?

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7 hours ago, junkmunki said:

but don't see very many Road Wizards or group c cars, which means that they are rare because collectors aren't selling them, or there just weren't that many sold in the first place.

This was the very first two group of cars that came to mind. 

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I would suggest the candidates for this would be any models that lasted 1 year (appeared in 1 annual catalogue), then were canceled. Surely nothing else is a bigger clue as to lagging worldwide sales, than Tamiya’s cancellation of production itself. 

By contrast, the most popular models had sales runs that lasted 8 or 9 years, maybe more. 

Overall (all time) the least popular model is more likely to be from the 1990s or 2000s, when dozens of obscure, forgotten models (rebodied touring car variants and the like) were produced among Tamiya’s large numbers of different kits being sold at once.9

Than anything in the 1980s when the hobby was having its early popularity and Tamiya sold far fewer different kits at once. 

But I could be wrong. 🤔

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Until touring cars came along, on-road cars in general were less popular among casual/basher-type enthusiasts, just because you can do less with them. You can always drive an off-road car on the road, if you change the tires or are willing to wear down the knobs, but an on-road car is bound to smooth surfaces. They're also harder to drive well, and less tolerant of "spirited" use.

The Road Wizard was fairly popular, I thought, or at least it was available for a long time. Maybe that was kits languishing on shelves, though. It certainly wasn't expensive; comparable to a Frog or Wild One, if I recall.

I agree that the touring car proliferation of the 1990s probably resulted in fewer sales for each individual kit number, and there were probably a few that were really low. But only if you're talking about specific kits; as a whole, those chassis types were extremely popular. The TA01/02, M-chassis, and even the Group C cars brought on-road cars back to the forefront, and "parking lot racing" was huge. But I'm sure a few bodystyles/liveries were unpopular and didn't sell.

Lowest actual sales was probably that solar-powered car. I only ever saw one in a hobby shop, and it was there for years...

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There was that buggy, what turned into a "tamiyaclub" meme , before meme's where invented.

 

** crushes skull about the name **

Sonic Fighter ?? 

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4 hours ago, markbt73 said:

Until touring cars came along, on-road cars in general were less popular among casual/basher-type enthusiasts, just because you can do less with them. You can always drive an off-road car on the road, if you change the tires or are willing to wear down the knobs, but an on-road car is bound to smooth surfaces. They're also harder to drive well, and less tolerant of "spirited" use.

The Road Wizard was fairly popular, I thought, or at least it was available for a long time. Maybe that was kits languishing on shelves, though. It certainly wasn't expensive; comparable to a Frog or Wild One, if I recall.

I agree that the touring car proliferation of the 1990s probably resulted in fewer sales for each individual kit number, and there were probably a few that were really low. But only if you're talking about specific kits; as a whole, those chassis types were extremely popular. The TA01/02, M-chassis, and even the Group C cars brought on-road cars back to the forefront, and "parking lot racing" was huge. But I'm sure a few bodystyles/liveries were unpopular and didn't sell.

Lowest actual sales was probably that solar-powered car. I only ever saw one in a hobby shop, and it was there for years...

I remember seeing one of those solar powered cars, it was called the Solar Eagle or something, i dont think they sold well because the one i saw in the shop was about £300, at a time when you could buy buggies for about half of that...

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14 hours ago, junkmunki said:

I was looking through the list of tamiya rc models, up to the ate 80s/early 90s and was wondering what the least popular model as far as sales was.

You see lots of Sand Scorchers, Wild Wily's and Sand Rovers etc on Ebay these days, but don't see very many Road Wizards or group c cars, which means that they are rare because collectors aren't selling them, or there just weren't that many sold in the first place.

Was it the price of these kits, or was it just that they didn't catch the imagination of kids back then like say, the Frog did?

The Road Wizard, I would have to say. I remember getting a job at a hobby store in November 1988. There was a purple Road Wizard sitting in the case for sale, built by the shop at least 2 years before I started working there.  I was there a couple years and I recall coming in one day and someone said it was finally sold. That thing sat for a LONG time.

 

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2 hours ago, Stefan(2) said:

There was that buggy, what turned into a "tamiyaclub" meme , before meme's where invented.

 

** crushes skull about the name **

Sonic Fighter ?? 

You mean that godawful pile of poop "The Striker"? 

:D

 

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Strikers sold well, at least in my neck of the woods, at first. Then they stopped selling well, but replacement chassis sales stayed strong...

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https://www.tamiyaclub.com/forum/index.php?/topic/40513-the-worst-off-roader-ever/&

While discussing popularity based on sales numbers (as a way of gauging popularity) is perceived to be fine, I'd tread carefully when criticizing certain models. I have no problem with it, but I was chastised by @twisty and @Hibernaculum back in '08 for making a similar post that could possibly offend owners of said vehicles.

 

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Oh, I know... and I also know it's rarely the car's fault, but rather the expectations of the user. Some people can break anything, and in fact, seem determined to do so, and others can make the most glass-fragile contraption last for years.

I've been told that "all Toyotas are junk" by a guy who blew up the gearbox in his Tercel (how do you break a gearbox in a car with 60 hp?), and I've seen a Chevy Vega with 250,000 miles on its original engine.

But I also had two neighborhood friends with Strikers, and the noses fell off both of them with some regularity. Hit a bump too hard too fast, and "oops, there it goes again..."

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11 hours ago, Saito2 said:

https://www.tamiyaclub.com/forum/index.php?/topic/40513-the-worst-off-roader-ever/&

While discussing popularity based on sales numbers (as a way of gauging popularity) is perceived to be fine, I'd tread carefully when criticizing certain models. I have no problem with it, but I was chastised by @twisty and @Hibernaculum back in '08 for making a similar post that could possibly offend owners of said vehicles.

 

😆 True, true.

Only difference is: “worst” is very subjective. 

“Lowest sales” could actually be figured out factually -  if only we had the sales figures. All we have are clues though. 

Solar Eagle is a good guess, due to highly limited play value. But I bet there are other candidates. Look deep in the corners of the “Perfect Album”, and find... “boys racer” series and other oddities that came and went. Some models were featured in corners of the annual catalogues, without even colour pictures. 

Then of course there’s specifically limited edition releases. How many examples of the original Black Porsche were made? On a measure of miniscule sales volume alone, something like that might actually be the winner.

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11 hours ago, tamiya_1971 said:

The Road Wizard, I would have to say. I remember getting a job at a hobby store in November 1988. There was a purple Road Wizard sitting in the case for sale, built by the shop at least 2 years before I started working there.  I was there a couple years and I recall coming in one day and someone said it was finally sold. That thing sat for a LONG time.

 

I think the road wizard is a great kit, I have one built and one in box. The box art is probably one of my favourites.

 

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The ‘79 B2B Sidecar only made 2 catalogues before being dropped and never re re’d - so it’s got to be up there in terms of lowest sales.

Its also not my thing aesthetically or in terms of design - so hits every ‘least popular’ note 😬

Conversely, there’s stuff I really like that might also weigh in ?

I can’t imagine huge volumes of people forked out c. $750 in current money for the original Blazing Blazer / Hi Lux - or a second 959 / Avante after the first was inevitably destroyed on early runs 😂

Long story short, I tend to agree with @Hibernaculum and @markbt73 that ‘least popular’ is more subjective than informative. 

Anyone with accurate kit sales from 76 to date on the other hand - now that’s interesting !

PS Am I still right that the Blackfoot was the highest, single kit seller ever ? Followed by the Hornet ? 

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On 7/18/2019 at 7:34 PM, SuperChamp82 said:

The ‘79 B2B Sidecar only made 2 catalogues before being dropped and never re re’d - so it’s got to be up there in terms of lowest sales.

Its also not my thing aesthetically or in terms of design - so hits every ‘least popular’ note 😬

Conversely, there’s stuff I really like that might also weigh in ?

I can’t imagine huge volumes of people forked out c. $750 in current money for the original Blazing Blazer / Hi Lux - or a second 959 / Avante after the first was inevitably destroyed on early runs 😂

Long story short, I tend to agree with @Hibernaculum and @markbt73 that ‘least popular’ is more subjective than informative. 

Anyone with accurate kit sales from 76 to date on the other hand - now that’s interesting !

PS Am I still right that the Blackfoot was the highest, single kit seller ever ? Followed by the Hornet ? 

As far as the highest, i would reckon the Grass Hopper has to be close to the top, as it was cheaper than most, so it was probaly most kids first venture into the world of rc...

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On 7/19/2019 at 10:42 PM, junkmunki said:

As far as the highest, i would reckon the Grass Hopper has to be close to the top, as it was cheaper than most, so it was probaly most kids first venture into the world of rc...

Spot on re cheaper @junkmunki

But, from memory, the Grasshopper was also the same year release as the Hornet (84 ?) and only £10 / $15 less expensive back then ?

So - given the Hornet was a way better kit - and everything was resale / distribution on commission vs MAP back then - I bet it outsold the Grasshopper by a margin ?

That said, I’m still not sure if the Blackfoot outshone both in 86 ? 

Probably on the back of Mauri’s Big Bear ... which, for me, is still the better looking (but not performing) kit 😬

Certain fellow Old Guards will correct me on the answers - and Ford vs Datsun 😂 @Hibernaculum @Juggular @Shodog @Saito2 @markbt73 @mongoose1983 @WillyChang

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16 minutes ago, SuperChamp82 said:

So - given the Hornet was a way better kit - and everything was resale / distribution on commission vs MAP back then - I bet it outsold the Grasshopper by a margin ?

That said, I’m still not sure if the Blackfoot outshone both in 86 ? 

Probably on the back of Mauri’s Big Bear ... which, for me, is still the better looking (but not performing) kit 😬

I'm not sure if Tamiya has ever released any sales numbers but its been rumored that the Hornet was the top seller. I can't say for sure. You're correct that the Marui Big Bear was indeed the first of its kind (and I'll agree, its one good-looking truck ;)). Big Bears actually saw some race action and a few hop ups were introduced. MIP made a ball diff IIRC along with their gearcase saver for it.

Again, I don't know the Blackfoot's sales numbers or how popular the model was outside of the States. I can say it was very popular in the States. Before the conversion truck era, the Blackfoot was the platform that was used the most on race tracks. Its good price point along with Tamiya's prevalence in hobby/model shops back in the 80s (ah, the good ol' days, lol) meant a good many got sold just for backyard fun. I saw them everywhere and aftermarket companies everywhere made hop-ups and "fixes" for the 'Foot's faults. It stands to reason that the truck was a good seller otherwise the aftermarket wouldn't have been so big for it. Plenty of trucks back then had faults but not all got resolved. The MRP High Roller or Varicom Big Grizzly didn't see any aftermarket support for instance. Of course, it helped that the Frog's upgrades often worked with the Blackfoot in most instances and that the Frog was popular too.;)

 

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Since there is no data released, I'll go with my personal least favorite designs that I didn't buy (mostly).  

Following suit of Stefan(2), I'll start with Sonic Fighter:  It really needs a canopy!  

eBXUIYx.jpg

PYlCAwH.jpg

If you are going to turn this into a buggy... EAWltVU.jpg

Why leave out the cockpit?  That's the most impressive part, I think.

Instead of a canopy, Tamiya gives us gymnastics bars... 

K9eRRff.jpg

And the driver should've been a pilot! 

I wonder if Tamiya thought, "eh, they are just kids, they can't tell the difference between a driver and a pilot."   

Duh, we can!  A pilot would be chewing on a tentacle!    

CYwPKiE.jpg

zlKQprX.jpg  ... well, maybe a smaller one... ?

Of the two jet-themed ones, this Striker is mjuch better looking. (below was @taffer's) 

5LKRciW.jpg

As I've said before, I'm craving a Lexan canopy. 

I want to get one if only to make a canopy for it. (canopy drawn on the photo)  If they ever re-make it, they should have a less brittle chassis and a canopy!  

O7MVCQH.jpg

 

#2 is another "fighter."  Fighter Buggy.  

Was this based on some popular animation? 

Or was it another try for a cockpit?  I don't know.  But I wasn't impressed with the egg-ish design.  

1oLlBM4.jpg

(I'm sorry, don't hate me. It really reminded me of an egg slicer.)

 6lHQpIb.jpg

Of the same chassis,

"Mad Fighter" is a very good looking design, in my opinion.  

Hf6ueLG.jpg

Mad Fighter should have been named "Hornet 2."   It looks like next-gen Hornet. (maybe it's just me?)

izW7wrv.jpg

 

I thought re-issueing of Mad Fighter would have been good.  Instead, Tamiya decided to do the Fighter Buggy again.  This time on DT02 chassis.  Was Fighter Buggy that popular? 

Once again, I wasn't impressed.  It could be that young people really love this design?  Or it's ME who just don't know what looks good?  

okTbdLR.png

Round and cute is all fine. But I'm on keto. I've got a strong urge to chew on what looks cute and purple. 

WX7Hg6b.jpg

Forgive me if any reader is a big fan of purple Fighter Buggy GR (grape?).  

(lol... I am starting to feel the tension @Saito2 must have felt... )

 

#3 on my chart of ugly-ducklings, is Manta Ray.  Don't get mad, I have one too.  

gS7AEnX.jpg

DF01 is a great chassis.  I bought it for the chassis, not for the body.  

It looks like a lump of clay. 

3efZxQg.jpg

One of the best chassis with one of the worst shells, in my opinion.  

I thought there was no saving grace for the shell, until @Ferruz had done below. 

Neon yellow is not my color. But this particular color scheme looks very good to me. 

RYVb3TS.jpg

Maybe it's the driver. 

The driver makes it look like he's just sitting in front of a big V12 engine.  

The clear canopy is far less awkward than the manta ray's 'eye canopy.'  

flUCaps.jpg

Manta Ray sold well due to good performance.  Tamiya would have sold even more if they included a driver (and had the paint scheme by Ferruz).  

 

#4 would be Thunder Shot

Ms8LFmD.jpg

The chassis is also very capable, I think. 

It's just that the shell reminds me of a stubby star fish...

D5akHbe.jpg

I think Tamiya wished that the Thunder-chassis would be the new Hot Shot chassis.  But, to be popular, the shell has to look good too.  It left too much to be desired, in my opinion.  

 

#5 is Jun Watanabe.  

I'm sorry.  I just don't get it.  (I'm looking at it hard right now. Trying very hard to see if I could like it...  ...  ...  nope.)

ASSefQb.jpg

It just looks like a poisonous frog; something tells me not to touch it.  (I couldn't buy it when it looks like touching it could kill me in 2 minutes.)  I wonder how many of these were sold (Watanabes, not the frogs).  

4WyEwir.jpg

 

#6 is Zahhak.  I love it.  DN01 chassis is just wonderful.  If you want a 2WD buggy that's semi-race worthy, but something a lot more than DT02 or DT03, this is it.  Out of all the 2WD bashers I have, this is the best chassis. 

But not many people buy it because ... well, because it's so... pink, period.  (no pun intended)  

EofbLUE.jpg

I'm not trying to be macho or anything.  I like orange shells. I like 'lipstick-red' on some of the cars.  Red doesn't bother me.  

UCeWJDD.jpg

But pink?  

No matter how much they dote on their daughters, most guys don't want to take their daughters' girly bedrooms to the track.  

dXi4mUB.jpg

 

But underneath the pink dragon...  the shell is quite decent looking.    

Below is a paint scheme done by @Funracer

(he added a driver. You see Tamiya, driver is a must!)  

WsMaMMT.jpg

That yellow and black says power and speed (instead of pillows and many many hearts).  

If any one of above is your favorite, forgive me. 

I'm not saying you shouldn't like anything particular.  Just that these are less appealing to my personal taste and if there are many people like me, these would have been not very popular.  So this has been my own personal, subjective, and biased way of thinking about "least popular models."  (We all love Tamiya. That doesn't mean that we can't make fun of their choices.)

 

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5 hours ago, Juggular said:

Since there is no data released, I'll go with my personal least favorite designs that I didn't buy (mostly).  

Following suit of Stefan(2), I'll start with Sonic Fighter:  It really needs a canopy!  

eBXUIYx.jpg

PYlCAwH.jpg

If you are going to turn this into a buggy... EAWltVU.jpg

Why leave out the cockpit?  That's the most impressive part, I think.

Instead of a canopy, Tamiya gives us gymnastics bars... 

K9eRRff.jpg

And the driver should've been a pilot! 

I wonder if Tamiya thought, "eh, they are just kids, they can't tell the difference between a driver and a pilot."   

Duh, we can!  A pilot would be chewing on a tentacle!    

CYwPKiE.jpg

zlKQprX.jpg  ... well, maybe a smaller one... ?

Of the two jet-themed ones, this Striker is mjuch better looking. (below was @taffer's) 

5LKRciW.jpg

As I've said before, I'm craving a Lexan canopy. 

I want to get one if only to make a canopy for it. (canopy drawn on the photo)  If they ever re-make it, they should have a less brittle chassis and a canopy!  

O7MVCQH.jpg

 

#2 is another "fighter."  Fighter Buggy.  

Was this based on some popular animation? 

Or was it another try for a cockpit?  I don't know.  But I wasn't impressed with the egg-ish design.  

1oLlBM4.jpg

(I'm sorry, don't hate me. It really reminded me of an egg slicer.)

 6lHQpIb.jpg

Of the same chassis,

"Mad Fighter" is a very good looking design, in my opinion.  

Hf6ueLG.jpg

Mad Fighter should have been named "Hornet 2."   It looks like next-gen Hornet. (maybe it's just me?)

izW7wrv.jpg

 

I thought re-issueing of Mad Fighter would have been good.  Instead, Tamiya decided to do the Fighter Buggy again.  This time on DT02 chassis.  Was Fighter Buggy that popular? 

Once again, I wasn't impressed.  It could be that young people really love this design?  Or it's ME who just don't know what looks good?  

okTbdLR.png

Round and cute is all fine. But I'm on keto. I've got a strong urge to chew on what looks cute and purple. 

WX7Hg6b.jpg

Forgive me if any reader is a big fan of purple Fighter Buggy GR (grape?).  

(lol... I am starting to feel the tension @Saito2 must have felt... )

 

#3 on my chart of ugly-ducklings, is Manta Ray.  Don't get mad, I have one too.  

gS7AEnX.jpg

DF01 is a great chassis.  I bought it for the chassis, not for the body.  

It looks like a lump of clay. 

3efZxQg.jpg

One of the best chassis with one of the worst shells, in my opinion.  

I thought there was no saving grace for the shell, until @Ferruz had done below. 

Neon yellow is not my color. But this particular color scheme looks very good to me. 

RYVb3TS.jpg

Maybe it's the driver. 

The driver makes it look like he's just sitting in front of a big V12 engine.  

The clear canopy is far less awkward than the manta ray's 'eye canopy.'  

flUCaps.jpg

Manta Ray sold well due to good performance.  Tamiya would have sold even more if they included a driver (and had the paint scheme by Ferruz).  

 

#4 would be Thunder Shot

Ms8LFmD.jpg

The chassis is also very capable, I think. 

It's just that the shell reminds me of a stubby star fish...

D5akHbe.jpg

I think Tamiya wished that the Thunder-chassis would be the new Hot Shot chassis.  But, to be popular, the shell has to look good too.  It left too much to be desired, in my opinion.  

 

#5 is Jun Watanabe.  

I'm sorry.  I just don't get it.  (I'm looking at it hard right now. Trying very hard to see if I could like it...  ...  ...  nope.)

ASSefQb.jpg

It just looks like a poisonous frog; something tells me not to touch it.  (I couldn't buy it when it looks like touching it could kill me in 2 minutes.)  I wonder how many of these were sold (Watanabes, not the frogs).  

4WyEwir.jpg

 

#6 is Zahhak.  I love it.  DN01 chassis is just wonderful.  If you want a 2WD buggy that's semi-race worthy, but something a lot more than DT02 or DT03, this is it.  Out of all the 2WD bashers I have, this is the best chassis. 

But not many people buy it because ... well, because it's so... pink, period.  (no pun intended)  

EofbLUE.jpg

I'm not trying to be macho or anything.  I like orange shells. I like 'lipstick-red' on some of the cars.  Red doesn't bother me.  

UCeWJDD.jpg

But pink?  

No matter how much they dote on their daughters, most guys don't want to take their daughters' girly bedrooms to the track.  

dXi4mUB.jpg

 

 

But underneath the pink dragon...  the shell is quite decent looking.    

Below is a paint scheme done by @Funracer

(he added a driver. You see Tamiya, driver is a must!)  

WsMaMMT.jpg

That yellow and black says power and speed (instead of pillows and many many hearts).  

If any one of above is your favorite, forgive me. 

I'm not saying you shouldn't like anything particular.  Just that these are less appealing to my personal taste and if there are many people like me, these would have been not very popular.  So this has been my own personal, subjective, and biased way of thinking about "least popular models."  (We all love Tamiya. That doesn't mean that we can't make fun of their choices.)

 

Its a shame that considering some of the really high quality early models that tamiya released, they stooped to making such stuuf, and that is being polite, as the Hornet come spotty thing and the sonic fighter family of cars. I know they have to appeal to all bases, but still, who were they kidding? The first time you attemted a jump they broke, perhaps they were expecting to make more money selling the spares than selling the original kit...

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Those are some great observations and comparisons there. They gave me quite a laugh, but there's certainly truth behind them.

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Well, if my neighborhood between 1985 and 1989 was any indication, the first kids on the block to get hobby-level RC cars (me and my friend Scott) bought Grasshoppers, because they were the cheapest option. And we were amazed by how much faster the 380 motor was than any of the Nikko/Sears/Radio Shack things we'd had before. And we were happy.

Then, other kids joined in on the action, and the hobby shop clerk gave them the following advice: "Yeah, the Grasshopper's cool and all, but the Hornet comes with a bigger motor and better suspension, for only a few dollars more." In addition, the local hobby shop's demonstrator car was a Hornet (cleverly set up with plastic bushings in one front wheel, and bearings in the other, so he could show the difference and sell more bearings). So they all bought Hornets, and proceeded to blow our doors off. There must have been five or six kids with Hornets within walking distance of the schoolyard where we all ran them.

The other cars I remember being around: one Boomerang, one Lunchbox, my little brother's Big Bear, a Kyosho Big Brute, a Monogram Lightning, and a Wild One. Later on, I got a Blackfoot for Christmas, my brother gave up on his Big Bear and bought a Falcon (which he barely drove before losing interest altogether, so I "rescued" it), and the kids from a few streets over joined in, with the aforementioned Strikers, a couple of Foxes, one Kyosho Optima, and one Ultima. Oh, and Scott replaced his Grasshopper with an RC10, and put a Bolink Lamborghini body on it.

(Edit: Almost forgot - there was one Aristo-Craft Kangaroo in the mix, as well. First car with an ESC. But talk about ugly...)

Hardly hard sales data, but it's an interesting snapshot of one neighborhood in the Chicago suburbs.

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5 hours ago, markbt73 said:

Well, if my neighborhood between 1985 and 1989 was any indication, the first kids on the block to get hobby-level RC cars (me and my friend Scott) bought Grasshoppers, because they were the cheapest option. And we were amazed by how much faster the 380 motor was than any of the Nikko/Sears/Radio Shack things we'd had before. And we were happy.

Then, other kids joined in on the action, and the hobby shop clerk gave them the following advice: "Yeah, the Grasshopper's cool and all, but the Hornet comes with a bigger motor and better suspension, for only a few dollars more." In addition, the local hobby shop's demonstrator car was a Hornet (cleverly set up with plastic bushings in one front wheel, and bearings in the other, so he could show the difference and sell more bearings). So they all bought Hornets, and proceeded to blow our doors off. There must have been five or six kids with Hornets within walking distance of the schoolyard where we all ran them.

The other cars I remember being around: one Boomerang, one Lunchbox, my little brother's Big Bear, a Kyosho Big Brute, a Monogram Lightning, and a Wild One. Later on, I got a Blackfoot for Christmas, my brother gave up on his Big Bear and bought a Falcon (which he barely drove before losing interest altogether, so I "rescued" it), and the kids from a few streets over joined in, with the aforementioned Strikers, a couple of Foxes, one Kyosho Optima, and one Ultima. Oh, and Scott replaced his Grasshopper with an RC10, and put a Bolink Lamborghini body on it.

(Edit: Almost forgot - there was one Aristo-Craft Kangaroo in the mix, as well. First car with an ESC. But talk about ugly...)

Hardly hard sales data, but it's an interesting snapshot of one neighborhood in the Chicago suburbs.

Love your memories of the rc scene from your neighbourhood.

When i was 11, or 12, i forget which, i asked my dad for an rc car for christmas. There was a model shop called Bunces in fareham that sold them, so we went along and looked in. The grasshopper was the cheapest there too, and i thought thats what i would be getting as my dad drew a sharp breath when i suggested something like a Ranger... Bless him though, when i opened my present on christmas day, he had got me a Frog.... I was over the moon, but there werent many other kids around my area into the scene, but there were some older guys who had Sand Scorchers and the such, so i used to run with them.

Again, not a sales snapshot, but just my recollections of my first foray into rc models

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5 hours ago, markbt73 said:

Well, if my neighborhood between 1985 and 1989 was any indication, the first kids on the block to get hobby-level RC cars (me and my friend Scott) bought Grasshoppers, because they were the cheapest option. And we were amazed by how much faster the 380 motor was than any of the Nikko/Sears/Radio Shack things we'd had before. And we were happy.

Then, other kids joined in on the action, and the hobby shop clerk gave them the following advice: "Yeah, the Grasshopper's cool and all, but the Hornet comes with a bigger motor and better suspension, for only a few dollars more." In addition, the local hobby shop's demonstrator car was a Hornet (cleverly set up with plastic bushings in one front wheel, and bearings in the other, so he could show the difference and sell more bearings). So they all bought Hornets, and proceeded to blow our doors off. There must have been five or six kids with Hornets within walking distance of the schoolyard where we all ran them.

The other cars I remember being around: one Boomerang, one Lunchbox, my little brother's Big Bear, a Kyosho Big Brute, a Monogram Lightning, and a Wild One. Later on, I got a Blackfoot for Christmas, my brother gave up on his Big Bear and bought a Falcon (which he barely drove before losing interest altogether, so I "rescued" it), and the kids from a few streets over joined in, with the aforementioned Strikers, a couple of Foxes, one Kyosho Optima, and one Ultima. Oh, and Scott replaced his Grasshopper with an RC10, and put a Bolink Lamborghini body on it.

(Edit: Almost forgot - there was one Aristo-Craft Kangaroo in the mix, as well. First car with an ESC. But talk about ugly...)

Hardly hard sales data, but it's an interesting snapshot of one neighborhood in the Chicago suburbs.

By the way, what on earth is a Monogram lightning, or an Aristo-Craft Kangaroo?

 

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Lightning, made by Yonezawa, sold in "complete" kit form (radio included) in the USA by Monogram Models:

img37_26052012225221_1.jpg

Aristo-Craft/Hitec Kangaroo, almost certainly made by some Japanese company but I don't know who. Sold by Aristo-Craft (now Hitec) as an RTR, the first that I know of to include an ESC.

img19069_25062010191653_1.jpg

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24 minutes ago, markbt73 said:

Aristo-Craft/Hitec Kangaroo, almost certainly made by some Japanese company but I don't know who. Sold by Aristo-Craft (now Hitec) as an RTR, the first that I know of to include an ESC.

img19069_25062010191653_1.jpg

Oof, that's one homely looking buggy :/ 

I have an Aristocraft Challenger II radio setup in my vintage Frog. I use it because it's vintage and brown and horrible looking, but still somewhat charming :)

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