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Ninja - The Sexiest Vintage Rc of all time??

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not to my eye.

BUT we are all individuals and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 

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I don't think there is anything extraordinary about it as a model. Technically, there's to my knowledge nothing unique about it. I never built one, so I won't exclude the possibility that it has some technical solutions of its own? Body design is very "Terra Scorcheresque" and the wing design seems inspired by the Sonic Fighter. That said, the choice of name was very clever and appropriate for the time of release with martial arts being especially popular then, and the red and black scheme fits the name perfectly.

It may sound strange now, but back then, I considered the Ninja and Samurai names to convey glorification of violence, and was convinced that Tamiya would never choose similarly "offensive" names. This was discussed several times in our local RC-car community, and I wasn't at all alone with that opinion. Furthermore, when comparing Marui and Tamiya boxarts from the time (including their plastic model kits),  Marui would include hunting and killing of animals, "macho culture" and so on. Something I don't think you'll find in any Tamiya boxarts, including the very early ones from the 1950's. I know it seems far fetched now (it even does to me!), but I believe it's fair to say that Marui had a quite different culture than Tamiya had and has. Tamiya is more concerned about being politically correct, which in my opinion, is both good and bad. At least I prefer "friendly" boxarts over "violent" ones.

i have a collection of books about Japanese plastic model company boxarts, and whereas many of the companies had quite "violent" boxarts in their early days, they got more concerned about a "friendly" image from the 1970's onwards. Especially Marui and to a high degree Nichimo didn't follow that route. If that's good or bad is a discussion of its own and nothing I'm capable of making any valid conclusions about.

Anyway, when considering the above, I don't think the Ninja could have been a Tamiya model, but in my humble opinion, the body design and boxart colour scheme is as good as that of any Tamiya buggy. Just like the Hirobo Alien, the Ninja is a model I've been contemplating about getting and which I feel are pretty appropriate in an RC-car collection of almost only Tamiya models. 

 

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Being a Marui nuthead, I do agree that the Ninja is a very good looking buggy. :ph34r: It has smoother and better flowing lines compared to the Shogun.

I believe Marui made models back then that were great in design. The Ninja chassis is basically similar to a DF-01 chassis. Or the coolness factor of the chain-drive Samurai, that was almost sience-fiction for 12 year old me.

When I put my Ninja together after its cleanup and upgrades, I did have a hard time deciding if that spoiler should go on or not. It does look very sleek and stealthy without the spoiler, and stealth is Ninja. But keeping the looks box-art, the spoiler did go on eventually. :lol:

Maybe I'll do a runner without the spoiler at some point. So many plans, so little time.....

Still need to finish my Samurai and start on my Shogun as we are on the topic of cool buggies. ^_^ And maybe then continue on two Big Bears that also sit here collecting dust.. Man this midlife crisis is starting to kick in. :lol:

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On 9/6/2020 at 5:19 AM, Mokei Kagaku said:

I don't think there is anything extraordinary about it as a model. Technically, there's to my knowledge nothing unique about it. I never built one, so I won't exclude the possibility that it has some technical solutions of its own? Body design is very "Terra Scorcheresque" and the wing design seems inspired by the Sonic Fighter. That said, the choice of name was very clever and appropriate for the time of release with martial arts being especially popular then, and the red and black scheme fits the name perfectly.

It may sound strange now, but back then, I considered the Ninja and Samurai names to convey glorification of violence, and was convinced that Tamiya would never choose similarly "offensive" names. This was discussed several times in our local RC-car community, and I wasn't at all alone with that opinion. Furthermore, when comparing Marui and Tamiya boxarts from the time (including their plastic model kits),  Marui would include hunting and killing of animals, "macho culture" and so on. Something I don't think you'll find in any Tamiya boxarts, including the very early ones from the 1950's. I know it seems far fetched now (it even does to me!), but I believe it's fair to say that Marui had a quite different culture than Tamiya had and has. Tamiya is more concerned about being politically correct, which in my opinion, is both good and bad. At least I prefer "friendly" boxarts over "violent" ones.

i have a collection of books about Japanese plastic model company boxarts, and whereas many of the companies had quite "violent" boxarts in their early days, they got more concerned about a "friendly" image from the 1970's onwards. Especially Marui and to a high degree Nichimo didn't follow that route. If that's good or bad is a discussion of its own and nothing I'm capable of making any valid conclusions about.

Anyway, when considering the above, I don't think the Ninja could have been a Tamiya model, but in my humble opinion, the body design and boxart colour scheme is as good as that of any Tamiya buggy. Just like the Hirobo Alien, the Ninja is a model I've been contemplating about getting and which I feel are pretty appropriate in an RC-car collection of almost only Tamiya models. 

 

In light of this, I guess it's not surprising that Marui pivoted to Airsoft guns while Tamiya started putting Kumamon bears in their cars...

One thing I did always find odd about Tamiya is that for all their bright and cheerful RC and Mini 4WD models, they also have a MASSIVE catalog of military miniatures. They're generally careful not to condone or glorify violence or warfare, but the fact that they make so many military models when other product lines are so "cuddly" always felt like a disconnect. Maybe Mr Tamiya is just a military buff?

As for the Ninja, it never really did anything for me. It always felt like a cheap alternative to a Boomerang, kind of like the Kyosho Shadow. A step up from the Royal RIpper, but that isn't saying much. I always did like the Samurai, though, and I thought the Thunderbird was a cool idea, with the adjustable ride height and two sets of wheels.

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It's a serious contender!!

When it first appeared ,it's was, I think, the first cab forward design, with an awesome rear wing, and the black / red combo really works.

I have a few mags where the Ninja featured, and they've all got holes where the pictures used to be, as they'd been cut out, and stuck on my bedroom wall.....😁

I've owned 2 now, plus a Coors Thunderbird (first touring car, on road/ off road thing?), and they're not brilliant tbh, and with 22 bearings, and intersting rebuild (and needing to make pullers!).

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On 9/8/2020 at 6:00 PM, markbt73 said:

One thing I did always find odd about Tamiya is that for all their bright and cheerful RC and Mini 4WD models, they also have a MASSIVE catalog of military miniatures. They're generally careful not to condone or glorify violence or warfare, but the fact that they make so many military models when other product lines are so "cuddly" always felt like a disconnect. Maybe Mr Tamiya is just a military buff?

IIRC, the military stuff all stems from Tamiya's beginnings in models. Machinery of war sold well with kids and model builders. I think Tamiya's initial offerings were often war ships done in wood. When plastic came about, they were forced to move into that market. Tanks followed. Mr. Tamiya himself and an assistant came to the US to visit the what we locals called the Aberdeen Tank Museum in Maryland for research purposes. IIRC, the pair had to sketch details down on paper to use on their models back home. I miss the Aberdeen Tank Museum which was closed down some time ago. 

That's an interesting point @Mokei Kagaku and one I never considered. I don't doubt its validity. For as close as Marui appeared to Tamiya at times with their boxart and such, this "friendly" vs "violent" aspect does stand in stark contrast.

While the Shogun was always my favorite Mauri, the Ninja is quite the looker. The mechanics might not be revolutionary, but the overall appearance does have sex-appeal (for an RC car, anyway).

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