Blame Tamiya, and the endless appeal of nostalgia. With the rerelease of the iconic Frog, Hornet, Bruiser, and Sand Scorcher (among other models), Tamiya took vintage RC fun out of exclusive realm of bucks-up eBay hunters and brought everyone in on the action. Team Associated has since joined the wayback-wheels trend with the RC10 Classic and Worlds Car reissues, and praise the RC gods, Kyosho has re-minted the classic 1982 Scorpion. But we want more! In no particular order, here are five machines we’d like to see freshly kitted. Let’s get these vintage vehicles out of the past and onto the track!
This one’s a no-brainer. We have the RC10 re-release, in two flavors no less. And that makes us happy, but what is Ford without Chevy? We want a Losi JRX-2 so we can relive those late-80s throwdowns between off -road RC’s original titans. Plus, the JRX-2 is just plain cool with its big bottom-fill shocks, plate graphite chassis, and wild 5-link rear suspension.
COULD IT HAPPEN? Probably not. A rerelease doesn’t fit in with the TLR (Team Losi Racing) lineup, while the “just plain Losi” side of the brand is all about fun-running RTRs. But you never know…
You gotta love the TRX-1. Back when Traxxas was active in racing, the TRX-1 was the brand’s first all-out competition kit. From its plate-graphite chassis and fashionably long shocks to its white plastics and, uh, interesting aerodynamic body, the TRX-1 was Traxxas at the top of its early-90s game. Rare and re-issue worthy.
COULD IT HAPPEN? We’re going with “no.” Traxxas doesn’t have a nostalgia mode, those guys are all about What Comes Next. We don’t see Traxxas taking their foot off the gas to revisit the TRX-1, or any other vintage models. Sad face.
KYOSHO OPTIMA/ OPTIMA MID
Your choice, Kyosho: go with the original chain-drive car (as seen here) or the belt-drive, midmotor Optima Mid. Or, you can skip over the Optima and go straight to the Lazer if you want, it’s all good. Just please re-release one of your classic 4WD buggies, because they were awesome.
COULD IT HAPPEN? Maybe! Kyosho has demonstrated a taste for rereleases with the Scorpion, which turned out great. Our fingers are crossed.
TEAM ASSOCIATED RC10GT
A-Team, we thank you for the RC10 reissues. Now if you’re thinking about another platform, may we suggest the truck that started the nitro revolution? We miss that black-anodized tub, shoebox body, and all the good times we had with the GT. It was a racewinner for sure, but it was also just a plain fun truck, and faster than anything with a battery in those days before LiPo and brushless.
COULD IT HAPPEN? Meh, probably not, because nitro is no longer where it’s at, and the vintage scene is particularly battery-focused. But we can dream.
Tamiya’s TA series put touring cars on the map, with a mix of super-scale looks, let-it-all-hang-out 4WD handling, and super-tough Manta Ray chassis and drivetrain. You could even go off -road with them. We’d love to see Tamiya bring back the original Toyota, Nissan, and Mercedes bodies along with the classic buggy-based platform for parking-lot thrashing.
COULD IT HAPPEN? Sure, why not? Tamiya is the king of rereleases, and all the parts are ready to go. Re-licensing the bodies could be a reason not to pull the trigger though—that’s $$$.