The iconic Toyota Land Cruiser hails from a storied line of highly regarded crawl-anywhere off-roaders and workhorses that specialize in bringing driving fun to the masses. Like its full-scale cousin, FMS’s 1/12-scale RC version of the FJ45 aims to bring off-road fun to its driver, too.
FMS delivers the classic Toyota FJ45 into the hands of RC and scale model enthusiasts in a detailed way. The 1/12-scale FJ45 is a highly realistic-looking RC vehicle that’s as detailed as any static model we’ve encountered. FMS’s RC version comes in a handsome metallic green paint scheme.
Introduced in 1977, the 3,400-pound truck was powered by either a gas or diesel engine and driven via a 4-speed transmission. With its highly touted reliability, good looks and infinite utility, the FJ45 was an understandably well-loved work truck and reliable off-roader the world over. This FMS rendition of the famed truck looks to do the same in the RC world.
FJ45 LAND CRUISER PICKUP
FMS’s officially licensed FJ45 measures a smidge over 13 and a half inches in length and is finished in an outstandingly accurate 1/12 scale. The vehicle is scaled so well that it looks like it can accommodate 1/12-scale figures if you choose to add a driver and passenger. The pickup truck’s realistic foundation is based on a solid frame full chassis that contains metal frame rails. The Land Cruiser also features a front and rear three-link rigid axle suspension with coil springs.
Each of the FJ45’s doors can be opened. Both passenger doors, the rear tailgate and the front hood open up to reveal an ample load of details. What’s more, the doors and roof can be removed to form the ultimate beach-side cruiser. The stunningly detailed interior features an accurate dashboard and front seats, plus its instrument panel reveals a set of correct Land Cruiser gauges.
Looking beyond the dash, you’ll also find a gearshift, a set of foot pedals and even a steering wheel that’s linked to the steering servo. This means that the steering wheel will turn as the vehicle is driven. How’s that for lifelike realism? The tailgate swings down fully in the rear, ready to take on any scale load. Classic Land Cruiser hood latches and door hinges add that extra realism that we really go for. From the molded windshield wipers to the door-mounted side mirrors, this RC is detailed in every way.
With all this detail, where are the “guts” of this RC, you may ask? Opening up the hood reveals the truck’s 180-type motor, ESC, receiver, power switch and battery, all contained in the engine bay. Just open the hinged hood for full access. This pickup also comes fitted with a full set of ball bearings for smooth and efficient operation.
Lighting always makes an RC look more realistic and this first generation FJ45 does not slack in that department. LED lights are included with the FJ45 and its headlights can be activated for low or high beams, and it even has turn signals and reverse lamps that activate as you turn and reverse.
It’s worth noting that the FJ45 comes in a dense foam case that looks very much like a toolbox. The carrying case has a locking latch that keeps it securely closed and it is robust enough to protect the vehicle and its accessories. The inside of the case top has cavities carved out of it that can hold parts and tools when it is fully opened. This also makes the case doubly useful as a tool tray or work area, especially nice when you’re out in the field. FMS also includes a USB battery charger and cross wrench in the case.
We charged up the included FMS battery and hit the trail. When powered up, the FJ45 cruised around quite well and looked really good, especially with its LED lights on. The four-wheel drive system can be changed from high to low gearing with the flip of a third-channel switch on the transmitter. Switching to low gear gives the FJ45 more torque for steeper climbs.
Seeing the steering wheel moving as the vehicle turned was especially cool. It’s also worth noting that we consider this FJ45 a fully detailed model kit that can be driven, and not necessarily a fully capable crawler. It’s not very fast, but it’s still lots of fun to drive.
FMS 1/12-SCALE Toyota FJ45 Land Cruiser Pickup VEHICLE SPECS
MSRP: $ 249.99
Chassis: Solid full-frame
Suspension: Front/rear 3-link rigid axle suspension with coil springs
Body: Hard plastic
Lighting: LED lights throughout
Transmitter: 4-channel 2.4GHz
Battery & Charger: Included
FMS really did a fantastic job in terms of the Toyota FJ45’s scale looks and lifelike detailed features. It’s a highly detailed model that offers the benefit of being able to be driven like an RC vehicle, and we really enjoyed it. For those looking for realism above pure crawling performance, this FJ45 may be your next ride.
Text and Images by Jerry Tsai