The answer, of course, is “because Japan.” The jet-black bear is Kumamon, the official mascot of Japan’s Kumamoto Prefecture, says Wikipedia. He’s Japan’s favorite regional mascot, and thus worthy of his (or her?) own Tamiya models, including a dune buggy and a tractor, apparently.
Tamiya’s PR below shows kit specs, but the Kumamon car is also available as an RTR in four colors according to TamiyaUSA.com. If it looks familiar, it’s because Tamiya offers the same buggy as the Sand Rover with a cowboy-looking guy (human) behind the wheel.
Specs below. We want one to go with the Miku Racing Sandmaster in our “it could only come from Japan” collection.
This is the RC Tractor Kumamon Version on the WR02G, if you’re interested.
Tamiya DT02 Kumamon Buggy
- The bathtub frame DT-02 chassis features a longitudinally-positioned battery pack for optimum weight distribution and a lower center of gravity.
- 4-wheel independent suspension with coil spring dampers.
- Features a pre-assembled and painted figure depicting the inimitable Kumamon, with stickers and parts to recreate hat, towel and other accessories.
- Bright and colorful decals of Kumamon and Kumamoto Prefecture included.
- Type 380 motor offers excellent controllability.
- Fully-enclosed gearbox protects against dirt and debris
Construction type: Assembly kit
Terrain use: Multi-Purpose
Drive type: Gearbox
Drive line: Dog bone
Differential type: Gear
Suspension: Fully independent double wishbone
Steering mechanism: Direct servo
Shock damper: Friction damper
Shock damper material: Plastic
Tire type: Rubber
Tire tread: Grooved front/pin spike rear
Body material: ABS Plastic
Chassis material: Plastic
Electronic Speed Control (ESC): Included
ESC model: TBLE-02S
LED Light buckets: No
LED lights: No
Motor: 540-brushed type
Bearings: Plastic bushing
Adjustable camber: Fixed
Adjustable toe angles: Front only
Adjustable ground clearance: Fixed
Adjustable gear ratio: Yes
Adjustable wheelbase: Fixed
Adjustable track width: Fixed
Adjustable shock angle: Fixed
- 2-channel radio gear
- 7.2 battery & charger
- TS plastic model paint
- 8 x AA batteries
- Assembly tools