If you were born in the 70’s or 80’s it’s likely that the world of Radio Control Cars (and boats, planes) would have crossed your path at some stage. I recall one Christmas day morning in the early 90’s opening an innocuous looking box from under the tree to find a built and ready to run Tamiya Grasshopper. My brother also had a matching car (running different RC frequencies of course), batteries fully charged we headed off to the garden to race around, only to return 30 or so minutes later when the batteries were flat. Those batteries had a hard life for many months, probably years as it’s difficult to quantify the fun that we had.
Roll on 20 years and Christmas 2015 was again kind to me and I unwrapped a retro Tamiya Grasshopper (albeit this time, I had the pleasure of building it as well!), the exact same make and model I had 20 years ago. Yes, that’s right, Tamiya have re-run production of a number of their classics including the Grasshopper, Hornet, Lunchbox, Monster Beetle and Midnight Pumpkin to name a few.
It took approx. 5 hours to build as I was a little rusty, but the end result is fantastic, a nostalgic throw back to my childhood, only this time I could share the fun with my own children. Admittedly at 2 and 3 years old respectively, my daughters are perhaps a little young to fully enjoy it, however they love the ‘racing car’ and it’s a big hit whilst they enjoy their scooters and bikes in the park.
For anyone reminiscing about Tamiya RC cars from the 80’s and 90’s I can’t recommend it highly enough, yes for sure by modern standards with ‘brushless’ motors etc, these cars probably don’t compete on pure ability and speed, but that’s not what it’s all about, The Tamiya Grasshopper was a classic of its day and an entry point into the world of RC!
My nephew was so impressed on boxing day that put his Christmas money towards his very own and I had the pleasure of building another one a week or so later, which only took about 3 hours (see video below).
How to Build a Tamiya Grasshopper in 60 Seconds
Tamiya Grasshopper in the Park