Are Tamiya RC Car Kits any Good

Are Tamiya RC Car Kits any Good

By Joe Rich.

Are Tamiya RC Car Kits Any Good

Tamiya is a renowned Japanese company with a rich history dating back to 1946. They initially specialized in wooden ship models and later expanded into plastic model kits. In 1976, Tamiya ventured into the world of radio-controlled cars with the introduction of their first RC car kit, the Porsche 934 Turbo RSR. Since then, the company has gained a reputation for producing high-quality and reliable kits that cater to both beginners and experienced hobbyists alike.

Technical Specifications

Tamiya RC car kits come in mainly 1:10 scale, with an array of different models, such as on-road, off-road, drift, and buggy cars. They offer electric kits and these include detailed assembly instructions to guide users through the process. Tamiya’s attention to detail, coupled with their commitment to using top-quality materials, ensures that their products stand out in terms of performance, durability, and aesthetics.


Speed and Performance Tamiya kits are known for their impressive speed and performance. The company offers a wide range of models, each designed to excel in its specific category. For example, their on-road racing kits boast excellent handling and stability at high speeds, while their off-road kits are built to tackle challenging terrains with ease.

Durability Tamiya kits are constructed using high-quality materials, ensuring that they can withstand regular use and potential crashes. This durability is particularly crucial for beginners who are still learning the ropes and may experience more frequent collisions.

Ease of Assembly Tamiya provides clear and detailed assembly instructions for their kits, making them accessible even for those new to the RC car hobby. The step-by-step guides ensure that users can quickly and easily put together their vehicles and start enjoying them.


Price One of the few downsides to Tamiya RC car kits is their relatively high price. While the quality and performance of their products are top-notch, they may not be the most budget-friendly option for those just starting in the hobby.

Availability of Spare Parts While Tamiya has a wide range of spare parts available for their kits, they can sometimes be challenging to find, especially for older or discontinued models. This may cause inconvenience for users who need to replace damaged components.

Overall, Tamiya RC car kits are a fantastic option for those looking for quality, performance, and durability. The company’s extensive history and commitment to excellence have resulted in products that cater to a wide range of interests and skill levels. While the price may be a deterrent for some, the investment is well worth it for hobbyists seeking a reliable and high-performing RC car kit. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned enthusiast, Tamiya’s RC car kits are sure to provide an enjoyable and satisfying experience.

Here are four reviews of the different types of models in the Tamiya range that I would recommend.

1:10 Scale Tamiya Sand Viper RC Kit Car

Are Tamiya RC Car Kits any Good
Are Tamiya RC Car Kits any Good

The Tamiya Sand Viper is a 1:10 scale RC kit car designed for off-road racing enthusiasts.

Tamiya Sand Viper RC Kit Car is perfect for this. It features off-road tires, shocks, and a durable body so it won’t break easily. All of these features make it one of the best RC cars available!

Receiving the Tamiya Sand Viper RC Kit Car, the box design is eye-catching with vibrant graphics showcasing the car in action. The packaging is sturdy and well-organized, with all parts and components neatly secured inside.

Inside the box, you’ll find the necessary parts to assemble the car, including the chassis, body, wheels, tires, as well as electronic components such as the motor and servos. A detailed instruction manual is also provided to guide you through the assembly process.

The 1:10 scale Tamiya sand viper is a great first RC kit car it is easy assembly. All the parts are quality and fit together really well with out much trimming or fuss.

The Sand Viper RC kit car is very easy to assemble. The instructions are well-detailed and they include tips for assembling your first RC car that you won’t find in many other sets. Assembling the Tamiya Sand Viper is a relatively straightforward process, thanks to the clear step-by-step instructions provided in the manual. The majority of the parts fit together seamlessly, making the build enjoyable and satisfying. However, some sections might be a bit challenging for beginners, particularly when it comes to installing the electronics. It’s essential to take your time and carefully follow the instructions to ensure a successful build.

This kit has the 2 wheel drive DT02 chassis the drive going through the rear wheels. 

It comes with a standard 540 motor but this is easy to upgrade to a more powerful brushless if needed.

The high stance, spiked wheels and double wishbone suspension with oil filled dampers means that the sand viper can cope with many different surfaces.

The tough body comes unpainted so you can paint it any colour you like and give the opportunity to put your individual stamp on your car.

Overall, the Tamiya Sand Viper RC Kit Car is an excellent choice for those looking to enter the world of off-road RC racing or expand their collection. Its combination of quality materials, durable design, and impressive performance across various surfaces makes it a worthwhile investment. The end result is a rewarding and enjoyable RC car that can provide hours of entertainment. Based on our experience, we would recommend the Tamiya Sand Viper to both newcomers and seasoned enthusiasts alike.

The first kit I had and still have today is a sand viper it is great fun to use and build a great way to start out with your first car.

A transmitter, ESC, battery and charger will also be needed.

1:10 Scale Tamiya Hotshot

Tamiya Hotshot

The Tamiya Hotshot is a legendary remote control car designed for experienced hobbyists seeking a high-performance, 4WD off-road buggy.

Packaging and Build Quality The Tamiya Hotshot comes in a well-designed box, featuring eye-catching graphics that showcase the car’s dynamic design. Upon opening the box, you’ll find all the necessary parts and components neatly organized, along with a detailed instruction manual to guide you through the assembly process.

The build quality of the Tamiya Hotshot is excellent, with precise engineering and attention to detail evident in the assembly. The car’s components fit together seamlessly, resulting in a robust and durable finished product that can withstand the rigors of off-road racing.

Materials and Features Constructed using high-quality materials such as reinforced plastics and metal components, the Tamiya Hotshot is built to last. The car features a powerful brushed motor and a sealed gearbox, protecting the gears from dirt and debris during off-road use.

The Hotshot also boasts a unique independent suspension system with oil-filled dampers, providing smooth handling and excellent shock absorption on rough terrains. The transmission offers a single-speed setting, optimized for off-road performance.

Performance In terms of speed, the Tamiya Hotshot is no slouch. While it may not be the fastest RC car on the market, it offers more than enough power for off-road racing enthusiasts. The car’s handling is precise and responsive, allowing users to navigate tight corners and maintain control even at high speeds.

The accuracy of the Tamiya Hotshot’s steering and throttle response is impressive, ensuring a satisfying driving experience. Battery life will depend on the type of battery used, but with a quality NiMH or LiPo battery, users can expect a reasonable runtime for extended off-road sessions.

Terrain and Limitations The Tamiya Hotshot excels in off-road environments, tackling dirt, gravel, and grass with ease. Its durable construction and suspension system allow it to handle rough terrains and small obstacles without issue. However, the car may struggle with more extreme obstacles, such as large rocks or steep inclines, due to its ground clearance and single-speed transmission.

One potential drawback of the Tamiya Hotshot is the brushed motor, which may require more maintenance compared to brushless motors. Additionally, while the car’s performance is impressive, some experienced hobbyists may desire higher top speeds or more advanced features.

The Tamiya Hotshot is a well-built, high-performance RC car that offers an enjoyable driving experience for experienced hobbyists. Its robust construction, unique suspension system, and responsive handling make it a worthy investment for off-road racing enthusiasts. While it may not be the fastest or most feature-packed RC car available, its classic design and reliable performance make it an excellent choice for those seeking a durable and capable off-road buggy. If you’re an experienced RC hobbyist looking for a reliable and entertaining off-road vehicle, the Tamiya Hotshot is definitely worth considering.

A transmitter, ESC, battery and charger will also be needed.

Tamiya Ford F350 High Lift

The Tamiya Ford F350 High Lift is a 1:10 scale RC model kit that offers a fantastic blend of realism and performance for RC enthusiasts and hobbyists

Build Quality and Aesthetics The Tamiya Ford F350 High Lift boasts exceptional build quality, with precise engineering and high-quality materials used throughout its construction. The result is a durable and robust model that can withstand regular use and off-road adventures.

Aesthetically, the Ford F350 High Lift is a highly detailed and realistic representation of the full-sized vehicle. The body is made from injection-molded plastic and features accurate details such as grille, side mirrors, and chrome-plated parts, giving the model an authentic appearance.

Assembly and Level of Detail The Tamiya Ford F350 High Lift is a complex kit that requires a significant amount of assembly. However, the comprehensive instruction manual makes the process manageable, even for those with limited experience in building RC models. The level of detail in the kit is impressive, with numerous small parts and intricate components that add to the model’s realism and overall appeal.

Unique Features One of the standout features of the Tamiya Ford F350 High Lift is its suspension system, which includes leaf springs and friction dampers, providing a realistic and smooth ride on various terrains. Additionally, the three-speed transmission allows users to adjust the vehicle’s performance according to their preferences and driving conditions.

The realistic body is another notable feature of this kit, with its accurate representation of the Ford F350 truck. Furthermore, the model is compatible with a range of customization options, including LED lights, winches, and other aftermarket accessories, allowing users to personalize their vehicle to their liking.

    Potential Drawbacks The complexity of the Tamiya Ford F350 High Lift kit may be a drawback for some users, particularly those new to RC model building. The assembly process can be time-consuming and requires patience and precision. Additionally, the cost of the kit may be a concern for some hobbyists, as it is relatively expensive compared to other RC models in its category.

    Tips for Getting the Most Out of the Model To get the most out of the Tamiya Ford F350 High Lift, it is essential to carefully follow the assembly instructions and take your time during the building process. Once assembled, proper maintenance and care will ensure the model’s longevity and performance. Customizing the model with aftermarket accessories can also enhance the overall experience and enjoyment of the kit.

    Overall Impression and Recommendation In conclusion, the Tamiya Ford F350 High Lift is an impressive and highly detailed RC model kit that offers a fantastic blend of realism and performance. While the complexity of the kit and its cost may be potential drawbacks for some users, the exceptional build quality, aesthetics, and unique features make it a worthwhile investment for RC enthusiasts and hobbyists looking for a realistic and customizable off-road truck. If you’re seeking a challenging and rewarding RC model building experience, the Tamiya Ford F350 High Lift is definitely worth considering.

    Tamiya TAM58372 Tamiya 58372 Ford F350 High-Lift Truck Assembly Kit
    • Durable ladder frame chassis features steel channel and resin cross members for high strength
    • 3-speed transmission allows gear changing and realistic low-speed driving
    • Differential may be easily locked in place to enable improved off-road performance
    • Required to Complete: 4-channel transmitter, ESC, and running battery and charger
    • Separately available Pick-Up Truck Multi-Function Unit MFC-02 (ITEM 53957)

    A transmitter, ESC, battery and charger will also be needed.

    Tamiya Honda NSX Kit

    The Tamiya Honda NSX Kit is a highly detailed and accurate 1/10 scale radio-controlled model of the iconic Honda NSX sports car. Released in 2016, this kit targets hobbyists and RC enthusiasts who enjoy assembling and customizing their own vehicles. The kit features a TT-02 chassis, polycarbonate body shell, and numerous realistic details that replicate the look and feel of the actual car


    High-quality components: The Tamiya Honda NSX Kit comes with top-notch components that are made of durable materials. The polycarbonate body shell is lightweight yet strong, ensuring that the model can withstand regular use and some rough handling.

    Easy assembly: The kit comes with a comprehensive instruction manual that makes the assembly process straightforward and enjoyable. Even those with limited experience in building RC cars will find the process manageable.

    Realistic design: The level of detail on the Tamiya Honda NSX Kit is impressive. From the accurately scaled body to the intricate decals and chrome-plated wheels, the model looks just like the real Honda NSX.

    Customizability: The TT-02 chassis provides ample opportunities for customization, allowing users to upgrade and fine-tune their model to suit their preferences. This makes the kit an excellent choice for those who enjoy tinkering with their RC cars.

    Great performance: The Tamiya Honda NSX Kit offers smooth and responsive handling, thanks to its four-wheel drive system and high-quality components. It performs well on various surfaces and provides a satisfying driving experience.


    Not beginner-friendly: While the assembly process is relatively easy, beginners might struggle with some aspects of the build, such as applying decals or painting the body shell. This kit is better suited for intermediate to advanced hobbyists.

    Limited top speed: The stock motor included in the kit is not very powerful, which results in a somewhat limited top speed. However, this issue can be addressed by upgrading the motor and other components.

    In conclusion, the Tamiya 58634 Honda NSX Kit is an excellent choice for RC enthusiasts who are looking for a realistic and customizable model. The kit’s high-quality components, easy assembly, and impressive design make it a worthwhile investment. However, it may not be the best option for beginners, as they might find the assembly process challenging.

    While the initial cost of the kit and additional components can be a bit steep, the overall value for money is good considering the level of detail and customizability it offers. Performance-wise, the Tamiya 58634 Honda NSX Kit delivers a smooth and enjoyable driving experience, although the top speed may be slightly underwhelming for some users.

    Potential buyers should consider their skill level, budget, and desired performance before deciding whether the Tamiya 58634 Honda NSX Kit is the right choice for them.

    Tamiya 58634 Honda NSX Kit – TT02 Chassis.
    • ESC Included
    • 27t Brushed 540 Motor Included
    • Detailed Scale Polycarbonate Body (Lexan)
    • Friction Shocks
    • Required to complete: battery, charger, speed control, servo, radio system, paint, and assembly

    My own personal experience with Tamiya RC car kits has been nothing short of enjoyable and fulfilling. The satisfaction of building and customizing my own vehicles has given me a greater appreciation for the hobby and the intricacies of RC cars.

    When considering whether to invest in a Tamiya RC car kit, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons we’ve discussed in this post. Tamiya kits offer high-quality components, detailed designs, and a wide range of customizability options. However, they may not always be the best choice for absolute beginners or those on a tight budget.

    If you’re passionate about the RC hobby and looking for a rewarding and immersive experience, Tamiya RC car kits are definitely worth considering. Their reputation for quality and attention to detail is well-deserved, and the opportunity for customization ensures that your investment will continue to provide enjoyment for years to come.

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