This Taiyo Pontiac Firebird is a radio control model released into the Japanese market in 1982.
An apparent re-release of the 1980 Taiyo Firebird 88, with a jet black color and different decals, otherwise it looks mostly the same.
The Firebird is one of Taiyo’s first attempts at an RC sports or muscle car. Without much performance to extract from their early 3xAA+9V chassis, they opted instead to jazz it up in the looks department.
Looking very swish for a 1980 RC, the Firebird had
- 3xAA for drive train
- Onboard 9V for car radio (plus another 9V in controller)
- 2-Speed Gearbox
- Jet Black Chassis/Body
- Fire bird emblem on bonnet in Gold and Black
Missing in our photo car, but visible on box.
- Working front headlights
- Red power LED in the rear
The car internals are complex in comparison to Taiyo’s earlier Bump ‘n Go models, and we can already see signs of their game changing 1986 Jet Hopper MK1 design, such as:
A. Compartmentalization of front steering servo mechanism.
This would evolve into a more typical looking RC 8g servo within a few years.
B. Antenna mount pole.
Similar to Jet Hopper, and most Taiyo models in the 80s and 90s.
C. Custom Taiyo 7820C radio control chip.
Taiyo would continue custom designing their chips throughout the 80s and 90s.
D. LED sleeve.
This is identical to the Jet Hopper and all other cars until mid 90s.
If you can manage to find one, this is a classic. Don’t expect performance out of it though, this is a true vintage toy in every sense.