The Taiyo 4WD Big Roader is an early 80s RC monster truck manufactured in 1983. Baring a close resemblance to the first ever monster truck, Big Foot, it proved highly popular, and was also sold by Radio Shack as the RadioShack OffRoader, and Tomy as the Big Foot.
A completely new design
By 1984, Taiyo had several years experience designing and manufacturing tin toys, and bump ‘n go vehicles, and had some success with their first radio control cars using the 2xAA+9V, 3xAA+9V chassis products.
The biggest issue with these designs was that the batteries were consumed quickly, they were heavy due to the continued use of metal outer bodies and internals, and the steering system was downright primitive, like a horse-drawn carriage. They needed a completely new design.
That design came with the 1983 4WD Big Roader, clearly modelled after one of the early Big Foot Monster Trucks.
The Big Foot Chassis
With its all plastic 4WD chassis, it would offer double the battery capacity, enough voltage to drive much larger tires, and a proper modern steering linkage system with metal steering hubs being one of the few non-plastic components. Taiyo had come a long way from their all-tin toys and steel Bump ‘n Go cars.
We classify this as the 4xC+9V chassis, or the ‘Big Foot’ chassis, due to it taking 4 C size batteries plus a 9V inside the truck to power the radio receiver.
This was the 2nd generation of Taiyo’s RC car chassis, and although it was surpassed by later generations such as 1986’s 8xAA , the ‘Roader’ series of trucks would be so popular that Radio Shack continued selling it mostly unchanged almost 10 years after it’s initial release. All the way up until 1993’s RadioShack 4×4 Off-Road Tiger! At that point the design was positively ancient compared to modern standards.
Some, after purchasing one of these 4C+9V cars have commented that they feel slow. And it’s true, these are not high performance monster trucks. These are literally one of the first radio controlled monster trucks ever made, sold in 1983 when Monster Trucks were only just starting to become a thing.
So it won’t knock your socks off in speed, but it should give a fair go to any pillow forts, blanket mountains, and cardboard box ramps (small please!).
Just remember, you’re driving a part of toy history.
– Tyco 4WD Big Roader is Made in Japan
– RadioShack Big Roader is Made in Singapore