The Taiyo Off-Road 4×4 Champ (Global) is a radio controlled car, manufactured by Taiyo of Japan, and released onto English/French speaking markets in 1985. It is the international version of Taiyo’s original Taiyo Off-Road 4WD Champ (Japan)
The Off-Road 4×4 Champ was one of several 4WD RC trucks Taiyo released to capitalize on the ‘Monster Truck’ craze of the early 80’s.
More powerful, higher capacity
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 1983’s 4WD Big Roader, with its all plastic 4xC+9V 4WD chassis that would offer double the battery capacity, enough voltage to drive much larger vehicles, and a proper modern ‘pitman arm’ style steering linkage system.
In 1984, the first monster truck ‘Big Foot‘ had become serious business, with Ford now sponsoring the truck, and others replicating its style. A new motorsport was born, and everyone wanted their own Big Foot style RC car. It was the perfect launch time for Taiyo, making the 4WD Big Roader (also sold as the Tomy Big Foot) wildly successful.
Following the success of the Big Roader / Big Foot, Taiyo would continue to capitalize on popular themes, creating the 1984 Off-Road 4×4 Champ which many have commented looks similar to the hugely successful Jeep, the Tamiya Wild Willy.
These cars would be so popular that they even began manufacturing them for their competitors, including RadioShack and Tomy, well into the next decade.
Features and Performance
With a 2-Speed Gearbox, huge monster truck style air-filled tires, and enough power through the 4xC batteries powering it all to make it fun.
It also shipped with Taiyo’s latest 27Mhz controller, a mild evolution of the ‘Four Circles’ controller from 1979’s Porsche 935 Turbo 78.
If you can find one, it’s worth having at least one early 80s Taiyo 4×4 Truck in your collection, whether that’s the 1983 Big Foot, or one of its successors all the way up to 1993’s RadioShack 4×4 Off-Road Tiger.