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Tyco Taiyo Collectors is a resource for enthusiasts of 80s, 90s, and 00s toys produced by Tyco®, Taiyo (Japan), Metro RC, Dickie Toys, and others, and is not affiliated with any toy company.

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12th November 2023
If you’re looking for the perfect nostalgic gift from the 80s and 90s, a vintage Tyco Mini Hopper is my pick! They’re great collectors items and are still fairly affordable.


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1986 Tyco Turbo Hopper MK1

tyco logo very small19862401-279.6VTurbo8xAA Vsml 23km/h

Ultra Rare
value200 300
4.3 out of 5
It's a Turbo Hopper! Whether you like the MK1, MK2, or MK3 best, they're all legendary, and a vital part of any Taiyo/Tyco collection.
out of 5
Review CommentIt's a Turbo Hopper! Whether you like the MK1, MK2, or MK3 best, they're all legendary, and a vital part of any Taiyo/Tyco collection.


ScaleDiff.Made inMotor
1/16UnknownSingaporeMabuchi RE-280
UnknownAll Shocks2-SpeedRed(27Mhz), Black(49Mhz)


The Tyco Turbo Hopper is a radio control car manufactured by Taiyo (Japan) and released into the US, UK, and other markets worldwide by Tyco in late 1986.

This is the first version released into the USA in late 1986, available via a few major department stores who received stock before Christmas. They are identifiable via their typical MK1 features such as ‘fat’ front tires, and ‘Turbo Hopper’ cut into the front bumper.

How was the Tyco Turbo Hopper born?

Following the massive success of Taiyo Japan’s Jet Hopper in Australia where it was sold by PlayCorp as the Metro Jet Hopper, executives from Tyco America took notice and immediately placed orders for the same car, with minor changes to branding (Tyco) and naming (Turbo Hopper).

You can see our History of Tyco Toys / History of Tyco RC article for the full story.

Features and Performance

The first radio control vehicle many American, Australian, and European kids ever owned, the Turbo Hopper (or ‘Jet Hopper’) was a worldwide phenomenon as it brought ‘hobby-grade’ speed and performance to the masses, in the price and convenience of a ‘toy grade’ model, available at your local toy store or department store.

Based on the original Japanese 1986 Jet Hopper, the Turbo Hopper comes in MK1, MK2, MK3 variants each with various upgrades over time.

See our pages for each Turbo Hopper version

And of course, the Mini and Micro

There are no doubt others, however we trust this satisfies your ‘Hopper lust for the moment!

Year of Release – 1986, 1987, 1988?

Officially the Turbo Hopper first appeared in the Tyco catalog in 1986. This means it was advertised to large buyers from chain toy stores and department stores, and there are reports of cars being advertised in toy catalogs around Christmas 1986.

Over time many cars have become mixed up in the wrong boxes, leading to confusion over which version was released when. For example, a good condition 1989 car may be put inside an original 1986 box, leading us to wonder why a supposed 1986 has MK2/MK3 features. We hope the photos on this page make it clear exactly what model was released first in 1986 in the USA (after the original Taiyo, and Metro versions).

Tyco Turbo Hopper MK1 with 1986 year of manufacture
Tyco Turbo Hopper MK1 with 1986 year of manufacture


The Tyco Turbo Hopper is a classic in the R/C and Toy community in the same way Star Wars is a classic in the film community.

Obtaining a Turbo Hopper MK1 (or any) in good condition (especially with a box) is becoming increasingly difficult. Special models such as the Wild Thing or Heads Up! are even more valuable, and we can only say that if you’re a fan of the Turbo Hopper simply find a car within your means. Don’t worry so much about it being perfect – as owners of any perfect Taiyo / Tyco know… you can’t drive them!


    Average Price


    Highest Price


    This average price is based on 73 sales we have recorded (max 10 shown).

    21 Oct 2023$9Brand NewBuyTyco turbo hopper taiyo jet hopper small drive gear 3d printed reproduction
    20 Oct 2023$60UsedBuyVtg tyco rc turbo hopper 049 dune buggy as is
    19 Oct 2023$69.99UsedBuyTyco rc turbo hopper 049 buggy 1988 vintage 027 with remote control parts only
    18 Oct 2023$89.99UsedBuyVintage tyco 4wd super turbo twin turbo 9.6v buggy hopper 4x4 bandit tayio
    18 Oct 2023$35UsedBuyTaiyo tyco turbo jet hopper electric 1990 rare
    16 Oct 2023$49.99UsedAuctionTyco rc turbo hopper 049 vintage radio control car buggy sc10
    15 Oct 2023$114UsedBuyVintage 1988 tyco radio 1993 control turbo hopper bandit excellent condition!
    14 Oct 2023$60UsedAuctionTyco turbo hopper rc vintage by taiyo with remote battery and charger
    11 Oct 2023$54UsedBuyBroken vintage 1988 tyco radio 1993 control turbo hopper for parts or repair
    09 Oct 2023$189UsedBuyVintage tyco 9.6v turbo hopper rc car remote in box
    Prices in USD. NIB = New In box, MIB = Mint in Box, EC = Excellent Condition, VGC = Very Good Condition, GC+ = Good condition plus, GC = Good condition, PC = Poor Condition. With Controller = Car with controller. With Box = Box, Car, and Controller. We make all efforts to ensure data is accurate, but cannot guarantee it is.


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