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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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1987 Tyco Turbo Hopper MK2

tyco logo very small19872401-279.6VTurbo8xAA Vsml 25km/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
1/16NoneSingaporeMabuchi RE-280
PassiveAll Shocks2-SpeedRed(27Mhz), Black(49Mhz)


The Tyco Turbo Hopper MK2 is the second version of the Turbo Hopper series, a radio controlled car manufactured by Taiyo (Japan), and released into the US, UK, and other markets worldwide in 1988 following the incredible success of the original MK1 release in late 1986.


As with the original, the Turbo Hopper MK2 was the first radio controlled vehicle that many of us ever owned, and followed on from the success of the Taiyo Jet Hopper MK1 in Japan, and the Metro Jet Hopper MK1 in Australia (from which it copied the box art entirely, simply replacing ‘Metro RC’ with ‘Tyco RC’) and continued the Turbo Hopper’s reign as a worldwide phenomenon.

Making RC more accessible

Its success can be attributed to the simple fact that it made this type of higher quality, off-road bashing, relatively high speed RC accessible to the masses, with the average Australian, American, and European kid seeing the exciting TV commercials  in between their favorite cartoons, and sending mum and dad off to the local toy store or department store where it was readily available.

Unlike the Tamiya hobby-grade cars also popular at the time, the Taiyo/Tyco cars came pre-built, ready-to-run (RTR) as we’d call it today, needing only 8xAA batteries and a 9V for the controller.

Most exciting of all, the Hopper came with ‘Turbo’ mode which was genius marketing to kids, enabling a further press down of the accelerator to enter the highest speed setting, in addition to the Low/High speed gearbox switch on the back.

Features and Performance

The 2nd version of the Turbo Hopper, what we call the Turbo Hopper MK2 (Mark II) had several noteable improvements on its predecessor:

  • Lower profile (thinner) front tires
  • Stronger, solid front bumper, with no text cutout weakening it
  • ‘Turbo’ in blue in front of the cabin
  • Top Speed of 25km/h
  • LED charge light, which was a nice touch in the 80s when LEDs were not as common place as today

Identify a Turbo Hopper MK2

As indicated in the above image:
A. Lower profile front tires
B. Solid front bumper with no cut-out text
C. “Turbo” in bright blue on the front
D. LED charge light

Other versions of the Turbo Hopper

In Japan, a third version would be released in 1987, the Taiyo Jet Hopper MK3 which I suspect must also have been released in the United States and elsewhere, but I’m yet to find conclusive photos. It featured much improved front and rear tires with a stronger, longer lasting tread, and other minor improvements.

The Aero Turbo Hopper series would also be released side-by-side with the regular Turbo Hoppers. These featured an ‘aerodynamic’ body, which was a popular ‘futuristic’ look at the time, however in my personal opinion the ultimate Turbo Hopper had to be the Tyco Super Turbo Hopper 4WD (1989) and the Tyco 4 Wheel Drive Super Turbo Hopper (1988)

Go and take a look at those and tell me you don’t want one!


In today’s market, you can’t really be picky with what version of the Turbo Hopper you get sadly, as good condition cars are just becoming so rare, especially with so many succumbing to deterioration of the rubber compound used in the tires.

My advice is to seek out an original Japanese 1986 Jet Hopper MK1. Made in Japan (as were all 1st edition cars), ideally with tires, box, and packing slips in good condition. Can’t get any more original than that! 


    Average Price


    Highest Price


    This average price is based on 97 sales we have recorded (max 10 shown).

    05 Nov 2023$40UsedBuyTyco turbo hopper r/c buggy 027 80s vintage - kind of works. See description.
    05 Nov 2023$89UsedBuyTyco turbo hopper bandit rc vintage tested! Works perfect!
    01 Nov 2023$109.67UsedBuyTyco rc | vintage 1988 | 024 turbo hopper buggy
    31 Oct 2023$55UsedAuctionVntg 1980s tyco rc turbo hopper 049 buggy 027 parts only (untested)
    27 Oct 2023$64.99UsedBuyVintage 1980s tyco rc turbo hopper 049 dune buggy & remote tested working #2402
    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
    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
    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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