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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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1988 Tyco Turbo Hopper MK3

BRANDYEARMODELPOWERSPEEDDRIVEAVAILABLEMINT VALUE*RATINGCOMMENT
tyco logo very small19882601-279.6vTurboPack sml 25km/h
16mph
2WD
Used:
Occasional

NIB:
Ultra Rare
value200 300
4.3 out of 5
The illusive Mark 3 Turbo Hopper, last and best version of the original Turbo Hopper chassis, it's much less common than the MK1 and MK2 designs, with improvements in almost every area. If you can only get one, and you plan on driving, this would be the best. If you can find it.
Rating
4.3
out of 5
Review CommentThe illusive Mark 3 Turbo Hopper, last and best version of the original Turbo Hopper chassis, it's much less common than the MK1 and MK2 designs, with improvements in almost every area. If you can only get one, and you plan on driving, this would be the best. If you can find it.

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SPECIFICATIONS

ScaleDiff.Made inMotor
1/16NoneSingaporeMabuchi RE-280
SteeringSuspensionGearBoxFreq.
ActiveAll Shocks2-SpeedRed(27Mhz),White(49Mhz)

MODEL REVIEW

The Tyco Turbo Hopper Mark 3 was the final version of the original Turbo Hopper chassis, with a number of upgrades making it the best possible OG design. Manufactured by Taiyo (Japan), it was released in the US, UK, and many other countries worldwide in 1988.

Unique to Tyco

The manufacturer, Taiyo Toys in Japan, sold both the original Japanese market version of the Jet Hopper MK3 and a western market version of the Jet Hopper MK3 (Global). Both had the same decal designs since the original 1986 Jet Hopper MK1, which was really starting to age by 1988.

Thankfully Tyco saw this, and opted to modify the decals for their version, with a subtle refresh that looked more modern, more colorful, and at least different to all the rest.

Performance

The last of the ‘original’ Jet Hopper chassis cars, it kept all the important aspects and improved some areas beyond the MK2 (marked with *).

  • 9.6V ‘Turbo’ Battery Pack
  • Battery located on bottom, no need to take the body off to change.
  • LED Power Light
  • *Improved Off-Road Front and Rear Air-Filled Tires
  • Chrome wheels
  • Active Steering (does not require driving forward to turn)
  • Improved Top Speed of 27Km/h (17mph)
  • 4 x Shock Absorbers
  • Solid front bumper
  • Spare tire on rear
  • 2-Speed Gearbox
  • Available in 27Mhz Red and 49Mhz White

The greatest and most welcome change to the MK3 release is of course the 9.6V Turbo Battery pack. While it still provided the same power as the old 8xAA release, it meant you no longer needed to take the body off to remove the batteries.

That said, the previous MK2 release did have a charge port which was almost as good as it allowed you to charge with the batteries still in the vehicle, and use higher power Alkaline batteries (non-rechargeable).

Recommendation

The Mark 3 version of the Turbo Hopper is unusually hard to find. Even photos are hard to get. Why? I had thought perhaps the Heads Up Hopper (Turbo Hopper 2 essentially) may have been released shortly after, but that was 1990, a full two years after the release of this Turbo Hopper MK3.

The other possibility is simply that this was the Golden Age of Tyco RC. The 1988-1989 period especially was choc-a-block packed full of awesomeness. Take for example…

And there are many more! So many incredibly cool cars were released during this time, and so their factory production may have been working overtime, with limited numbers available for an ‘old’ design.

Either way, this makes the MK3 much harder to find, and more valuable in my opinion. Adding the fact it is the best of the original Turbo Hopper design, that makes it a car I’d love to have in my collection. Whether or not that happens may simply be up to luck.

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    VALUE / PRICE HISTORY

    Average Price

    $68.90

    Highest Price

    $189.00

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

    DatePriceConditionTypeTitle
    09 Oct 2023$125UsedBuyTyco rc turbo hopper 049 dune buggy fast runner in working condition
    09 Oct 2023$189UsedBuyVintage tyco 9.6v turbo hopper rc car remote in box
    07 Oct 2023$79.04Parts OnlyBuyTyco wild thing 9.6v rc turbo hopper taiyo
    07 Oct 2023$100UsedBuyTyco rc turbo hopper 049 dune buggy no remote 1988 sold for parts / as is
    06 Oct 2023$54.72Parts OnlyBuyTaiyo jet hopper turbo radio controlled rc car buggy boxed tyco
    05 Oct 2023$53.51UsedAuctionTyco turbo hopper 049 black rc car
    04 Oct 2023$51.99UsedAuctionTyco rc turbo hopper 049 vintage radio control car buggy sc10
    02 Oct 2023$100UsedBuyTyco rc turbo hopper 049 dune buggy no remote 1988 sold for parts / as is
    02 Oct 2023$67.5UsedBuyVtg tyco rc turbo hopper 049 dune buggy works, nice!
    01 Oct 2023$69UsedBuyBroken vintage 1988 tyco radio 1993 control turbo hopper for parts or repair
    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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