The Taiyo Jet Typhoon is a radio controlled hovercraft released into the global market in 1990.
Jet vs Regular Typhoon
The original Typhoon was such a massive success for Taiyo, winning a Tokyo innovation award, and quickly grabbing the attention of children all around the world that Taiyo sought to keep up the momentum by releasing successor and spinoff models – such as the 1990 Taiyo Jet Typhoon.
A year earlier they had released the 1989 Taiyo Mini Typhoon (essentially the same product), and renaming the 1990 model the ‘Jet Typhoon’ just made sense as it coincided with its new range of ‘6.0V Jet Turbo’ cars which were smaller versions of their larger counterparts.
Other models that would be released included:
The Typhoon really did work like a real hovercraft, for better or worse, and would ‘float’ over virtually any surface – land, water, ice, and snow.
While it must be said that many were ultimately disappointed once they ‘drove’ a Typhoon as it was fairly hard to control – nothing like the TV commercial – most still found it a unique experience, and look back on it all with a smile.
Unlike most ‘Mini’ or ‘Jet’ versions of products which use the lower voltage ‘6.0V Jet Turbo’ battery pack, the Jet Typhoon and Mini Typhoon still used the original 9.6V Turbo (8xAA) battery pack in the same front compartment, due to the power required to run the centrifugal fan and lift the vehicle off the ground.
Discouraging use of 1.5v Alkaline batteries?
If you look through the gallery, you will notice on one box a sticker saying “Use only Ni-CD Batteries”, which are 1.2v rechargeable batteries, with 8x 1.2v = the typical 9.6V of many Taiyo / Tyco products.
Of course, many people used (and were encouraged to use) 1.5V Alkaline batteries in other buggies, providing a full 12V power, potentially a reason why a heat sink was introduced in many models from the Jet Hopper 2 model onwards?
As I’ve said before, I like the Jet or Mini versions of the Typhoon even better than the large versions. Why? Because they do the same thing, perform the same way, and the battery lasts longer. They’re also much easier to keep around the house with a smaller box!