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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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1990 Taiyo Road King 4×4 / Mad Rat

taiyo logo very small19909008, 91-9008-49.6VTurbo8xAA Vsml km/h

value200 300
4.1 out of 5
A brute of a truck that combines fun toy-style sound effects with meaty 9.6V 4x4 power!


ScaleDiff.Made inMotor


The Taiyo Road King 4×4 is a radio controlled truck manufactured by Taiyo, and released into limited markets worldwide including Japan.


Similar to the Taiyo Sound Blaster and Taiyo Sound Spark, the Road King 4×4 has a built-in sound effects chip to provide various sounds for different modes of operation. Insert the plastic key and start it up, and you’ll hear the big truck engine starting, then ideing. It also comes with acceleration sounds, reverse beeping, air brakes, and klaxon.

9008 Taiyo Road King 4x4 Car Perspective 2
9008 Taiyo Road King 4×4 Car Perspective 2

9008 Taiyo Road King 4x4 Car Perspective Rear 2
9008 Taiyo Road King 4×4 Car Perspective Rear 2


With 8xAA batteries at 9.6V (NiCD) and 12V Alkaline, the truck is no slouch, and it’s unusual to see this chassis style with such power behind it. Personally I own a Tyco Big Rig Truck 9.6V Turbo  which appears to be very similar, with some key differences in the body design and lack of sound effects. Sadly I’ve not yet had a chance to run it, so I can only assume that they’ve both got a decent amount of power, rather than speed.

Birth of the Tyco Rat?

In some countries, probably in Europe or South America, the Taiyo Road King 4×4 was sold and decal’d as the Mad Rat. On the side of the vehicle you can see a clear representation of the 2000s era ‘Tyco Rat’. Very strange! Not only seeing it on a Taiyo Japan product, but 10 years before it would be used by Tyco in their commercials. 

9008 4 Taiyo Mad Rat Box
9008 4 Taiyo Mad Rat Box

9008 4 Taiyo Mad Rat Open Box
9008 4 Taiyo Mad Rat Open Box

Tyco Rat for TycoDotCom

Tyco Rat 3D

More Tyco Rat


The Road King 4×4 and its unusual Mad Rat cousin are easily in the Top 5 most rare Taiyo R/C vehicles that I’m aware of. 

Dedicated Taiyo Collectors would jump at the chance to have one of these in their collection, not just due to the rarity, but the fact it’s a 9.6V in a truck chassis, the only time this ever occured, save for its Tyco ‘Big Rig’ variant.

Added to that is this mysterious ‘Tyco Rat’ cartoon on the Mat Rat, ten years before it appeared on our TV screens only serves to make it even more interesting.

If you’d like to add one to your collection I would’nt hold your breath though. The Road King does appear occasionally on Yahoo Japan, but the Mat Rat is something I only saw for moments before it disappeared, never to appear again!


    Average Price


    Highest Price


    This average price is based on 2 sales we have recorded (max 10 shown).

    $38.13Pre-ownedAuctionVGC in box, dustry, scruffy box
    $18.44Pre-ownedAuctionMIB, bargain!
    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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