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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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1990 Tyco Baja Bandit 9.6V Turbo

BRANDYEARMODELPOWERSPEEDDRIVEAVAILABLEMINT VALUE*RATINGCOMMENT
tyco logo very small199026039.6vTurboPack sml 27km/h
17mph
2WD
Used:
Occasional

NIB:
Ultra Rare
value350plus
4.5 out of 5
The Bandit is the perfect mix of 9.6v power, perfect suspension for bashing around, and killer style that makes this one of Taiyo/Tyco's best ever RC models.
Rating
4.5
out of 5
Review CommentThe Bandit is the perfect mix of 9.6v power, perfect suspension for bashing around, and killer style that makes this one of Taiyo/Tyco's best ever RC models.

Running this archive costs alot of money. To help pay these bills, I use the eBay Partner Network to earn a small commission on any sale, at no cost to you. 

SPECIFICATIONS

ScaleDiff.Made inMotor
1/14NoneSingaporeMabuchi RK370SD
SteeringSuspensionGearBoxFreq.
ActiveAll Shocks2-SpeedBlack/Red Stripes(27Mhz), Black/Yellow Stripes(49Mhz)

MODEL REVIEW

The 1990 Tyco Baja Bandit is a radio control car manufactured by Taiyo of Japan, and released onto the US, UK, and other markets globally in 1990.

This is the original 1st Generation ‘Baja’ version of the Bandit, released in Black/Yellow Stripes (49Mhz) and Black/Red Stripes (27Mhz). It is the most popular model at TycoCollectors.com and without a doubt the most popular model that Tyco ever produced.

The 2nd generation came a few years later with the 1992 Tyco Bandit which featured a few upgrades.

Features and Performance

One of the most fun Tyco vehicles to drive, and easily the most popular

  • Mabuchi RK370 motor
  • Shock absorbers on all sides
  • Striped decals that just look fantastic
  • Off-Road tires and chromed wheels, with extra wide tires on rear
  • Solid rear axle
  • Pistol Grip Controller
  • Two-Speed Gearbox
  • Chromed bumpers, wheels, scoop, and rear tray
  • Spare tire mounted on back

All Tyco Bandits, and similar chassis use a single Mabuchi RK370 motor, the second largest ever used by Tyco (only beaten by the huge 380 in the Super Fast Traxx), and the same as used in Typhoon and water craft.

The Story of the Bandits

If the Jet Hopper was king of the 80s RC toys, then the Tyco Bandit was king of the 90s. No other car has captured the imagination of 90s kids like the Bandit, and no other still has such a consistent cultural memory as the Bandit still does,  with Bandits consistently selling on eBay 30+ years later for more than they cost back in 1992. Read our article: eBay Price Report: 1992 Tyco Bandit

These things have maximum nostalgia factor!  Even better, they’re still fun!

Being the 1st Generation and arguably the more aggressive ‘cooler’ looking version, the ‘Baja’ increasingly hard to find. Occasionally it might pop up on eBay, but more often than not you’ll find the 2nd Generation there instead.

The bigger problem is that everybody wants one, so prices are high, and since kids loved them to death in the 90s, most examples you’ll find are beaten up bad. Genuine New In Box is a distant memory at this point.

Image below: the Tyco Baja Bandit from a 1990 Toy Catalog. Apologies for the poor quality, it’s not been easy finding images from catalogues and other disposable media from 30 years ago for obvious reasons. If you have old toy catalogues, contact us!

History and Development

To tell the story of the Bandit, we have to start with it’s predecessor. As the story goes, Taiyo Japan offered their 1987 Taiyo Racing Pickup to Tyco as a potential flagship, like the Jet Hopper had been.

Tyco agreed, and after repackaging for the English market, Taiyo would release the 1988 Taiyo Racing Pickup (Global) onto the European market, and Tyco would release the 1988 Tyco 4WD Turbo Racing Pickup onto the US market. This was a high-spec car, with dual motors, front differential, pistol grip controller, and of course the 9.6V Turbo battery pack, all stylized after the 1987 Nissan 4×4 King Cab that won the Baja 1000.

Unfortunately for Tyco, Americans just did’nt gravitate to the Japanese brand (Nissan), or perhaps it was the higher cost of the truck due to its complex high speed 4WD system with front differential. Within just 1 year the 4WD Racing Pickup was off the shelves.

But Tyco wouldn’t let a good idea die. Taking the Racing Pickup’s hard-body, they combined it with a simplified 2WD drive-train and solid rear axle (no differential) to reduce the cost, and jazzed it up with an eye catching paint scheme and shiny chrome. What eventuated was a buggy that was better than its individual parts.

The Baja Bandit was born, and was an immediate hit.

Gen1 vs Gen2

The obvious difference is the paint scheme, with the 1990 Tyco Baja Bandit having a striking Red or Yellow stripes on black, whereas the 1992 Tyco Bandit had a typical 90s ‘cool’ graphic art design on black.

Two of the most important mechanical upgrades were the rear differential in this 1992 model, and an improved rear suspension pin / mount design which is less likely to snap off, but I’d still consider it relatively fragile.

I’ve seen the older/weaker design on both 1990 and 1992 Bandit models, and the improved strengthened design only on some 1992 Bandits. So if this concerns you, look very closely in photos before bidding to be certain what you’re getting.

Recommendation

There are few, if any, better Tyco R/C to have than the Bandit. Many would say it’s the most desirable. If you can get one within your budget, then do it! The only question is… Baja Bandit, or regular Bandit?

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    VALUE / PRICE HISTORY

    Average Price

    $200.90

    Highest Price

    $1200.00

    This average price is based on 83 sales we have recorded (max 10 shown).

    DatePriceConditionTypeTitle
    01 Dec 2023$165UsedAuctionTyco bandit rc. Tested/works!
    30 Nov 2023$190UsedAuctionVintage 80’s tyco r/c 9.6v turbo bandit pickup truck (untested)
    28 Nov 2023$63.3Parts OnlyBuyTaiyo outlaw sprinter rc tyco bandit turbo hopper vintage
    27 Nov 2023$150UsedBuyVintage 80’s tyco r/c 9.6v turbo bandit pickup truck working
    26 Nov 2023$28.48UsedBuyTyco 9.6v wild thing transmitter controller taiyo turbo bandit 27mhz
    24 Nov 2023$150UsedBuyVintage 80’s tyco r/c 9.6v turbo bandit pickup truck (untested)
    23 Nov 2023$212.5UsedAuctionTyco 9.6v bandit rare vintage r/c truck spare parts
    22 Nov 2023$170UsedBuyTyco r/c 9.6v turbo bandit rc
    22 Nov 2023$14.99UsedBuyTyco 9.6v turbo baja bandit r/c car owners manual hubs
    18 Nov 2023$165UsedAuctionTyco bandit rc. Works great!
    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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