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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 Typhoon

tyco logo very small199027019.6vTurboPack sml 15km/h

value75 150
4.3 out of 5
Despite a low run time and requiring a large smooth surface to get up to the advertised speed, the Typhoon hovercraft is undoubtedly one of the most unique and innovative toy grade RCs ever made and fondly remembered by collectors
out of 5
Review CommentDespite a low run time and requiring a large smooth surface to get up to the advertised speed, the Typhoon hovercraft is undoubtedly one of the most unique and innovative toy grade RCs ever made and fondly remembered by collectors

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. 


ScaleDiff.Made inMotor
1/8NoneSingaporeTwin Mabuchi RK370SD
ActiveAir Cushion2-SpeedBlack(27Mhz)


The Tyco Typhoon is a radio controlled hovercraft manufactured by Taiyo of Japan, and released into the US market, and other countries worldwide, in 1990.

The Typhoon was initially sold as the Taiyo Typhoon Hovercraft in 1988 in Japan, before being marketed and distributed by Tyco Industries in the USA, UK, and other countries worldwide.

Looking for a successor

The Typhoon is based on the Taiyo Typhoon Hovercraft which was first on sale in Japan in 1988. Tyco Industries, who would later take an ownership stake in Taiyo Toys, had been looking for a product to follow up on their immense success with the 1988 Turbo Hopper, also designed by Taiyo. 

Upon seeing the hovercraft for the first time they immediately released that this wasn’t any normal remote control toy. And while it had sold well in Japan, even winning the Tokyo Toy Show award for innovation, they had doubts over whether the American public would give it the same reception the Japanese public did, who were more accustomed to unusual gadgets than the American market. Americans, they thought, wanted radio controlled cars, with engines, rear wings, and chrome wheels, something they could relate to and market easily, and strange things like this from Japan they’d be unlikely to buy.

And so Tyco once again would be watching what happened in Australia as their unofficial test market. PlayCorp Australia would have their own version ready, branded as the Metro/GTI Hurricane just one year later in 1989. It was the hottest item that Christmas season, all over TV, and there was nothing that I wanted more than to play with my own radio control hovercraft. And wouldn’t you know it, Santa came though, and on the morning of December 25th I was the proud owner of a Metro Hurricane / Tyco Typhoon. And it was with this success in Australia once again that Tyco knew they had a winner, and the Tyco Typhoon launched into the US market one year later in 1990.

TV Commercial for the Tyco Typhoon Hovercraft

Features and Performance

Like its Japanese cousin, the Typhoon uses 2 x Mabuchi RK370 motors, the largest ever used by Tyco Toys in any RC car to power the rear fans, with an additional motor powering the central lift fan. This provided enough push to get the Typhoon Hovercraft up to 15km/h (9mph) on a flat surface using only air, though the problem was never speed… it was control! As a hovercraft it has zero traction, no connection to the ground, so it slips across a thin curtain of air, like a car sliding sideways on ice. 

And while it was cool that you could run it in almost any location (dirt, water, snow!) the fact you couldn’t actually stop, or take corners so much as ‘push in another direction’, led to plenty of frustrated children on Christmas Day who could do nothing but watch their Typhoon veer off into a wall while they frantically jiggled the controls. Like many, I’d give up fairly quickly, but not more than 5 minutes later I’d be back at it again, simply because the whole premise of driving your own hovercraft was just so cool!

The overall construction, engineering and well, the hover of the Typhoon works perfectly right out of the box. From the airbag design (called a skirt), the styrofoam underbody ensuring it would float, the controller with red switch on top to control the lift fan, and the little details around the vehicle such as the  “STAY CLEAR LIFT FAN” warning, it made you feel like you owned a serious piece of equipment as a kid… the fact it was near impossible to control wasn’t important, and clearly Taiyo / Tyco knew this too.

Of course, that expectation of control like any other RC car didn’t come out of nowhere – it was heavily encouraged by the TV commercial that showed the Typhoons stopping suddenly, as if on command, and scooting around to turn a corner under control (watch it above!). Ahh… 80s and 90s television, you so dodgy but we love you anyway!

More Tyco Typhoon Hovercraft

As expected, Tyco Toys took advantage of its popularity and over the next few years they launched many spin-offs and improvements to the original Typhoon including:

Availability and Collectability

The Tyco Typhoon is one of those toys you fondly remember, despite its considerable shortcomings, and I’ve found this true across the world when speaking to collectors from the UK, Australia, USA, and elsewhere. They all loved it, while admitting to its faults.

The Typhoon is still widely available in both boxed and unboxed state, thanks to its hit status upon release and many successors.

So if you’re a collector of RC Toys or 90s toys in general, it would be hard to overlook this one-of-a-kind item that made the world and toy industry stop for a moment and re-evaluate what was possible with just a little engineering smarts, and a willingness to do something different.

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    Average Price


    Highest Price


    This average price is based on 36 sales we have recorded (max 10 shown).

    16 Oct 2023$395UsedBuyTayio tyco 1989 r/c 9.6v turbo typhoon hovercraft in original box tested/works
    16 Oct 2023$39.99UsedAuctionVintage tyco 9.6v turbo rc typhoon ncc 2701 hovercraft boat w/controller
    10 Oct 2023$149.99UsedBuyVintage tyco typhoon hovercraft rc boat 9.6v turbo w/ box
    03 Oct 2023$77.99UsedBuyTaiyo tyco typhoon rc control hovercraft rare military camouflage tested
    20 Sep 2023$120Brand NewBuy(from my box collection) tyco/taiyo 9.6v typhoon hovercraft with battery!
    10 Sep 2023$29.99UsedBuyVintage tyco rc typhoon hovercraft for parts 9.6v turbo ncc 2701 taiyo red rare
    22 Aug 2023$275Brand NewBuyTyco r/c 9.6vv turbo typhoon hovercraft
    22 Aug 2023$275Brand NewBuyTyco r/c 9.6vv turbo typhoon hovercraft
    18 Aug 2023$27.99UsedBuyTyco r/c typhoon hovercraft 9.6v turbo 27 mhz controller t
    18 Aug 2023$27.99UsedBuyTyco r/c typhoon hovercraft 9.6v turbo 27 mhz controller t
    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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