The Tyco California Surfin Pickup is a radio controlled car manufactured by Taiyo of Japan, and released into the American market in 1992. It is the US version of the 1991 Taiyo Tropical Surfer.
A fun, laid back RC car, the California Surf’in Pickup continued Tyco’s recurring ‘California’ product theme. Up until this point, Tyco had released 2 x California inspired Slot sets, Slot Cars, and a California themed doll.
In 1992 they would release this California Surf’in car, styled after the pickup trucks that had become a part of Southern Californian surf culture since the 1950s.
Features and Performance
As a 4xAA vehicle (6V Alkaline, 4.8V Ni-Cd), it may not have been super fast, however its slick tires and two-speed gear-box no doubt allowed it to do donuts on the kitchen floor, or any suitably smooth surface.
Update: Members confirm it’s got plenty of go! Just make sure you have plenty of batteries, as it will eat through a set in about 8 minutes!
It came in Red (27Mhz) and Green (49Mhz) versions.
This was definitely an indoor car by design, but I’m sure that didn’t stop kids taking it out onto the street, where it would have performed fine, so long as it wasn’t too bumpy – given the lack of suspension.
The California Surf’in Pickup is not very common. In the last 2 years I’ve personally only seen three, and most of those are in our gallery!
If you do happen to come across one, we’d recommend checking the tires aren’t dry rotted (visible with a rough, playdough-like rubber surface, instead of shiny) and that the battery compartment isn’t full of acid (blue dust, tends to eat circuit boards).
Special thanks to: Obnoxious_Gamer for identifying this missing Tyco Classic, and providing photos of his California Surf’in for the benefit of all collectors. What a champ!