Note: All 3 models (‘Wild Thing’, ‘Bandit’ and ‘Phantom’) had the same model number 2335-27.
The Tyco Mini Bandit is a small 1/20 scale radio controlled car, manufactured by Taiyo (Japan), and released in the US, UK, and other markets worldwide in 1992.
It is a version of the larger, massively successful Tyco Bandit 9.6V Turbo, and was sold as part of a collection of 3 ‘Mini’ variants which included the Bandit, Wild Thing, and Phantom.
These models were smaller, less powerful, lacking suspension systems of the larger models, but had near identical naming, identical vehicle styling and box art.
Sneaky design decision
It was common for Taiyo and Tyco to have ‘Mini’ versions with lower specification, however those are always clearly marked “Mini” or “Micro” to make it clear they had reduced specifications, so the fact just the core name ‘Bandit’ made it to the packaging and on the car itself is unusual, especially with the classic ‘Bandit’ illustration on the box, making us wonder how many parents and grandparents were caught out buying a ‘Bandit’ for a ‘good price’, only for their kid to be disappointed at Christmas or Birthday time.
We’ll give Tyco the benefit of the doubt here, and assume it was a mistake or oversight, as we do find other examples of the product which are clearly marked ‘Mini Bandit’ on the car (and likely packaging too). Nevertheless, we’d love to know how widespread these cars were, and whether Tyco was challenged on it.
Sign of the future
Also interesting, and perhaps related, is the fact these ‘Bandits’ (and Wild Thing, Phantom) are all Made in China. This appears to be one of the first forays by Taiyo/Tyco outside of their usual Japan/Singapore/Malaysia production lines, adding to the possibility it was just an oversight in an initial production run.
In terms of performance, we have typical 4xAA chassis, nothing to write home about, however perfectly fine for young kids to drive around the home, or smooth surfaces outdoors.
Certainly one to keep an eye out for if you wish to have the whole ‘Bandit’ set, otherwise I’d probably give it a pass.