This 1996 model of the Tyco Fast Traxx is a re-release of one of Tyco’s most popular models, the 1991 Tyco Fast Traxx.
The End of an Era
By 1996, Tyco was very much struggling to survive. After the ‘Golden Age’ of Toy R/C where profits were soaring, they took over many smaller competitors and international operations, so many that executives later admitted they could not manage them all effectively.
A few years earlier Tyco had begun a cost cutting exercise where all manufacturing was moved from Taiyo’s Singapore plant to China, and all previous models which had proven popular such as the Tyco Bandit, Scorcher, Hammer, and many others were resigned to the archives.
Newer models were designed to focus solely on the toy market, such as the Python, FirePower, Triple Wheels, Tantrum, and others.
Yet by 1996 both sales and new toy concepts were hard to come by, leading to re-releases of previously popular models – among them, the Tyco Fast Traxx.
Differences with the original Fast Traxx
While Taiyo had worked very hard during the 80s and early 90s to ensure quality was broadly consistent between their Japanese and Singapore plants, by 1996 Tyco was calling the shots. Can you see the differences between the 1991 Japan/Singapore and 1996 China versions?
Available in Orange (27Mhz) and Neon-Green (49Mhz), as the re-release is close enough to the original that most bidders on eBay would not notice.
Tyco did’nt stop here with the re-releases however, and also produced a version of the Tyco 9.6V Lamborghini Countach , which didn’t fare so well and cannot be considered roughly equal.
Read about that in our Made in China Lamborghini product page here.
It should be kept in mind that the Chinese factory did produce some of the best late period Tyco and Taiyo toys, namely the Rebound 4×4, Mutator 4WD and others, however they are remembered more for their overall fun and gimmick factor, rather than their quality.
Would I purchase a 1996 Tyco Fast Traxx (China) over the original 1990 version? No, I’d take the original any day. However I’d also love to have this version of the Fast Traxx in my collection – the box is exciting, its available in unique colors, and is roughly equivalent to the original, and I’m sure most collectors feel the same way.