The Tyco Slammer is a radio control toy manufactured by Taiyo (Japan), and released into the US, UK, and other markets worldwide in 1997.
The Last Years of Tyco and Taiyo
In the last years of their existence as independent toy companies (and not just a department or brand), both Tyco and Taiyo continued to stretch the limits of what an toy R/C might be. Taiyo in Japan would focus on aircraft, nitro motors, and miniature collectable Radican cars amongst other things. Tyco USA would double down on its strategy of more and more outrageous ‘gimmick’ cars, and with their entire product line now Made in China, the decades of Singapore and Japanese manufacturing coming to an abrupt halt, along with any semblance of their late 80s – early 90s design language.
The Tyco Slammer was one of these ‘gimmick’ cars, aimed at regaining the attention of youngsters and their parents who were now almost entirely captivated by the all-consuming home video game market. In 1997 the average American, Australian, or British child would no longer be out in the yard kicking around a ball, or driving this years latest RC toy sensation of an ambitious ramp.
Nope, they’d be sitting on their bum, smashing buttons, and screaming at the TV. And while the 90s gamer in me says that’s not so bad, there’s something to be said for real-world toys and sunshine.
Features and Performance
The draw card of the Slammer was its large rear wing which would allow it to ‘transform into 3 slamm’in vehicles!‘. The vehicles appearance would change depending on whether the wing was up, halfway, or all the way down.
The car was also capable of running ‘upside down’ like the Rebound, and was painted in a different color scheme on each side to give the impression of two different vehicles.
It’s a somewhat unique design, like a Tyco Dagger crossed with a Tyco Rebound, and the artwork and packaging is excellent as usual, but this was very much a toy-toy, for kid-kids. While in the past you might catch dad bashing your 1991 Tyco Fast Traxx, or 1989 Tyco Twin Turbo Lamborghini down the hall, you’d be unlikely to find him, or your elder brother giving one of these a bash.
The 6.0V ‘Jet Turbo’ battery provides more than enough power for this toys purpose, and the rear wheels (identical to the ones on the Tyco Rebound) provided plenty of cushioning from impacts.
This is not a car we’ve seen often, leading us to suspect it wasn’t all that successful, or perhaps the Tyco / Mattel merger dampened its success a little.
If you remember having fun with this as a kid we’d love to hear from you! Comment below.