The Terminator 3 Police Bike is a radio controlled T-800 Terminator on a Los Angeles Police Motorcycle, inspired by the Terminator franchise. It was released together with the Terminator 3 film, manufactured by Taiyo (Japan), and appears to be a Japan only product, though I’d love to be corrected.
What is it based on?
It took me some time to figure out where this bike was from, as I couldn’t recall it from the Terminator 3 movie, though that shows how long its been since I’ve seen the movie.
Initially I’d thought, nah this bike isn’t in T-3. They must be trying to represent the Police Bike used by the T-1000 in Terminator 2, right? Nope. That bike is much different. It’s SO 90s looking!
Credit: PlanetHiker on Flikr
The other Terminator 2 bike is the Harley Davidson Fatboy, obviously not that.
So what is this toy representing? Well of course it’s from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. From the scene where Arnie takes on the T-X who is driving a crane.
No wonder I did’nt remember it! You can barely see it, as it suffers from the typical action movie issue of never showing anything for more than 1 second, especially during action sequences.
And when we finally do get a wide shot of him riding the bike (for like 1.5 seconds) it looks like CGI, or maybe a stunt double holding an exact facial expression to try and pass off for T-850 Arnie.
There was a real bike used for some scenes though, and Indian Motorcycles would release a limited edition ‘Chief’ motorcycle inspired by the movie. It looks almost nothing like the Police bike used in the film, for obvious reasons, but is pretty darn cool in its own right. Checkout MotorCycleCruiser.com for closeups showing the T3 details which are really nicely done.
Alright, what were we doing again? Oh right, Taiyo RC and Hollywood movies!
Taiyo and Hollywood
By the early 2000s Taiyo Toys had already released a few RC bikes, such as the 1995 Taiyo Ninja Racing Bike and the 1996 Tyco Samurai, with the gyro-based technology already well established by the companies founder, Shoehei Suto.
Around the same time they’d begin dipping their toes into Hollywood film franchises with the help of their American partner Tyco Toys in the late 90s, with their first foray being the adoption of the 1995 Taiyo Mutator 4WD as a key character in the Home Alone 3 film leading to massive sales of the equivalent 1996 Tyco Mutator, a year later production of the 1997 Jurassic Park Lost World Truck , and finally the (unfortunately dismal) Armageddon Armadillo in 1998.
Yet by the year 2000 their relationship with their American friend Tyco was long gone (having been purchased by Mattel), and with Taiyo now owned by Sega Toys and struggling for relevance in a world dominated by home video game consoles, Taiyo would once again get involved with the Golden Goose that was Hollywood. Sealing a deal with Universal Studios Japan brought us the excellent mini radio control DeLorean’s from Back to the Future I, II, III as well as Knight Rider, and more Jurassic Park trucks.
And so by 2003 Taiyo was well experienced in both radio controlled bikes, and dealing with the demanding deadlines and design requirements of Hollywood film.
Features and Performance
It should be clear from the get-go that the Taiyo T-850 & Police Bike is more model than radio controlled bike, however that’s not being negative, as this is one seriously good model!
The attention to detail on the bike itself is exquisite, especially on the front and back areas where the paintwork, decals, chromed parts, and model itself really come together. It is a little let down by the poorly detailed middle section (especially the engine), but this is forgiveable as the majority of that space is taken up by the 6.0V Jet Turbo battery which is inserted right up the bottom center.
Arnold himself looks good too, and I especially like the mirror in the packaging that lets you see both sides of his face. Sure, NECA quality, but it’s pretty darn realistic for a “toy”.
As expected, the bike drives very similarly to a 1994 Tyco Harley Davidson RC Motorcycle – its 6.0V battery and overall mass of all that plastic does tend to limit the speed, but this is a cruiser afterall, and heck, I’d not want to be smashing into anything to damage this beauty. I’m not alone (I don’t think) when I say that this model was made to be a shelf queen.
Availability and Collectability
The collectability of the Taiyo T-850 & Police Bike is undeniable, with the Terminator franchise the powerhouse that it is, and now 20 years after Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines being released, people are starting to recognize that this third film wasn’t actually that bad.
Okay, well some parts are rubbish, but overall it’s an enjoyable film, it mostly feels in-place within Terminator 2’s world, and it adds to the overall mythos around Judgement Day.
But can you buy it? Well, kind of. So far I’ve only seen it sold on Yahoo Auctions Japan, usually boxed and often NIB, usually for a hundred bucks or less and occasionally much more. Whenever one is listed, there is always several bidders trying to get it for a decent price, including myself.
Take care to avoid the fake sellers on other online platforms selling it for two to three times the price – often these ‘scalpers’ don’t actually have the item, and are just re-advertising a listing from Yahoo Japan with a huge markup.
Back to the model though, if you’re a Terminator fan, an Arnold fan, a Taiyo RC fan, or just love collectable toys, then this seems like a no-brainer that will remain popular, and grow in popularity over time – at least in my opinion. Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below.