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2004 Tyco Terrain Twister

tyco logo very small2004B5118,B511972vFlex Vsml km/h

value75 150
3.5 out of 5
Interesting Corkscrew Tank design. Possibly the last RC car that real Tyco ever made?
out of 5
Review CommentInteresting Corkscrew Tank design. Possibly the last RC car that real Tyco ever made?

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ScaleDiff.Made inMotor


The Tyco Terrain Twister is a radio controlled toy, a corkscrew drive tank, manufactured by Mattel, and released into the US, UK, and other markets worldwide in 2004.


When I initially wrote this article I’d thought of the Terrain Twister as something that had ‘obviously’ come from Mattel, a toy in its purest form, completely detached from the Tyco Toys of the 80s and 90s we all know and loved. And while this is still partially true, I’ve since learned alot more about the product, and come to respect it for what it is.

According to the Senior Manager of Preliminary Design Group at Tyco Toys (1993-1997), Vladimir Leonov, the Terrain Twister had sat on his shelf at work for more than 10 years, as management at Tyco simply did’nt like it. But one day, Joe Moll (Design Manager at Tyco Toys 1996-2000) asked Vladimir if he had anything to fill a gap in their toy line that year – and so the Twister finally got its chance.

And while we can lament that the dynamic performance and Taiyo Toys realism that made 80s and 90s Tyco RC so popular was long gone and nowhere to be found in the Twister,  the fact it had existed through this period and never got a shot simply because it was different makes it an underdog. And we all love the underdog!

B5118 Tyco Terrain Twister Car Side 2
Right Side

B5118 Tyco Terrain Twister Car Front

B5118 Tyco Terrain Twister Car Bottom

Concept and Features

The drawcard for the Terrain Twister was its unusual corkscrew drive system, based on actual experimental tank designs, such as this Corkscrew tank from the Soviet Union.

Originally designed by the Soviets for crossing wet, mushy, unstable terrain without getting bogged down like a wheeled vehicle or tank would, the design functioned as intended but failed overall as it was too heavy, slow, and didn’t maneuver very well compared to traditional designs.

CorkScrew Vehicle


As a toy, the Corkscrew driver was’nt a bad idea. It worked as advertised, travelling on land, water, and snow, and had better overall control compared to the Tyco Typhoon hovercrafts that had been popular in the 80s and 90s.

Downsides of the design were again its overall poor maneuverability, low top speed, and the hard plastic corkscrews were susceptible to wear on hard surfaces, though so long as you stayed off concrete and rocks you should be okay.

Powered by a 7.2V TMH battery pack, it has plenty of torque, and is best suited to unusual, uneven terrain such as mounds of dirt, muddy paddocks, sand, shallow pools of water, and of course, snow.

B5118 Tyco Terrain Twister Box Land Water Snow

The death of Tyco

When Tyco Toys was acquired by Mattel in 1997 it was the 3rd largest toy manufacturer in the USA, with an enviable product range, huge stable of brands in all sorts of boys and girls toys, and international offices across the world.

However by 2004 when the Terrain Twister was made, it was a very different company.  The Mount Laurel Headquarters of Tyco for the last several decades would close just 1 year later in 2005, and the Tyco RC stable would become the Tyco Division at Mattel HQ.

It would never recover, and soon became nothing more than a brand, a marketing logo used by Mattel for name recognition for anything radio control released. And perhaps it’s ignorant to lay blame at Mattel executives for this – they would have acted in the best interests of the company, they would have known the market, etc. Would a late 80s, early 90s Tyco RC sell today? I plan to discuss this in my upcoming article, so stay tuned.


Reviewing the end-stage Tyco RC products is difficult, as in one hand they are nothing like what made us all fall in love with Tyco RC and Taiyo RC. In the other hand, they represent the last of what made Tyco great, the final products out of Mount Laurel HQ.

As a toy the Terrain Twister is interesting, unique, fun, and fairly easily obtainable in New or excellent used condition – for now.

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    Average Price


    Highest Price


    This average price is based on 21 sales we have recorded (max 10 shown).

    27 Aug 2023$69.95UsedBuyTyco hot wheels rc terrain twister with remote, batteries &charger, works combo
    19 Aug 2023$28.2UsedBuy2004 tyco rc terrain twister with remote
    17 Aug 2023$18.95UsedBuyTyco rc terrainiac terrain twister 27 mhz red wear any terrain untested w box
    26 Jun 2023$25UsedBuyTyco hot wheels rc green terrain twister w/ remote and battery pack tested works
    22 Jun 2023$29.99UsedBuyTyco hot wheels rc camo terrain twister with remote, batteries & charger, works
    15 Jun 2023$30UsedBuyTyco hot wheels rc red terrain twister with remote and battery pack tested!
    05 May 2023$25UsedTyco rc terrain twister remote control vehicle with remote red
    03 May 2023$30Used 3 2004 tyco rc terrain twister with remote
    31 Mar 2023$50Brand NewTyco rc terrain twister remote control vehicle toy green need battery & charger
    31 Mar 2023$45UsedAuctionTyco rc 27 mhz red terrain twister - all terrain rc
    Prices in USD. NIB = New In box, MIB = Mint in Box, EC = Excellent Condition, VGC = Very Good Condition, GC+ = Good condition plus, GC = Good condition, PC = Poor Condition. With Controller = Car with controller. With Box = Box, Car, and Controller. We make all efforts to ensure data is accurate, but cannot guarantee it is.


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