Based on 12 months of Google Analytics data, we can now reveal the scientifically verified Most Popular RC Cars (Toy Grade) of the 1980s and 1990s! Number one won’t surprise you even a little!
1990 Tyco Baja Bandit
Easily the most popular RC car ever made (Toy Grade), if you were a kid in 1990 then you 100% knew what this was, and why you wanted one.
1996 Tyco Rebound 4×4
Yes! Personally this is my favorite go-to RC car, simply because it’s pure fun, and almost indestructible. Those puffy air-filled tires allow it to flip over, and act as a great bumper. Almost 30 years old, yet I can trust my young son to play with this vintage RC tells you a lot about how well it was made.
1996 Tyco Mutator 4WD
Best known for its cameo role in Home Alone 3, the Mutator surprised me as consistently the top 1-3 models visited at TycoCollectors.com – clearly a favorite!
1989 Tyco Lamborghini Countach Twin Turbo
The iconic supercar of the 80s, and incredible dual motor marvel of the 90s, with near hobby-grade levels of suspension and performance, it’s the Lambo!
1992 Tyco Heads Up! Wild Thing Turbo Hopper
Perhaps the most popular RC car ever made, if you were a kid in 1990 then you 100% knew what this was, and why you wanted one.
1992 Tyco Hammer
Gaining in popularity over the last year, or at least becoming more widely known and appreciated, the Tyco Hammer is an absolute beast that’s becoming quite expensive.
1993 Tyco Scorcher
The Scorcher is a great example of the best toys being the ones that are the most beaten up from constant play. It’s nearly impossible to find a Scorcher that hasn’t been run into the ground!
1992 Tyco Bandit 9.6V Turbo
Almost as popular as the original, and better in several ways, the 1992 re-release Bandit does everything right, even its 90s style graphics which you may not like at first, but trust me, they’ll grow on you.
1993 Tyco Python
Another car from the mid-90s when Tyco departed from its previous Taiyo ‘realistic’ RC heritage and embraced Toy RC more fully, the Python is a classic ‘toy’ RC that many of us will remember if only for the TV commercial.
1992 Tyco Eliminator
No surprise here, The Eliminator combined the Tyco Bandit’s epic chassis and power with a sleek futuristic body. Also known as the Super Bandit, it remains one of the most sought after cars today.
1990 Tyco Typhoon
A global sensation during Christmas of 1990, I can still remember getting my Metro Hurricane (Aussie version) and being both thrilled at how cool it was, and slightly miffed at how hard it was to drive. But that’s not stopped us from buying another one (well, three) now we’re older.
1992 Tyco Fast Traxx Pickup
The Fast Traxx Pickup has beaten the Fast Traxx Eliminator! Who’d have guessed it? Personally I’m a fan of both, but I can tell you the Pickup has a significant lead! A brilliant concept from Tyco, the Fast Traxx Pickup just looks plain awesome!
1993 Tyco Hi-Jacker 2-in-1
Now here’s one I really didn’t expect in the Top 20. Not to say it’s not a great car, it’s pretty darn cool, with its Lamborghini body and mid-90s Tyco gimmickry, it’s feet are firmly placed in the Toy RC category, and that’s just fine.
1990 Tyco Heads Up! Turbo Hopper
And finally a proper Turbo Hopper makes the list, though it’s not the classic original, it’s the Turbo Hopper 2 (for all intents and purposes), but an excellent design and great car nonetheless. It would be so good it would lead a 2nd life as the Wild Thing, and a few other models!
1988 Taiyo Typhoon Hovercraft
And finally the first (and last) Taiyo to make the list! With Tyco’s global reach it seemed impossible for Japanese based Taiyo to get into the Top 20 but the original Typhoon was so popular this one sits with the big boys.
1997 Tyco Tantrum
No! Surely not! haha, the Tantrum! A classic in its own right, and downright undriveable, the Tantrum is nuts and cool in its own way. While there are objectively better RC cars than this, perhaps it is an objectively better toy! Nice one 90s kids!
1991 Tyco Typhoon 2
Much like the Tyco Bandit, the Typhoon is so darn good it had to show up twice! No wait, three times with the Taiyo version! There are so many variants of the Typhoon I’ve created a page all about them here: Buyers Guide to the Tyco Typhoon / Taiyo Typhoon
1994 Tyco Triple Wheels
And just in case you thought we’d get away with no more train wrecks making our Top 20 list, here comes the toy that helped put the Australian version of Tyco (Metro RC) out of business due to warranty returns, it’s the Triple Wheels! Needless to say, while I love giving this thing some stick, I also own several of them, so maybe its not so bad after all.
1987 Tyco Turbo Hopper MK2
Finally one of the originals has made it, the car which started the global Toy RC sensation spanning the mid 80s to late 90s, the Turbo Hopper! Probably the only reason I’ve extended this to a Top 20 rather than Top 10, as it just did’nt seem right not to have a Turbo Hopper in the list, and thankfully she’s scraped in at #20. Not bad for an RC car that’s almost 40 years old.