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Mini 4WD

About Mini 4WD

Mini 4WD by Tamiya - Build and customize your own mini car!

In 1982, Japanese company Tamiya released their first trademark 4WD Mini Racer automobile kits which were an instant hit across the country. The term Mini 4WD (also known as Mini Yonku in Japan) is predominantly used to refer to 1/32 scale, AA battery-powered plastic model race cars that operate without a remote control. The "4WD" of Mini 4WD is in reference to the mini cars' four-wheel drive ability. Five years after the 4WD Mini Racer's debut, Tamiya began organizing official tournaments for hobbyists across the world to gather in the name of these tiny cars. As of 2006, Japan holds the National Mini 4WD Championships every Spring, Summer and Autumn. Since Mini 4WD's 25th anniversary in 2007, Tamiya has celebrated March 24th as Mini 4WD Day. In 2012, the high-performance Mini 4WD REV series for adults was released in commemoration of the brand's 30th anniversary.


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Tamiya diversified their 4WD brand platform with the creation of Dash! Yonkuro, a manga series by Zaurus Tokuda about a delinquent Mini 4WD enthusiast who dives into the world of miniature car racing as a member of a Mini 4WD racing team. Originally serialized in Shogakukan's CoroCoro Comic magazine from December 1987 to March 1992, a TV Tokyo anime series based on the original manga was produced by Staff 21, Aubekku & Tokyu Agency. CoroCoro Comic magazine featured a second manga series centered around the Mini 4WD franchise created by Tetsuhiro Koshita, called Bakuso Kyodai Let's & Go ("The Racing Brothers Let's & Go" in English) from July 1994 to October 1999. The manga centers on Retsu and Go Seiba, twin brothers who are obsessed with Mini 4WD car racing.

Mini 4WD car kits use plastic snap-fit pieces, so only a little glue is required for assembly. Using household tools like pliers, a craft knife and a screwdriver, you can remodel and customize your Mini 4WD with upgraded parts for better performance. In 1994, Tamiya produced a Fully Cowled Mini 4WD series starting with Magnum Saber on the Super-1 chassis. The following year, Cyclone Magnum was released with the Super TZ chassis.

Mini 4WD are divided into three categories: "on-road type" for high-speed racing on a track, "off-road type" for driving on more rugged terrain and "display type" which are solely meant for decoration and thus not equipped to race. The Mini 4WD Pro series is part of the on-road category, while the off-road category includes the Wild Mini 4WD series. The Mini F and Radio 4WD series, along with the display-only models from the Real Mini 4WD series inspired by the main characters from Bakuso Kyodai Let's & Go, are sadly no longer in production. However, Tamiya continues to release special, limited-edition series for fans to collect.