ROBBE / KYOSHO Toyota Hilux

In the early ’80s, the German RC manufacturer Robbe wished to expand its range of products mainly focused on planes and boats. It established a partnership with the Japanese manufacturer Kyosho and Robbe started to import cars, modifiying the box packaging and decals sheet for the European market.

Kyosho Robbe Gaupner Toyota Hilux

Aware of the success of the Tamiya Sand Scorcher, Kyosho released this car dedicated to driving on sand in 1982. Its dustproof chassis will be produced with three bodies: a baja beetle, a buggy and a Toyota Hilux.

Period advertising :

This Toyota Hilux is a model imported by Robbe. It is slightly different from a Japanese or American model: no roll bar on the rear plateform and a rond bumper instead of a flat unit. The car was supplied pre-assembled with the the lexan body left to paint and the wheels and radio equipment to install.

Kyosho Robbe Gaupner Toyota Hilux

The chassis plastic frame protects the electronics thanks to a cover held by rubber bands. The battery is held longitudinally and must be placed on the edge.

Kyosho Robbe Gaupner Toyota Hilux

The front suspension uses trailing arms. A coiled spring on the suspension arms pivot makes the shock absorber. The adjustable servo-saver is located on the front body mount axle.

Kyosho Robbe Gaupner Toyota Hilux

The Toyota features a solid rear axle without suspension. The rear tires are used as the suspension system since they can be inflated thanks to a pump pinched into the tire. The use of a special glue included in the box works as a rubber patch to fill the hole.

Kyosho Robbe Gaupner Toyota Hilux

Kyosho Robbe Gaupner Toyota Hilux

The aluminum gearbox contains the motor and plastic gears. The transmission has no differential, but there is a clutch that works like those found on nitro motors.

Kyosho Robbe Gaupner Toyota Hilux

This model unfortunately lost the tire inflating pump, but foams provide the required flexibility.

Kyosho Robbe Gaupner Toyota Hilux

Kyosho Robbe Gaupner Toyota Hilux

Our test on hard and icy surface is not really appropriate since it highlights the flaws of this Toyota.

The lack of differential and rear suspension causes a lot of oversteer. The rear drivetrain bounces a lot while the front does its job without complaining. The steering is imprecise due to the too soft servo-saver.

The clutch is useless on this Toyota since the engine idling does not exist on an electric model. So the car goes coasting as soon as it doesn’t accelerate. As a consequence, braking is difficult, or even brutal when shifting into reverse gear.

However, the ground clearance and the lack of differential are very useful to climb softer grounds like grass hills.

Kyosho Robbe Gaupner Toyota Hilux

Like with any other vintage rc model, the pleasure you can get does not come from the analysis of performances or comparison with competitors.

However, one can’t miss how much Kyosho got “inspired” by Tamiya’s successful models such as the Sand Scorcher, Rough Rider and F150 Ranger XLT.

Technically interesting in theory, this car is a pleasure to see. Its cute and vintage look is typical of 80’s, but it better deserves a beach than a snow field.

David de

Thanks to Challenger-RT, Lowry and Aussie Nerd from Tamiya Club for their help

More pictures in gallery : Kyosho / Robbe Toyota Hilux

Video :



3 Replies to “ROBBE / KYOSHO Toyota Hilux”

  1. Nice write up! Thank you for the close-up pictures of the front end assembly. I have one of these cars, but I disassembled it a couple years ago and put it in storage. I hope to use your picture as a guide to reassemble the front end again. It was purchased from eBay with a minor crack in the front assembly near the suspension mount. A little JB weld should fix that up and then hopefully I can it running again. Cheers!

  2. I’m sure, you will appreciate its look on the track. Its a rare and stunning off-road to drive.

  3. I just found my old Kyosho Hilux in my dad’s attic after over 22 years of storage. I got it for Christmas in 1983 or ’84. Loved that truck as a young teenager!

    To my surprise, I discovered a complete new set of tires, roll bar assembly and chassis. The battery is shot, but I still have the charger. The tire pump is gone, too. The gearbox has a lot of noise coming from it, so I’ll need to take a closer look.

    Really excited to see if I can bring it back to life and let my 5 and 7 year old kids take it for a spin.

    Thanks for the write up above and the video. It has added some inspiration!


Comments are closed.