Analysis of individual cars
The Wild One (58050)
The Wild One was kit number 50 from Tamiya. A 1/10 scale off-road vehicle, its design showed the transitional nature of Tamiya off-road designs of that year.
- 1/10 scale off-road vehicle
- monocoque plastic tub chassis
- Independent rear-wheel drive drivetrain with bevel gear differential
- independent trailing arm front & rear suspension
- coil spring over aluminum oil damped shocks all around
- RS-540 electric motor
- Extra wide pin spike/block tires in rear with narrow ribbed tires in front
- lexan body with plastic roll cage
The Wild One was a pretty interesting design. It showed the transitional pains that Tamiya went through with designing an off-road vehicle. The car showed the struggle between scale realism and the demands of a competitive market place forcing them to move away from metal construction buggies and onto plastic buggies.
The Wild One was a design that emerged from those days. Although the Wild One was mostly built on plastic components, the design of the car was "thought out" in metal. This kit still follows design traditions dictated by full size buggies of the time. Trailing arm suspensions front and rear. Scale sized shocks and a full roll cage with lexan covers that resembled sheet metal.
Although this made for a realistic scale R/C car it was lacking in terms of off-road handling. The suspension system was woefully inadequate. Short on travel and under damped, the car was best suited for smooth pavement or packed clay surfaces. And with all the weight packed into the rear of the car, the car under steered like nobody’s business. This was especially worse for those people that had to run separate battery packs for their radio gear. But the up side is that it looked very scale when you buzzed around a dirt road with the car.
Still, the car shows a lot of future trends that Tamiya would eventually adopt. The rear suspension would later be adapted for the Frog almost completely unchanged. The gearbox went on to evolve into the one used on the Frog, Blackfoot and Monster Beetle. The tub-chassis design would become a mainstay in almost all of Tamiya’s off-road vehicles.
As a transitional piece, the Wild One gave a lot of insight into how Tamiya evolved from metal cars to plastic cars. This gives it a historical significance similar to the Fast Attack vehicle. The also looks great as well. It was one of the few modern designs of that era that still looked like it would have a full-size counterpart. You need to only look at the Frog and the Fox to know what I’m referring to.
Wild Ones are becoming harder to find in NIB condition. Prices would probably come in at about $250 to $350.
This car is old enough that the vast majority of parts are no longer available. The tub-chassis, gearboxes and suspension pieces haven’t been seen in the open market for some time now. Mostly what’s available are rear tires and cosmetic trim pieces.
The cars were pretty robust though and held up well during play. Probably due to the metal components used in the suspension system.
- Collectibility - 8 out of 10
- Fun to drive - 5 out of 10
- Parts availability - 4 out of 10