Analysis of individual cars
The Boomerang (58055)
The Boomerang was kit number 55 from Tamiya. An off-road 4WD car, it was designed as an entry-level - yet competitive - buggy.
- 1/10 scale off-road vehicle
- plastic tub-chassis
- 4WD shaft driven with front and rear differential
- fully independent front and rear suspension
- monoshock in front, dual shocks in rear using coil spring over oil-damped shocks
- RS-540 motor
- pin spike/block off-road tires
- lexan body
Tamiya claims that the Boomerang's lexan body was inspired by the original boomerang hunting weapon. 14 years after its introduction, I still cannot see the link. Oh well.
Based on their successful HotShot car, the Boomerang deviates little from the original design. The Boomerang shows only minor upgrades. Utilizing Hotshot gearboxes front and rear, the Boomerang improves the design with a lighten central drive shaft and dogbones. The complicated rear suspension system has been redesigned in the Boomerang. Dual shocks mounted forward of the rear suspension now eliminates the complex cantilever system found in the HotShot.
The front drive system carries over mostly intact. The metal shock has been replaced with a less expensive plastic unit, the sway bar supports is converted from FRP to plastic as well. In the front, the two piece bumper/skid plate design has been replaced with a unified bumper that stretches under the front gearbox.
The biggest change with the Boomerang was the introduction of a full tub chassis. The two piece encased units found in the Hotshot was difficult to work with, especially in gaining access to the radio gear. The tub-chassis proved easier to work with if not as resistant to torsional flexing and moisture.
Covering this new chassis, a futuristic two-piece lexan body which was designed to provide greater down force than the Hotshot unit. Intended to be painted in a solid white, the body was easy for beginners to work with.
The Boomerang hit the market with a street price of about $130 which made it very affordable. The car sold well as it was introduced during the height of the R/C car craze. Although lacking the finesse of a true off-road competitor, the 4WD drivetrain pulled the car out of most tough situations. It's limited suspension in the front made it just as suitable for pavement racing as it was for off-road.
The Boomerang was the first in a long line of buggies that would be based on the Hotshot chassis. The tub-chassis and the shocks were the major differences this time around. Beyond that, the Boomerang does little to mark significant advances for Tamiya.
Most collectors purchase this car to complete a run (e.g. all modern 4WD buggies from Tamiya) or because it was a buggy they owned as a teenager. You can expect new in box examples to go for about $250 to $300.
All the faults of the HotShot can be found in the Boomerang except for access to the radio equipment. Treated right, the cars were pretty robust units. They sold quite well so numerous used examples are available. Be fussy and ensure that you get a complete one in good condition.
Parts are pretty readily available (see HotShot). The only tough parts to come by are the front gearboxes and suspension arms.
- Collectibility - 6 out of 10
- Fun to drive - 7 out of 10
- Parts availability - 7 out of 10