Tamiya Grasshopper


2006/02/24 Update: My review of the Grasshopper reissue is available, if that's what you're looking for.

My first car was a Tamiya Grasshopper.

I think I remember what got me interested in R/C in the first place. Here's the story: my Mom was working at a hobby and toy store and one of her co-workers was into R/C cars. The one he showed me was a Tamiya Lunchbox, a monster truck with a Dodge van body. It was so cool! I never got to drive it or anything, but it just looked so cool! I knew this was gonna be something I had to get into!

Before I got the Grasshopper, though, my Dad and I looked at the Tyco cars and went to Radio Shack to see what they had. Let me tell you, there was no comparison! The Grasshopper was much faster, a little bigger, and built to take the damage. The Radio Shack cars were better than the Tyco ones, but were still made of cheap plastic and would have almost definitely been broke within a week. It became obvious what "toy" R/Cing was and what "hobby-quality" R/Cing was.

So, for my 11th birthday (May of 1987), I told everybody I wanted an R/C car. I asked everyone for money to put towards it. In the end, I had enough money for the Grasshopper (about $90, I think) and most of a Hitec Challenger 250 stick-type radio (about $65). Never fear, my Dad was really into this idea of having an R/C car, so he kicked in the rest of the money for the the radio, a ProTech 702 charger ($55, I think), and 1 battery pack ($25). Looking back, I'm sure when he bought that stuff for me, he thought he would get to drive it more.

I remember when I first had the thing running (without the body, minutes after having it assembled), I tried to drive it in the house. Who knew it would go that fast?!? I didn't mean to smash into my Mom's foot...

Performance And Such

Looking back, that car was pretty bad. There were no front shocks--just some springs and screws; the steering system was direct drive, a killer on the servo; and the rear suspension was almost like a high-tech, heavy duty version of something from an on-road car. But like I said, it was much better than the Radio Shack stuff. For it's time, it was considered an excellent entry-level car. In fact, the hi-tech cars of the time (the original RC10, Shumacher Cat) really can't compete with today's entry-level cars--things have progressed that much.

It was so much fun to drive! I trashed the Grasshopper. A few days after I had it running I broke the front bumper into 2--(I think) that night my Dad came home with this super-cool indestructible thing. (On a side note, I still have the bumper, but the Grasshopper is long gone.)

The Grasshopper lasted me a number of years--about 5 or 6, I think. But over that time, it got some monster truck tires (from a Lunchbox), a used RS-540 motor (it came with an RS-380!), one new chassis, a number of paint jobs, and some oil shocks in the rear. Wow, the only thing I ever needed to replace on it was the chassis (rear suspension mounts broke), Tamiya makes good stuff. The closest you can get to one of these (as of 1998) is a Tamiya Super Hornet or the Grasshopper II--which really isn't anything like the original Grasshopper. If you want something like my "Monster Grasshopper", Tamiya has released a car called the Mad Bull. It's basically a Grasshopper II with Lunchbox tires, pretty cool.

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I still have my grasshopper, it was my very first R/C vehicle, probably from about 1988 or so. It's since been converted to a truck, but I think I want to find the old wheels and tires, and buggy body, and convert it back to a buggy. It's on it's third radio system, the first was a Hi-tech with dual servos, then came a Futaba Magnum Jr, then I moved the Magnum Jr to another vehicle and got a Magnum Sport with a MC-112b ESC. That ESC will probably be replaced soon, because reverse no longer works...

My father gave me his lunchbox van from when he was younger and one day i was out messing with it and crashed right into a curb and broke the left suspension arm. I was just wondering if you have any spare parts or know of any i could buy.

The Midnight Pumpkin (which is still in production) uses the same chassis as the 'Box. You should be able to buy replacement A-arms without a problem!

I had a question do you know where to find a grasshopper today. As a kid I had one too and I Would really love to have it again once again my email is markfaraci@hotmail.com

I want to upgrade my Grasshopper with an RS540 motor to what gear did you use to go on the motor.


Looking for Grasshoper wheels and a buggy body. Anyone know where to find this stuff after so long?

boy, really REALLY similar tale to my grasshopper, same date frame, i wanted an rc car because my friend had one, and i thought for sure my dad would buy a radio shack job ( he did that kinda stuff ) but for my family a $125-$150 package deal wasnt anything to sneeze at. alas on my birthday i opened up the Tamiya Grasshopper, the fool that i was i was somewhat dissappointed. I wanted the Pegasus after all my friend had a Javelin. i had to wait about a week before it was built my dad was going to attempt it but my neighbors 17/18 yr son was very eager to do it. in one day he finished it complete while i was at school decals and all, and boy you are right the speed alone of that thing, the bottom of the line R/C Car of the real deals made anything Radio Shack thing look dumb., i was soooooo pleased. it was tons of fun and i will never forget it, i smashed the heck out of that thing and barely dented it, i think the bumber broke and one small body chip, otherwise that thing was built like a tank. My neighbor soon after bought the Monster Beetle, and another the Frog, too much fun, thanks for reminding me of that car!

icarus not pegasus.

Can anybody tell me the voltage and amps for the original Grasshopper battery?

There really isn't an "original Grasshopper battery." At the time, a 7.2 volt, 1200 mA/h Ni-Cad battery would have been common, but any 7.2 volt battery would power the Grasshopper just fine--including those 3000 mA/h Ni-MH batteries available today.

Nice story,
I just found my Grasshopper in my parents attic. I did upgrade it 17 years ago, and gave it a new car body w/ blower scoop, and has the 540 in it. Its still a grasshopper, and I am amazed that with a little oil, all servos, suspension, and gearbox work fine. Your story brought up a memory, about how you drove it in the house and didnt realize it was going to be so fast. My Dad tried it out at the hockey rink 2 months after I bought it. It was in the middle of the summer, and there was no ice, it was just cement. He took it full throttle from one side of the rink, and slammed into the boards at the other end of the rink. My Dad looked at me in fear that it broke. NOPE, the middle post on the bumber broke, but car ran fine. Now that was money well spent. I have enjoyed using my grasshopper recently. Have you found any other car that can compare in todays market?

I am looking for a 'Manual' Speed control for
my Grasshopper.
Anybody know where I can locate one?


Quote: There really isn't an "original Grasshopper battery." At the time, a 7.2 volt, 1200 mA/h Ni-Cad battery would have been common,..."

Not quite right. Being equipped with a 380-motor and intended as an entry-level model, actually the 6V/1200mAh battery was the recommended choice for the Grasshopper (slower, but longer runtime!) and early production Grasshoppers came with 6V type connector on the speed control, which had to be changed to the different design 7.2V type connector to use a 7.2V battery. Both the 6V "5-cells side by side" and 7.2V "humpback" batteries fit the battery compartment as do modern style 3x2 cells "racing packs".

By the way, the original Grasshopper is about to be re-released by Tamiya. Original item number was 58043 (in the current Tamiya 5-digit item number series), whereas the re-release is 58346. Check this link for apic of the re-release from the 2005 Shizuoka hobby fair:


That said, the Grasshopper "siblings", the Lunchbox and The Hornet, are re-released too. 4. member of the family, the Midnight Pumpkin, has been available since the introduction in 1988!

Vintage Grasshopper For Sale with 540 motor, not in a very good condition, with some spare parts.
mail to me: pentium@worldmail.nl

Hi There,

Just bought a brand new, re-releaed grasshopper.
it is my first RC and it is a lot of fun. I am really enjoying reading the tales about the grasshopper and the hits for upgrades.
Going to buy a 540 soon and some oil shocks.
Runs for ages on the 380 engine and a 3000mA battery pack.

I have (well, it's my brother's) an old Grasshopper that I am restoring for him for Christmas. The cost may run higher than just buying a new re-release but this is more of a sentimental gift. We both had a lot of fun with it when we were youner. I'm installing a new 540 and wonder if I should clean out and regrease the gearbox and if anyone else has done this.

Yes, I recommend it. Especially if you are going to use it heavily. Just be careful not to strip the plastic. Real easy job. After 15 years of non use, I cleaned my grasshoppers gearbox, bearings, added some grease, and oil.
Still runs like it did years ago.

I have had a Grasshopper II and it has the 540 Technogold motor and it halls. I took it out and ran it for years the only problem I have with it now is looking for a chasis because I took it off a jump 5 feet and broke one shock. It was clocked at 30 miles per hour and lots of fun tearing up grass. everything else works well on it.

I recently got the grasshopper for free couse the person who had it broke the front shock. For the past month or two ive been pimpin it out by putting a 540 motor and greasing everything and changing some stuff. This car is sweet for people who havent ever used an off-roader. ive been in novice tuned on-road so this is a real big change of pace. but still, this grasshopper is fully sicko!! put a 540 motor in it and i recon that it is the best for a first car.

P.S: im only 12.

I just got a re-released grasshopper. This thing is great. Anyone have any idea of how fast it is. Im thinking of upgrading to oil shocks can anyone tell me which ones will work on the grasshopper.

I got my Grasshopper when i was about 12 but had wanted one since i saw my older cousin with his totally stock i got mine and upgraded to the 540 for a day before i burned the plastic gears and had to it with a metal one i also swaped to a buggy top with new back tread. I gave car the to a little cousin when i was about 19 and he had ran and kept in good shape. I just got it back yesterday and i am now 24 but havent put it down since i got it back it posseses all the fun that it did 12 years ago. I would like to get back into RC again, where can i get parts in the pinellas county area of florida? I love Grass!

i hear the gras hopper was the not so good cheeper version my dad used to have the frog i want a tamiya ferrari f40 my true top car also i want a monster truck but my dad will only let me have the monster truck or ones like the frog because he says that the sports car rc only go on flat surfaces so it would get stuck on a tiny stone i dont believe him does any one know if he is telling the trueth???please reply xxxx

I have a Nissan 350Z, kinda like the ferrari, and it can go over quite long grass, and (if yr going fast enough) can go over garden hoses. Not to mention they are pretty durable. I hade one do cartwheels around pavement (i won't tell you hov it happened...) and it still works fine.

By the way, just got the grassopper. Still don't have any time to make it, but im sure looking forward to it...

I have a Nissan 350Z, kinda like the ferrari, and it can go over quite long grass, and (if yr going fast enough) can go over garden hoses. Not to mention they are pretty durable. I hade one do cartwheels around pavement (i won't tell you hov it happened...) and it still works fine.

By the way, just got the grassopper. Still don't have any time to make it, but im sure looking forward to it...

I ALWAYS wanted the tamiya Grasshopper as a kid but Daddy'O got me some hard tired, shockless Radio Shack buggy and my budy's Frog would WASTE me! Now that I have the cash I'm buy'n for myself!

Hi. I just bought a Tamiya Grasshopper II, super G and i am wondering what kind of electrinics i need to buy to make this car run. currently, it only has the motor. just email me at: him9292@gmail.com

My dad gave me his old tamiya subaru brat and i crashed it into a tree and broke the front end. So i searched and searched for a new chassis and finally found one on ebay for $6.50. I still have the original motor in it and the speed control, everything stock. I like it but im afraid to jump it and break the chassis. Maybe it will be a stronger chassis since its brand new. I want a new nitro monster truck but their expensive!!!!! I have the tires that came with it and the tires that came with the grasshopper.

Just wanted to ask a question. Will the 3x2 battery packs also fit the tamiya frog? Thanks for any info.

Looking for a website for Grasshopper parts. I broke the white plastic thingy on the front steering (controls the right wheel). Any suggestions? My grasshopper is a late 80's early 90's model.

need help my dads grasshopper dont run want to fix it old 80s model

Is there a gas engine upgrade Mod for the grasshopper? I bought mine new many years ago and lookin to get it off of battery. =)

This product brings back so many memories. I was cleanin' out the garage and came across it. It still kinda runs. My pops and I put this together way back in 1985ish. First real purchase I made from mowin' lawns. Thanks for the memories...

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