Tamiya Lunchbox Review, Part 3

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Previously, I wrote about painting the body, construction, and an overview of the kit. In this, the last part of the Tamiya Lunch Box review, I wanted to discuss how it performed.

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I was surprised by how slow the Lunch Box is. It's a bit faster than the Bullhead (which, with it's stock motors I think runs at a very fun speed) but still feels slow. I put an old Trinity Monster Stock motor in it and had quite a bit more fun!

I was surprised and disappointed by how short a time the Lunch Box could hold a wheelie. Again, a larger motor helps this.

With the steering rods set at the lengths the manual specifies, the Lunch Box has some pretty serious understeer. Adjusting for some toe-in doesn't help much: steering is a little better, but the R/C flipps pretty easily then.

Suspension needs help. It's awful stiff and has a pretty short throw. The Lunch Box bounces everywhere!

Given all of these problems, you wouldn't think the Lunch Box is much fun--but it is! It's great fun to see it bounce along, fly over jumps and maintain a nose-down posture! Really, it's just as I remember it: a lot of fun.

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Older Comments (35)

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do you know if the new lunch box parts will fit the old one i need new lunch box gears because the ones in the lunch box snapped in half.
if you do send me info please

The new parts should fit the old Lunch Box. It's supposed to be the exact same molds, except for an ESC and updated decals.

Hi,
I just stumbled on your site, I was looking online for the instructions to put my lunch box back together when I found your site (anyone know where I can get a free copy?). Your site came up second on the Google search for "tamiya lunch box instructions". I am also from CT, Colchester to be exact. I also like BSG and was in the Boy Scouts (made it to Eagle back in 1993) when I was much younger. I just bought a Tamiya Rising Storm, now that was a lot of fun to put together. That is what got me looking back in to fixing up my vintage 1987 Lunch Box. Well keep up the good work! - Charlie

Im torn between this or the hornet for my next RC purchase. I kinda want a Clod but Ive heard they can be a lot of work too. Ive heard they handle kinda crappy.

The Box is just so damn cool lookin!!!!!

man....i wish i knew they were re-releasing the lunch box when you did. it was my first r/c as a kid and i loved it. now i have it on back order. and i still have the old futaba magnum jr. radio. they are putting the frog back out too. matter of time and the blackfoot will be back.

I've been looking for a 2 wheel drive monster truck, besides the Traxxas Stampede, now I might consider buying a Lunch Box. From the looks of it the truck has potential to be mean with a some modifications to the suspension and drivetrain.

Hello all. I have had my Box for 16 years and it runs better today hten it did when I got it. With a littel inginuity, I have associated oil filles shocks at all 4 corners as well as an assortment of high end motors. On a flat serface it will easily keep up with a 1/10 scale car. This thing has always been a blast!

Hey everyone, Love the site. I just recently purchased the Lunch Box and all the goodies. I'm still new to the RC world. I'm looking for some suggestions for modifying it a little. Maybe shocks, engine, etc.... I want to have a little more fun with it then just being stock. Any suggestions?
Thanks !!!!!!

Great site. I love how the body on your Box turned out. I just bought a Traxxas Stampede and I want to adapt a Lunch Box body to it. If possible could you tell me the distance between the front axle center and rear axle center. I hope its close to the Stampede. When I was younger a friend of mine had a Lunch Box. I can still remember beating the crap out of that wonderful truck. Thanks again.

England callin//////England calling
Got the bug...cleaning out my attic and found my Lunch Box 1987 style it needs a bit of work(thats what makes it fun) I am looking for the manual to help with the re-build...any ideas??
I painted my Lunch Box black (oooh to be ten again) and did some funny old things with the stickers but hey it's still cool!! Your site came out on the google search 1st and 2nd choice!
Cheers
Gaz

Wales calling!!!

Hi,

Great pages I must say... I always wanted a Lunchbox when I was little. It must have been around the original 1987 release date when I first noticed them, but with no chance of getting such a pricey pressie I have had to wait nearly 20 years.
Anyway, I have one on odrer and your pages really helped to convince me that it would be fun even now, and not just a bit of nostalgia.

Great pics too.

A

MY FIRST ONE WAS VANESSA'S LUNCH BOX. WHAT A BLAST TO DRIVE AS A 14 YEAR OLD KID. MY FRIEND HAD A BLACKFOOT AND IT WAS ALWAYS BREAKING. BAD DRIVE TRAIN DESIGN. ONCE I RAN IT WITHOUT THE BODY AFTER SOME QUICK REPAIRS AND A LADY PARKED HER CAR ON TOP OF IT. I WILL LET YOU KNOW IT ONLY BLEMISHED THE CHASSIS. IT WAS BULLET PROOF AS LONG AS YOU UPGRADED THE STEERING TUNBUCKLES, AND KEPT THE MOTOR AND PINION TIGHT. THE ONLY OTHER ISSUE WAS WEARING OUT THE SPEED CONTROL. YES I PLAYED WITH IT THAT MUCH. GLAD TO SEE THE REISSUE, ME AND MY 10 YR OLD SON WILL BE BUILDING ONE SHORTLY. I THINK THE ORIGINAL GRAPHICS WERE RACIER, COULD HAVE BEEN A PRE PUBESENT DREAM OF VANESSA. THANKS FOR THE TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE!

I have a Lunchbox on order with Tower hobbies. I was also torn between getting a Hornet or the Lunchbox like a previous poster. I also ordered the kit with all the bearings it needs, and a 21 turn motor. Does anyone know if the bearings make a big difference? I know it did with a Traxxas Hawk, and RC10 buggy I had. I may paint up the Lunchbox to look like the Mystery Machine in Scooby Doo....

hi
i was thinking of getting a lunchbox.just i was wondering if it was werth spending the money does it handle jumps okay howfar can it wheelie how fun is it stock how fast is it in mph

thanx

i have a bullhead with 550 motors will a lunch box be as fast as that

thanx

Having gone along the r/c aircraft route, and destroyed several Firebird Commander 2's, 2x Apache's, and and EasyCopter, I think that route is taking me nowhere...so I am opting for r/c electric cars now. I have always fancied a Vanessa's Lunchbox, and I think I will take the plunge in the next coming weeks. I have no experience in building such a r/c vehicle, is it possible for a newbie to do this? Also, how fast does it move and maintain a wheelie? Thanks all...good luck. apmc

hello, i have just found myself an original .. yes oriinal lunchbox that has never been assembled! ok it was 3 times that of the re-release but the box and stickers are subtly different, i intend to build it but build it exactly as tamiya intended, its so easy to build any one could do it! i am planning on keeping the original springs and dampers as i have heard that oil shox really make no noticable difference, im thinking of upgrading the motor to a tamiya tuned 540, i have already ordered a full set of metal bearings and i might do the old 3rd strut trick to get it to weelie a bit longer and handele better, also i will be trying to find a way to correct the front camber as it is way to possitive at the moment. if anyone has no idea what the 3rd strut trick is just email me and i will be glad to explain a bit more. involves a bit of cutting and drilling but it holds the rear axle more steady and illiminates the need for those silly little spring things

I've just finished building the reissue lunchbox and the camber on the front is way out. The wheels lean out by about 10 degrees! Any idea on how to correct this? It's my first go at building an R/C, so if it's not in the manual I don't have a clue :D
Thanks in advance.

i just modified my lunchbox very cheaply!!

my charger is capable of 8 cells (9.6v) and so is my esc (electronic speed controller) so i bought an 8 cell battery and forced it in! man this thing flies with the standard motor in it! metal bearings are a must though! also i used a lot of cable ties (nylon zip ties) to sort the suspention.

3 around each of the crome shock towers to comprss the spring to make the suspetion stiffer and one inside the car, one the front strut 'pins' basicly if you push the front suspension down the shock rods poke out through the chassis, wrap a tie around each one to stop the rod going all the way back in. this lowers the front end and sorts out the front camber, all i did then was raise the front body mounts with longer screws and packed with washers to make the body look level again.

dan-gleeballs@hotmail.co.uk

I have just ordered one of these, like most people on this site its been a childhood dream of mine so Im very excited about its arrival!
Judging by this review its gonna be a load of fun...

Does anyone know where I can buy a set of Alumin. Shocks for the Lunchbox? E-Bay Item number or something? I feel the first thing that should be done after Metal Bearings and a modified motor should be the shocks, as the stock ones that I recall are very very bad. I just ordered a new re-release of the Lunchbox and have already ordered many upgraded parts, but am having a devil of a time finding some Alumin. shocks that will fit it without any modifications. Can Anyone help me? If so E-Mail me with Subject Line LUNCHBOX at butha72@hotmail.com I need to find some shokcs asap before my Lunchbox gets here.

Upgrades I have already purchased include FULL METAL BEARING SET, 540 GT Tuned Modified Motor, Extra Body being the new Metallic Midnight Pumpkin along with its chrome wheels and tires... The Midnight Pumkin with that 50's style Truck Body as Metallic..OHHH ITS ALSO SWEET! Not too mention I picked up some spare gears...cause ya never know...my first Lunchbox...I had to replace them a few times, as my Grasshopper too.

4" shocks are too big. Standard ones are 2.5" but I found some that are 2.6 inch and will fit. So far my upgrades include...

Tamiya 53779 RC car truck 540 GT-Tuned Motor 25T

Tamiya Silver Anodized Aluminium Oil Filled shocks with silver Collars Aprox 2.6 inches in length and 8MM in dia.


Tamiya Metal BEARING SET with Double Rubber Shielded (BLUE) Steel Balls

Extra Body being the new Metallic Midnight Pumpkin along with its chrome wheels and tires... The Midnight Pumkin with that 50's style Truck Body is Metallic. Best of both worlds this way LOL

...this and I'm still actually waiting for my Lunchbox to arrive. There's a Seller in CA that sells these on E-Bay for $109.00 with $10 shipping in the U.S.A. (this included ESC pretty good deal. As soon as it gets here (Canada $20 shipping, thats where I am) I'll be able to put it together and have the upgrades to do it right the first time.

You can get a proper Pistal Grip Controller with receiver and servo for like $25.00 so overall your not spending an entire amount on the LunchBox...however the upgrades to add about $100 give or take.

In regards to the Gears.....Higher RPM Motor's tend to make it a short life for the spider gears...have they made metal? or something?

I just very recently bought the re-release of Vanessa's Lunch Box. I, like so many others remember the original from my childhood and thought that was the coolest thing! Now I see what all the hype is about. I haven't had the chance yet to give it a good run outside because of the weather, but it is completed, except for the body. I will probably keep the entire truck stock. The only thing I am wondering about is if anyone has foam in their tires? I don't and it seems to be just fine that way. Hopefully, soon I'll be able to try it out. I can't wait!!! LOL

Hello everyone, I just ordered a re-released lunch box. I have not yet put it together but I was wondering what kind of parts I could get to upgrade it. I was thinking about a better motor, new esc , metal bearings and new shocks, but im not sure what parts to get. If anyone can help me I would really appreciate it.
Thanks, Jerry

the lunch box can use Tamiya short cva shocks. they are oil filled and plastic. it also uses a total of 10 plastic bearings(9 larger and 1 smaller). if you replace with metal ball bearings you will get a smoother transmission, more speed, and longer run times!

when you guys want some real fun you can run a brushless with no major mods hit me on my e-mail bigwil305@live.com and ill give you all the secrets i will tell you it wont work with out jaco monster foams

Hi,

Does anybody know if you can put a different pinion in a lunch box???????????? I have heard an 18t will work. Is this true???

You've put the wheelie bar on wrong! I noticed because I did the exact same thing when putting mine together :)

Going to the hobby store for my Lunch Box tomorrow. I haven't had a RC car since I was a teen in the eighties! (Feeling a little nostalgic lately, I suppose.) I had a Bear Foot and my buddy had the Box. Jeez we had some fun. Been looking, but I guess they don't make the Bear anymore. Neat site.

I had an original and beat it completely to hell... loved running it over every jump I could find! Aside from almost constantly breaking the turnbuckles, the plastic pins to attach the body were always completely destroyed from rolling it or getting too aggressive with a jump :) We solved that problem by finding some comparably sized metal shelf pegs (the kind with a little peg that fits into the wall of a bookshelf and has a flat tab for the shelf to sit on) and putting holes for the clips and mounting screws in with a drill press. Highly recommended if you drive it like I did!

Great to see your writeup; brought back some great memories!

I just finished a cool mod on my box. Swaped out front arms to fx10 arms this fixes the toe in and helps alot in correcting the understear. Also put 3 shock and oil filled shocks all around swapped out all plastic mounts to metal. Last I put a 8.5 turn ezrun brushless motor. It's sick I can wheely for almost 15-20 feet on pavement. So much fun I reccomed to all

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