Tamiya Grasshopper Review, Part 1

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The Tamiya Grasshopper reissue (a Christmas gift from Sherree) finally arrived the other day--it had been backordered for quite some time. I've written a little about wanting a Grasshopper reissue, and I've also written a review of my original Grasshopper. I got my first Grasshipper in 1987 (when I was 11), so my perspective has changed a little, not to mention all of the other experience I have since gained from other R/Cs.

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Even before opening the box, the first thing I notice is that it's not that big! As I remember it, the Grasshopper came in a box so large that I could barely hold it. I'm sure building the car will create the same feeling: I remember construction being a little difficult and taking many hours. Looking through the kit, I realize just how well I remember it all. If the kit didn't have an instruction manual, I'm sure I could put it together from memory. (Though, admittedly, it's not a very complex kit!)

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I always put the wheels together first. The Grasshopper's are definitely a step back in time: 3-piece wheels aren't used at all anymore in new kits (as far as I know). As illustrated in the photo at the right, the large plastic wheel gets squished inside the tire; it's a tight fit and was a little tough to get in. I remember it being very difficult when I put my first Grasshopper together. Once that's in, the two outer pieces sandwich over the rubber tire and five tiny screws and nuts (2mm) hold it all together. I used pliers to fit the nuts in place, also a little challenging. Lastly, now that the wheel is all screwed together, I gave the tire a squish. There was a fair bit of resistance, but the air left--and didn't return. I had to unscrew the wheels to reinflate the tire.

The more modern 1-piece design is definitely easier to assemble, glueing seals the tire better, and a hole in the rim lets air in and out easily. Not to mention that they're much lighter, important if you're racing.

The photos below include tires from several Tamiya R/Cs: from left to right, Hummer, Lunch Box, Bullhead and Grasshopper rear and front. The Bullhead tires simply dwarf the Grasshopper!

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In Part 2, I'll discuss and share photos of the building experience!

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Older Comments (2)

Dan & Sherree & Patrick currently uses Facebook for comments. Older comments are still here for readers, though. Read old comments »

this site is such a good idea. And well put together. Love the review on the grasshopper. Just what I needed to make my mind up. I want one. Thanks.

they still have 3 peice rims they are called beadlocks

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