The Tamiya XV01: A "higher end" kit

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Panko75

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Before I start, I'd like to mention that once upon a time, this kit could be had for about $170, yes a Tamiya with bearings, oil filled shocks, a body , and modern plastic for $170.

Now it's $300 for us Americans, or if you live in Japan the yen equivalent of $150.

Is it worth $300? TLDR Nope.

I picked up a used one hoping to use it as an on-road basher (I've tried rallying 1/10 cars, I didn't like it), and to see what the fuss was about.

For starters, because it's a Tamiya it has to have a "gimmick" to fix, this time its a transmission that allows a pin to slip and ruin an idler gear. Tamiya will happily sell you metal gears, a slipper clutch, but not simply supply the shim that actually fixes the issue.

Luckily I never ran mine enough to have that happen, I did have the belt loosen up and loose its mesh several times (under brushed NiMH power). And despite very little use by the PO, the shocks leaked even after I re-built/slimed them.

As an on-roader...the XV01 isn’t great out of the box, I tried various springs, TRF shocks, different tires... my lightly modified TT02R always turned better lap times on my home made track.

As a rally car...I admittedly never tried it, no where to run one, and I prefer off-roaders that can actually jump. I can say that the gear cover doesn't seal well at all, you can just pry it back with your finger.

If you're into hopping-up one, get familiar with PlazaJapan, getting hop-ups for an XV01 isn't that easy. Even getting the right shim is annoying.

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Always wondered if the XV01 was any better than the cheaper stuff. Not enough to buy one. But I did wonder about that. Thanks for sharing.
 
Always wondered if the XV01 was any better than the cheaper stuff. Not enough to buy one. But I did wonder about that. Thanks for sharing.
Anytime, it is "better", but not enough to justify its price.
 
TRF = Tamiya Racing Factory

Any kit that is prefixed with "TRF" in the model name are considered " a higher end kit", everything else produced by Tamiya are borderline "toy grade".

Tamiya used to be an industry leader in the 80's -90's and they would actually evolve into a respectable brand with TRF which peaked at the turn of the century and for reasons I don't completely understand, TRF would begin discontinuing their designs around a decade ago and stop sponsoring their team drivers as well as shut down their tracks. They completely abandoned anything remotely high end and would fall back to their roots by offering "Re-releases" of their dated and quirky designs.

Tamiya has a soft spot in my heart where my very first kit was a Hornet that I built in 1985 which I paid for myself with my paper route money. Sadly, they haven't improved upon any of these designs in the past 40+ years making them ancient relics :(

The XV01 isn't much different: https://tamiyabase.com/chassis/139-xv-01
 
TRF = Tamiya Racing Factory

Any kit that is prefixed with "TRF" in the model name are considered " a higher end kit", everything else produced by Tamiya are borderline "toy grade".

Tamiya used to be an industry leader in the 80's -90's and they would actually evolve into a respectable brand with TRF which peaked at the turn of the century and for reasons I don't completely understand, TRF would begin discontinuing their designs around a decade ago and stop sponsoring their team drivers as well as shut down their tracks. They completely abandoned anything remotely high end and would fall back to their roots by offering "Re-releases" of their dated and quirky designs.

Tamiya has a soft spot in my heart where my very first kit was a Hornet that I built in 1985 which I paid for myself with my paper route money. Sadly, they haven't improved upon any of these designs in the past 40+ years making them ancient relics :(

The XV01 isn't much different: https://tamiyabase.com/chassis/139-xv-01
They could improve every one of their kits simply by switching to a better plastic instead of their brittle, toy grade-like plastic. It's nearly impossible to remove a screw from a Tamiya kit and put it back in and get the screw to get a purchase in the plastic.

What I never understood about their higher end stuff is the price. They have always sold them at nearly twice what they are worth. The Bruiser is a great example of that. I'd have a lot more respect for Tamiya if they had prices more comparable to what their kits are worth. But I wouldn't pay $400 for a Bruiser, and currently Tamiya has an MSRP of $1462 on the Bruiser. You can find them a lot cheaper than that, but it just shows how Tamiya has a severely warped view of what their kits are worth.

The TA06 chassis was pretty cool when it came out, but they were well over $700 for a kit you still had to buy electronics and a body to finish it. And there are still a bunch of option parts needed if you wanted to make it a really great kit, and guess what? Tamiya has all their option parts for sale for twice what they should be as well. An aluminum bellcrank for a TT02 is $60, for $10 worth of machined components, a couple screws, and a few bearings. Their aluminum hopups are as good as anybody else's, but not at that price.
 
TRF = Tamiya Racing Factory

Any kit that is prefixed with "TRF" in the model name are considered " a higher end kit", everything else produced by Tamiya are borderline "toy grade".
My mistake. So Tamiyas aluminum coated "TRF" pinion gears are a "higher end" option I guess?

They could improve every one of their kits simply by switching to a better plastic instead of their brittle, toy grade-like plastic. It's nearly impossible to remove a screw from a Tamiya kit and put it back in and get the screw to get a purchase in the plastic.
A lot of their entry level kits use ABS plastic, the same plastic used in Lego bricks (even makes the same noise when you drop it). Luckily, the XV01 uses a better plastic and machine screws.

The machining for Tamiyas aluminum is very good as is the anodizing, but it bends easily.

Tamiya used to be an industry leader in the 80's -90's and they would actually evolve into a respectable brand with TRF which peaked at the turn of the century and for reasons I don't completely understand, TRF would begin discontinuing their designs around a decade ago and stop sponsoring their team drivers as well as shut down their tracks.
There's more money to be made at TCS events than competing with other brands. Where you can only run Tamiyas and use Tamiya hop-ups. Of course, there are hardly any cheap "stock" classes.
 
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