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 is a model car company based in Tokyomarker, Japanmarker. The brand operates internationally under the name KYOSHO. The company's main office is located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, and the production headquarters are located in Atsugi, Kanagawa.

The company is one of the oldest model car makers in Japan, and produces a wide variety of products, including radio-controlled cars, planes, helicopters, and boats. Kyosho also produces highly detailed die-cast model cars. Its major competitor in the RC automobile market is Tamiya. Kyosho has avoided direct competition against Tamiya in the hobby grade RC cars market since the 80s and 90s, where Tamiya was most active, focusing instead on designing professional 1/8 scale racing buggies, Mini-Z series, and RC helicopters; areas in which Kyosho dominates today. The company is best known for its 1/8 scale competition buggies, Mini-Z series, and RC helicopters, but it also produces remote-controlled bipedal robots in the Manoi series.


The company was created in October, 1963, and created its first trademark R/C car in 1970. Production of die-cast model cars began in 1992.

R/C Products

Kyosho produces a wider range of RC product than any other RC manufacturer, including racing and ready-to-run cars and trucks, helicopters, scale, sport and warbird RC planes, and a range of RC boats. Having recently acquired Team Orion, Kyosho now has category-leading products in electric motors (brushed and brushless), Ni-MH and Li-PO batteries and battery chargers.

Notable Products
  • 1/8 scale engine cars
  • 1/10 scale engine cars
  • 1/10 scale electric cars
  • Mini-Z racers

Products that have won the IFMAR World Championship
  • 1/10 Electric Off Road 2WD
    • 1987 - Ultima
  • 1/10 IC Track
    • 2004 - PureTen V-One RRR
    • 2008 - PureTen V-One RRR Evo 2
  • 1/8 IC Off Road
    • 1992 - Inferno
    • 1994 - Turbo Inferno
    • 1996 - Inferno MP-5
    • 1998 - Inferno MP-5 EVO
    • 2000 - Inferno MP-7.5
    • 2002 - Inferno MP-7.5
    • 2006 - Inferno MP777 WC
  • 1/8 IC Track
    • 2003 - Evolva
    • 2005 - Evolva
    • 2007 - Evolva M3
    • 2009 - Evolva M3 Evo

Engine cars

Notable current models
  • 1/8 on-road
    • Evolva series
    • Inferno GT series
  • 1/8 off road
    • ST series
  • 1/8 off-road
    • Inferno series
  • 1/10 on-road
    • Pure-Ten series (Alpha, Alpha II, Alpha III, V-ONE, FW-05T, FW-06, FAZER, Inferno GT)
  • 1/10 off-road
    • Inferno TR15
  • 1/16 off-road
    • GP Mini Inferno 09
Notable past models
  • 1/8 on-road
    • Fantom series
  • 1/8 off-road
    • Burns series
    • Circuit 20 series
    • LandJump
  • 1/10 off-road
    • Circuit 10 series
  • 1/12 off-road
    • PeanutBuggy series
  • 1/12 on-road
    • PeanutRacer series

Electric on-road cars

Notable current models
  • 1/10 touring scale
    • TF-5
    • TF-5 stallion
Notable past models
  • 1/12 scale
    • SuperSport
    • MachSport
    • SonicSport
    • LazerSport
    • Phantom EP-4WD
    • Plasma
    • Phantom EXT
    • Axis EX
    • ImpressR961
  • 1/10 touring scale
    • PureTen EP Spider
    • PureTen EP Spider TF-2
    • PureTen EP Spider TF-3
    • PureTen EP Spider TF-4 Type-R
    • KX-One
    • PureTena

Electric off-road cars

During the 1980s, the 1/10 scale electric off-road car (buggy) was immensely popular, leading to the release of several different models. Many of these models have retained popularity, even after going out of production.

Notable models

  • 1978 Eleck Peanuts
  • 1979 Rally-sports Renault Alpine A310
  • 1982 Scorpion
  • 1983 Tomahawk
  • 1984 Progress 4WDS
  • 1985 Optima
  • 1987 Ultima
  • 1989 Lazer ZX


Kyosho started selling the DASH 1 in 1970, accepted widely in the industry as the first RC car made in Japan. There were three body styles to be chosen from; the most popular racing machines in the Japanese Grand Prix: the Porsche 917, Lola T70 and McLarenmarker Elva. The bodies were vacuum molded, a totally new innovation in RC cars at the time. The DASH 1 was priced at 23,000 yen, not including the engine. Engines used were still the imported 19-class VECO (West Germany) and K&B (U.S.A.) marine engines with a Perry Carburettor and Kyosho's Fuel Stopper and a car muffler.


In 1971 the DASH 2 targeted at beginners (price: 16,500 Yen) was released. The DASH 1 used a two-piece chassis, but the DASH 2 had a one-piece chassis and the engine was only at a slight front angle. In addition, the SUPER DASH (price: 26,000 Yen) was released as a competition level machine.


The DASH 3 and the DUNE BUGGY were released in 1972, starting the buggy racing phenomenon.

Eleck Peanuts

This was the first electric off-road car sold by Kyosho. A motor was placed on the PeanutBuggy, which had previously been sold as an engine car. It was sold for 9,800 yen at the time.


A 2WD off-road car with a RS540 motor in the rear. The frame was that of the Alpine A310. Uses a double wishbone for front suspension, and a semi-streaming arm for rear suspension. The cars aluminum frame and rear design were passed on to the Scorpion. Sold for 16,000 yen at the time.


Races with electric off-road cars increased in popularity after the release of Tamiya's Rough Rider. The 2WD "Scorpion" was released by Kyosho during this period. Kyosho had been promoting its 1/8 scale engine buggy "Circuit 20" in races at the time, and the Scorpion can be described as a miniaturized version of the Circuit 20. The double trailing arm front suspension, semi-streaming rear suspension, aluminum ladder frame, rear-mounted RS540S motor, oil damper and coil springs very much resemble the design for a 1/8 scale racing buggy of the time. The thin body was realized by placing the batteries pointing forward, and its light weight (1680g, with full equipment) gave it a huge advantage over rival models. Its main rivals were Tamiya's Rough Rider and ayk's 556B.

The Scorpion revolutionized radio-controlled racing with its release, as it became almost impossible to win races without using a Scorpion. This model became one of the most popular of Kyosho's products, and sold for 17,800 yen at the time.

The "Tomahawk" uses the same suspension as the Scorpion, but its layout was completely made over. The plastic mech box was changed to a double-deck mech plate, allowing its weight to decrease to 1,450g. It was sold for 19,800 yen at the time.

The "Turbo Scorpion" was also derived from the Scorpion. This model was sold for 19,800 yen at the time.

Progress series

The "Progress 4WDS" was Kyosho's first electric 4WD off-road racer. The motor was mounted on the rear overhang, and the forward wheel moves with a chain extending from the rear gearbox. This chain system was also tried on the on-road racer, "Phantom EP." The rear suspension was an orthodox double trailing arm and oil damper with coil springs, but the front suspension featured a double wishbone and mono damper, and substituted a torsion bar for a spring. This unique front suspension was rather difficult to set up, and had a short arm, which prevented it from taking powerful strokes.

The front wheel on the 4WS series could only move in the opposite direction as the rear wheel, and turning wide curves was also difficult with this series.

Adjustments were made with each successive model, but the Progress series became infamous as a slow car unable to live up to its full potential. Kyosho's first series of 4WDs was too heavy and clumsy to compete in serious RC racing.
  • Progress 4WDS
  • Gallop 4WDS
  • Gallop MKII

Optima series

This was Kyosho's highly successful series of 4WD off-road racers. Many of the models gained widespread popularity in off-road RC racing.

Notable models (in order of release)
  • Optima (a 4WD buggy with a chain drive system. Uses an aluminum ladder frame)
  • Javelin (uses a pipe frame. Some parts, including the damper stay, became optional parts)
  • Gold Optima (this limited model was released after the 100,000th Optima was sold. 10,000 of this model were produced. The name comes from the gold colored anodic coating) used on many of its parts.
  • Turbo Optima (sections were strengthened to allow an 8.4V battery to be used. Equipped with a Le Mans 240S motor)
  • Salute (a Turbo Optima with a different frame. The motor was sold separately, resulting in a cheaper overall cost)
  • Optima Pro 4WD (the last Optima to use a chain drive system. Uses an amp (ESC))
  • Optima Mid (all of the Optima models below are belt drive models. The location of the motor was changed from the rear overhang to an RMR layout. The frame was made of duralumin and fibre-reinforced plastic)
  • Turbo Optima Mid (the upper echelon of the Optima Mid series. Sold with several optional parts)
  • Turbo Optima Mid SE
  • Turbo Optima Mid Special (the wheelbase of the Optima Mid was extended, and was sold with a carbon fiber frame. Only a maximum of two were shipped per store, as it was a limited model)
  • Optima Mid Custom (a low priced version of the Turbo Optima Mid special. The frame is made of duralmin)
  • Optima Mid Custom Special (similar to the Turbo Optima Mid special, with the LWB duralumin frame (some were confirmed to have been produced with the carbon fiber frame), but the body was changed to a "bullet type" canopy body)

Ultima series

The 2WD racing buggy created following the Tomahawk. The double wishbone suspension and aluminum monocoque frame gave the buggy far more speed than previous models. The car won 1st place in the the 2nd electric off-road 2WD world tournament held in Englandmarker in 1987.

  • Ultima (a 2WD buggy created in the style of the Optima series)
  • Turbo Ultima (: duralmin flat pan frame, white color,special "Platinum Shocks" with graphite shock towers and full ball bearings. Ball differential and motor guard. )
  • Ultima Pro ( fibre-reinforced plastic frame, Gold shocks,full ball bearings, Ball differential, motor guard, adjustable tie rods, stick or saddle pack battery configuration. )
  • Ultima Pro XL (Similar to the Ultima Pro but with a longer single plate chassis. Longer front and rear suspension arms. Adjustable rear toe in and 48 pitch spur and pinion gears.)
  • Ultima II and Turbo Ultima II (The Ultima II was a basic Ultima for beginners. The Turbo Ultima II had Gold shocks,full bearings and ball differential. Both models had the new Kyosho "Kelron" chassis.)
  • Outlaw Ultima ST (The only Stadium truck made from the original Ultima II chassis. Kelron chassis and aluminum front shock towers with long shocks. Ford Ranger body came with the kit.)
  • Triumph
  • Pro X (the first edition had a problem where the ball differential caught on fire. This problem was fixed in the second release)
  • Ultima RB (appeared for the first time in the 1999 world championship. The Type-R model was geared towards competitions, while the sport model was designed for beginners)
  • Ultima RB Type-R Evolution (the Ultima RB Type-R with optional parts included)
  • Ultima RB5 (released in March, 2007)

Lazer series

A series started with the "Lazer ZX", which became the basic model for the Optima series. It evolved from "Lazer ZX-R" to "Lazer ZX sport," "Lazer ZX-RR, "Lazer ZX-S," "Lazer ZX-S Evolution." The body design for the Lazer ZX was rather unpopular from the start, and many users, including the Kyosho racing team, preferred to use the bodyset from the Turbo Optima Mid Special. The current model, "Lazer ZX-5" has a similar name, but bears a completely different design from its predecessors. It employs a shaft-driven 4WD system rather than the belt-driven system of its predecessors, a longitudinally mounted motor, and a new low-profile body.

Die-Cast Cars

Since 1992, Kyosho has specialized in creating high end collector's grade Die-Cast Car Replicas. Kyosho offers a wide array of scale replicas and car makers. Kyosho's main competition comes from companies such as AUTOart, Minichamps, and Hot Wheels. Kyosho is also the official manufacturer of BMW Authorized scale replicas sold exclusively through BMW Dealerships. As of January 2008, their online catalogue includes approximately 1000 die cast cars and accessories.

Radio controlled aircraft

Radio controlled replica of the Aberle Phantom wearing the 2007 Kyosho sponsorship decals found on the full-scale version that year
The 2000s saw a shift toward the growing hobby of radio controlled model aircraft and the creation of almost ready-to-fly models. One such model, the "Phantom 70," is a quarter-scale replica of the Aberle Phantom biplane. Based in Fallbrook, Californiamarker USA, the full-scale Phantom was built by Aberle Custom Aircraft and sponsored by Kyosho during the 2007 Reno Air Races. The plane set a biplane-class speed record in 2004 with a top speed of more than 241 mph. A new record was established in 2006 with a speed of 251.958 mph.

Potential for renewed production

Since rival company Tamiya renewed the production of popular classic models such as the "Frog," "Grasshopper," "Hornet," and "Hotshot," many fans hope for Kyosho to do the same with its own classics. However, the company has already gotten rid of most of the old frame casts, making prospects of renewed production costly and difficult.

During the Shizuokamarker Hobby Show in May, 2006, Kyosho introduced "Optima" and "Turbo Scorpion" in its new "Miniature Racing Buggy series". Though only 10 cm in length, these die-cast pullback toys feature the exact same package design as the original RC kits, showing that Kyosho does recognize fan demand for renewed production.

External links

  1. Aberle Custom Aircraft home page
  2. Phantom 70 home page at Kyosho America

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