Mini 4WD is a powered toy car generally 1:32 in scale equipped with 4WD.
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The Mini 4WD originated in Japan, in 1982, when Japanese manufacturer Tamiya introduced Mini 4WD race cars. A Mini 4WD race car is a 1:32 scale kit featuring four-wheel drive powered by an electric motor using a pair of AA batteries. A single electric motor turns both axles. These kits snap and screw together without the need for glue.
By the late 1980s, the fad was well-established in Japan, and began taking off in the United States as well. In February 1989, several American and Japanese companies unveiled their versions at the annual toy fair in New York. They had become quite popular in Japan; in late 1989, an average Japanese boy owned 8 to 11 of miniature 1:32 battery powered race cars. By November 1989, Hasbro introduced their Record Breakers: World of Speed series of cars, imported from Japan, into the United States. Mattel, Matchbox, and others were expected to release their own versions also There were several versions of their Record Breakers: World of Speed series kits.
By the 2000s, many other companies had ventured into the Mini 4WD market, including Tokyo Marui, Kyosho, Academy, Circuit no Ōkami, Aoshima Bunka Kyozai, Matchbox (brand), Revell, Hot Wheels, Tonka, Hasbro, and Bandai.
On June 23, 2019, a mini 4WD racing event was held inside the Glorietta shopping mall in Manila, Philippines. 2019 happens to be the year Manila plays host to the Tamiya Mini 4WD Asia Challenge, and was attended by over 200 participants with 87 attending from outside Philippines. The winner of that championship went to the world championship held in Japan in November the same year. To commemorate the event, Tamiya released a 1:32 scale mini 4WD car of the distinctive Jeepney named "Dyipne". It was initially released in Philippines with the plan of releasing it globally after a months.
In a standard 4WD design, the separate four wheels are allowed to rotate at different speeds through the use of differentials, to allow for cornering. The body is designed from hard plastic or Lexan.
There are three specifications that characterize all motors: RPM, torque, and power-consumption. RPM is the speed the motor provides, and the torque its strength. A higher RPM means higher maximum speed, higher torque gives more acceleration and allows the car to better withstand the difficulties of climbing slopes or running through turns.
Different types of gears have different ratios of rotation of the motor and the wheel, and they include (3.5:1), (3:7:1), (4:1), (4.2:1), (5:1), and "Special" (ratio varies but are usually 6.4:1). The higher the ratio, the better the acceleration rate and torque; the lower the ratio, the better the maximum speed.
- Onorato, Paul (2019-05-31). "The Tamiya Mini 4WD Phenomena". RC Driver. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
- New York Magazine
- Harrington, Richard (1989-11-24). "Hottest Toys Under the Tree". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
- TIME Magazine
- New York Magazine
- Martin, Lije (June 28, 2019). "Tamiya holds Mini 4WD Asia Challenge in Manila". Topgear Philippines. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
- "PH gears up for Tamiya Asia challenge". CNN Philippines. June 14, 2019. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
- Arcadio, Ryan (2019-06-03). "Tamiya creates jeepney Mini 4WD kit". INQUIRER.net. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
- "Japanese Toymaker Tamiya Releases Special Edition, Jeepney-Inspired Model Kit". sg.news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
- Guinness World Record for Mini 4WD
- Mini 4WD Motor Specs
- Mini 4WD Gearing Specifications
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