Car-crazy children of the 1980s will instantly recognise the Tamiya Wild One. Back in the day it was all over magazines like R/C Car Action, showing off alongside other 1/10-scale radio-controlled must-haves like the Grasshopper, Hornet, and Lunch Box. Tamiya re-released the Wild One in 2012, but there's never been a re-release remotely as epic as this one. That's because the latest Wild One is an actual dune buggy big enough to drive.
This version is officially called the Wild One Max, and it's billed as an 8/10th scale buggy that doesn't need R/C controls. It's a legit people-sized buggy with seating for a single occupant and enough power to hit speeds of 30 mph. It's built by London-based The Little Car Company under a license from Tamiya, and if that name sounds familiar, it's the same niche builder that created the brilliant Baby Bugatti and the adorable Aston Martin DB5 Junior.
Gallery: Tamiya Wild One Max Full Size Buggy
Actually, it's more accurate to say the all the parts for the Wild One Max are manufactured by The Little Car Company. According to Tamiya, this near-full-size offering can be built at home piece-by-piece, just like the original 1/10-scale model. There's a massive sticker sheet to properly dress up your Wild One Max once it's assembled, and there's even a photo showing a Wild One Max box. For the record, Tamiya doesn't specifically state this 550-pound driveable dune buggy will actually come in a massive box, but honestly, we really, really hope it does.
As with the previous driveable offerings from The Little Car Company, the Wild One Max is electric-powered but unlike the others, it's absolutely appropriate here. A single motor drives the rear wheels, utilising a 2 kWh battery pack good for a range of 25 miles. Peak power is listed as 5.5 bhp (4 kilowatts) and to corral that power, the Wild One Max gets 15-inch off-road tyres, coil-over suspension, and Brembo brakes.
We already mentioned the top speed of 30 mph, but if that's not enough for you, "hop-ups" for more power, range, and other customisations are available. Vehicle options might be a better term to use at this level, but R/C fanatics love hop-ups, and frankly, we love the all-encompassing nature of making this big buggy as nostalgic as possible. There are even hop-ups to make it road-legal in both the US and Europe.
At this stage, the Wild One Max is still being developed with a targeted release date sometime in 2022. It will be relatively affordable as well, with pricing expected to start around £6,000 for the UK, €7000 in other parts of Europe, and $8,250 in the States. Compare that to living a childhood dream of actually driving your favourite radio-controlled toy, and we'd say it's money well spent.