Tamiya Tamiya RC Guide Books

One of Tamiya's strengths is to have started publishing catalogues very soon after they started on the model market, editing one catalogue for the static model range of products, and another one dedicated to RC models. In France, they were sold in toy stores and their content was a great surprise for those who bought them. Printed on glossy paper, the overall quality and pictures were true dream teasers and soon the young reader would become a customer after some parent harassment laughing). I remember spending hours reading the 1987 RC catalogue (although my skills in English were almost non existent by the time).

I want to thank Pottok and Teamneogordini from the forum Vintage-RC who provided many pages displayed here. A very special thank goes to those who spent hours scanning and transfering complete RC Guide Books: Guillaume (1995 "early" edition), Tony (1985 edition), Clive (1987 and 2001 editions) and Replay (1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005 editions plus 1973, 1976 and 1977 catalogues).

There are now more than 1600 pages to read: if you didn't know what to do during those long cold winter nights, now you know laughing.

All the photos on this page are © Tamiya.



Collector's Holy Grail, these are definitive RC bibles: they are true machines to grow large amounts of Tamiya fans! Every model is presented, some with many details, but above everything else, many are shot in action on splendid photo series: makes you dream and makes the reader's imagination work at full load

The RC Guide Books do not only present the models: they also feature many short articles explaining driving technics, teaching how to draw a track and many other advices to get the most fun out of the models.

Unfortunately, I don't have every year edition, some are incomplete and others are not at their best quality. Nevertheless, I deeply modified the page code in order to improve the presentation and I added every single page I had. If you have better scans than those diplayed here, please contact me and I will add them.

Last but not least: it is extremly complex to date each edition and to sort them in their original publication order. Several reasons for that:

  • The RC Guide Books have no year information before the 2000 edition
  • They were not published at fixed periods
  • In the first editions, some models were sometimes presented long before their effective availability
  • The same cover could be used for different editions (1981/1982, 1988/1989, 1991/1992)
  • During the 80's and 90's, distributor published their own versions, modifying both the content and the covers, apart from publishing at different periods.

This is why I worked with Lars from TamiyaBase to better sort things out. One of our methods was to compare each model official release date with its first appearance in an RC Guide Book in order to determine the year of publication for each book. Yet, the result is still pretty uncertain because of the distributors' local editions.

Among the biggest changes, the RC Guide Book showing the Lamborghini Countach on cover changes from 1980 to 1979 and 1986 edition disappears since it was never published by Tamiya Japan. Given the complexity, I chose not to consider distributors' editions: the sorting order you see is correct and based on the original japanese-language publication chronology from Tamiya Japan.
But the scans being international versions, some editions content may be different from the original japanese edition content. Next consequence, this chronology may not be the same à the one of local editions published by distributors since they sometimes modified the covers in addition to modifying the centent.

In the end, I hope this sorting order will serve its primary goal: to immerge you in your memories.

1995 (Early Ed.)
1995 (Late Ed.)
1996 (Early Ed.)
1996 (Late Ed.)

If you have better scans than those diplayed here, please contact me and I will add them.

Please note that Tamiya stopped publishing RC Guide Books since 2005. From 2008, the RC Line-UP took the relay in a differrent format since there are 2 to 3 editions per year depending on the manufacturer's news. Officially, these catalogues are not free (like the RC Guide Books), but some stores offer them for free with an order and thus please their customers.

I know some stores that have this elegant customer-oriented manner but I am not allowed to cite them here. The French law from which my site depends would only allow me to cite french stores: not a single one (to my knwoledge) showing the elementary consideration to their customers, the list would be empty. More about this in the Tamiya distribution in Europe section.

I am not allowed to publish the RC Line-UP, not even to present the sole covers in order for you to identify them and find them at your LHS. Tips to help those of you who might be interested though:

  • RC Line-UP numbering is of the "Volume # Year" type. Example: Volume 1 2011. This is shown on the front cover, sometimes along with the season name (winter, spring, summer or autumn).
  • Use internet search engines: "rc line-up" should lead you to what you are looking for, especially the front covers images.
  • To my knowledge, here are the existing volumes per year:

2008: volume 1, 2 and 3
2009: volume 1 and 2
2010: volume 1, 2 and 3
2011: volume 1 and 2
2012: volume 1 and 2
2013: volume 1 and 2
2014: volume 1, 2 and 3
2015: volume 1 and 2
2016: volume 1 and 2
2017: volume 1

As for the "Tamiya Perfect Guide" catalogues that some of you may have heard of: they are published in Japan by Gakken, not by Tamiya. Exclusively in japanese language and exclusively sold in Japan, I am not allowed either to publish nor to present them here.


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