In October 1986 Tamiya took a simple yet innovative Frog chassis, equipped it with large tires, a beautiful injection molded body and changed the radio controlled hobby forever. The “ORV” (or off road vehicle chassis as it came to be known) created an aftermarket so profound that the likes of it has yet to be seen again. It seemed that everybody in the 1980s was making hop up parts for these cars. Everything from chassis’, suspensions, braces, and even completely chromed parts trees were available for the Blackfoot and its derivatives.
There was one particular upgrade that wasn't merely nice to own, it was critical. In the mid to late 80s, Blackfoot and its fraternal brothers, Monster Beetle and Mud Blaster, dominated the fledgling truck class at race tracks around the world. They weren't just swarming the racetracks, they were all over your schoolyards, backyards and vacant lots. These groups had one problem in common, the differential.
The "ORV" cars were originally designed without a diff in mind. A bevel gear differential, big tires, and a weak transmission case was a recipe for lost races, gloomy Saturdays, and depressed walks back home. These differentials wore rapidly and would eventually destroy themselves even with the kit motor.
Thankfully, several companies stepped up to the challenge to remedy this issue. Companies like Thorp created a rudimentary ball differential that sorted out the problems. Though better than the original, they are currently very costly, hard-to-find, slip, and wear incredibly quick. This is bad news for the people that have purchased the 2015 re-release of the Monster Beetle and the 2016 30th anniversary re-release of the Blackfoot. The past comes alive the moment one of these models is set down in a vacant lot. The nostalgic feeling of driving one of the most iconic radio control vehicles is unmatched until, after only a few batteries, that sound of disintegrating gears is back. Once more, the "ORV’s" beg for a solution.
MIP is proud to introduce the solution, over 30 years in the making: The MIP Super Ball Differential for your Re-Released 2016 Blackfoot and 2015 Monster Beetle. MIP is no stranger to solving problems. Founded in 1978, MIP was there throughout the "Golden Age" of RC cars. They have thrived by creating, designing, and manufacturing the highest quality after-market and OEM drive components for countless brands over the decades. Additionally, they take pride in the fact that this is all done, from start to finish, in a multi-million dollar design, engineering and manufacturing facility located in Southern California, made from certified USA materials. MIP products are shipped directly out of our Covina, CA plant to individuals, dealers, and distributors worldwide.
This kit will not compromise the integrity or appearance of your vehicle. It is a direct bolt-on kit, with no modifications needed for both 2015 Monster Beetle and 2016 Blackfoot. It was designed to work with Tamiya’s brand-new universal pin drive axle, giving you the option of installing brushless motors without fear of destroying the stock gear differential or extremely expensive vintage ball differential. The ability to add different grease viscosities for tuning and no fear of slipping will bring the Blackfoot into the 21st centruy without losing that old-school 1980’s feel. The value of this differential is also unheard of at about half the cost of a 30 year old used Thorp unit.
What’s next for MIP and the Blackfoot? MIP has many more ideas for the Tamiya vintage vehicles. This differential, if successful, will be just the beginning of a complete line of upgrades for some of the most historic cars RC cars ever made.