tamiya guide book 2000

The problem with the early Guide Books (GB) is that they are not dated. From year 2000 and onwards, the year is printed on the front page. Actually, I know of one other GB with the year on the front, the 1996 GB in Japanese version.

Principles of dating the Guide Books.

So how to date the Guide Books? Unfortunately, there are a few ways to do it.


Marking inside the GB's:

Many of the GB's have a Copyright mark (from 1985 onwards) with a year, and some have a date in the format of "8703" meaning March 1987. Those dates are fairly easy to find, they are usually close to the spine at one of the last pages. The problem is how to interprete these dates. My interpretation is as follow:

  • Copyright dates show only the year, and this must be the year of issue.
  • "8703" dates are most likely printing dates.

Both dates must then indicate when the GB was issued.


Model numbers:

As we all know, the model numbers are sequential and run from 58001 and onwards. (look here for how model numbers evolved) I have most of the Guide Books and my first attempt at dating the GB's were based on matching what models were presented in what GB's. The problem with this method is that models were not issued in number sequence, sometimes Tamiya either delayed a model, or pushed it forward in the queue of releases.


Release date for the models:

Release dates are in my mind probably the most correct way of dating the GB's. Thanks to the "30 years Tamiya RC Perfect Album" we now have a complete list of release dates for each model. These dates are precise for when a model was available, and would of course affect what model is shown in the GBs.


Different markets:

The fact that Tamiya is supplying worldwide, there is bound to be market differences. Unfortunately, this makes dating the GB more complex. Different markets will have different preferences to what model to sell. The US market seems to be the driving force of the Tamiya RC models, and the MRC GB's have different model content than Japanese and Europe markets. From what I can see, the European market was treated as one. There seem to be no differences between countries in Europe.


Ok, lets date these GB's!'

To find a way of determining the year of each GB, I have looked to the later GBs where the year is on the front page (that's easy then...) But, the clue is that these GBs also have the "8703" type of dating, which I believe is the printing date. They all (from 2000 to 2004) show that the printing was done in March the same year as the front page indicates. (Year 2000 GB has "0003" in the spine)

All this makes sense; Tamiya producing a yearly Guide Book presenting the current available models. For some reason, March (early in the year) was chosen as the printing period.

When applying the same thinking to the earlier GBs I actually found that my earlier dating was wrong. I also discovered that manuals I thought were the same year (because of the same cover) actually are different years and/or different markets.

tamiya guide book 1979
Lets start with the first GB, the one I and "everybody" believed to be 1980. From what I can see, that must be wrong. This GB does not have any date marking of copyright notice, so dating must be done by evaluating the models shown. My GB is from the European market. The "Red Countach" GB shows RC models 58001 to 58010. All of these were released in 1978 or earlier. The last one released, being 58010, was released 30th November 1978. Model 58011 (not in this GB) was released in February 1978. So, my conclusion is that the "Red Countach" GB is actually for year 1979.
tamiya guide book 1980
The next GB is the "Blue Celica". (Europe market) I used to believe this was for year 1981. Again wrong for the same reasons as above. This GB has the 58016 Sand Scorcher as the latest released model (15th December 1979), but the highest model number is 58017 (B2B Side Car). The B2B was released before the Sand Scorcher.

Again, my new conclusion is that this GB is for 1980.

tamiya guide book 1981 Japan
The next year should be 1981, then, but now things get complicated for me, as I only have the Japan version of the "White Williams" GB. But, luckily this Japanese GB follows the same pattern as the two previous ones, except that this one has a date printed in the spine; "8101", indicating it was printed in January 1981. Models covered are up to and including 58023 Holiday Buggy, which was released 8th December 1980. The next release (the 58024 Sand Rover) not in this GB came as late as 22nd August 1981.(late, considering they are sister models) Again, I have to change my mind and acknowledge that the "White Williams" Japanese version must be for year 1981.


Following my above statements, I no longer have a 1982 Guide Book... I am guessing that the English language version of the "White Williams" could be the one, so I better get hold of one of them :-)

I have, based on the above argumentation, changed dating on quite a few Guide Books in The Database.



Year dating the GB's make much more sense to me now that I have looked into the release dates of the models and not only looked at the model numbers. This has also made me aware that there are differences in Year between the markets, and that there are many guide books with the same cover (and contents to a large extent), but which are still different in important aspects (like what models are shown)



I still do not have any Guide Book showing the 58053 Road Wizard. If someone can help me source a GB with this model showing, I would really appreciate it.



Please feel free to comment on this article using the below comment system. 

NOW: Go take a look in the Guide book Section.


Written by Larbut


#2 larbut 2011-06-02 21:00
Hi Ginger,
I'll defo check your info with what I've got. Thank you very much for taking the time :-)
#1 GingerSpice 2011-06-02 19:59
I have been looking through my colection of Tamiya Radio Control Guide Book's that i have colected/saved.
I have tried to check the dates and found there is a copy right (all rights reserved) and a date near the back in small print on last page showing R/C Spare parts, printed verticaly.
Looking through your list i have the 1985 which has the same outer cover as 1986 which i also have but the printing inside is deferantly differant.
I have also 1987 which has the same outer cover as 1988.
Others i have are 1984,1993 and 2001. The 1993 i am waiting to be delivered.
Hope all the above makes some sence and can help?
Best regards,

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