by Mike Albright
The Rubicon Wrangler was introduced in 2003 as the high end part of the TJ line. There is a Rubicon Unlimited also. Obviously, the name came from the Rubicon Trail. The Rubicon Trail is located in the California High Sierra, due west of Lake Tahoe. The Rubicon Trail is the most famous 4WD trail in the world. The Rubicon Wrangler has spawned many toys in the few years it has been in existence. Many of these Rubicon toys are large scale R/C models.
The BuddyL Rubicon is a 1/12-scale metal (not diecast) toy. It is 13 inches long and comes in red, black and also white, yellow and khaki (60K JPEG). This is a real Tonka-type metal Jeep! It is inexpensive and has great detail.
Revell/Monogram 1/25 Tomb Raider Jeep Rubicon Metal Kit 851561. This is a real diecast model kit with lots of detail. The model has the "Tomb Raider" style roll cage but not the platform rear cargo area. Instead it has a rear seat. Everything else is very close to the actual Tomb Raider Rubicon from the film, right down to the rear diamond metal plate work.
Seen here are all three sizes of Rubicons made by Maisto: 1/33, 1/27 and 1/18. The 1/27-scale version (140K JPEG) has the standard roll cage and back seat identical to the large 1/18 Maisto Rubicon.
Note: The Maisto 1/33-scale Jeep (according to the box) actually has 1/35 imprinted on the base on the Jeep. The Maisto 1/27 (imprinted on the base of the Jeep) is called 1/24 on the Maisto web pages.
The 1:18 Brushfire version has opening rear door, hood and front doors, workable steering and independent spring suspension for the wheels. The interior and undercarriage details are very good. Maisto makes an open-top non-Brushfire Rubicon version also, which comes in Patriot Blue Clearcoat, Light Khaki Metallic Clearcoat, Flame Red Clearcoat, and Stone White Clearcoat. (also Gold?)
This 1/33 Maisto Rubicon from the 2004 New York Toy Fair is based on the standard 1/33 Maisto white Rubicon (120K JPEG) with the "Tomb Raider" style roll cage and the platform rear cargo area.A KidConnection Monster Shockers (130K JPEG) lifted version of the Maisto 1/33 casting, in yellow with tiger stripes, is sold by Walmart. It has the "Tomb Raider" style roll cage, the platform rear cargo area, and the diamond metal plate rear. There are also several other variations of these "Earth Shocker" lifted Rubicons, including Captain America, Spiderman, Wolverine and two Incredible Hulk Rubicons.
Maisto's "Dual Power" series includes the 1/33 Rubicon with a Jeepster on a trailer!
Maisto also has two Rubicons in its 1/27 "Show Hauler" series.
As of late 2005, Maisto has introduced a 1/27 Sport Truck "Lifterz" Jeep Wrangler Rubicon in green as a kit (MAI14011). The Rubicon kit features the full 1/27-scale Jeep, an extra set of Toyo Off Road Tires, realistic suspension parts, interior parts, decal sheet and a screwdriver. No glue or paint needed.
A similar but non-lifted Maisto 1/27 Rubicon kit (50K JPEG) is also available.
The Nikko 1/10 scale Rubicon is a R/C model (#100052BC). There is a silver and a black (60K JPEG) version of this 1/10-scale R/C.
The 1/18 scale Nikko Rubicon is a three seater! It is called a "Monster Jeep" (#180051HBC). There is a black version with red graphics, and a Radio Control Monster Jeep Rubicon in Army Green (49 Mhz) or Yellow (27 Mhz).
These guys are Monsters! They do not fit under your bed... trust me!
The 1/120 scale Nikko red Rubicon (#700601) is a mini R/C model. This Jeep Rubicon measures little more than 7cm in length. This tiny Jeep features a high torque motor so it can be run on a variety of surfaces. The car is charged from the control unit (requires 2 X AA batteries - not supplied). A 2 minute charge gives roughly 6 minutes run time.
The smaller R/C New Bright Rubicon is a 1/24 scale and is a plastic body available in several colors, including silver (80K JPEG) and blue. There is an "Unlimited" version of this scale of New Bright Jeep, but it is only the decal. The body length is not changed. Some models are wireless remote, and some models are wired remote control.
The big New Bright 1/6 RC Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (#6699) is a radio control model with forward, reverse, stop, and left and right turns. Working headlights, taillights and turn signals let everyone know you're coming. And you can even blow the horn if anyone gets in your way!
New Bright Toys has also introduced a 1/10 Scale Rubicon JEEP ROCK CRAWLER (Part # 61000). This Rock Crawler Jeep features four-wheel drive and a digital proportional radio system with four band select. It has a rigid molded chassis and chrome wheels.
This high end R/C body is for the Traxxas T-Maxx or HPI Savage chassis. HPI builds some of the world's most exciting and innovative, high quality R/C car products. HPI specializes in kit-type R/C cars and trucks which can come assembled as Ready-To-Run (RTR) or in kit form. While the kit R/C cars and trucks cost more at first, they are more durable and faster than toy R/C cars.
You can also repair this type of R/C car or truck, which is usually impossible or very difficult to do with toy R/C cars. The cost to repair a car or truck is only a fraction of the cost it would take to send a toy-style kit to its manufacturer (if that is even possible). You can also upgrade an R/C car or truck to make it faster, stronger, more durable, more adjustable or just make it look nicer. All HPI R/C car and truck kits have optional bodies that you can replace whenever you want. (Sounds like a miniature version of a 1:1 Jeep.)
Thanks to Mike for putting together this page, Toshimi Ohashi for pictures from his Diecast Models Collection, and Duncan McInnis. -- Derek Redmond
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