Remote control cars have been a popular toy for big and little kids alike for decades and whilst some enthusiasts prefer to buy their remote control vehicles off the shelf, others like to build them themselves. The Tamiya Mini 4WD is a remote controlled mini model kit from Japan that was developed as a more high-end, professional style of remote control vehicle. Since the first Tamiya Mini was launched the vehicles have become popular throughout the world and Mini 4WD and racing rallies are a regular occurrence.
Mini 4WD racing is so popular in Japan that in 1999 the Great Japan World Cup was suspended so a 4WD race could be held in the stadium. World 4WD racing championships are held three times a year in Japan and other contests are held throughout the world in countries such as China, India, Russia, Germany, Canada, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand. In 2010, Japan set a world record when the longest ever 4WD track was built, measuring almost 524m, but the record was broken in Thailand the next year with a track that was over twice as long. Tamiya were the original company to release a Mini 4WD model but by the early 2000s over 28 companies had released their own versions, including Hasbro, Hot Wheels, Tonka and Bandai.