Show Me the Mini — CBI Scaled-Down RC is Proving A Great Escape

How the world of model cars is making a comeback, and a pretty penny.

There’s something wrong with the picture to the left. Did you spot it yet?

Look closely.

You’re actually looking at a 1/10 scaled-down version of the real, lean, mean Third Generation Toyota Tacoma 4×4 — all gussied-up to make every outdoor enthusiast drool, the way we intended.

China-based company, Studio MFab4x4, is not making your typical, remote-controlled car you used to get stuck on your grandmother’s shag carpet before accidentally slamming it into her leg.

Manitou Liu and his crew are turnin’ it up a notch, creating custom RC off-road vehicles from 3D prints to create exact replicas of the tough performance beast you always dreamed of revvin’-up.

So, it’s no surprise Liu and his crew discovered CBI’s ruggedly-handsome third-gen Toyota bad boy, and turned it into its own RC model.

And it’s no joke. 

The Comeback Cab

They didn’t just slap a decal on the side and call it a day. Check the specs – every single detail impressively adorns this rock-crawling king whose rough-and-tumble exterior turns heads and even gets a few whistles.

This comes as RC and model cars are starting to make a worldwide comeback, and the payout is unbelievable. 

Manufacturing companies such as Hornby’s told they had to airfreight more than 10,000 Airfix Spitfire kits from a factory in India after the pandemic hit.

The pandemic sparked car enthusiasts to tap into their childhood and put their hands to work, both making and collecting bits and pieces of nostalgia.

More than one year later, it’s still picking-up steam.

British manufacturer, Peco, told the online car publication it saw a 50% surge in sales for its miniature modeling accessories during the pandemic from buyers across several continents.

As you’re reading this, high school students across the country are building the baddest, fastest RC cars in the universe that can withstand gravity. The organization, Moon Mark, will choose six teams of students to build RC cars that will race each other on the Moon sometime this upcoming October.

Tapping into Tradition

The astonishing part is why the market grew quiet for so long. But the real enthusiasts (you know who you are) never went away. They’ve been perfecting the art of recreating some of the most breathtaking body lines on primo luxury cars and the jacked-up gnarly grittiness of the off-road CBI-esque power vehicles.

In fact, companies such Airfix have been around for more than 70 years and Amalgam has also spent decades building its portfolio, where one of its classic models can go for as much as $120,000.

To see model car enthusiasts in other countries losing their minds over CBI’s snatched style, it’s personal — not just for anyone reppin’ the sleek, muscular add-ons, but for the entire off-road community. We’re all now a part of something huge.

Families are turning off the TV and instead turning to a time-honored tradition of building model cars, which will continue to pass from one generation to the next. 

Model cars aren’t just about the reimagined classics or the foreign designs we used to dream of driving as kids.


RC cars and trucks are no longer what we once collected.


Now, we’re building real-life versions of that refined-rowdiness of the CBI third-gen Toyota Tacoma you always wanted.

This time, it’s about power; it’s about you.