Monster Truck Madness – Tamiya Needs to Re-Release the Juggernaut II!
Classic kit re-releases seem to be everywhere these days, but there is one kit that I’ve been waiting on for years to see the light of the day again. A vehicle that if released in the near future at a semi-reasonable price point would do VERY well at the retail counter, methinks.
The Tamiya Juggernaut II.
Before talking about why I feel this way, let’s take a look at the brief history of the rig.
The late 90’s saw Tamiya release the Juggernaut monster truck. This was what they hoped would finally supercede the vaunted Clod Buster. Whereas the Clod had a not-very realistic Motor on Axle drivetrain, the Jugg featured a center gearbox and true shaft drive. The Clod used toyish-looking friction dampers, the Jugg had a true-to-life leaf spring setup. The problem was that the OG version had some major mechanical gremlins. The issues were so pronounced that several parts were redesigned and a new, corrected version was released – the Juggernaut II. Unfortunately, this redesign came too late.
The Juggernaut II was released in early 2000 and, despite being a really cool truck, it was a case of the wrong truck and the wrong time. T-Maxx-mania had gripped the hobby. No one wanted an expensive battery operated truck that was relatively fragile compared to the nitro burning T-Maxx.
Hardcore solid axle monster truck fans didn’t really buy-in either, opting to stay with the proven Clod Buster or going for the new Tamiya TXT-1 (which used many of the Jugg components, no less).
All of these factors caused the Juggernaut to die a slow and relatively quiet death. Not many tears were shed at the time.
However, with both the scale boom and retro monster truck building becoming very popular in recent years, the market is fertile enough for the Juggernaut II to return and get the welcome it never got previously.
One of my best friends Chris , aka “Claude Buster” who helps with many of the reviews I head up around here, just turned his long-time shelf queen Jugg 2 into a retro monster racer, and the results have been fantastic. The pics in this article are of his “BIGFOOT #1” Jugg 2. Here it is with the body off:
Crushing cars in this leafer is a freaking blast, and having had some hands-on time with his, I’m absolutely convinced this is an experience that many hobbyists would love.
I don’t think it would be that complicated for the truck to come back, at least from a parts standpoint. The axles and transmission are still being produced and used in the TXT-2 Agrios kit. While the big lugged Chevron-styled tires haven’t been available for many years, Tamiya could easily just include the Clod/Bullhead tire and most would be happy. Heck, many monster truck fans would actually prefer that, I think.
Yes, there are still a few weak points in the truck, but the solid axle aftermarket is absolutely rabid and I’d guarantee that stronger leaf springs, better servo mounts etc would be in great abundance should this kit see the light of day again.
The Juggernaut 2 is a great old skool monster truck platform, and the timing is now right for it to make a glorious return. Come-on Tamiya, pretty please?!