Tamiya endears to Filipino 4WD fans with jeepney model
The Dyipne Tamiya
Philstar.com/Luisa Morales
Tamiya endears to Filipino 4WD fans with jeepney model
(Philstar.com) - June 23, 2019 - 4:54pm

MAKATI, Philippines — Tamiya has just produced Dyipne, a Mini 4-wheel drive (4WD) version of the iconic Philippine jeepney.

Released last June 6, the Japan-based company painted the Dyipne a bright red, together with its signature accessories.

Dyipne was produced to commemorate the 2019 Tamiya Mini 4WD Asia Challenge held in Manila.

"The Jeepney is well accepted in the market not only in the Philippines, but in all other  countries like Japan and the United States," Shunsaku Tamiya, president and chairman of Tamiya Incorporated, said in Japanese.

According to Mr. Tamiya, the Dyipne was produced in an effort to showcase Filipino culture to  a global audience.

Similarly, the company plans to produce models of iconic cars from other countries such as the Hong Kong taxi.

The Tamiya is popular in the local scene and even has a manufacturing branch in Cebu.

"Actually, two or three years, I've been driving around Manila and I saw a jeepney with a Tamiya sticker and I got really excited," Mr. Tamiya recalled.

In an interview, Filipino Tamiya pioneer Ferdie Kahn said that the Dyipne can help expose Filipinos to the 4WD hobby scene.

Kahn owns Brickyard, a venue that provides race tracks for Tamiya enthusiasts free of charge.

It is partners with Lil's Hobby Center, the exclusive distributor of Tamiya in the country.

Kahn also said Dyipne can give customers a sense of pride as opposed to buying a jeepney model that's already built.

"To see the fruit of your labor actually gives you a sense of ownership and pride," Kahn said in reference to building a Tamiya.

While Kahn knows the Dyipne will be a big boost in the popularity of Tamiya in the country, the efforts to expand the audience of the hobby does not stop there.

To increase the 4WD popularity, Kahn foresees an increase in racing events.

"I think it's just about finding different categories, different venues and exposing it to a wide variety of audience," Kahn said.

"Should we have an all-female race, all-kids race, you know, lolo and lola race? I don't know. I mean, those are all great ideas. We can try and see what the popularity would do," he added. — Gab Alicaya

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