The Tamiya Mini-4WDs broke into the Philippine hobby scene in the late 90s. Undoubtedly, countless Gen-Xers have fond memories of building their first kit — be it a Magnum Saber, Tridagger X, or Brocken Gigant — before testing their work on the track. After a few laps, the realization then sets in that a virtually limitless array of modifications can be made on the car, for the sole (and oftentimes obsessive) purpose of beating their own time and making it to the leaderboard.
It has been 20 years since then and the hobby is still alive and well. Lil’s Hobby Center, the premier source of all Tamiya kits, and a dedicated community of hobbyists has sustained interest in Mini-4WD.
To quote a number of hobbyists, the past months have seen a “Mini-4WD renaissance”. Leading this renaissance is Lil’s Brickyard Racing, a pop-up Mini-4WD racing track located at the ground floor of Glorietta 5. Lil’s Brickyard Racing is the definitive place where the Mini-4WD community and those who are interested to get into the hobby can gather, socialize, and race.
“For over 40 years, Lil’s has been the catalyst for growth of the model kit, R/C, and Mini-4WD communities in the Philippines,” said Ferdie Kahn owner of the Brickyard and Partner at Lil’s Hobby Center. “In order to thank the community for their support through the years, we opened The Brickyard, a pop-up track where everyone can build and race their Mini-4WD Tamiya cars,” he continued.
Over the last decade, the hobby has become more accessible, especially to children. Indeed, there is a sense of a well-loved tradition being passed on to a new generation whenever parents bring their kids to the Brickyard. “Tamiya kits and parts have become much more affordable, especially for the Mini-4WD,” Ferdie said. “For parents, you can see the sheer joy in their faces as they relive their youth. For children, the hobby is an engaging and educational activity that is truly enjoyable at the same time.”
Aside from the fun and engagement that the hobby brings to children, Ferdie believes that the supportive and inclusive community is a huge part of the Mini-4WD experience. “Whenever beginners would walk into the Brickyard to buy and build their first car, the more seasoned racers are more than willing to give advice, even parts!” he said. “They are especially helpful to children, going as far as abandoning their own modifications to help the beginners build and race,” he enthused.
Lil’s Brickyard Racing will be open until January 6, 2018. Lil’s Hobby Center is also planning to bring the track in other locations after the holidays.