Saturday, December 10, 2011

Nintendo Lefty RX G.T. Sport and Proto-Type (レフティRX G.T. スポーツ, レフティRX プロトタイプ, 1972)

In a previous post on this blog, Nintendo's remote controlled racing car Lefty RX was introduced. These toy cars have the surprising feature that they can only steer to the left (hence the name). Unlikely as that may sound, it was actually a good tradeoff between play fun and affordability - and still allowed for great races to be staged between multiple cars.

All four Lefty RX car types

The original Lefty RX series, introduced in 1972, featured a slick sports coupe car (in two slightly different body versions). When this became a commercial success, Nintendo quickly released a follow-up later that same year.

Lefty RX, Lefty RX G.T. Sport and Lefty RX Proto-Type

Two new Lefty RX models were introduced, which replaced the original series: Lefty RX G.T. Sport and Lefty RX Proto-Type.

Advertisement for the new models, taken from a Nintendo leaflet

Lefty RX G.T. Sport (レフティ RX G.T. スポーツ) was similar to the original Lefty RX set, as it also featured a sports coupe car.

Lefty RX G.T. Sports - Single Set (1972)

Compared to the first Lefty RX car, the main new feature of the G.T. Sport car was a spoiler added to the back, giving it even more of a race feel.


It was sold as Single Set as well as Double Set, with one and two cars included, respectively. No Triple Set was available any more this time.


The price for a Lefty RX G.T. Sport Single Set (シングルセット) was ¥5.900; an increase from the ¥4.980 price point of the original series.


The Single Set consisted of a car, charging station FuelPit (フェルピット) and remote control.


A sticker on the side of the box indicated the color of the car inside.

This box contains one red (赤) car

Lefty RX G.T. Sport was available in three different car body colors: red, white or blue. White replaced the gold color option of the original series.

The three G.T. Sport color options

The cars can be decorated with the sticker sheet that came with the cars.


Batteries are included with the set: four D cells for the charging station, and two 9 volt blocks for the remote and electronic sin the car.



Besides the basic Single Set, a set with two cars was also available.


This Double Set (ダブルセット) was sold for ¥10.800.

This box contains one red (赤) and one white (白) car

The Lefty RX G.T. Sport Double Set contained two cars, two remotes and a single charging station.

Lefty RX G.T. Sports - Double Set (1972)

No offense to the G.T. Sport car, but the second new car was even more exciting.

Advertisement taken from a 1972 Nintendo leaflet

It was was introduced as "the addition of a New Type" (「New Type で新登場」), and was a "Machine with streamlined body-line" (「流れるボディラインのマシン」).

Lefty RX Proto-Type (1972)

This version was called Lefty RX Proto-Type (レフティRX プロトタイプ). The car design was more elaborate, with an exposed engine, spoiler and driver figure.


Lefty RX Proto-Type was only available as Single Set (シングルセット).


It was the most expensive Lefty RX version, as the Single Set cost ¥6.800.


Like the Lefty RX G.T. Sport cars, Lefty RX Proto-Type was available in red, white or blue.


The fact that this was the most luxurious of the Lefty RX series is also evident from the silver lettering on the remotes, unique to this set.


Some simple assembly was required; to attach the spoiler and rear view mirrors.


The Lefty RX Proto-Type cars and remotes were compatible with Lefty RX and Lefty RX G.T. Sport, so you could mix all versions for a race.

As unique frequencies were used for each color car-remote pair, you could race different color cars against each others, but not mix cars of the same color. The gold cars of the original series used the same frequency as the white G.T. Sport and Proto-Type cars.

New (left) and assembled (right) Lefty Proto-Type cars

The control mechanism of Lefty RX Proto-Type is identical to that of the other Lefty RX cars (described in detail in the previous post).

Front wheels of the Lefty RX Proto-Type car - neutral position

An electric motor attached to the left front wheel drives the car straight when the remote button is pushed.

Front wheels of the Lefty RX Proto-Type car - engine running position

When the button is released, a spring will move the front wheels back to their neutral position, and the car steers to the left while it rolls through.

The entire Lefty RX series

The entire Lefty RX series consists of the FuelPit accessory set, and six different car sets:
  • Lefty RX Single, Double and Triple Sets, with three different car colors (blue, red and gold)
  • Lefty RX G.T. Sport Single and Double Sets, with three different car colors (blue, red and white)
  • Lefty RX Proto-Type Single Set, with three different car colors (blue, red and white)

The introduction to the Lefty RX series can be found here.

4 comments:

  1. what a fantastic site! i bought one of these sets at a car boot sale 10 years ago and have never been able to find out anything about it until now so thanks a lot.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback. Always nice to here it's appreciated!

      Do you have any information about the item you found? Like where you found it, where the original owner acquired it, if instructions were in Japanese or translated. Any information you can share is welcome.

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  2. Is it possible that I could have had one of these in the U.S. in the early to mid eighties? I feel like I can remember seeing that remote before and same with the underside of the car.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is always possible that these made it to the US, through grey import or people taking them home as presents from Japan. However, the Nintendo version was not sold officially in the US, as far as I know. Maybe you had a similar toy from another brand?

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