The Tamiya Mini-4WDs broke into the Philippine hobby scene in the late 90s thanks to the anime series Let’s & Go that aired in GMA 7. Classics like the Magnum Saber, Tridagger X, or Brocken Gigant were all the rage and were in every kid’s wishlist. The anime series has been replaced with other hobby shows on other toy franchises. However, if there’s anything the Philippine Tamiya scene has proven, it’s that the Tamiya hobby is as alive as ever.
Undoubtedly, countless of older millennials have fond memories of building their first kit before testing their work on the track. After a few laps, the realization then sets in that a limitless array of modifications can be made on the car. All for the sole (and oftentimes obsessive) purpose of beating their own time and making it to the leaderboard.
“Lil’s has been the catalyst for growth of the model kit, R/C, and Mini-4WD communities in the Philippines for over 50 years,” said Ferdie Kahn. Kahn is owner of the Lil’s Brickyard Racing and Partner at Lil’s Hobby Center. “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.
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. Interestingly enough, the Brickyard is a nod to the Brickyard 400, a legitimate NASCAR event.
If You Build It, They Will Come
Crowds gathered at the Brickyard almost consistently. Some come to build and race their cars, while others spectate from behind the glass. You can see children, older millennials, and vets discover or rekindle their love for Tamiya Mini-4WD. The hobby has become more accessible now, especially to children.
“We realized it wasn’t just about the customer. It was about the new generation who have yet to experience this, something that they could build with their own hands,” Ferdie said. He recalled the first few days of the Brickyard’s operations where a father and son came in. After the two watched a couple of races, the father decided to buy his son a kit. They then built it together and when the young boy set his car down on the tracks, his expression was priceless.
“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,” he continued.
Kahn believes that the supportive and inclusive community is a huge part of the Mini-4WD experience.
“Whenever beginners would walk into the Brickyard to 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,” he enthused.
Lil’s Brickyard Racing located at the Ground Floor of Glorietta 5 will be open until January 6, 2018. Anyone can come to the Brickyard to build and race their Tamiya Mini-4WDs for free.