Kyosho Scorpion

Model number: 2136
Model name: Kyosho Scorpion
Released: 1982
Type: Model kit
Chassis design: Akira Kogawa
Body design: Akira Kogawa
Design house: Auto Model
Instr. manual: EnglishSwedishSwedish (Scorpion/Beetle)
Market: World
Made in: Japan
Related models: ScorpionSidewinderBeetleTomahawkTurbo Scorpion – Advance – Assault

Graupner Scorpion

Graupner had the rights to distribute most of Kyoshos models (but not all) in Germany and some other European countries. Graupner re-branded the Scorpion as the Graupner Scorpion, but unlike Cox in the US, they also kept the Kyosho name on the box. In some European countries the Scorpion was sold by both Graupner and local Kyosho distributors. One such example is Sweden where the local distributor Slotcar sold Kyosho branded Scorpions, while there were Graupner branded versions on the market at the same time. This happened in countries that had different distributors for Kyosho and Graupner. In countries where Graupner and Kyosho had the same distributor, like in Norway, hobby shops could never know if the Scorpions they received would be Graupner or Kyosho branded.

Model number: 4966
Model name: Graupner Scorpion
Released: ?
Type: Model kit
Instr. manual: EnglishEnglish/German (Scorpion/Beetle)
Market: Germany and other parts of Europe
Made in: Japan

Cox Scorpion

Surprisingly many people in the US still believe the Cox Scorpion was a US-made product, and not a re-branded Japanese Kyosho model. I have also seen people claiming it was designed in the US, but made in Japan. Both these assumptions are wrong. The Scorpion was designed for Kyosho in Japan by Akira Kogawa at the Auto Model design bureau in Tokyo. Cox Hobbies had the distribution rights in the US, and decided to re-brand it. One big difference between the Cox branded Scorpions and the Kyosho Scorpions was that the Cox version came pre-assembled, while the Kyosho version came as a kit. Cox also provided a different set of decals. Black tubs also seems to have been common on the Cox version. Other than that the two versions were identical. I have seen people pointing out differences in the parts between the two versions, but those were due to running changes made to the parts during its time on the market, and had nothing to do with if it was Cox or Kyosho branded. Due to the volume of parts and cars imported by Cox, these updates could show up on the Cox cars later or earlier than on the Kyosho cars. There were a few changes that I believe never showed up on the Cox cars, like the red shocks. That could be due to Cox already having large stocks of older cars/parts, or it could be that Cox insisted on getting the older parts, or it could just have been coincidental. I really don’t know.

Model number: 9080
Model name: Cox Scorpion
Released: June 1982
Type: Pre-built model
Instr. manual: English (Scorpion/Sidewinder)
Market: USA
Made in: Japan

Kyosho Scorpion 2014

The re-released Scorpion 2014 was re-designed from the bottom up, by Akira Kogawa who also designed the original Scorpion from 1982. Every single part were designed in CAD from scratch, including the mold for the body. Kyosho had not kept the original molds and tooling from 1982. Don’t believe those who’s insisting this is just a myth, it’s not, it’s a fact. Told me directly by the designer himself. All his old drawings were still available at his old work place (Auto Model), though.

Model number: 30613
Model name: Kyosho Scorpion 2014
Released: June 2014
Type: Model kit
Chassis design: Akira Kogawa
Body design: Akira Kogawa
Design house: Akira Design
Instr. manual: English
Market: World
Made in: Taiwan (by Kingstar)


  1. I’ve just discovered your site — and it’s amazing!! I’ve been digging out my old RC stuff that’s been mothballed since about ’89 (when girls became more interesting), and your site has been a huge inspiration. I thought I’d comment about the Cox Scorpion, as that was my first proper race car in about ’82. Not only was mine fully assembled, but it came with a nicely airbrushed body and wing in the box, and included a black tub. In fact, I didn’t know any other tub colors existed until I saw the re-release kits. I still own the car (complete with Thorp diff!).

    • Thank you for the kind words, Jayson. And you’re right. It seems a lot of the Cox Scorpions indeed came with black tubs, so did the Cox Beetles and the Cox Sidewinders. I will correct that in the text.


  2. Hi!
    A really good article. I recently found my scorpion (graupner) at my parents house. Bought in 1982-1983. It still has the manual and original box.
    I wonder if there is a value in that car? I`m thinking about selling it.
    With best regards

    • Hi Fredrik.
      I have seen your facebook posts where you show your Scorpion. Looks to be in good condition. Unfortunately the value of these buggies are not that high, partly due to the huge volume sold on all world markets (it’s one of Kyosho’s all time big sellers), and the fact that it was re-released in 2014. But even with the re-release, there are people looking for originals in good condition. The box and manual are good additions. What other things do you have for it? Radio gear, batteries, hop-up parts etc? You could send some more pictures to tom.erik.gundersen at and it will be easier to put a value on it. I have bought quite a few Scorpions in Sweden the last years, from very bruised and battered ones, to at least two new, only half finished builds, with unpainted bodies, boxes and all paperwork, original Kyosho radio gear and batteries etc, and never really paid more than around 2000 SEK. Above that and you’re getting close to the prices of “new in box” re-releases, and you lose a few potential buyers. But as I said above, there are always those of us who prefer vintage.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.