Tamiya operates at near full production capacity all year round to keep up with worldwide demand for their kits and spare parts. Unfortunately, during the early lockdowns in 2020, they lost many weeks of production as first their factory in the Philippines, which makes most of the RC range and some plastic models, was forced to close and then (some may say unwisely) they decided to switch all the tooling to Japan to continue production - only to switch it back to the Philippines later in the year. These three scenarios combined to ensure they have been weeks or months behind since spring 2020 - with no improvement in sight.
In early 2021 another problem hit production - as the world continued with Covid19, production in the far east increased in general yet production in the west remained low. As a result the movement of shipping containers worldwide has become uneven - containers are stuck in the UK, Europe and Americas, and are not returning full to China, Japan and the Philippines in normal quantities - resulting in a lack of containers to ship stock out of Japan and other far eastern countries.
In the UK we have another problem - in 2020 the UK government experienced a crisis in supply of essential PPE for the medical sector, and decided to massively over order to ensure this didn't happen again. As a result, the UK continues to receive excessive volumes of this vital equipment, mainly from China, which is affecting both container ship capacity and unloading (we are told there are limited unloading slots at Southampton port for example due to the number of containers being stored there for the government) - so many many containers are sitting on ships off the UK coast for weeks after their expecting docking time.
RESULTS OF THIS
Tamiya RC kit supply is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels until late 2021. Every shipment is usually oversold by the time it reaches the UK and most dealers are not getting even half their ordered quantities on many models. Where we show a kit on our site, it is in stock.
Tamiya RC spares supply has been very poor since spring 2020. This is not improving, with at the time of writing (1st March 2021) over 2 in 3 spare parts showing as unavailable until at least early May (UPDATE May: This batch all pre-sold) and in some cases August. Where we show spares on our site, they are available to order - only limited items are in stock. Best to email us a list to email@example.com so we can check if you are not happy to wait until the next shipment as typically the wait is 8 to 12 weeks at present.