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Fender Japan adds more Boxer '80s models to the lineup

Fender Japan adds more Boxer '80s models to the lineup  ·  Source: Fender

We already saw the Fender Japan release of the Boxer Series Stratocaster HH models back in the beginning of January. Two more models have been added to the range, including a Telecaster and a Precision Bass model. These instruments weren’t particularly popular in the ’80s, will they find a new, more receptive audience this time around? Let’s take a closer look


Fender Japan Boxer Series

The return of these not-so-classic ’80s models is looking like it’s now a thing for Fender, so be prepared for some more retro-looking nostalgia guitars. As of now, Fender Japan has just announced two new models, the Boxer Telecaster HH and the Boxer Precision Bass. As mentioned in the introduction this follows on the release of the Boxer Stratocaster HH model, which is a guitar that I remember well from my youth and hated with a passion, so I’m not really a fan. I will always remember them as the cheaper nasty looking cousins, that would always turn up in second hand shops and pawn brokers. They had Fender on the headstock, but no one really wanted them back in the late ’80s and early ’90s.





Now that Fender Japan has revived the Boxer Series, maybe the younger generation will take to them? Just because I don’t like them and they evoke negative memories, doesn’t mean to say that they aren’t good instruments, and I am sure plenty of Fender players will love them.

They all have basswood bodies, which is a great choice for solid colour guitars like these. All models also have maple necks with rosewood fretboards and dot inlays. You can get the Stratocaster and the Precision Bass in Sherwood Green Metallic or Inca Silver finishes, and the Telecaster in Torino Red or Inca Silver. All models have very ’80s looking black hardware, plus a painted black headstock.


Both the guitar models come with a pair of Boxer Series Humbucking pickups. If they are anything like the ones I remember as a teenager, they will be on the slightly hotter side of things. The bass has a set of Boxer Series PJ pickups. The guitars have a 2-Way toggle coil-split, and all models have a TBX tone control, which is essentially a dual-notched pot which adds extra highs on anything past 5 on the dial.


I really think the pricing on these models is way too high. At $1199.99 each, I honestly think they’re pushing it. Maybe it’s because I remember these being sold for £200 each as a kid. I simply could not justify paying this huge amount for such an unwanted guitar from my youth. Sure, things cost more in 2021, but I just don’t really see the appeal of these Boxer models personally, as I have plenty of experience of the original Boxer guitars which I loathed at the time.

What are your thoughts on the original Boxer series? Are you happy that Fender brought these back, or would you rather have left them in the past? Let us know in the comments section below!

RRP – USD 1199.99 each

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by Jef

15 responses to “New ’80s Fender Japan Boxer Series Telecaster and Precision Bass models coming your way”

  1. Derek Hip says:

    🙂 I like the article. I like the way you’re trying to be kind, really trying, but you just cant get over your dislike of them 🙂

    • Jef says:

      I honestly think they are just way overpriced. If they were say $600 then I could see a place for them, but they are just way too overpriced for what you are getting. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Fender Japan guitars, but these are so ‘basic’ I cannot see why they are priced so highly. I own a Fender Kotzen Tele and it is straight up amazing, with specifications to match. Just these Boxer models are all pretty ‘bog standard’ and yet are priced as though they are something special, they are even considered a limited edition by Fender. I just cannot see the value myself.

  2. Michael M. says:

    OK guys, time for a reality check. The street price of a Fender MIJ guitar has nothing to do with Fender “pushing it” or being “too overpriced for what you are getting” and everything to do with Fender making a reasonable profit considering the higher production cost of a guitar made in Japan. In fact- the $1200 street price of the Boxer Series is not only consistent with similar MIJ models from Ibanez (Genesis Collection RG $999 street) and Vola (Origin 22 MF $1099 street) but considerably more affordable from comparable MIJ Super Strats from ESP and Jackson (also owned by Fender). You want a guitar like this for $599? Great! There are plenty of Indonesian and Chinese made Super Strats at this price point. But for a higher quality MIJ build (and typically higher quality parts and raw materials) the instrument is simply going to cost more to manufacture; and in order to make a profit, that’s why we see a higher street price on these instruments. That’s really all there is to it! 🎸

  3. John Pearson, Jr. says:

    I had a couple of the boxer strats as well as a contemporary strat with a simgle humbucker, no pickguard, black painted neck and the Fender System version of a Floyd Rose (I can’t remember if the trem was version 1, 2 or 3) way back then one their first go around. I loved them all and wish I’d kept them but, the wife became heavy with child and my guitar and amp arsenal had ro be greatly reduced to nearly nothing and that money rerouted for diapers and such. Ahh… adulthood! I do agree that these new versions are wildly overpriced. Wildly over priced. Made in Japan or not. I don’t understand what’s not to like, or love, for that matter. But, to each his own. I have yer to find any of these actually for sale and in stock anywhere. It doesn’t matter because, as bad as I want one, I simply won’t pay anything near $1200 for one. Inflation be damned. If you choose the manufacturer carefully, you can have a custom neck built exactly to your specs along with a pretty good hardtail body and build one yourself for considerably less and have any color, pickup combination you want. You could even add the ultimate feature of stainless frets and an exotic fingerboard if you so desired. Fender seems to just keep making progressively worse decisions concerning pricing, options, etc… stockholders gotta get richer, I guess. It’s a shame because I would really live to have one and I would show up all over social media and in person with a boxer in tow, singing (and playing) it’s praises, with the exception of pricing. I hate to see any business have trouble but, if they continue on this path and wind up on the verge of going under, yet again, maybe someone will swoop in to save them with deep pockets and a more realistic understanding of price ranges and attempt to make money with volume sales rather than try to fund the 401Ks with the proceeds from a handful of sales.

  4. LR says:

    Yeah, kind of boring and pretty expensive…
    They’d be more fun if they were Squiers, and priced accordingly.

  5. Biff Stank says:

    it just seems to me that Fender is looking to the private sector, and ripping off ideas they see that more imaginative individuals have been applying to their same old offerings for years. perhaps Fender should hire some creative people instead of the recycled dumbwads that suckle the corptit. no more Purdue alum…

    • Jef says:

      They just have to be shown as bringing out ‘new’ stuff every year as that is how this industry works. I just think these are poor examples of models to ‘revive’ and that they wont sell well or in any great numbers, as price is well out of whack for what you are getting.

  6. PA says:

    I have a 80 Japanese Contemporary Strat …two splittable fender humbuckers , tbx, series 3 tremolo.. locking nut …you know the one …never heard it called a Boxer ?

    • Jef says:

      From memory the Boxer models often had the back of the neck finished in plain black gloss. Contemporary models tended to look similar, but be slightly higher quality. I’ve played quite a few of both models, and I think a lot of the Boxer models where supposed to be a domestic only, so not sold outside of Japan. But they turned up a lot in London were I lived. And for reference my favourite guitars in 1986 and 87 were my two Japanese Fender 50s Strat models ‘Made In Japan’ with maple necks/fretboards and basswood bodies. They both stayed with me for nearly 20 plus years and outlived my American 57 reissue which cost three/four time the price in the early ’90s. My mate had a Boxer Strat and we hated the bloody thing, was dead, heavy and sounded like trash. But generally, I love Japanese Fender models, and currently own an original Kotzen Tele and a purple J Mascis Jazzmaster, which are both Japanese .

  7. JP says:

    I have very fond memories of licking the windows of the guitar shops in Brighton, UK, wanting both the Strat and PJ bass. Too young to afford them then (even secondhand!), but I bought the reissue Strat recently. Yes it’s a bit heavy and it’s not the best-sounding twin humbucker guitar I’ve ever played (I’m more an Explorer man, myself), but it’s a cracking nostalgia-fest. Very tempted by the bass. So, hey, quit the musical snobbery, people. Nobody is making you buy one! 🙂

  8. Cristo Pohodolus says:

    Ah! … It’s like a time machine … on a budget. I got a MIJ Fender Telecaster Contemporary [H-S-S]…. for $100 dlls. The owner needed money . He thougt it was a ‘cheap piece of wood’ . It was like new, few scratches and dings. It was 2014. Since then, I never found a guitar with such quality/specs. The tone is superb. Miniswitches for HB/SC. It’s like the bastard son of a LP and a Tele. The bridge is, hands down, way better than a Floyd Rose tremolo system. Color body changed to a spark green-rose tone due the aged finish. Sunlight gives a CD odd shine. Ok. Stop listing japanese features. I DON’T see any of these on the “new” MIJ Boxer Series. Colors? Nah!, H-S-S + Schaller Tremolo System ? Nah! …… so Why are they so espensive ?!?!?. FENDER Logo is not the main reason. Quality is not superior on these ones. 1985-1987 MIJ Fender models are 10 times better than USA guitars. Bad move, bad response. I hope to see replicas like my guitar in the future …. as a Custom Shop Reissues . ( sigh )

  9. Mason says:

    Sorry, I don’t care what it represents or anyone’s past prejudices, but that Torino Red Tele without a pickgaurd is beautiful! Played one today 2021 at the store and I fell in Love. Gorgeous. WoW🤩

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