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New 2019 Scalextric Sets
#1

The word from the Scalextric stand at the UK Slot Car Festival in May was that the company have begun to re-vamp their range of sets this year...
  • The new and vastly-improved 1/64 scale My First Scalextric and Micro Scalextric sets are aimed at beginners and younger racers.
  • The basic standard 1/32 scale sets are split into racing sets including the mechanical lap counter (eg the Jaguar I-Pace Challenge) and pursuit sets with a more 'street' vibe (eg the American Police Chase set). These have the new and improved speed-limiter hand controllers.
  • For more advanced racing, there are ARC Air analogue and ARC Pro digital sets with GT and LMP models included, plus the ARC wireless controllers and updated powerbases. Although the old ARC One Ultimate Rivals set is in this year's catalogue, there are no new sets with the basic ARC analogue powerbase.
Most of the new sets have been released over the past few weeks, with the I-Pace set due soon. All in plenty of time for Christmas - which is, of course, the target market and when new slot car racers are born...

   

The most expensive of the new 2019 sets is the C1404 ARC Pro 24hr Le Mans set. With a RRP of £249.99, this is the cheapest ARC Pro set so far. Squeezing a set into the sub-£250 price point is vital for retailers and also to tempt customers intrigued by the ARC Pro features. The set comes with two digitally-chipped Ginetta G60-LT-P1 Le Mans prototype cars, one power supply and two ARC wireless controllers. There is a decent loop of track and one lane changer, but a pit lane will be a necessary purchase to get the most out of the ARC app pit stop functions. To run more cars, additional hand controllers are required (up to six in total) and an extra 15V 4Amp digital power supply is essential to run four to six cars. Additional cars will need digital chips, although the ARC Pro powerbase does also have an analogue mode to run one non-digital car in each lane, but still using almost all the features in the ARC app. With the powerbase featuring updated hardware and firmware, I think this set is a perfect start in the Scalextric digital world. If you want an idea of what the ARC app can do, check out my guide here: https://slotracer.online/missing-manual/

   

If you like the look of the ARC app features, but don't need digital, then ARC Air gives you pretty much the full range of ARC app features on a pure analogue layout. The C1403 ARC Air World GT set (RRP £199.99) is a fabulous set with plenty of track (including a hairpin), plus two superb GT cars - a Ford GT from Le Mans and a Mercedes AMG GT3 from the Blancpain GT series. Then there's the excellent ARC Air powerbase and two wireless ARC controllers. The standard 15V 1.2Amp power supply is perfectly fine for running Scalextric cars, but Scalextric have hinted that upgrading to the ARC Pro 15V 4Amp power supply can be useful if you're running high performance brands (eg NSR, Slot.it etc) with traction magnets fitted.

   

The C1405 American Police Chase set (RRP £129.99) features plenty of track hazards - a jump, sideswipe and cross-over - to add to the fun of an American-themed police pursuit. The Dodge Challenger muscle car and AMC Javelin patrol car look great, with the Javelin having a siren and flashing light. The gameplay aspect of this set is crying out for the new Scalextric Spark Plug where racers can boost their own power and limit their opponents. However, even with what comes in the set it will be a lot of fun. Like the I-Pace Challenge and the Christmas 2018 Stock Car Challenge and Endurance sets, new speed-limiting hand throttles are included. These have a similar handle to the ARC controllers, but plug into the powerbase. There are now four speed positions at approximately 25, 50, 75 and 100% power - the lower two settings are flat out through standard Radius 2 bends, but the top two settings do require careful throttle control.

   

It's good to see a racing set with brand new cars in the basic 'Standard' range. The C1401 Jaguar I-Pace Challenge set (RRP £109.99) has the same layout footprint as previous basic 1/32 sets, including the mechanical lapcounter and the new version of the power-limiting hand throttle. The I-Pace cars look good - they are chunky electric SUVs that run as a support race at the Formula-E series events.

All the Scalextric cars now come with 'super-resistant' style black windows. These are more robust and I am not surprised to see them in the standard sets, but I am not sure they are necessary in the top of the range ARC Air and ARC Pro sets. Personally, I would like to see full-detail cars in those ARC sets. However, that small gripe aside, I think Scalextric have put together a pretty cool quartet of new sets for 2019. As always, I'm looking forward to seeing what is in the 2020 catalogue!

I haven't forgotten the new My First Scalextric and Micro Scalextric sets - they deserve their own post.
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#2

A brand new Micro Scalextric system was announced at the start of the year and I was lucky enough to have a play with some prototypes and pre-production samples back in February (SlotRacer Online thread here: https://slotracer.online/community/showt...php?tid=69). It's quite a radical departure from the 1950s HO standard that has served Scalextric well since 1994. A lot of thought has gone into delivering a new system that should thrill and entertain youngsters and their families long after the Christmas holidays. The quirks of the old system made it prone to ruining Christmas - I am pretty confident the new system will bring only joy and happiness...

The main features of the new system are:
  • 1/64 scale
  • My First Scalextric for racers 3 years and above. Micro Scalextric for 4+
  • Flat rails instead of the traditional HO vertical ones
  • Robust sprung track connectors
  • 9 volt power instead of 18V. Mains power for UK market, battery power for elsewhere
  • New and improved power-limiting controllers
  • Smoother and longer-running FN20 motor
  • More robust blade plate and enclosed rear axle
  • Warner Brothers-licensed sets and cars
All the 2019 sets have now been released...

   

There are two My First Scalextric sets with the rather nice grey track and the G1140 Looney Tunes set (RRP £44.99) is by far the best. The Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cars look utterly fabulous, drive well on the track and are very robust - the figures being made of a flexible rubber material. The new track comes in one curve radius (9-inches, 45-degrees) and the straights in 3 and 6-inch lengths. Even in this tiny 2.5 metre figure-of-eight set, that means the track pieces supplied can make four different layouts. As a kid, building the layouts was just as much fun for me as racing - I am sure I am not alone in that - so the versatility of the most basic set is a big bonus for Christmas morning.

   

Two individual Looney Tunes cars - Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner - are also available now (RRP £12.99 each).

   

The other My First Scalextric set - C1150 - is identical apart from the cars and the price (RRP £39.99). The cars are a sort of supercar-style design that first appeared in the final 'old-version' Micro sets last Christmas. Designed to fit on both the new and the old chassis, I noticed a little front wheel-rub on the body, which is not ideal but doesn't seem to affect the handling of the cars. Although the set is £5 cheaper, I would recommend paying the extra for those wonderful cars in the Looney Tunes set.

   

If the My First sets are the 'small' sets in the range, then the 'medium' size is shared by two Micro Scalextric sets. The best - and my favourite Scalextric set of any scale this year - is the G1142 Warner Brothers Wacky Races set (RRP £54.99). The four metres of track in this set can create ten different layouts. But the absolute stars of the show are the sensational cars - Dastardly & Muttley's 'Mean Machine' and Peter Perfect's 'Turbo Terrific'. These are from the recent reboot TV series, but they are just like those I remember from my childhood...

   

They look even better in the flesh, by the way. A third car - Penelope Pitstop's 'Compact Pussycat' - will be released soon (RRP £12.99). And with a bit of luck, there will be more Wacky Races cars in 2020. I have my fingers well and truly crossed.

   

The second 'medium' set is the G1149 Micro Scalextric Law Enforcer set (RRP £40.99). The track included is exactly the same as in the Wacky Races set with ten different layouts possible. One of the cars is the same supercar-style body as the My First set, but with a different livery called 'Maelstrom'. The other is a futuristic-style Police 4x4 vehicle ('HH Police Department'). Both body styles first appeared last Christmas in Micro sets featuring the old track and chassis system. At the same price as one 1/32 scale Scalextric car, this set is most definitely the bargain of the bunch.

   

The only 'big' set for 2019 is the G1143 Micro Scalextric Justice League set (RRP £59.99). There are 5.7 metres of track in this one, including two loop-the-loops and a half-pike, that offers twelve (and probably more) different layouts. It is an exciting layout to race on - especially using the two top settings (75 & 100%) of the speed-limiting hand controllers - the cars will thunder round the track for absolutely ages without getting particularly hot (thanks to the FN20 motors). Unless you are a massive Justice League, Batman or Superman fan (and a lot of people are), then the cars aren't quite on a par with the Looney Tunes and Wacky Racers ones. The cars have been designed to embody the characters of the superheroes and each one is from a different mould and the decoration of all four is eye-catching. They are also low and sleek for the track. Batman and Superman come with the set, with Wonder Woman and The Flash due soon as individual cars (RRP £12.99 each).

Those are the sets available direct from Scalextric, but expect a few different versions to appear at various big retailers (eg Lidl, Aldi, Asda, Argos etc) in the run-up to Christmas.


Overall, there's almost certainly something among the Scalextric 1/64 and 1/32 scale sets that would hit the spot for a Christmas present for a young racer or an older returning slot racer. The My First and Micro Scalextric sets will get their first Christmas test in just three months time, but I am confident they will pass with flying colours. If the new sets do outlast the holidays, more families may well stick with the smaller scale for longer, especially with the individual cars and promises of accessories, track and more cars in 2020-21. The four new 1/32 sets also offer plenty - from the awesome fun of the Police Chase set and the basic I-Pace Challenge racing set, up to the fully-featured ARC Air analogue and ARC Pro digital sets. And there is already a vast range of 1/32 scale Scalextric track, accessories and cars to help feed a new slot car hobby...

You can browse all the Scalextric products and investigate the ranges more thoroughly at https://www.scalextric.com/uk-en/
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#3

There are now some 'exclusive' Micro Scalextric and standard Scalextric sets appearing at Aldi and Lidl in the run-up to Christmas...

At Lidl, there are two Micro sets on sale in stores this week at £39.99 each

   

These are both the 'medium' sets (the same as the Wacky Races and Law Enforcer sets) and are good value. The vehicles in both sets are new liveries of cars that appeared in the old-style sets last Christmas. Arctic Assault has two armoured SUVs and Rocket Raiders has two futuristic combat vehicles with big guns on the front. Boom!

Although I haven't seen these sets in the flesh, the track contents suggest strongly that they are the new and improved 2019 Micro Scalextric system with flat rails and running at 9 volts.

Lidl also has this 1/32 scale Supreme Rivals set with super-resistant McLaren 720S and Lamborghini Centenario cars. There is 4.8m of track, a lap counter and the new 4-position speed limiting hand thottles. The price is £69.99 - available in store only.

   


At Aldi, the Micro Scalextric City Collision  set features the 'medium' track contents and two supercar-style cars - similar to those in the My First Scalextric set but with different liveries. The price is a very good £34.99 - in store or online. This set is definitely the new 2019 Micro Scalextric system.

   

Aldi also had a 1/32 Scalextric set which has already sold out online, but might still be available in some stores - priced £69.99. The Lamborghini Rampage set features red and yellow super-resistant Lamborghini Centenarios. Like the Lidl set, there is 4.8m of track, a lap counter and the new 4-position speed limiting hand thottles.

   


Also spotted on the high street is this Scalextric START Formula Challenge set at Robert Dyas...

   

Yes, the dreaded START track is back! Chatting to the Scalextric chaps at the beginning of the year, there was talk of START sets being sold in North America to offer a decent sized entry-level set at a low price point. Those START sets were shown at the New York Toy Fair in February. In the UK we were only supposed to get the new START cars - the ones that come with a sheet of stickers to decorate.

This is the only START set I've seen in the UK. It comes with 4 metres of track - including a pair of START to Scalextric Sport adapters - old-style START controllers and two START Formula One cars with stickers. The cars are different colours to the two START F1 cars available separately (for £20 each), so that might be a reason to fork out £49.99 for the set? The set is available in store and online.


If you see any more 'exclusive' store sets in the next few weeks, post them here.
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#4

What an extremely odd decision to make.
Apart from some slightly better rigidity there is no advantage I can see to the START track.
The surface isn't grippy, there are no guardrails or run off borders available, the geometry doesn't match up with SPORT track.

Seriously, what is the point?
I can only imagine if they have literally TONS of stock lying around that they have to get rid of that this makes sense but otherwise it seems like a waste of money as it will surely frustrate the customer.

That said, on the picture  on the package the connector looks more like SPORT than the old START:
[Image: scalextric_track_types_be954ab6-6115-472...1541184041]

Still, begs to question what the slightly wider rail stance has to offer really..
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#5

Robert Dyas are a hardware retailer who turn much of their stores over to Christmas tat - mostly in the £10-£50 price range. I've seen Carrera Go!!! sets there in the past (which didn't sell), but not Scalextric. Most big retailers seem to take a Micro set at £40-ish and a 1/32 set at £70-ish for Christmas. Robert Dyas probably insisted on a 1/32 set at the lower price point (they distribute discount vouchers, so the £49.99 will be £39.99 at the till with a voucher). The 'START by Scalextric' sets were being produced in the factory ready to be shipped to the US, so I'm guessing a few got put in the UK shipment with UK power supplies.

Here are the US 'START by Scalextric' sets at the 2019 New York Toy Fair...

   

The Robert Dyas set appears identical to the US Formula Challenge set. The track on the box looks very much like the Start to Sport converter pieces - those are included to make the set a genuine Scalextric starter set. The only advantage of using the Start track is that it is cheaper to produce and allows a much lower price point - something that has some logic for markets that Scalextric are trying to break into. Not so much for the UK - although I'm sure Hornby will take notice of the sales figures. Robert Dyas clearly wanted a Scalextric-branded set at their preferred price point. We'll see if they sell them all - or if there are stacks of them for £20 in the post-Christmas sale.

Back on topic...

Argos have also chosen a set available in the USA - the 1/32 scale Extreme Speed set - as their 'exclusive' Christmas Scalextric set...

   

This set is in the Scalextric USA webstore and is not entirely exclusive to Argos in the UK - Jadlams also have a few sets available. It is £90 at Argos and £99.95 at Jadlams (£103.49 via Amazon). It's the first time I've seen an Anime livery on the super-resistant LMP car - the GT livery is a new version of the Anime 'Sunrise' car.

   
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#6

Ohhh.. I like the LMP car!
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#7

Is Scalextric START track really that bad? I thought it would at least be better in regards to being able to resist warping. Perhaps a better option for an overpass than Sport. Does Scalextric START track offer about the same grip as Sport track?
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#8

I am a big fan of the Start track. The rigidity definitely makes it more durable, the section ends don't curl up. The surface offers a bit more grip than Sport, so non-mag running is better. 
The cons are that there is only one curve section and that the radius is different from Sport/Classic so no borders are available off the shelf. The standard controllers do not have a brake wire but nowadays the standard Sport units are  the same.  

Leo

Edit: Having looked at the set offered by 'Robert Dyas', that doesn't look like the old single curve track sections.
https://www.robertdyas.co.uk/media/catal...5306_2.jpg

Forum Precepts:  Don't hijack or divert topics - create a new one.   Don't feed the Troll.    http://www.scuderiaturini.com
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#9

I was intrigued to see the track images which showed 45 degree curve sections whereas previously only 90 degree sections had been available in the Start format. The new curves implied a second generation of the Start track and as a big fan of this type I decided to buy a "Formula Challenge" set.  The Robert Dyas on-line portal was the only place I could find the set and I couldn't find any global trace of the Rally nor the Endurance set. Scalextric do not list these sets on their UK amd USA web sites so its a bit of yet another Marketing Mystery. 
When the set arrived, I found that yes indeed all the track in the box has the Start format of rigid plastic, insultaed rails and easy assembly and disassembly.

With delight I realised that the 45degree curves are in fact the same radius as the equivalent Sport curves and therefore the available borders fit. So it seems like Hornby have re-thought the Start system and with any luck will continue its production with more track sections becoming available. As far as I can tell, most if not all of the plastic track systems on the market are now rigid so perhaps Hornby are aligning to that position.
However, just in case this a moment of madness for Hornby and not a well thought-through plan, I have purchased a second set as assembling a twisty rally track is now possible ...

Big thanks to Andy/Woodcote for informing us about the new Scalextric stuff.

Leo

Unboxing video available here -


Apologies for too many "um"s.

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#10

Excellent stuff Leo! Thanks for sharing the video - interested by the info in the START leaflet that the other two sets are much bigger. That's what I understood was the point of the START sets for the USA - much more track at a much lower price point than is possible with a Sport set.

That is also superb that the curves are the standard Sport dimensions and in 45-degree pieces. That lack of geometric compatibility was always my biggest bugbear with START. Now it works for me as a starter set concept that can be upgraded with more START sets or Sport sets, track packs etc. I do think it is potentially confusing as a separate system - the choice of Sport and Micro is enough - and I suspect that's why START sets don't appear on either the UK or US Scalextric sites.
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