SlotForum banner
1 - 20 of 173 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In recent topics I see that slot cars are referred to as toys.
After reading these threads I have thought about this, and would like to share my thoughts on the subject.

This will greatly depend on the definition of "toy" (as Tropi requested in another thread).
In my opinion there are two different meanings to the word:

1. Something made for children to play with (I define children as someone as between birth and puberty).

When using this interpretation of the word I would disagree that my 1:32 slot cars are toys.
I find it extremely hard to believe that cars that cost in the region £25 to £45 each are aimed at persons younger than 16 years old.
Surely I see that there are several of this age that have expensive cars, but I still don't think they are the primary target group of such expensive cars.

I doubt that so many older cars would be produced if they were aimed at this age group. Surely there are modern cars that are produced also, but I think these are of as much interest to adults as to children.

I've only been into slot cars for a short time, so clearly I could have the wrong impression here, but it will take some hard evidence (like a published statement from a manufacturer or a comprehensive sales study) to convince me that 1:32 scale cars from Scalextric, Ninco, Fly and others are manufactured with the primary intention of selling them to persons below the age of 16.
I would imagine the likes of "My first Scalextric" is intended for the children, and the more advanced models are aimed at more mature buyers.

2. Something that is the source of amusement.

By this definition I would agree that slot cars can be toys.
When using this definition several things, that are not generally considered toys, can be regarded as toys. An example of this would be my relative that purchased a Lotus as his second car, and frequently refers to it as his toy.

Still I think that this does not apply to all slot cars (although it does for most of the cars), as not all of them are used for amusement. Some of them seem to be aimed at collectors rather than racers, and should be considered more as collectibles than toys.
Of course a small amount of the limited editions are raced, but I'm still convinced that some models are more intended for the shelves than the track (the Fly Porsche and Lola T70 with damage does seem intended more for the shelves).

How does the rest of you think about your cars?
I've only been into slot cars since Christmas, but during this period I've spent a serious amount of money on this. If someone manages to convince me that this money is spent on something aimed at children I'll seriously have to reconsider my priorities…
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Roadkill,
very thoughtfull analysis, but it seems to me that what really matters is how you feel about your cars, not what the manufactures or anyone else thinks. i think i have had some of the same feelings you are having. after a year or so i finally decided that i didnt give a hoot if people thought they were toys or childish--they give me pleasure and are a great hobby. i can share this fun hobby with my dad, my sons and my friends at the levels they can appreciate it. more toys to the little kids, and great models for dad, and pretty serious racing fun to my friends.
kiov
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,889 Posts
QUOTE (Roadkill @ 6 Feb 2004, 10:52 PM)If someone manages to convince me that this money is spent on something aimed at children I'll seriously have to reconsider my priorities…
Why? You obviously enjoy the hobby so does it matter if someone decides that slot cars are for kids? Slot racing as an adult hardly has any seedy undertones attached to it, notwithstanding the murders at West Hamley of course
If, as a grown man, your hobby was collecting My Little Pony memorabilia then maybe you would get some strange looks (I still haven't found the Glue Factory...think about it!!)

By your analogy most of us on here are big kids


At 37 am I too old for video games? Bugger off! Whilst my reactions are no longer like those of a caffeine-fuelled mongoose on whizz, I still enjoy my PC, Dreamcast and PS2. I'm also into model rocketry, wargaming, RPGs and board games.

In addition I too have adult toys:- My 1993 Yamaha TDM850 and my 1982 2.8 injection Ford Capri (at 22 years old she's still looking good!), oh and the missus too


Obviously hobbies may well take a back seat if you are reconsidering your priorities regarding real life, but that shouldn't stop you enjoying them.


Mark.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,493 Posts
1 question, Do YOU enjoy it?

If yes stay
If no go away

Sod what others think aslong as you enjoy it thats all that matters, as a good friend said to me once, "Do what you want not what others want you to do because you will only feel like a doormat at the end of the day"
I know they will read this so - thanks again mate!

With the amount I have spent on this hobby I could have bought a lotus fully restored it and been able to drive it when I pass my test insured the lot! (that would be a Lotus Elite but still a lotus 160hp and rwd)

The only manufacturer that I think in my opinion that aims at -16's is scalextric with the odd well known historic car, ask a kid who knows about cars if he has seen or heard about the GT40, there is a reasonable chance they have

Rob.
 

·
Brian Ferguson
Joined
·
3,652 Posts
It's all about perspective. I think slot cars cease to be toys when you honestly view slot racing or collecting as a hobby. On the other hand, they may still be toys to the manufacturers or general populous, until you get into the more expensive offerings. There are many similarities here to model railroading. There are train sets that are toys, and there are train products that are clearly far more serious. I don't think anyone would think of a $2000 brass locomotive as being a "toy". And there are obvious parallels in slot racing.

Even most of us who are serious in the hobby, but who refer to them as toys, are probably kidding themselves a little - you see slot car owners all the time for whom a specific slot car can draw out the deepest of emotions about a real car or race situation or driver. And often, the love of real motorsport spills over into one's general outlook on slot cars. They are passionate. The word "toy" seems somewhat inappropriate.

For some, the history of model car racing has been lived as part of their own lives. When such a large portion of their existence has been dedicated to them, can they really see them as just toys?

Even younger members of the hobby, or casual older veterans, often devote a degree of time, effort, and money that is inconsistent with the moniker of "toy".

Perspective can mean a lot...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Of course how I feel about my cars is what is most important, and I do have fun racing and tuning them.
And to make this clear, I wouldn't consider giving up on the fun I'm having, but I would probably restrain myself more than I have recently.

I feel some of my money could be better spent elsewhere if distributors/manufacturers answer critics stating that the cars simply are toys (meaning they are intended for children).

And I do feel several of the people in the hobby are big kids (myself included)


My "adult toy" is my Golf VR6. When telling about the tuning done to it I'm often asked "When are you going to grow up?". My answer is usually "Not in the near future…".
 

·
Brian Ferguson
Joined
·
3,652 Posts
"The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys!"

"He who dies with the most toys wins!"

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,883 Posts
I find myself in close agreement with Fergy.
Whether the word 'toy' applies, depends solely on an individual's personal perception of a particular item and the use they wish to put it to. What someone else thinks about it should really be immaterial to that person, although it can be hard to ignore the effect of other people who continually insist on trying to over-ride your opinion with theirs.

What I will not swallow are the dual standards, often displayed, where a model car is 'talked up' to the status of a high quality, collectible, scale model for the purpose of justifying a high price and to maximise perceived desirability and thus sales demand, yet the description is instantly about-faced and down-graded to mere 'toy' the very instant any criticism is levelled at the product.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,587 Posts
Seems safe to me that if all this kit we use is displayed at an International Toy Fair and is sold in Toy shops then I reckon Toy is a fair description. Toys are not just designed for kids, no way! My basis for argument is linked to reviewing criteria. The remit of a review should be based upon the intended purpose of a product. To judge slot cars against even Die casts is unfair and to take a look at the driver figure, or Mr.Blobby, in most if not all cars reveals all to me. Toys can be made to play with or collect and cost does not define wether something is a toy or collectable, the activity in which it is used defines. Did any of you look at all the stands at Toyfair? Full of more expensive and more detailed and more collectable toys than slot racing. An example a King Tiger in 1/24 scale die cast at £250.

The activity of Slot racing can be perceived as playing,racing or dare I say it even Sport. We play sport after all? Nowadays it seems that people are too serious and don`t want to admit to playing, why not? It`s great , relaxing and destresses you. I tell people we are playing with toys at the club and there is no need to defend that position. I couldn`t give a toss what people outside this great hobby think. It`s a lot better than sitting down and watching the box night after night and it brings some smashing people into social contact. Play on Guys! Play on...
 

·
DT
Joined
·
5,195 Posts
I have a Corvette in the garage, a slot track in the room above it and when it's too cold to play with either, I'm in the warmth of my study, on the computer, on this forum. No wonder I have difficulty doing my day job...


The people who I know, where I live might think I'm nuts (Corvette, Slots and too many computers), but at least I have you guys that are probably just like me...


I don't think that anyone here will support you in the view that this is a worthwhile hobby/sport/pastime - even if you are getting on a bit...
 

·
Brian Ferguson
Joined
·
3,652 Posts
If it wasn't worthwhile.... none of us would be here....


If it was "just toys", why would my wife put "large unfinished basement" at the top of the list for real estate agents?

Is that Corvette, just a "toy"? To you? To others?

Are my woodworking tools just "toys" because they are never used for monetary gain and I have more than any homeowner needs for routine work around the house?

Are your computers, and my computers, toys? To whom?

I maintain... it's all about perspective...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,186 Posts
QUOTE "He who dies with the most toys wins!"

I personally prefer "He who lives the longest to enjoy all his toys wins". Because you can be roadkill at age 25 with already a lot of toys...


QUOTE I am honestly confused about Nuro`s last post?

It's not a problem jony. We are just talking about toys, no worry.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,186 Posts
QUOTE Maybe I should have chosen another nick...

If you live in Texas, may I suggest "armadillo"?
 
1 - 20 of 173 Posts
Top