SlotForum banner
1 - 20 of 62 Posts

·
Ray
Joined
·
1,093 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know of the current wellbeing of our hobby/sport?

It would be interesting to know any statistics that are available.

What are the respective sales in each country and the representative sales from the manufacturers?

Which countries/regions have the most active clubs?

What is the trend of the sport?

How each of the manufactures going and what are is their market share?

Regards

Ray
 

·
One petunia in a field of onions
Joined
·
6,455 Posts
QUOTE (Ratracer @ 28 Sep 2012, 16:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>How each of the manufactures going and what are is their market share?
Ray hon, I doubt this is something that the manufacturers are likely to divulge. Plus, I would expect market share would vary greatly from country to country.

Even club numbers are probably only a minor indicator of overall 'hobby health' as I'd think those who partake in the hobby at home would be in the majority.

Embs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,587 Posts
Hi ratracer being in at the early days in the 60's and coming back recently there seems to be a large change, in the 60's every high st had a model shop of sorts where you could see and get the latest thing there were loads of clubs and we were all young but now there seem's to be a fair number of veterans and not many young ones amongst us to carry the sport on and forward looking at the availability of product there are very few shops left so obviously the hobby cannot support retail due to lack of people interested, i note Hornby are issuing bad figures again, on line has taken a chunk of the retail market, and the manufactures must be feeling the pinch what with the problems in europe and the costs of production even in China, none of the manufactures will give out the sort of figures you mention, mainly due to the competition and the market is getting to the saturation point just look at the product Pendle's have at knock down prices and the number of firms they advertise and that is just one outlet, the charming Ember is quite right about home use a lot of dad's still buy the Scalextric set for the young at Xmas and we all know who the prezzie is really for, my personal opinion for what it's worth is the hobby has survived over 50 years and if we can encourage younger people to carry it on will survive anoter 50 Keith.
 

·
One petunia in a field of onions
Joined
·
6,455 Posts
QUOTE (PETER GUNN @ 28 Sep 2012, 21:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...looking at the availability of product there are very few shops left so obviously the hobby cannot support retail due to lack of people interested
There really are not many physical shops dedicated to any sort of hobby other than basic consumerism. Electronic gaming rates shop space. Sports rate real estate. And those stupid Blue Peter projects that they seem to be able to convince most women are 'crafts' rate shop space. But not a great deal else.

QUOTE (PETER GUNN @ 28 Sep 2012, 21:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>... my personal opinion for what it's worth is the hobby has survived over 50 years and if we can encourage younger people to carry it on will survive anoter 50 Keith.
Alas this is the big question. What will make slot racing appeal to the next generations? This is a question that some of the biggest names in the business have been tackling for the last 5 years and more. I've had the fortune to ask that same question of a few important faces lately.... And even they don't know the answer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,587 Posts
Evening Ember i don't know wether you have seen any of my posts on Hornchurch M.R.C i was fortunate enough to be in a great club through the informative years of our hobby and we had to adapt to getting youngsters interested even that far back but we never had todays variety of hobbys to choose from so in some respects it was easier to get their attention and many of us gave of our time to help them to build and to go faster like big brothers to the younger one's.
Today i feel it is an uphill battle when you look around at the digital/electronic gizmo's around how do you attract a youngster to spend an evening with let's face it without being rude to anyone a lot of elderly sometime rowdy teenagers!!!, i can only speak about this country it may be different down under but we need something to get the sport noticed again, a thing we did at Hornchurch was to go out into exhibitions, shows,even fates taking the track to different places from which we got a lot of interest so much in the end we had nowhere to put all the new interested members, and these new members used the local model shops to get thier equipment also at open's there was stuff to buy.
Today it is quite expensive for someone to get started even if they knew where to start and there is no friendly shopkeeper to advise you and relieve you of your cash, if the manufactures could keep a reasonable price policy it may help, we need publicity to promote an interest, when the big tracks started over here Westcliff was the first in our area Laurie Simmonds had a great venue there catered for all, the club racer, the semi pro and his place was heaving most of the time, interest came of the street and using the club cars at so much for 10 minutes or so and the bug bit, but can we do this today with the high cost of setting this sort of thing up, i doubt it it would be a gamble which in this day and age no one will take up all we can do is to encourage who we can and help them into a great sport by showing them how it's done, personally i have been thinking of joining a local club i have not given up on the idea but the body is not to keen on dragging it's self out at 7-30 on a Friday night 48 years ago it was different i could not wait to get to the club take care Keith.
 

·
Circuit Owner
Joined
·
5,924 Posts
I believe slot cars have relevance and appeal today - it's just a case of how you make people aware of the current capabilities.

Let's face it - anybody over 30 who had a set as a kid is assuming that Scalextric was one of those toys that could have been great if only they had a bit more track than that boring oval or figure-of-eight. And when there were 3 there was always a bit of boring waiting around.

I take the Amman Valley Raceway out a few times a year and even though the lane changers and pit lane are obvious - it can take people several minutes to realise there are more than 2 cars running independently around the track and one or two of them seem to be changing lanes and overtaking! When the penny drops the WOW factor kicks in.

I a sorry for all you die-hard analogue fans but very few can aspire to a 6 lane 1:32 layout in their home. Most people can aspire to 15-20 metres of two lane digital track with a pit lane. The strategy of refuelling adds that gaming dimension and when you tell youngsters it's like a video game but in mega high resolution and no reset option that seems to peak their interest.

I believe digital is the way to attract the masses but yes it is expensive. No doubt once people get into the hobby they will appreciate the appeal of attending a club with a massive 6 or 8 lane circuit with room to stretch any car's legs - but they will still want something that will fit in their home. Digital clubs offer that same dimension and can make it easier to relate club racing to what they can practice at home.

I'm not dismissing multi lane analogue - I just don't think it's the way into our hobby but could be one destination (if there's a club nearby).

The other route in is rallying but I believe that will appeal to the older generation who are still able to make things (unlike modern youth who can generally only buy things).

I like all types of racing and respect them all. I just feel digital is the key to attracting the youngsters in and then, when SloForum opens their eyes - they have a world of choice.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,228 Posts
The hobby simply rolls along.
It peaks & it troughs, manufacturers disappear , clubs & hobbyists come & go. The 1970s was a really bad time for the hobby.
Depending on how popular the hobby has been at any one time the manufacturers have always tried to add extra play value to the toy.
No need to feel sorry for people into analogue Mr Modifier, it`s served me well for over 40 years .
There`s nothing new about refuelling & pitlanes, I`ve got all those things on my 1960s Scaley layout. During the 70s & 80s Hornby developed the theme with the Think Tank series. The buildings & accessories on offer from manufacturers during the 60s gave your circuit better visual/play effect.
There`s also nothing new with 2 lane circuits being able to handle multi cars & have lane changing systems. Jouef achieved both in 1972 with their Jouefmatic System(1969 on their HO railways!).
Back in the early 1960s Wrenn 152 gave you the opportunity to race multicars on a lane.
Then there was TCR lane changers in the 70s.
Digital is great for the hobby, it`s modern & offers fantastic play value.
I bought my 8 year old great nephew a digi set last Christmas, he loves it. But strangely enough he much prefers to come round Uncle Kevs & play on his old Scaley & Jouef layouts.
Cheers
Kev.
 

·
Circuit Owner
Joined
·
5,924 Posts
I don't feel sorry for the analogue crowd - I enjoy all types of racing.

What I was saying is that I believe the "gaming generation" would see the appeal of modern digital racing more clearly than analogue. It's only once you get deeper into our hobby that you begin to appreciate the various types of racing. I was simply suggesting that Digital may be the most effective route to get youngsters interested and undoubtedly some would migrate to multi-lane analogue, rallying and even drag racing.

I know the old systems for lane changing existed - one of my friends at school had a TCR system - it never worked that well to be honest. And yes - you can still get hold of the scalextric classic pit lanes and le mans starts etc. but these needed manual intervention.

Multi car racing with lane changing may not be new but I will bet that only the modern systems would be fast enough to interest a hardened zombie blaster.

I am not aware of any system from the past that allowed 6 cars of any make to race on a 2 lane layout against each other. I am happy to be corrected.

No doubt people will come into slot car racing through all disciplines. I was simply offering my opinion on what I believe is the most effective route to get people hooked.

It's only an opinion. Who's to say if it's right or not?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,228 Posts
Yep, digital is a great way to get people hooked Mr Modifier. & so is analogue.
& no I wasn`t criticising your opinion, because people have came into the hobby via digital.
Kids are indeed different now from those of the 60s .

They might be considered cruder than todays efforts,but not every accessory of the 60s needed "manual intervention"( also between 1966 & 1970 control cables were available for Scaley pit stops).

Jouefmatic ultimately allowed up to 6 cars to be raced on a two lane system. Each car had a number allocated (to the base) when manufactured which was married to a throttle (carrying the same number). Cars could only change lanes on the crossovers when activated by the throttle.
Jouefmatic even allowed you to run a six lane system , with special track pieces added a car had full capability to go across all six lanes.
Except for the specialist crossovers & powerpoint track, all the other track used was the standard Jouef "Record64" type.
A very advanced (& expensive) system for it`s time. It works well & is not prone to breakdown. Unfortunately, the hobby was in near terminal decline when it was released & it only lasted for three years.
Jouef did revive it in 1979/80 for their new/larger "Circuit Competition Jouef" track system, using a much simplified form in the guise of CircuitZ.
Cheers,
Kev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,094 Posts
You could use a general rule of thumb that about 10% of people that play with toy cars post on forums. So how many posts per day is this forum getting compared to say 1, 2, 5 years ago? Every time I turn on the TV I see Greece and Spain (and other countries) and in general Europe, in dire trouble. Parting with money on slot cars is probably not a high priority in these places.

cheers
rick1776
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,460 Posts
I competed as a rally co driver is 160+ events between 1988 and 2002/3.

The one thing I can categorically state is that there is liitle or no difference between slot racing and real motorsport.

  • It attracts a huge cross section of society.
  • Has some people more keener than others.
  • It has consistent winners.
  • It is effected by the economy and there bare peaks and troughs.

I think our sport is as healthy as any other and not a lot will effect that in the long term.

Digital ? Analog? I don't think it makes a difference really.

Its is what it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,587 Posts
Fascinating a chat about Slot racing and it's future turns into a Analogue V Digital confrontation once again, some of what you say Mr mod may be true i have never done digital looked at it could not really afford to start it up when i have a lot of cars and bits from years gone by so that is what i purchase, we have no local outlet to buy from so it's Pendles who i use as my prefered shop!! good service, but this is the problem of new young blood joining the sport where do they start.
I expect the manufacturers have a dept asking the same question as for them to remain healthy they need to increase sales as costs rise or put the costs onto us and risk loosing people by over pricing, it's a never ending circle, i like Ian H contribution the sport is healthy in the circle it has to stay healthy it has to attract more slotties, it does not attract a huge cross section there are actually pockets in part of the country where it is still reasonably healthy other parts it has nearly vanished completely living in the much maligned south east we had a lot of clubs and people in the sport and it is now a sad reminant of it's self, i agree about consistant winners that has always been one of the problems that make new blood give up as in todays society you have to be succesful from the start not like in my day you had to work and learn how to be a winner and you encoraged others along the way so they had a chance of the top step, i will be interested to see how the future pans out in the next couple of years as this recession is not over by a long way and many firms not only in Slot racing will fall by the wayside. Keith.
 

·
Circuit Owner
Joined
·
5,924 Posts
I'm not sure it was a digital vs analogue confrontation. At least not until you labelled it as such.


We were talking about the best way to attract new blood. Once attracted then their eyes can be opened to all types of racing.

Does nobody read posts in depth any more?

A quick look at my Sig and you will see my first track was a digital track and it gets used regularly. My second track is an analogue rally track which gets used regularly. My third track will be a large modular 3 lane track with interchangeable power sections so we can run analogue or digital.

Why would I want to make it into digital vs analogue argument? I want it all!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,587 Posts
Mr Mod you may want it all we and many can't afford it all it is normally a choice if you have one, mostly dictated by the cost of your hobby is it cheaper to buy an analogue set up or a digital one with all the bell's and whistles, when new blood first starts it is dictated by what can be afforded, supply, and ease of use to learn on there are a number of scales in slot racing some of the smaller one's give a good start to get going on and are relatively cheaper, when the bug bites then they may move into a larger scale and hopefully this new blood will keep the hobby going, i am sorry unlike you i only have one track it's analogue it's Carerra and i bought it on offer that is what i could afford at the time , and it's basically the same for newbies cost, the best way to attract new blood? i expect many manufactures would pay for that knowledge if they knew it they would be doing it, kind regards Keith.
 

·
Circuit Owner
Joined
·
5,924 Posts
Hmmmm.

Cost of my digital track? Mostly off ebay apart from the APB. Total cost under £500 (but that includes the foldaway tables it sits on). And quite a bit of elbow grease.

I wonder how much 6 lanes of Sport track would cost - with 20 metres per lane and 6 PSUs and a timing bridge and controllers?

Cost of my rally track - about £30 for the PSU, copper tape, second hand Parma economy controller and the LEDs. I salvaged the table and already had a router and some leftover white paint.

Cost of my third yet-to-be-built track - probably about £400 but that's because I will have the boards CNC routed - but if I did it myself - knock off about £150.

All my tracks are portable because I don't have the space to set them up permanently.

It's not an expensive hobby if you don't want it to be.

Keith - you imply I'm one of the loaded privileged few (and I detect a little resentment in your tone) - far from it. My entire track setup - for all 3 tracks will have cost less than a decent mountain bike, set of golf clubs or comprehensive set of fishing tackle - none of these being hobbies that appeal to me.

I'm taking the Amman Valley Raceway to a University on Tuesday - to attract students into a freshers week event. The space available is about 5m square so no room for a 6 lane raceway. Now - shall I run it 2 lanes analogue and run head-to-head races or shall I run 6 at a time. I wonder which option the students would prefer....

Digital is obviously more appropriate for this sort of setting and I will be exposing literally hundreds of 18-20 year olds to our hobby. Our club's newest member has just started University this week and SHE was blown away by the cut and thrust of digital racing but also enjoys our rally nights.

I'm doing my cut-price bit to promote our hobby - what are you doing?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,082 Posts
I used to play table-football, as found in pubs & clubs not the Subbuteo stuff. That too has exactly the same problems and arguments as all the ones stated here for slot car racing. In the 70s the decline was blamed on the explosion of the video arcade games, then the home gaming machines ..........

Sailing is just the same, it's halcyon days where in the 60s and 70s. Table tennis ...... that too.

My mum bought me my first set for Christmas when I was just 8 ...... a rubber track, which hurt my little fingers to press the clips onto the track to hold them together. It took hours to set up and hours to put away suddenly I was a racing champion ..... brilliant times. What did get me back into slotting was a chance visit to a toyshop and on display was digital stuff. My wife bought me a set for Christmas and ........... I am a champion again.

I wonder what makes kids these days feel like champions ...... David Beckham, Paul Rooney or their dads who watch their kids at their football matches?? Television has a lot to answer for.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,228 Posts
Rubber track. You are showing your age there Greg.
Bet you wish you`d kept it.
The bubble actually began to burst around 1968 Greg. Hot Wheels, Corgi Toys with added play value, Action Man ect. all ensured that the market was squeezed. The economic collapse of the 70s, video games & RC models all helped to finish the job off during the 70s.Keith made a good point earlier, slot manufacturers kept a steady stream of accessories coming into the shops during the 60s so people were continuously hooked. & he was right to say you don`t get that nowadays with the death of the high street & internet effect. Compared to the 60s very few accessories/buildings are now available which is a real shame.
Cheers
Kev.

Wouldn`t swap these for anything modern. 100% nostalgia. No power taps, no power loss-never let me down.



 

·
David H
Joined
·
3,903 Posts
I'm pretty sure slot car racing will remain viable for many years. It still appeals to children just as much as it ever did, which means that for every 100 children who try it, maybe a handful will remain with the hobby into their adulthood.

Space at home is no more or less of a problem now than it has ever been, so whilst digital may seem to be long sought answer to the space issue, I disagree with Mr Modifier that it will be the future of slot car racing. Digital is undoubtedly great fun, but its maintenance requires a level of skill that few youngsters have. Digital cars will break and will be too difficult and too expensive for the average youngster to diagnose and repair. If you don't believe me, just take a look at the number of old analogue sets for sale with "broken" cars that have nothing more than a split pinion or knackered guide. If children (and their parents) can't fix those, what hope is there that they'll ever fix a digital car?

I do agree with Mr Modifier that this is not an expensive hobby. Anyone with regular contact with children and young adults will know how much they spend on clubbing, cinema, eating out, clothes and so on. If they get bitten by the bug, they'll easily find the money to continue and expand their interest in slot cars, whether that's by earning more or cutting expenditure elsewhere.

QUOTE (loosesalute @ 29 Sep 2012, 20:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Wouldn`t swap these for anything modern. 100% nostalgia. No power taps, no power loss-never let me down.
That sums up perfectly my feeling about digital hardware's longevity: digital is great, but too fragile. For every person that it hooks, there will be a dozen more who view it as an expensive mistake.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,228 Posts
& I think we`re all missing a point regarding the renewed popularity of 1/43 & HO scale slots Dopamine.
As modern dwellings become smaller these systems are becoming more often than not the route into the hobby.
Cheers
Kev.
 
1 - 20 of 62 Posts
Top