We can't tell you if Digital is better or not as it is new to us too. It looks good for sure and the general consensus is that it is opening up the hobby and will be adopted by many people. I'm prepared to add Scalextric Digital to my track and have a go. I'm a little weary on adding chips to all my cars though.
How many kids have you got?
How old are your kids?
How much do YOU intend on playing with their new present?
If you have more than two kids or intend on playing with them, then digital might be the way of preventing arguements about who is driving next!
If the track is going to be taken up and down Scalextric would be my prefered option as it is simple to assemble. My other tip when it comes to racing with children it to buy a set with sturdy cars with fewer small bits to fall off and get lost.
I see some great potential for the digital systems but I do not have enough experience to help someone thru the learning curve. I think a traditional set is all you need and will let you have a lot of fun. Carrera and Scalextric Sport sets are good choices but you'll need to purchase extra straight track, but since you are in the US I recommend an Artin four lane set as these are the most cost effective way to enter the hobby. This set has 40 feet of excellent track with stainless rails. You can get a good feel for how much your kids will like racing, you can race four cars at one time and it is easy & quick to set-up & take down. I usually set-up an four oval to help beginners learn how to race. It's surprising how much fun a four lane oval is. This set can also be set-up as a huge two lane, it will cover a 16 foot by 4 foot area!
The four cars included are perfect for beginners and younger racers, they are very robust but do NOT look as nice as the other excellent slot cars made by the other brands. The best thing about the cars is that they do NOT have a extremely strong traction magnet so everyone will learn how to drive, the deep guide flag on the cars is a significant improvement over many other brands of cars. Of course you'll want to get more cars and when you buy other brands of cars you should replace the power supply to one with more amps (around $30).
Hi & welcome to the forum and sport. I too am new too slot cars and would really suggest that you read a lot on this site to get as much info as possible. There are a lot of very smart people who have been involved in the slot car world who post here. As for choosing I would read the article about getting started at homeracingworld.com. Harry goes over the track manufactures and describes the differences. I agree if you have more than two wanting to race then you should look at digital. I bought the Carrera Pro X for my son and I and am happy, but I would recommend that you look at Scalextric first. They seem to have thought it out a little better. Carrera seems to be a set that you buy and just run where Scalextric seems to be able to be improved on as you get more involved.
This is my opinion and as you read everybody has a different one.
Good luck in choosing ,
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