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Electric model car driver
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1,688 Posts
Said it before and I'll say it again, not ALL cars from ALL slot manufactures need to lap 100 feet in 6.8 seconds, sticking like **** to a blanket, controlling them is part of the fun.
I'm learning that now. I always figured a controller was an 'off-on' switch, but now I have to learn new tracks I finally realized it's a controller I'm holding.
 

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ParrotGod
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11,089 Posts
I mean, do you call coasting a car around the track that is trying to pop out of the slot even in the straight "proper racing"?
Shaking my head in disbelief....
I do not have a definition for proper racing, but surely having a car that is fighting you all the way is not racing for me (proper or improper racing).
I am not a speed moron, I like my slow motors, but I want a car that will push me in finding its limit...I do not know, but I would find putting a lap around that track with those cars super frustrating.
But that's me.
 
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Slot King
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3,705 Posts
Well shaking my head in disbelief, it's lucky for us that the early motoring pioneers didn't think the same way.
Imagine the conversation:
- " I say Rupert old boy, them Bentley blower are a bit of a handful aren't they?"
- " By Jove you are right Smithers, let's forget this whole motoracing malarkey until the Porsche 956 turns up, my gentleman's Gentleman says they will be a hoot to drive".
- "Fancy a Pimm's?"

Joel
 

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Premium Member
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6,151 Posts
I mean, do you call coasting a car around the track that is trying to pop out of the slot even in the straight "proper racing"?
Shaking my head in disbelief....
I do not have a definition for proper racing, but surely having a car that is fighting you all the way is not racing for me (proper or improper racing).
I am not a speed moron, I like my slow motors, but I want a car that will push me in finding its limit...I do not know, but I would find putting a lap around that track with those cars super frustrating.
But that's me.
Hmmm... Nah. Calling you out on that one. Not sure if the coasting or popping references still refer to that video but I saw neither when I watched it.

And now I've watched it twice and still think it looked a cracking bloomin' race with cars that were on their limit the whole nine yards.

Which was very nice. 🤗

Mind, I suspect it would've been a very different affair were it not on smooth routed wood. 😬

And there we are, full circle and noting that Scalextric cars can be, sadly, a bit rebellious in the handling department. True.

Back to the Edith Pfaff and I still think the smooth interior tray an improvement. The bits slightly projecting below the chassis are nothing like the bad old days of large pointless nubbins shrouding the contrate and I could care less about chips fouling axles 'cos I do care even less about chips.😁

But they should be thinking about these details. Agreed.

The rear valance as a separate piece stuck on the chassis is annoying, though. Are Scalextric the only company making that kinda odd design decision? Rhetorical. It's annoying at the front of m' Ford Falcon and it's annoying at the rear of this Porsche.

Sadly, one step forward, one step back. Welcome to the status quo. 🤷‍♂️
 

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4,013 Posts
Every knows Scalextric cars are made and aimed at the toy market and require a magnet or work to run well but people still buy them and moan when they don't run as well as a Slot.it, Sideways or Thunderslot out of the box. No one has to buy a Scalextric car if they don't like the way they are made but if it's a car you must have and you want to race it, rather than just enjoy it for what it is, then just accept that you are buying an expensive body kit. Scalextric build to a formula that works for them so they are unlikely to change it just because we want them to. Scalextric make home set cars and even in the 60's home set cars were never the best and no one would ever think of taking one to a commercial track to race, well they might do it once, and things haven't changed in the best part of sixty years.

If some parent was doing research on slot cars with the thought of buying a set for their child and they stumbled on the thread would they even think of buying a Scalextric set? Our hobby is short of manufactures and suppliers so we should be supporting those that we have and not knocking them all the time, I'm not against constructive criticism.
 

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David H
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4,207 Posts
Our hobby is short of manufactures and suppliers so we should be supporting those that we have and not knocking them all the time, I'm not against constructive criticism.
On the contrary, there are now many manufacturers of slot cars, most of which produce better cars than Scalextric does. Scalextric doesn't even have a price advantage any longer, now that Carrera cars are cheaper and Slot.it and Sideways aren't much more expensive.

Our hobby is only short of manufacturers of track with a geometry and footprint that suits modern small houses. That's where Scalextric wins, aided by its huge brand-awareness built up over decades. If Scalextric disappeared tomorrow there would still be a plentiful choice of cars, spares, upgrades, controllers and everything else needed to enjoy our hobby, but the absence of suitable track would be a very big issue for many.

I'd love to see Policar track dominate the UK market, or at least become a serious thorn in the side of Scalextric, because, as most of us know, competition improves the breed. Scalextric, through its UK brand awareness and the buyer's natural tendency to buy from familiar brands, has had an almost monopoly hold on entry-level slot car sets in the UK for a long, long time. Competition would almost certainly benefit the consumer, even if it might make life uncomfortable for Scalextric. Will it happen? Sadly, I doubt it.

Scalextric isn't driving the hobby forward. It's not even evolving at the same speed as the other players in the market. Instead it's almost bloody-mindedly persisting in producing poorly designed chassis fitted with low quality components masked by attractive shiny bodies, and for that it deserves all the criticism it gets, and more. Take the latest Porsche 911 GT3 R that it's produced and was discussed earlier in this thread here. It's so incompetently designed that it can't even have a Scalextric digital chip fitted in it, for which it was designed, without its fitment causing problems.

Scalextric representatives keep telling us that they produce toys and so don't try to compete with the products from the more focused industry players such as Slot.it, NSR and so on. Fair enough. It that's the business model that works for them, great, but at the very least they should ensure that the toys they sell actually work without issue. As the video of the Porsche-with-a-chip-problem clearly shows, often their cars don't meet that brief, and for that Scalextric continues to deserve every bit of criticism directed at it.
 

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At Gaydon, I showed the Scalextric guys my Scalextric Lotus 49 chassis which I have modified so the front part is joined to the back by a semi-flexible screw-joint which I copied from the Policar classic F1 chassis.
Without a magnet but still with the standard Scalextric motor, gears and guide, it is competitive with a genuine Policar classic F1 on my short home track and it handled well on the big Policar GP track at Gaydon, too, when I sneaked a quick run for it between races.
Scalextric’s reaction? Their customers wouldn’t like the loose chassis mounts and would send the cars back to be ‘repaired’…….!
 

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ParrotGod
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11,089 Posts
Just to be clear, I do not pretend scalex cars to be in the same realm as slot.it/sideways/nsr/etc. I buy them just for their bodies and the convert them to proper racers by adding more expensive parts (chassis, wheels, pods, motors. guide, etc.). Can they be made to run "decently"? Sure. Dopamine has done that with several of their cars and I bet that his cars will run much better than the cars in the video I have been talking with Pedro.
I know that they can be made to behave better (I have done that in the past) and the current breed is much better than the previous one (standard wheels, lighter bodies, flat interior, 3 body screw mount).
Three simple improvements:
  • a better guide with less wobble. Drop the changeable disk thingy and current guide design and adopt a standard guide system (take one from slot.it): people that do not want to learn how to install braids will get tired of the hobby anyway before the pair of braids installed in the car wear out; for the people that care (and hate your current guides) they will know what to do;
  • add bushing in the front axle like pioneer or carrera: this will make operating on the front axle much easier than it is now
  • stop adding clips and tabs in the body/interior/chassis that prevent body rocking.
The above would still make these cars suitable for the toy market but also cater for the more hobbyist of us.
 

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On the contrary, there are now many manufacturers of slot cars, most of which produce better cars than Scalextric does. Scalextric doesn't even have a price advantage any longer, now that Carrera cars are cheaper and Slot.it and Sideways aren't much more expensive.

Our hobby is only short of manufacturers of track with a geometry and footprint that suits modern small houses. That's where Scalextric wins, aided by its huge brand-awareness built up over decades. If Scalextric disappeared tomorrow there would still be a plentiful choice of cars, spares, upgrades, controllers and everything else needed to enjoy our hobby, but the absence of suitable track would be a very big issue for many.

I'd love to see Policar track dominate the UK market, or at least become a serious thorn in the side of Scalextric, because, as most of us know, competition improves the breed. Scalextric, through its UK brand awareness and the buyer's natural tendency to buy from familiar brands, has had an almost monopoly hold on entry-level slot car sets in the UK for a long, long time. Competition would almost certainly benefit the consumer, even if it might make life uncomfortable for Scalextric. Will it happen? Sadly, I doubt it.

Scalextric isn't driving the hobby forward. It's not even evolving at the same speed as the other players in the market. Instead it's almost bloody-mindedly persisting in producing poorly designed chassis fitted with low quality components masked by attractive shiny bodies, and for that it deserves all the criticism it gets, and more. Take the latest Porsche 911 GT3 R that it's produced and was discussed earlier in this thread here. It's so incompetently designed that it can't even have a Scalextric digital chip fitted in it, for which it was designed, without its fitment causing problems.

Scalextric representatives keep telling us that they produce toys and so don't try to compete with the products from the more focused industry players such as Slot.it, NSR and so on. Fair enough. It that's the business model that works for them, great, but at the very least they should ensure that the toys they sell actually work without issue. As the video of the Porsche-with-a-chip-problem clearly shows, often their cars don't meet that brief, and for that Scalextric continues to deserve every bit of criticism directed at it.
for me this hits the nail on the head, its not Scalextric, its the Hornby Brand. I'm into model railways in a big way, in that sector Hornby is doing the same, poorly designed chassis, ill though out electrics, sloppy finish, a "it will do" attitude because we are Hornby, people know us and will buy from us. So often flag ship products are undermined by silly design decision, lack of attention to detail, so close yet so far from an outstanding model, turning it into an ok mode at premium flag ship, outstanding, class leading prices.

New kids on the block are cheaper and better, slowly eating into Hornby's territory (cherry picking Hornby's models). The one saving grace for Hornby was they where cheaper (not by much enough to make the difference), over the last 18 months they are now the most expensive.

Scaley seems to be same, capable of making outstanding models but so so often f*ck it up at the last minute.

Hornby as a brand is in trouble, they seriously need to up their game, their Brand name will only go so far and as the new kids on the block gain a foot hold then the name will wain and just be another manufacture, then what?
 

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Scalextric’s reaction? Their customers wouldn’t like the loose chassis mounts and would send the cars back to be ‘repaired’…….!
I think this tells us all we need to know about Scalextric's intended customer base and it's not racers.
 

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Alan Wilkinson
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1,373 Posts
Scaley seems to be same, capable of making outstanding models but so so often f*ck it up at the last minute.
Hornby as a brand is in trouble, they seriously need to up their game...
Scalextric are capable of deploying the best technology to create their models.
The section in a recent documentary showing how they used LIDAR to scan a full scale Lamborghini Countach to create the recent release was a real surprise.
Scalextric:
  • always have the best links to motor manufacturers so I'm sure they get 3d CAD modelling files.
  • seem to get the royalties deal in place earlier than others to produce and release quickly and can leverage the latest trends and Hollywood themes.
Many other manufacturers sidestep this completely (eg NSR "ASV" , BlackArrow "BlackBull"&GTItalia")

While a lot of attention is paid to the shiny body and liveries, the running gear has not evolved since I was a kid (and I'm no spring chicken)
Knurled axles, molded on crowns, plastic bearings, nasty plastic pinions.
Spare parts are notoriously hard to source for scaley cars.

The most annoying thing about the situation is that producing better designed chassis' and better quality running gear could easily be done with very little extra cost.
Scalextric should be the untouchable premier brand, not a basket case.

Alan
 

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For what it's worth, just my 2 penneth.

Having worked in a number of manufacturing environments across several product sectors one of the activities I was involved in driving within all of them was "Product Improvement".

This was based upon a number of factors such as, customer feedback/complaints about the product, product quality (its fitness for purpose), cost and ease of manufacture, design of product, design of the manufacturing process, product and process improvement, supplychain supplier/sub-contractor selection, supplier management, review and continuous improvement across the board with an aim of zero defects, Quality product, 100% on-time delivery, and 100% customer satisfation so they came back for more, or spread the word to others about how good our products and services where.

The main point to take from that is........with only a little effort from everyone involved from design to supply of product to customer, vast improvements could easily be made to products and processes, having a knock on effect to the Sales and profits.

It is therefore becoming more noticeable, especially based upon what has been commented here, Companies wishing to grow and provide Quality products at a competative price that satisfy their customers, first of all listen, and then more importantly if they wish to survive, take appropriate actions to improve.

If not, there will always be someone else willing to step in and provide those products and services to customers willing to part with their cash.
 

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It should be remembered that for a long time Hornby wasn't making a profit, remember the £1 coin in the TV series, so one would assume that, at least during that time, making new production moulds and presses for standard parts didn't make financial sense. During this time new manufactures have come and supplied cars to the hobbyist and the racers. If we assume that a lot of these hobbyists and racers weren't buying Scalextric anyway, or at least not many, this has probably had little or no effect on Scalextric sales so again there would be no financial gain spending money to produce new universal parts. It should be remembered that R&D costs money, that Hornby didn't have, and until they can see a good potential, read substantial financial, return on any R&D will they bother.
 

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It should be remembered that for a long time Hornby wasn't making a profit, remember the £1 coin in the TV series, so one would assume that, at least during that time, making new production moulds and presses for standard parts didn't make financial sense. During this time new manufactures have come and supplied cars to the hobbyist and the racers. If we assume that a lot of these hobbyists and racers weren't buying Scalextric anyway, or at least not many, this has probably had little or no effect on Scalextric sales so again there would be no financial gain spending money to produce new universal parts. It should be remembered that R&D costs money, that Hornby didn't have, and until they can see a good potential, read substantial financial, return on any R&D will they bother.
i would agree with this to a point. Hornby as a brand do push new technologies (in the model train world at least) but only when backed into a corner and more often than not someone else has already done (for example smoke generators, a small copy already does after market solutions but Hornby are the first to do it in RTR products). But the point is their is clearly a lack of care and thought in what they do, the good stuff is continually undermined by this approach and that's what has to change, the "it will do" attitude because people will still buy our stuff.

Nearly every flag ship product in the Hornby railways brand in the last 3 years has had fundamental faults which spoil an otherwise stunning model.
 
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