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First, I am sure that many of us would appreciate if the ones here using Photobucket to store their pictures, would switch to a far more usable website to do so, as even as a registered user, it is a real PAIN to retrieve the images. Photobucket was at one time, a good resource, today it has turned into a nicely disorganized nightmare. There are plenty of other free spaces of which access is infinitely more friendly.
Thanks in advance!

Here is an avert dating from 1961, where one can see Irwin and Nathan Polk, two of the Polk family that used to own that great store in NYC, and were the very first importers of the Scalextric sets in 1957, playing with the new for 1961 plastic cars engineered by the Lines brothers folks after the Minimodels company had been acquired by Tri-ang.
Of all places, this ad was in the May issue of Car & Driver, at the time the largest automoblie magazine in the USA with Motor Trend.

Newspaper Wheel Motor vehicle Automotive tire Font

In the same issue was a 4-page story about a 1/24 scale Strombecker Scarab-Chevrolet sports car, modified as a slot car and explained in detail, as well as other smaller slot cars. I will post that next.
 

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Jim Moyes
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"...powered by 5 pole motor."

Really?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Little confusion at the advert department. Sometimes a "3" can look like a "5"...
biggrin.png
 

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Anthony Bartlett
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Philippe - one thing I have noticed - I have been collecting last few years the 60's Slot car mags - No1 - scalextric virtually never advertised - there are a few but I mean a few. Whenever the magazines did Christmas items to buy they often did all the sets available - and they never included Scalextric. While Strombecker, Revell et all were better value for money, they were not that much cheaper than Scaley.

Was this a way to keep out the pesky Brits??? :)

(ps I spell corrected your title :) )
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Anthony, thanks!
Since I only became a Yank 10 years after that advert was published, I can only rely on what happened in the French stores, and there, Scalextric was quickly dissed in favor of the Miniamil and other Meccano "Circuit 24" sets, so I guess, as the French say, "nul n'est prophete en son pays"... I have no idea about pricing differences or what.

As far as in the USA, to be fair, by 1966, Revell, Atlas or Monogram sets were so vastly superior in their function to just about anything on the market (Scalextric, Gilbert, Lionel, Aurora/K&B, Marx, Eldon...) it was a clear choice for store owners. Less returns was a big concern for them, and the Scalextric, Gilbert and Marx track did cause a lot of problems as their electrical connections were not that great.
 

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Anthony, when I first got interested, in 62/63, I naturally wanted a Scalextric, since I was a budding snob, but the price differential at the time was really prohibitive, so my parents got me an Eldon instead...

Customs tariffs were huge at the time (maybe still for some items), so anything imported was really more expensive - even from the States to Canada. I think there just wasn't a real niche for Scalextric in the States at the time and, as Philippe says, within a couple years, the better American sets were higher quality than Scalextric. They had set up manufacturing arrangements in at least Spain and France, but probably figured it wasn't worth doing in the United States, given the competition (and in the beginning it was distributed through Lionel I believe, giving them both an entry into a new market).

Scalextric was in fact very popular in France Philippe, and in the brocantes I go to, it gets just as much a reaction as saying "Circuit 24", the usual generic name for slot cars. But it was also more of a high-end item in France, compared with Jouef, especially, a good quality, low-cost option.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It also had to do with the British currency VS the US $ at the time, the BSP was $4.00 and change. Today, not so much! :)
 
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