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Russell Sheldon
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The information on this page is updated via a feed from the London Stock Exchange's Regulatory News Service.

Hornby PLC - Product Launch

RNS Number:9839T
Hornby PLC
08 January 2004

HORNBY ANNOUNCES MAJOR SCALEXTRIC
PRODUCT LAUNCHES

Hornby Plc ("Hornby"), the models and collectables group, has announced that it
will be unveiling two new products at the London Toy Fair later this month, that
upgrade its Scalextric slot car racing system significantly. These products have
been included in Hornby's latest catalogue that was published earlier this week.

Scalextric Sport Digital System

Hornby has launched the Scalextric Sport Digital System, a revolutionary control
system that allows racers to perform real overtaking manoeuvres. The system
combines sensitive digitally controlled power with optical sensors and cars
controlled by microchips. The Sport Digital System enables up to six cars to
race on a single Scalextric lane and allows the cars to have a real overtaking
ability on specialised bend sections of the track. The system is fully
compatible with existing Scalextric track.

The Scalextric Sport Digital system can also be connected to a PC to give
enhanced race management systems that brings an added authenticity to the racing
experience.

Scalextric Sport World System

Hornby has also launched the Scalextric Sport World System. The system is a
combination of hardware and software that will allow racers from all over the
world to compete against each other by connecting their layouts to the internet
via a PC. The revolutionary Scalextric Sport World System consists of a control
unit fitted with a LCD screen that allows racers to choose from one of nine race
modes. It will also offer an unrivalled level of race management variables,
including the ability to tune cars, 3-D circuit design and variable race
conditions such as pit stop strategy and weather conditions.

The special Scalextric internet server gives access to a world of on-line
racing. There will be a wide choice of races to compete in, be it one-off
challenges, or leagues and championships and every level of ability will be
catered for as invitation only races can also be set up.

The website will integrate the position of all of the on-line racers on a single
virtual race track with detailed graphics of each car. It will also allow
spectators from around the world to follow the progress of any race with virtual
coverage on screen.

This link between actual Scalextric layouts and PC software follows Hornby's
success with the popular Hornby Virtual Railway software and the Scalextric Race
Management System, which are available on CD-ROM.

Frank Martin, Chief Executive of Hornby commented,

" The development of Scalextric Sport Digital and Sport World confirms our
commitment to enhancing the Scalextric racing experience. Our market research
has demonstrated that there is a significant demand for more authenticity. We
are confident that by combining interactive technology and actual track layouts,
that we will start to develop an active community of keen Scalextric racers and
enthusiasts, who are able to race against each other all over the world in
virtual reality. We are confident that many existing Scalextric racers will
upgrade to the new systems.

" The Scalextric Sport Digital System and Scalextric Sport World System will be
available in the Autumn of 2004. We will be showcasing these new products at the
forthcoming international Toy Fairs. We are confident that they will be received
well and early indications from our retail customers are very encouraging.
However, we regard the developments as an investment in brand building for the
future and they are not expected to contribute materially to earnings in the
year to 31 March 2005."

As in previous years, Hornby will make a Trading Statement in the first week of
February giving details of the company's trading over the Christmas period.

-ends-
 

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Simon Moss (Undisputed #1 Racer Fan)
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I assume that every single microchip fitted into each car will have a unique code. Enabling people to race two or more cars of the same model/livery. Although tracking your car could be a bit tricky
 

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Oh no! my other hobby is playing Age of Empires over the internet - which is great by the way, here am I thinking the Scalextric will keep me off the PC for a while



Sounds great really
 

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We need to look at this announcement, and the previous for the digital track system, as a different way to race model cars - not as a replacement for the traditional way. Both will be available to us, if we choose.

The digital and virtual systems may be what is needed to bring some of the younger folks into model racing. This could, ultimately, be good for the future of model racing.

I imagine the virtual system will require a broadband connection, if competing with multiple cars. All of this, obviously, adds to the cost of the hobby/sport. But it's a choice we have.

I'll withhold judgement on the digital and virtual systems until I see them and see comments from those who are using them. Based upon my initial experiences with the RMS software, Scalextric is going to have to do much better with these systems for me to get very excited about them. The RMS software is very cludgy.

Still, I'm looking forward to taking a look at the new stuff when available ere in the states.
 

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Mo55man

As I understand the concept the chips are the same car each car when you put the car on the track and use the controller system this assigns an address to the car so that it only responds to that controller.

ScalextricRacer
 

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Thinking about this a little more:

I wonder how fun/interesting this will actually be?

1) You can't see the other guy's car fall off the track.
2) They can't see your car fall off the track.
3) Could I fib (I wouldn't!) about the size track I am running on, to fool the virtual racer's system into thinking I was making it around the track much quicker?

I'm sure there's many reasons why this will turn out to be a great thing (other than simply appealing to the techies among us), but I'm wondering what they are?

Any comments?
 

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We really need a new term to describe the net-connected racing.
'Proxy' is not right in that proxy is defined as someone else drivig your car, whereas here, you do in fact drive your car yourself.

Apart from technological curiosity, I don't find it in the least interesting. I would infinitely prefer to race against a pacer controlled car, where I knew exactly what was was going on.
 

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Scott Brownlee
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How about "Digitally Distant Time Trialling"?

With no idea how the other guy(s) is(are) doing surely you're racing the clock, not the other cars.

Scott
 

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That's a prettty good description, though a bit of a mouthful!
The Americans will come up with something pithy I am sure - they always do!
I have to say I agree with the sentiments too. It isn't racing in the normal sense of the cut and thrust that I find so enjoyable. There isn't the same sense of competition when no one else is there - even a computer controlled car.
It doesn't appeal to me in the least, not one tiny bit.
But I'm not knocking those who do enjoy it.
 

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Note that 6 cars can run on a 2 lane track.

Therefore your team of 6 racers from the UK could compete against a team of 6 racers from the USA and a team of 6 racers from Australia. There will be team leagues as well as solo leages.

It is not just a solo thing.

Is "Team Britain" going to accuse "Team America" and "Team Australia" of cheating!


Even those of you that sit at home all day on your own can get together on the internet and form a cyber team to take on other cyber teams. You then total up your team times in team competitions.

Your team will have weaker members so get together and help them. This is called "team bonding" and just one of the ways your experiance will be enhanced.

Just wait and see. You are all going to be amazed.

Sales of web cams are suddenly going to take off. Some of you might see me live for the first time!


Now that thought has just put everybody here buying into the system!


Cheers
Moped
 

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yeah, I wont be buying a webcam f'sure!

I got one integrated in my digicam! cool eh?

erm, yeah I dont see the point in virtual racing although 2 of my uncles expressed enthusiasm before.. asked when it was out and I said I will try and get some info etc on it..

could help each other out? I can see this.. send drivers 1-4 off let Scott and me tail off behind, when oz and merrycans come to lap us.. oh whoops!! team UK take a humongous lead thanks to some great blocking tactics by Scott and Rob.


Rob.

p.s can you nerf people?
 
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