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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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