Slot Car Brands Comparison
Any slot car brands comparison should consider the long history of the hobby and the variety of options still available today. Ever since the late 60s, kids with the need for speed always aspired for these intricate car and track sets that come in various pieces and configurations. It is also a popular past-time among hobbyists as far back as the 50s, and was strangely played by them first. Sizes usually come in 1:24 and 1:32 scale, with options for 1:64 and 1:83.
Traditionally, they have an analog system, which have manual control pads operated by the players to operate their cars around the track. Over time, the digital system has risen in popularity among hobbyists, having the ability to simulate real race things like fuel needs, lap times, among others. Over time, brands had come and gone, and some stood the test of time.
Popular Slot Car Brands – The Beginning
Scalextric, a tried and tested brand hailing from UK, has manufactured numerous track and car sets over time, spanning decades now. It had become so popular it is now a general term for the slot car as a whole. They first started with rubber tracks in 1957, and then moved on to plastic in 1962, for their so-called Classic series, which was the default line until ‘01. Classic-series track sets have a pair of spoon shaped connectors in every segment, and had analog controllers.
Sport replaced Classic in 2001, with deeper slots, smoother surfaces, and new connectors as modifications to the old set. Their cars hail from different illustrious series, ranging from Formula 1, WRC, WEC, and Super GT, among others. Sport Digital was established in ‘04 to offer a more serious competition experience, with its array of add-ons designed to deepen the play.
The company identified more of a toy company. This, in turn, led to some criticism leveled at them. For example, the cars’ over reliance to magnets, which did not work on copper-based tracks on club circuits. Another of such criticism is that the knurled axles made it difficult to replace wheels and gears, making servicing a challenge. The unique guide design is also a point of critique, also cited to be a challenge to replace once busted, since only they have something similar.
More Recent Brands – Carrera
Carrera, a more contemporary brand, has quite the mucky history, one which took a dark turn. Born in Germany, it shares its name with the real-life Carrera line of car manufacturer Porsche. Josef Neuheirl started the company in 1920s, when he moved to Fürth to formally start business. It was taken over by his son, Hermann, in 1956. He then went on to launch the 1:24 line, the Carrera 124, and the 1:34 line, the Carrera Universal. The company suffered a slump in the 80s, and in 1985. Furthermore, the owner himself, Hermann Neuheirl filed for bankruptcy, then committed suicide shortly after afterward.
Kurt Hesse took over, but the company’s reputation suffered, with the brand losing its premium status. Things turned around in 1999, when a previous distributor from Austria, Stadlbauer, which was based in Salzburg, took over. They went and re-launched the 1:24 and 1:34 lines as a premium product, and soon turned digital, along with a new 1:43 line called Carrera Go!, which endears itself to children. As of late, they re-earned their place in the luxury department once more.
Carrera offers barrel rolls, jumps, and more on the theatrical side of speed. They carry toys from family-friendly franchises, such as Pixar’s Cars and Nintendo’s Mario Kart. Carrera usually is at home with children. However, adults often pass up the brand for the more serious Scalextric Sport. Carrera is also more beginner-friendly, in both track assembly and car operation, which makes it the choice for younger audiences.
Ninco And SCX Slot Car Brands
Ninco, a relatively new company, is a Spanish company that set up shop in 1993. They have 1:32 cars, reputed for detail compared to the other ones in the same division. 1998 saw them introduce their own track system, which included 5 different curve pieces, offering more variety in layouts. The track system was reputed to be wider than Scalextric’s, accommodating more cars, but conversely taking more space than it should, proving to be a double-edged sword.
SCX, another Spanish company, is owned by Educa Borras. It is somewhat of a little brother to Scalextric, bearing the name in their own country. The Scalextric brand are Superslots. To add to the statement, SCX’s 1:34 line is a good fit for the Scalextric Classic-Line, as it is interchangeable.
Circuit racing need not be a breathtaking challenge. Indeed, you can enjoy all the thrills in the comfort of an indoor space. Whichever slot car brand you choose, all guarantee the thrill of a circuit race…indoors. We hope this slot car brands comparison helps you decide which set is best for you.