11 December 2016

REVIEW: Scalextric Track Day

Vroom vroom!

It really wouldn't be a Christmas morning in a British home without the squeal of tiny rubber on interlocking bits of plastic. Hopefully this Christmas will be no exception, and a wrapped up Scalextric set will also be wedged underneath your tree. However, things have changed since our childhood, and now the classic slot car racing game has gone all digital and wireless. Ooo, get in! We review the ScalextricTrack Day set.

The name really doesn't do the set justice; it sounds like a pretty ordinary Scalextric set up: Track Day – you build a track, in the day time. But, this is actually a very unique set, combining the classic elements we all know and love, with something new and technological. That is because Scalextric Track Day uses the Arc Air controllers that we previously reviewed here.

Check out the review, but essentially the Arc Air system allows you to control your slot cars with wireless controllers, so you're no longer bound to one side of the track by a wire. Not only that, but the base station can also connect to your smartphone using the Arc Air app (iOS and Android), so you can set certain racing conditions like weather and forced pit stops – like you can with other smart racing games such as this one and this one.

But... unlike other systems, the Scalextric Track Day comes with traditional Scalextric track parts, which you might already own. Also, the set comes with two replica sports cars that are pretty spectacular in their level of detail. Both the McLaren P1 and the Jaguar CX75 are 1:32 scale and are reproduced to a far higher quality than Scalextric cars usually are – in our experience, at least. Buying these cars individually would set you back around £40 each, FYI.

In terms of track, you get around 25 pieces with a good mixture of straights and curves of varying angles. Two of those are the kind that cross the slot tracks over each other, causing cars that pass over at the same time to crash – always a favourite our ours from past sets. This can all be configured into 12 different layouts (more if you already own some track), so each literal 'track day' can be different. There's a lot in there, with more than six metres of total length.

And it all goes together in the conventional Scalextric manner, so although the big selling point is the Arc Air smart interface, this is still very much the same toy you played with as a kid. In fact, the only visual clue that there is anything different about this set, is the lack of wires in the trigger controllers, and the inclusion of a phone or tablet stand so you can access the smart controls. So yeah, even your gran will recognise it. From what we remember, grans are surprisingly good at Scalextric.

The price of the set might alter the current altitude of your jaw, and to be honest it is the obly negative that we can think of. However, the parts that make up the set would cost a hell of a lot more if bought separately, as you can see from our stand-alone Arc Air review, and the mention of the exclusive cars above. Throw into the mix than a normal Scalextric set of this size wouldn't come cheap anyway, and it's not at all an unfair deal.

Perhaps this might not be you or your kids' first Scalextric set, but if you already love racing those tiny cars around whenever you can, and are looking to upgrade to the smart system (which is well worth it – plus it opens the doors to further software updates in the future), this is the set for you.

Around £179

Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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