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Has The Hobby Taken A Dip In Popularity?.....again.

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After reading Armchair's newsletter and reading between the lines I was thinking that the RTR world might be on the decline.

 

Whadaya think?


John Warren

Slotcars are my preferred reality

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Still going very strong where I race at MrSlotcar,racing still going strong on Wednesday,Thursday and Friday nights and Saturday mornings with nearly 20 racers on the Saturday.Also the number of modular tracks that are being built and sold by Mr Trax doesn’t indicate a dip in the popularity of the hobby.

Edited by Tony.A
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My club has retained its membership from last year.

Have sold a few layouts over the last 6 months.

I will be travelling to as many NZ events as time off work permits in 2018.

I think the slot car scene in NZ is bucking the worldwide trend and is doing very well.

 


2019 NZ RTR Nationals Gt 3rd

2017 NZ RTR Nationals NSR Classic 2nd

2017 NZ RTR Nationals Group C 3rd

2017 NSR Classic Challenge 3rd

2015 NSR Classic Challenge 2nd

2014 NSR Classic Challenge 3rd

2015 Garden City Invitation Overall Champion

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Still getting the same numbers at WASCRG and would be more if everyone turned up on the same night.

 

Saying that I've missed the first 3 race meets this year due to other commitments/interests.

 

I have noticed that there seem to be quite a few people selling their cars/collections.

 

I still think the biggest barrier for anyone getting into this hobby is the costs.

 

Like my kids say to me, why buy all these cars when my game on the xbox has them all for the price of one of your cars.

 

They don't need the room to set it up and now days can play multiplayer and race against the world.

 

I like the 'tinkering' part myself, so does my eldest son.

 

cheers

 

Matt

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Based on our sales the hobby is not declining – the move simply reflects the changing preference of our customers.

 

A couple of things you must consider when looking at Armchair Racer is that we have never been a “traditional” slot car centre which are predominantly opened afternoons and evenings. We are open 7 days and only have a few evening race events monthly. Our core business has always been focused on retail and distribution and with that comes the after sales support of the products we sell.

 

The next major consideration is where we are located – only a few km from the centre of Sydney. Sydney’s rents in the past few years have surged. The tracks occupy around 50% of the floor space but do not generate the revenue to make them viable anymore.

 

All we are doing is structuring our business to ensure longevity. As you all know there have been other slot car centres that have closed possibly because they have not adjusted to the market changes.

 

We have been in business for 23 years and expect to be around for many to come. If we thought the hobby was declining we would wind up the business rather than recommit to the future as we are doing.

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I 'hear you' when you say rents have gone up, the other diabolical thing in Sydney is parking, that is after you have battled the traffic to get there.


www.sydneyslotcars.com

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Rents have gone up pretty much everywhere and are affecting many businesses.

 

The greed of the owners/landlords etc has had a detrimental effect on a lot of businesses.

 

My home town of Fremantle here in WA has seen the closure of many of them.

 

Took a mate out for a beer who hadn't been to Fremantle for a while and was shocked to see how many were closed.

 

Good to see Armchair flowing with the times and relocating for the sake of their business.

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For me (as a new customer) its a little bit of a shame as I enjoyed bringing in my youngest child a couple of months ago, and want to come back and enjoy the tracks with my older (but still young) children. The models and cabinets were really a treat and I can understand that is not a normal commercially viable thing to do but I really liked them. My Fiance was really impressed with the store and I always bug her saying we need to come back... with the older kids so that they can play... and so that Dad can buy a new toy and "every body gets a car" haha. My fiance wants to buy the other kids a car each next time we come in, she loved the 1/24th scale models on display at the front counter. We have the pink group C sports car in mind for our 4 year old daughter. Maybe not to play with just yet, but to have until she is old enough. There was an older gentleman with presumably two grandchildren with a big smile on his face as they raced around the wooden track. Gave me a very nice impression of armchair racer as a place for the whole family. Of course, I understand you need to move with the market and the times in order to be commercially viable. Hope you can afford to keep a smaller track running for hire maybe. We also had no problem parking and it is a good location. We live in the 'burbs though so its a bit of a drive to get there most of the time unless already in the area. Will come by again soon.

 

Cheers guys.

Steve.

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It seems to me that If you have a bricks and mortar shop you need to have some sort of track for customers to run cars on.


John Warren

Slotcars are my preferred reality

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Yeah, my local lets you use the track all you like, as long as you are a customer. Pretty fair deal I think, very friendly and family orientated.

 

@Slotspeed, there are other centres around Sydney.

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www.sydneyslotcars.com

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I think the demise of NInco and SCX, the issues with Fly an its many incarnations since put a bit of a dampener on the RTR side of the hobby.

 

I can't say that I counted but it did seem to me there were less new models this time round from Scalextric and Carrera which could be a sign of consolidating moulds already made rather than investing in new moulds....

 

Then I look at Scaleauto and BRM who seem to be powering on with lots of new ideas, bodies and parts and all that and I have some hope....

 

Have you seen the 2018 Scaleuto catalog -116 pages it is enjoyable to flick through - lots of exciting new developments in there. Their Home series and pro series chassis look promising from what I have heard the new 1/24 metal chassis is a big improvement on the old one and the improvement in the 1/32 chassis also shows they have listened and spent some time and $ in R&D

 

Certainly things aren't as rosy as they may have been when I got back into the hobby 10+ years ago - but they aren't too bad :)

Edited by dangermouse
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To be honest I'm amazed at how many slot car products and brands there are out there, and looking around at the www and forums, I'm amazed at how much the technology has developed over the last 10 years. I think its just different rather than declining, more fragmented markets maybe. Funny that seems to happen with full scale car racing too. Hard to field a grid in certain classes these days from what I read/observe. But there's always some new thing.

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The problem with some not all slot centres is they think they can install a 3rd or 4th hand commercial track from the 70s and think it’s still think it’s viable. They are pretty boring. People as a whole relate better to road tracks and 1:32 RTR which they can relate to their home track, not womps, wing cars and metal chassis cars. And a digital track here and there would be interesting also. My kids have been raised on digital tracks so when they see an analogue track they just walk away.

 

Rick

Edited by aussieslotter
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The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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That is the difference where I race where the tracks are built on the premises and the racing is predominately based on true scale racing over 3 nights during the week and Saturday morning.Unfortunately I can’t see digital ever overtaking analogue and is something that is more home based than suitable to a commercial centre.There is only a handful of centres now that base there racing on Wing cars,Flexis,etc

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There's no sign of the hobby "taking a dip"here in Adelaide, well not in the back yard club types anyway. if you didn't have a life you could race everyday of the week if you wanted to. Last I heard there is about 40 tracks around this fair city. We still have a couple of commercial venues which have regular racing programmes as well. Most of the tracks are concentrated in the northern and southern suburbs with at least 4 groups in the south. there's a smattering of tracks in the western/ coastal suburbs including mine and some more in the east/ Adelaide hills, Fleurieu Peninsula area. For various reasons there is little interaction between the various groups but a few of us are willing to travel to get a race.

Edited by lenny broke

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Are most of these tracks in SA analog or digital?

 

Mainly Analogue, I don't know of any digital racing going on, that's not to say there's none happening.

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Mainly Analogue, I don't know of any digital racing going on, that's not to say there's none happening.

 

Gday Alan, Waynes' new track which has its Grand Opening this Monday night is set up for digital, although the operators, hardware and soft ware are a little way off from being installed.


* Avatar used with permission

 

Normal people worry me

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G'day Kane, yeah I forgot Wayne was going digital. I had a race with a scalex digital club when I was in England last year. It was fun but I don't think I could be bothered with all the electickery involved.

Alan

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G'day Kane, yeah I forgot Wayne was going digital. I had a race with a scalex digital club when I was in England last year. It was fun but I don't think I could be bothered with all the electickery involved.

Alan

 

Wayne has the patience and engineering background to persevere with the "electickery" that is involved to go digital. I think we will all be pushing to use Wayne's cars for our first introduction to digital racing, when it happens :D :D


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Normal people worry me

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That is the difference where I race where the tracks are built on the premises and the racing is predominately based on true scale racing over 3 nights during the week and Saturday morning.Unfortunately I can’t see digital ever overtaking analogue and is something that is more home based than suitable to a commercial centre.There is only a handful of centres now that base there racing on Wing cars,Flexis,etc

 

Digital won’t happen with the current users embedded in analogue but it will happen. It is slowly increasing in small increments. Example any kid about to be given a scalextric set from now on is likely to receive the digital offering with lane changers, wireless controllers and a free app, just install app and race, race times and position on screen and that can be sent to a 50” tv as a monitor. It has ghost cars, fuel and KERS. It’s only a matter of time until these kids grow up only to be one day become parents themselves knowing only digital.

Slot cars with artificial intelligence are just starting and so there’s a lot of interesting stuff coming. Analogue won’t be able to compete on features. But analogue still reigns supreme in 2018.

 

Rick


The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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I agree I think the next generation of racers will be digital inclined.

I know of one routed digital track down here,but not sure what has happened to that.

The guy was very keen a couple of years ago to get us involved, but have not seen or had contact for some time.

Rick may know more as it is Scorpious?


Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

Email

 

 

 

 

 

 

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analogue still reigns supreme in 2018.
agree with that...but if you sell slotcars as a business you gotta have a track of at least some type for the punters.

John Warren

Slotcars are my preferred reality

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I agree I think the next generation of racers will be digital inclined.

I know of one routed digital track down here,but not sure what has happened to that.

The guy was very keen a couple of years ago to get us involved, but have not seen or had contact for some time.

Rick may know more as it is Scorpious?

 

Not sure Phil.


The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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