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munter

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

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From my experience, the general public mostly have never seen or heard of digital. They point an LC and say what is this for?. After a brief explanation of "what digital is" the response is "wow!" , then they walk off...

 

The most common question I get is...." is this Scalextric? ".

 

From a parents point of view, sadly a shiny mid range smart device offers 100% better value for money and keeps children entertained a lot longer than a slot car track IMHO.


www.sydneyslotcars.com

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Not every kid will take to slotcars....they need certain qualities which might be something like

1) like cars

2) like models

3) like making stuff

4) be of a mechanical inclination

5) enjoy understanding how things work

6) ?

7)?

8)?

 

There are plenty of dumb kids out there just as there are plenty of dumb adults.

 

Somehow the hobby has to filter the population and find those youngsters who are inclined to doing things first hand rather than vicariously.

However most kids thing the online virtual world is reality.

 

I have to admit the demarkation lines are getting more blurred each day.


John Warren

Slotcars are my preferred reality

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With apps now available on smart device to power slot cars digital may become more popular. It has the wow feature factor which may make it more appealing to some. It may make it less appealing to others as people see it as yet another layer of complication in an already complicated world.

 

The joy in slot cars is as varied as other hobbies some people love simulating real racing while other like the simple life of running cars around a track with minimal distractions.

 

I wonder sometimes whether trying to make slot cars like video games by offering features on top of features is the way to go.

With that in mind I agree with John - simple or complex the toy has to appeal to the user to sustain long term use....

Edited by dangermouse
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Having visited the Royal Easter Show in Sydney recently, it felt like there was meant to be a slot car track there! So many other forms of entertainment but I reckon a multilane layout would be an attraction there. Dads would flock to it I reckon, and kids would love it. I wonder if it could be done. I am not sure that it is feasible for anyone here but here is the contact page for potential exhibitors http://www.eastershow.com.au/partner-with-us/exhibitor-opportunities/ I think it would be hard to keep interested young kids away from a track at the show! My thoughts as a way of attracting locals to the hobby.

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From my experience, the general public mostly have never seen or heard of digital. They point an LC and say what is this for?. After a brief explanation of "what digital is" the response is "wow!" , then they walk off...

 

The most common question I get is...." is this Scalextric? ".

 

From a parents point of view, sadly a shiny mid range smart device offers 100% better value for money and keeps children entertained a lot longer than a slot car track IMHO.

 

Then again most people don’t know what a slot car or Scalextric is full stop. So digital is excused😊


The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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I think a lot of people know Scalextric - usually when I say I collect and race slot cars - they have a puzzled look when I show them a photo of the cars they usually go - oh Scalextric... I had a set when I was a kid - or my dad had a set

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I've found that people about 30yrs old and above are most likely to know Scalextric and some, slot cars in general. That suggests the younger ones who would have grown up WITH the internet and smart phones, somehow missed out.

However they sure do enjoy slot cars if given the opportunity.

 

On the brighter side of things in the last 8 or so years there's been a few new slot car centres opened up in Sydney, as well as the established ones still trading. I'm not familiar with the other states so can't say if any new ones opened. To sumarise this means steady growth overall.


www.sydneyslotcars.com

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It really depends where you are from. For me Polistil was the name for slotcars. No idea of what Scalextric was until 4 years ago when I also learned about digital.

Digital is niche in an already niche hobby...As it stands it is too clunky to enthuse the young generation growing up with gaming consoles. Similarly, it is too complicated for the folks that area already into the hobby, as the lack of any significant digital activity on this corner of the world shows - at least when you compare it with the number of clubs and events organised for analog.

Edited by GRUNZ

Cheers

G

 

"I am an expert at the top of my field when mowing the lawn".

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For me as a teen in the 90's, looking at a hand me down Scalextric 1960 something catalogue, I couldn't stop staring at the Super 124 set thinking Wow! 3 cars on one track! And the pitlane options (mechanical switched on the track itself) just looked like the coolest thing ever. So when I saw a digital set last year that had a pitlane option, I found it hard to go past. Even though I had grown up with analog. So for me it is a balance somewhere. I don't want to get too bogged down in the technical for my hobby as I already do electronics for my job. (though it is inevitable, I keep thinking of tricky ways to run analog cars on a digital track)

 

All I just did was ramble about myself. But maybe someone else here may have experienced this!

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I think the comment of this being a niche hobby is spot on. I'm sure we would all like to think it's main stream but sadly not. At least we have these great forums to keep people of similar interests connected.

 

I personally don't have a preference between analog and digital.

 

I first was introduced to slot cars at a mate's birthday dinner in Parramatta NSW. After dinner we went upstairs to G&D raceway. It was awesome, no Hornby gear, it was all Parma and custom DIY. circa 1978. Some years later my Dad bought a 2 lane routed figure 8 off his mate and I got it for xmas. I think it was made from masonite. By this stage myself and a couple of mates had our own cars and controllers. We had many good times with this track. We still went to Parramatta as often as we were allowed, usually School holidays.

 

I can't remember the first plastic track I saw, but I know it was many years later.

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www.sydneyslotcars.com

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The discussion has kinda morphed into whether analogue is the problem, and if digital is the solution to the lack of popularity of slot cars generally. .

 

Personally, I only went analogue because I wanted pure, no-frills, competitive racing. Whilst I love the concept of changing lanes, the extra cost, complexity and carnage of digital turned me off.

 

But realistically, in the digital online world that the masses are absorbed in, digital slot cars are still really only analogue+ a few extras, and nowhere near the center of most people's radar.

As others have said, slot cars are never going to be mainstream like in their heyday, now are a niche for a minority few with a great taste in hobbies!!

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Hey guys

 

I find the largest obstacle to overcome (which we can't compete with) is that PC games, ,Playstation, XBOX etc are not only games that keep peoples attention, but the kids playing it have a massive social element to it. My youngest kid plays whatever shooting game is current with 4 or 5 of his mates online with headphones and they talk during the whole game. The social aspect of this form of entertainment is especially enticing as it adds the element of a community.

A lot of guys here race in groups and whilst the racing is important, so is the social side. I have many times attended a race event and haven't taken a car out of my box. The concept of the mens shed is strong in adults. Maybe the kids shed is FARCRY 5 on headphones.

Slot cars have a large uphill battle to remain current to these kids!

 

John

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And it's not all kids either John.

I play Titanfall on the Xbox One, good to let out some of my anger issues haha. Thought I was the only old bloke my age that played games, I'm a young 45.

Apparently I was wrong, but I'm now part of a group that range in age from 40 to 56. We chat with the headsets on about everything and anything and I've even introduced a couple of them to Slot cars,

with a couple of them buying Scalextric sets for their kids. These blokes even fly interstate now and catch up for a few drinks at least once a year, those over east anyway.

Still love my slot cars, just had the new Scaley Ford XW arrive this morning actually, but I have slowed my spending habits down on slot cars compared to the last several years.

Like most, other things in life get in the way of the hobby, my kids all play different sports now, eldest son has started highschool etc etc etc.

It's also disappointing that I've missed so much racing this year, think I've been twice out of the 7 meets this year so far and will still probably miss the next 3 as well due to other commitments.

I still check in here nearly every day but don't comment often, Syd and I over here in WA joke that we're conversation killers here on the forum.

 

cheers

 

Matt

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Going fine over here in WA I get 30 - 50 ppl to a race in my shed, so don't confuse online forum traffic with whats actually happening out there in the suburbs

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I Miss Brocky...

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Well said Silver Rocket, also good to hear about people getting together and having fun with slot cars.


www.sydneyslotcars.com

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Strangely, I have just asked Vince to add a 3rd guy in 2 weeks to forum, and there are a few others likely to follow suit.

 

Despite some aspects of slotting being slow, I am aware of:

- 1 club formed in 2016, which just moved from scalextric to a small wood track and has a lot off enthusiasm and momentum 4 traveling for the first time, to race the DTM Classic

- a mid sized "Scalextric Club" which is about to move to a 4 lane wood, and whose members and drivers have become very good, and have a great club spirit

Three of them are coming to race the DTM Classic

 

- two small groups of guys in small towns of NZ which have formed enough to race on 2 lane tracks One guy plans to drive 3 1/2 hours to spectate at the Nationals this month

- a collection of slotters which has grown into a network of 4 or 5 tracks in a 30km radius in and around one of our major cities, now meeting weekly, and looking at one more wood track build, total about 8 or 9 regulars

- A couple of private track owners who are looking to restore tracks and find people to race with.

- Two solo racers who are intending to travel to the DTM Classic event I am hosting later this year - either their first travel, or first travel in a long time

- A guy with kids 8 and 14 who is about to build their first wood track, but planning it so they can expand it once they catch their breath from 1 sheet of MDF to 3 sheets

 

The first two I have known of from my past commercial activities, all the rest I have come across in the last few months.


Walks upright Unaided  *  Ties Own Shoelaces  *  Can Mispronounce Own Name In Five Languages  *  Mostly Aims Rattle Cans Away from Self
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Like any hobby the numbers vary for various reasons.

We were getting up to 17 racers, then dropped down to around 10 to 12.

2 young guys now living away go attend college,but race when in town, father and son racing on their own digital magnetic track.

But now have one new guy who is enthusiastic and leaning fast.

So I think the hobby is still going well.

There is a few groups on FB but Not a good place to look for support or info.


Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

Email

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There is a few groups on FB but Not a good place to look for support or info.

 

Facebook has a huge resource with many many groups and pages and is growing at the expense of forums....so I dont agree with that line above, Phil.


John Warren

Slotcars are my preferred reality

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Been troubles with face book over here so not sure whats going on with slots now , but there are a couple of clubs in Essex who are maintaining round about 14-16 membership , and a fair few of non club guys who pop in and out of these clubs who live someway away from them so can't make it on a regular basis ,but again mainly over 50 age group, so not sure where the future is

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impossible to search for any old posts. So IMO is not a good place to look for information.

 

 

exactly, Phil. But if you need to know something ie ask a question or show something then FB works as there is a huge audience.

 

As you well know there are many Australian enthusiasts on FB but not on Auslot.


John Warren

Slotcars are my preferred reality

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Hi all.

 

I might have said this before but I race 1/24th metal (not very well) and 1/32nd in NZ (mainly at club level now). There are some strong 1/24th clubs here but there are new 1/32nd groups coming out of the wood work all the time and many people who race informally.

 

It is only guess work on my part but I suspect the RTR 1/32nd brigade outnumber the 1/24th metal many times over.

 

I think slot cars are still stronger than many people think despite the newer generations going for digital games etc.

 

Regards Chas Le Breton

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50 drivers for a nights racing. How much track time does each driver get?


Cheers,

 

Garry J

 

Slotworx_Logo_Small.jpg

 

Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill

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I think Facebook is the front door many need to look thru and see just how much slot car activity is out there.. and it's huge!

Once on Facebook you are introduced/find so many groups with a common interest it will make your head spin. As Munter said you get a huge response to any question as many Slotcar groups are linked to Facebook. Do also agree with Phil re old posts but thats where the groups some come in with their various area's of specialty and their own archive base.

Edited by axman
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