by Arie Viewer
Before you can expand your race set into a dream layout you need to get that first set. Also, Christmas is coming, and you may be looking for a starter set as a gift. If you know that you, or the person you are buying a set for, will be sticking with the hobby for the long haul it makes sense to buy the largest set your budget can comfortably handle. But if you are buying for a child or even an adult beginner and you don’t really know for sure whether he or she will stay with it, you will probably do well to start with a smaller, less expensive set. Remember that no matter where in the size and price range you start it’s always easy to expand to whatever you want. The most important thing about a starter set is that it has to provide the beginner with a fun, successful first experience with slot car racing. That means the set has to go together easily, work well right out of the box, and have cars that are easy and fun for a beginner to drive. And for kids, especially, the cars need to be durable and crashworthy. Here are some race sets at different price points that make excellent beginner sets:
Scalextric C1191T Speed Machines. $79.99. Was $99.99. This is a perfect set for six-and-under children who are just getting started in slot car racing. The high-impact Audi TT cars are extremely durable and easy to drive. (They are also getting hard to find as separate items.) The simple 15′ oval track layout is easy to learn, so young racers will gain skill and confidence quickly and have lots of fun with minimum frustration. The layout can easily be expanded by adding additional track as skill and interest increase. And the reduced price is easy on your budget. This set also makes a great add-on item if you are starting out with a Formula One set or another set with fairly delicate cars. Adding on this one not only gives you extra track pieces you can use and a second transformer for separate power to each lane; it also gives you two outstandingly crashworthy cars to learn and practice on before you move up to your F1 cars. The F1 cars will thank you profusely. Sets up in a 6×4 foot space.
Scalextric C1150T Road Rivals Set. $99.99. A perfect starter set for kids. The Porsche and Audi cars are good-handling, very durable, and easy to drive. The intersection at the center of the figure 8 layout invites crashes, but for kids crashing is half the fun, at least to begin with, and the cars are made to stand up to it. Later, when the kids develop some skill and are ready to move from crashing to racing, you can buy some additional track, delete the intersection, and convert your circuit to a proper road course with a whole new set of challenges for them.
Scalextric C1194T Inner City Speed set. $109.99. Is there any car on the road cooler than the BMW Mini? You and your kids will have a blast racing these high-impact pocket rockets around the figure 8 course.
Scalextric C1156T Powerslide Drift Set. $139.99. This one looks a lot like the Road Rivals set, but it packs even more play value for kids (and adults, too… set this up at your next party). That’s because the Nissan 350Z cars are designed to spin a full 360 degrees and run in either direction on the track, and the track is fully bordered to give them plenty of spinning room. The action gets totally hilarious very quickly. These cars also are designed for maximum durability and crashworthiness. And when you or your kids want to switch from spinning and chasing to racing the cars can easily be adjusted to race trim, turning them into good-handling competition cars. When you start building your dream layout those borders will come in handy, too.
Scalextric C1195T GT Pursuit race set. $139.99. This is the Ferrari of high-impact starter sets. It gives you a bigger figure-8 with 17 feet of track and two outrageous Ferrari F430 cars. The Ferraris are just as tough, fun, and fast as Scalextric’s high-impact Audis, Boxsters, and Minis, and best of all, they’re Ferraris! How cool is that? Your young race driver will love them and you will see that for all their simplicity and ruggedness they are actually very accurate and surprisingly detailed models of one of the world’s favorite exotic cars. It’s a kid-friendly set with real appeal to adult racers. The longer track layout gives it good value as an expansion set, too.
These are just a few of the sets in our huge selecction. We’ve picked them to highlight here because they offer outstanding user-friendliness for children and beginners at exceptionally affordable prices. To see our entire selection go to "Race Sets, All Manufacturers" on our web site, where we have 80 different sets waiting for you! And if you need advice or information on selecting a race set for yourself or for a gift, we invite you to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be glad to answer your questions.