Slot car and Scalextric sets can make the perfect gift, as they provide hours of high-speed fun for petrolheads of all ages.
Small-scale kids’ sets, with tiny cars and tight, compact courses, are popular, but larger, traditional analogue sets (and their more modern digital equivalents) have longer track layouts. These bigger sets offer more detailed model racers, too, not to mention features like wireless controllers.
But with such a wide choice of sophisticated packages on sale, which is right for you? We built seven sets to see which offers
the most fun for your family.
We wanted to find slot car sets that would have us picking up the controllers and playing time and time again. So the best scores went to those with tracks that were easy to put together and had challenging layouts, and those with the most detailed cars. The set’s size was also important: too big, and you’ll need more than the average-sized living room; too small, and you’ll get bored quickly.
Our test compared the build quality and fun factor of each package, and then looked at exactly what you got for the money. The prices quoted are taken from a range of online retailers, and don’t include delivery costs.
Spanish maker Ninco takes victory here as its Top Speed set is challenging, keenly priced, easy to put together and very well detailed. Second goes to the Carrera GO!!! Mario Kart 7, which is ideal for kids, while in third is SCX’s C3 Rally of Sweden, which is great for enthusiasts.
DS Racing Drag Strip DS600
If you’ve already got a track and cars, you might like the DS Racing DS600 drag strip. There are versions for Carrera, Scalextric, SCX or Ninco tracks, and each consists of two overhead gantries, timing equipment accurate to 1,000th of a second and a traffic light starter system. The £200 set can identify if a driver makes a jump start, and includes a special section wired to make your cars shut down at the end of the drag strip and stop within inches.