Getting Started With Scalextric

The beauty of Scalextric is that it’s suited to young children and adults alike.

What’s so special about this specific racing set? Why has Scalextric stayed the distance?

The secret of its success is universal appeal. Scalextric appeals to the speed demons who get their kicks out of racing. It’s also adored by those who enjoy collecting cars.

Anyone with a passion for model cars is catered for. Scalextric cars range from models based on classic Rally cars to replicas of cutting-edge Formula 1 vehicles. They’ve covered all bases brilliantly with highly detailed and accurate 1:32 scale cars designed to be faithful to the real thing.

Buying Your First Scalextric Set

So, you’re ready to enter the fast and furious world of Scalextric!

Before you part with your cash, take your time and think about which type and scale is right for you. After all, you wouldn’t buy a life-sized car without shopping around. If you’re serious about Scalextric, choose carefully and you’ll get the best out of the experience.

There are two main points to consider:

Analogue vs Digital

1:64 vs 1:32 Scale

Flummoxed? Don’t fret. We’ve laid out the salient points for you right here.

Let’s start with the relative merits of digital over analogue.

1. Digital allows cars to change lanes whilst analogue track doesn’t. You can only have one car per lane with analogue whilst digital enables 2-6 cars to run in the same lane. They can also switch lanes.

2. Analogue track is more forgiving when it comes to loose connections between sections. If you choose digital, be prepared to clean the track regularly to allow the digital data to get from track to car.

3. Analogue is better for collectors with a passion for vintage and classic Scalextric. Digital comes out on top when it comes to more modern models and the racing experience.

Scalextric isn’t just about the cars - the track is a major part of the experience too.

Not sure which scale to plump for?

You’ve got micro sets - or 1:64 sets as they’re also called. Or you could go for the traditional 1:32 sets instead.

Micro Sets

Scalextric micro sets tend to be better for younger children. Basically because they don’t require as much skill to use or control. The cars are less likely to come off the track at top speed. They’re also less detailed so can take more knocks and bumps and still retain their original appearance.

The great thing about micro Scalextric sets is that you don’t need as much space for the track. Ideal if you live in a flat.
They also tend to be geared towards kids as many are special or novelty sets. You’ve got film and TV tie-ins such as Toy Story and Cars.

The down side? There’s not the choice of cars and accessories that comes with the traditional 1:32 sets. As they’re fairly basic, kids tend to get bored with them as they get older.

In short, micro sets a great way of introducing young kids to the world of Scalextric.

Traditional 1:32 Sets

If you want a set that ticks the detail and skill boxes, look no further than the 1:32 Scalextric scale.

Appropriate for older children and adults, these sets are more collectible and compatible with a huge choice of models and accessories. We’re talking road cars, single seaters and classic cars for starters. Then you’ve got the big guns - novelty cars such as the legendary one based on the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard.

The 1:32 Scalextric scale is best for collectors as more special and limited edition cars are released in this scale.
Although this scale is geared towards older children and adults don’t discount it for the youngsters. Look out for the specialist 1:32 Scalextric sets created for younger children.

If you want a really realistic racing experience, 1:32 is the way to go. The cars handle differently so you get a more competitive race that requires plenty of skill.

There’s a much bigger range of sets to choose between. That means you can get creative and make a basic set into a real showstopper of a circuit. Check out the Scalextric free track designer (PC compatible) and get busy.

The 1:32 scale also allows you to:

Take advantage of the benefits of digital. Read more about digital vs analogue here.

Use Scalextric compatible cars created by third-party companies including SCX, Carrera and Ninco.

The cons?

There aren’t many. Here are the things you need to be aware of:

You will need significantly more space to build and run a 1:32 track.

The cars are more detailed and slightly less sturdy. They will come off the track more than with 1:64.

1:32 can end up being a more expensive hobby as there are lots more cars to collect.