Tomy/AFX International Race Set
Published: April 7, 2002


04/06/02

Growing up in the '70's, my slot car experiences surrounded HO racing, with AFX cars on AFX track. I'd race the foam tires off my cars, and rearranged tracks until all but a few of the track tabs were broken off. Then somewhere along the line, the track and cars got boxed up and put away, and probably sold off at a yard sale or put in the garbage with other unused toys.

Between then and now I've probably had 4 or five HO sets, none really brought back that excitement because the newer tracks were cheaper, more
focused on gimmicks or themes, and none really performed up to my expectations. Most were usually purchased because they were inexpensive, or on sale, or used. All ended up back in the box and stuck away, sold at yard sales, or put in the garbage with other unused toys.
While waiting for my latest HO set to arrive, I expected nothing more than what I'd experienced in all my other most recent HO purchases. I'd heard good things, though, about the TOMY Super International Race Set. It was
4-Lanes, and featured the Super G-Plus cars. Could it be any better than any other HO set?
Yes, it could.

The set comes with 25 feet of running track. This doesn't sound like much, but when you put some thought into this, you're actually getting two complete 2-lane sets, enough track to make a 50 foot 2-lane layout! It features four Formula 1/Indy style cars utilizing the Super G-Plus chassis. The cars look fragile, with a movable rear wing, but as I found later the cars could really take a beating.
Setting up the track was a breeze. The connectors clip together easily, with no small tabs to break off. The biggest problem I found with setting it up is that I just didn't have enough room to utilize any of the recommended track layouts, and there are a lot. The
set comes with 17 recommended track layouts, and from what I've found, none fit on a 5x9 foot pink-pong table! This set is HUGE! The layout I came up with for this test was about 20 feet in length, leaving about ten feet of unused track in the box.

At toy shows I've seen HO cars that will run at full throttle without deslotting. I was concerned that these cars would perform the same. To me, if you can run full throttle and stay on the track, then what's the point? I was pleased to find that these cars do require input from the driver.
Yes, these cars are very fast. Yes, they have a lot of downforce. No, they won't go full throttle without deslotting. In fact, they require a lot of driver input to make the corners, but are very controllable. To sum up the way these cars perform, I'd have to say that the Super G-Plus cars supplied in this set are little rockets. They really, really go! They are smooth, and throttle response is very good. If anything, for this set they are too fast, but there's a fix for that, and I will get to that in a minute.
When running four-wide, this is probably the most excitement for the money you can buy. Retailing for under $170, the TOMY Super International Race Set is the ultimate starter set for the serious home racer or club track. With almost unlimited track configurations, and the availability of extra track on the market, you won't find a better set to get you rolling.
A bit of information I didn't know about with the Super G-Plus cars is that unlike many of the cheaper cars available on the market, these cars are tunable. In a section of the set's instructions titled "Rectification Timing Adjustment Of Motor", it explains how adjusting the brush housing of the motor to "retard" or "advance" the timing of the motor. By advancing the timing you allow the car to perform better on high speed tracks, but retarding the timing you allow it to perform better, on slower, tighter tracks. I retarded the timing by rotation
the brush housing to the right, and the cars were much more controllable on my short track. I also sanded the tires to remove the cupping problem of the stock tires, and performance was greatly increased as well.
In addition to being a great set with great cars, it also includes two extra rear axles with crown gears, two extra pinion gears, four extra springs, and four sets of extra pick-up shoes. In my opinion, not only did TOMY produce an awesome set, they also want you to keep using it. It's not a throw-away track, it's a set to get you started and keep on racing. If more manufacturers took their product this seriously, the hobby would not be filled with gimmicks or off-the-wall themes.
This is the way it should be. This is quality at it's best. I highly recommend the TOMY Super International Race Set as your first, or next HO set. You won't find a bigger bang for your buck, and you won't get this much satisfaction of having your money well spent as with this set.