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  • #31
    Originally posted by Maddman View Post
    If the goal of SCI is to grow the hobby it would help if the moderators (and some others) would learn about the hobby, its history and who the movers and shakers were and still are. Toward that end here is a brief history lesson
    Excellent, informative post. Thanks for taking the time!


    • #32
      Originally posted by gmcullan View Post
      Steve, a great post. As a point of clarity, I believe that Roger has distanced himself from Slottech and that Morris Clark is responsible for the day to day Slottech operations.
      Right, and Roger trades as RMS. So far he has made gears and axle condoms. Both are highly rated.


      • #33
        Originally posted by el gecko View Post
        None of these high performance chassis builders has a proper online store on their website, which is hampering every aspect of their business unnecessarily.
        Viper have a decent looking site, and a webstore. They are also active on social media, youtube etc.
        if the 'Hobby chassis' side of HO is to survive, it will probably be because of those guys.

        (Unless Roger P starts producing a chassis).


        • #34
          Originally posted by Maddman View Post
          The situation in Great Britain is unique as clubs can, and do, build large temporary tracks for their races. That trend hasnít caught on in the US.
          Which is a huge shame. If HO racing is to survive the continuing passing of old racers stateside, it needs to be more visible and accessible, and offer something people cannot have at home, in my opinion.

          The idea seems to be met with apathy and even hostility by those older guys. Or the concept it misunderstood (it isn't about lap length). This is a pity. Seeing an HO track filling a 20' x 30' or larger room 'in the flesh' is quite something, let along racing tooth and nail on one
          Last edited by NicoRosberg.; 01-15-2019, 01:00 AM.


          • #35
            Originally posted by NicoRosberg. View Post
            Viper have a decent looking site, and a webstore. They are also active on social media, youtube etc.
            if the 'Hobby chassis' side of HO is to survive, it will probably be because of those guys.

            (Unless Roger P starts producing a chassis).
            Indeed, Viper/VSR have been doing well, and their web store keeps improving. JAG Hobbies also has a great online store, and their TR-3/DR-1 inline chassis are total game-changers for still using bodies meant for the aging pancakes. If more slot car companies embraced online commerce, and actually made their websites useful for the average consumer, they might see an improvement in sales.

            I also think back to the 80s-90s, when Saturday morning cartoons had commercials for TYCO race sets. The internet has largely replaced that type of advertising nowadays, so the bigger we can make the presence of "slot cars" on the internet in general, the more people all over the world will see them and start to take notice. Exposure is our biggest issue at present--there are not many people really doing a good job of publicizing anything they're doing, and nowhere to post it but Facebook (a closed system) or this site (broken for years). Other hobby forum sites are just as arcane and unusable as this one.

            This site could have (and should have) been leading the world in slot car news, reviews, etc. It could have been THE place to gather for slot car fans of all stripes all over the world, but instead it's the same few old guys arguing about nothing because no one else is even able to log in to post anything interesting. The downfall of this site is directly tied to the downfall of slot cars in general in the last 5 years. Nobody can post what they're doing, nobody can post questions, nobody talks, nothing is happening, so people take one look at the apparent "lack of activity" and never come back, unless it's to cherry-pick the vast amount of reference info.


            • #36
              If you look at the activity on the various slot BBs you would expect that the hobby is nearly dead. At least once a month I speak on the phone to a major maker of aftermarket tires and he tells me that he is having trouble keeping up with his orders. The question is if nobody is running/racing/collecting who is buying all of those tires? If they are silicone tires those last a very long time, so people are not just replacing worn out tires.
              Certainly it has become very difficult to recruit new people into the hobby, younger people are not as interested in racing in general, let alone slot racing. The latest members that I have seen were in the hobby years ago and are now getting back in once more.
              With respect to this BB certainly the log in issues have discouraged many people from posting anything, but other BBs have had much less action these past few years as well.
              For many people the local hobby shop is a thing of the past, thankfully there are many mail order companies. Many of those are e-commerce sites, but I don't mind phoning in or e-mailing my order as long as I don't have to jump through hoops to do that.
              When I write my tuning articles I always include clickable links to good suppliers that I have used myself, that saves the reader the trouble of researching for the appropriate supplier and hoping that he is reliable.


              • #37
                Well if it's down across all the boards, first I would guess video games have completely replaced physical hobbies for most people. Why would little Jimmy invest in a bunch of plastic and metal and other stuff when he can do everything (and so much more) from his computer or phone? Change paint? Click a button. Change wheels? Click a button. Want a whole new car? Go to on the online store and download it in seconds. Want to drive on a completely new track, which has been laser/GPS built in 3D and fully detailed just like the real thing? Click a button. Want to design a whole car completely from scratch and drive it on a real racetrack? It can all be done.

                I'd also think maybe it's connected to the change in people's attitudes toward cars in general. People don't have a connection with their cars like they used to, and a big chunk of millenials aspire to be completely car-free.


                • #38
                  Somebody is buying those tires though.


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by el gecko View Post
                    I'd also think maybe it's connected to the change in people's attitudes toward cars in general. People don't have a connection with their cars like they used to, and a big chunk of millennials aspire to be completely car-free.

                    ...or cars that drive themselves.

                    Sometimes trying to explain the simplest mechanical principle to some of these people...


                    • #40
                      The January 14th issue of Autoweek Magazine featured Hot-Wheel cars and contained a ton of information from Mattel. As we know Mattel was the final resting place of the Tyco slot car line. Matell indicated that they turn out four million Hot Wheel cars each week. The article briefly discussed electric cars. The only one that the VP could remember was Sizzlers and a new slotless car they are bringing out called Augomoto that uses on board power. The five page article contained not one word about slot cars.

                      The cover page was a riot as Matell donated 10,000 Hot-Wheel cars for the article. About 9000 were used in the cover photo. The cars were subsequently donated to charity.


                      • #41
                        Another view of the UK & EU

                        As I said on another thread, I was lucky to spend a morning last October at the Maryland Slot Car Show. It was concrete proof of something that I'd always thought - that the UK (and Europe) is a quirky backwater of the HO universe. Nothing really compares.

                        We do have our European HO manufacturers (Bauer, Faller, Micro Scalextric, Minic etc), we do have numerous dealers, resin casters, there are clubs and one globally iconic HO event (Derby Le Mans) - but everything - apart from the tracks - is on a much smaller scale. HO articles appear in both the paper and ink UK slot car magazines - occasionally in Slot, pretty much in every issue of Slot Car Magazine. There is an HO Zone at the UK Slot Car Festival with a wide range of collectors and racers, including fabulous Matchbox Power Track, Minic and Tyco US-1 truck layouts last year.

                        It's hard to say how many collectors we have in the UK - it's a more private pastime here, perhaps. I am coming across more and more Micro Scalextric collectors on social media. Recently a huge Aurora (1970s to 1980s) collection came up for sale after the owner died and two of his friends took it to various swap meets. They sold it piece by piece and I noticed that a lot of 1/32 hobbyists dabble in HO. Several 1/32 dealers are now bringing old Aurora sets and cars to swap meets - they'd only do that if they expect to sell it. GP Miniatures recently developed some of their flat-pack foam-board buildings in HO scale.

                        The failure of AFX to successfully return to the UK and Europe was a real tragedy - after promising a potentially transformational shot-in-the-arm for the UK HO scene. Personally, I think it was always going to be a difficult challenge to compete at the prices they came in with, despite the high-quality product. The AFX Endurance Champions set was nearly three times the price of similar Carrera Go!!! and Micro Scalextric GT racing sets and the same price as the middle-of-the-range 1/32 Scalextric ARC One sets (twice the price of the basic 1/32 Scalextric sets). The specialist HO scene was never going to be strong enough to support the brand at that price point. And then the distributor went bust and that was it... Until recently, there were still sets that hadn't sold at less than half price. The cars sold for more than a 1/32 Scalextric car and four times the price of the individual packaged Micro Scaletric cars. The cars haven't been discounted, as far as I have seen. I guess they found their way back to the US market.

                        As for clubs, we've never had that many. It's true that Chesterfield HO Racing Club recently closed its doors after twenty-seven glorious years. However, those CHORC members will still be important members of the UK and global HO communities for years to come. SCHORC stopped their regular racing at the end of 2017, but I enjoyed racing against most of them at the Derby HO Le Mans race a couple of months ago - they are still very much part of the HO slot car scene. Derby and Worthing are going strong and drawing in new faces to try HO. The weekend THORL events are still very competitive and racers travel significant distances (for the UK) to take part.

                        I noticed a comment that attendances at Worthing HO Racing have dropped. Today we celebrate the ninth anniversary of out first event. So here are our average attendances per event for those nine years:

                        2010 - 18.9
                        2011 - 25.4
                        2012 - 22.7
                        2013 - 21.6
                        2014 - 20.3
                        2015 - 22.9
                        2016 - 20.3
                        2017 - 21.2
                        2018 - 21.1

                        We have gradually increased the number of events from eleven in 2010 to twenty-five last year, including nine 1/32 Scalextric digital races. Last year, we had two attendances of 30 racers.

                        It is easy to see things as black or white, but it is always many shades of grey. The UK and EU HO scene is much smaller than in the US, but is similarly diverse and not always in plain sight on the forums, facebook, instagram or wherever. What I would say is that trans-Atlantic integration of the HO scene is happening much more through social media, with more collectors and home racers coming to the fore.


                        • #42
                          Chesterfield HO Racing Club recently closed its doors after twenty-seven glorious years
                          Umm - pedantic but ...28 glorious years. Jan' 1991 to Dec 2018

                          I know if you deduct 1991 from 2018 it returns 27 - but if you count the full years its ... 28.
                          Last edited by Top Down; 02-03-2019, 08:24 AM.


                          • #43
                            This is a real surprise that the Chesterfield club has closed.


                            • #44
                              Life happens.

                              I reckon 28 years is a fair whack anyway.


                              • #45