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New Micro Scalextric system announced

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  • New Micro Scalextric system announced

    I haven't dropped in here for a while, but thought you'd all want to know about the latest exciting news from Micro Scalextric.

    I was lucky enough to be shown the 2019 range this week, which includes a completely new track system, a new chassis and some fabulous Warner Brothers licensed sets and individual cars.

    I have put most of my pictures and video clips, plus some text commentary in this short film, which gets its premiere here on SCI

    The new system is very different - the track is more like 1/43 plastic track, but HO size - and the chassis is designed 100% for the new track. The old Micro system wasn't working for Scalextric - they made a decision to stick with 1/64, but then built from the ground up. It's a brave move - it's extremely rare to see any 1/64 track systems that aren't based on Derek Brand's sixty-year-old Model Motoring design.

    The power for the new sets and cars is 9 volts - another shift away from the HO norm. But with the little N20 can motors in the cars, it's a logical move. Of course, using a different power supply alters the voltage to whatever you want it to be.

    If the new system delivers a reliable product, that can only be good for the HO side of the hobby - Scalextric want Micro to be a solid alternative to their main 1/32 system for those who don't have much space or want something more economical. The sets will be sold around the world, including North America.

    All Scalextric are focused on is their target audience, but I'd like to think enthusiasts will be intrigued. The pre-production bodies looked great and the production bodies will look even better - with a 1.7 inch wheelbase, those may end up on Tyco or Mega-G chassis before too long... The track system may interest some people, although braids or Slide Guides (or a lot of shoe tweaking) will be necessary to get standard HO cars running. As has been mentioned by RichD elsewhere, the smooth, flat rails might interest Gravity racers, perhaps?

    The sets come out in Britain during June/July and the individual cars in August/September. North American dates shouldn't be too different. 2020 will see more sets, cars, track expansion packs and accessories. In keeping with wanting to offer Micro as a long-term hobby option, racing sets with 'real' racing cars are being seriously considered for 2021-22. Which is great news - although I do like the Wacky Races and Looney Tunes cars very much
    Last edited by woodcote; 01-18-2019, 09:19 AM.

  • #2
    I saw a detailed description of the new Micro Scalexrtic track and cars on another slot BB. The track system looks to be robust, but it uses non standard wide rails that look to be a little below the track surface. The Scalextric cars use braided pickups, cars that use conventional pickup shoes may not run very well on that style of track unless they have a Slide Guide. Many gravity type cars have braided pickups and even the ones that use wipers may work well on the Scalextric track. The track runs at 9 volts, which is much too low for other makes of cars except for gravity cars. Gravity cars are usually run at 12 volts, but they often include a dropping resistor. One car that I run lacks a dropping resistor, so I have a "choke box" in the controller circuit to drop the voltage to 8.5.
    Another issue with running other makes of cars on the new track is due to the fact that the rails are wider, but much further away from a car's motor and traction magnets. Some testing will have to be done to determine what effect that will have.


    • #3
      Originally posted by RichD View Post
      The track runs at 9 volts, which is much too low for other makes of cars except for gravity cars. Gravity cars are usually run at 12 volts, but they often include a dropping resistor. One car that I run lacks a dropping resistor, so I have a "choke box" in the controller circuit to drop the voltage to 8.5.
      Mot groups run Gravity at 18 volts and tracks with rail.


      • #4
        The new chassis is a disappointment.

        Not because of the more inboard magnets, the braids or even the weird voltage. MS have always done their own thing, they are much more Micro 1/32nd than HO.

        A few years ago some Scalex guys came to the club in Kent, and went away enthused about what they saw. A few months later they produced a prototype that was very small form, using the same motor they now have in this new chassis.

        They did not pursue it due to cost, yet now bring out this wide-ish chassis, with the narrow motor. Turns out they could afford a new design....

        We know from the HWP SL-2 that it is possible to have a chassis a tiny fraction wider than that motor, and put the traction magnets in the bodies - the extra width they have instead gone for will kill being able to do accurate LMP1s, Daytonas and F1s, so why did they abandon the earlier idea?

        They have also missed a chance to fix braid wander, unless the new plate is still a WIP.
        Last edited by NicoRosberg.; 01-19-2019, 01:48 AM. Reason: Spelling


        • #5
          I'm curious about the slot width and depth of the new Micro Scalectrix track. The slot looks like it may be a bit wider than the standard HO slot.

          It would be very nice to see the new chassis, especially the underside. Anyone have photos?

          Obviously I have an interest in whether Slide Guides would be an easy mount to the new chassis, and compatible with the new track.

          Ed Bianchi


          • #6
            Well, that should teach me for posting before I watch the video.

            Turns out the slot is wider, and deeper, than standard. May not be quite wide enough for a standard Slide Guide, however. The video claims the slot width is 2.25mm. The standard HO slot is 1.59mm. The standard Slide Guide is designed for a 3mm wide slot. I need to do some checking. It may fit, but it will be danged close.

            The new Micro Scalectrix guide does not pivot in the chassis, but also has a triangular flag instead of a guide pin. That would be a bad design for a gravity car, but with traction magnets may be okay.

            I note with interest the plug for Slide Guides in the video. It is nice to be remembered. Thanks!

            Ed Bianchi
            Last edited by HO RacePro; 01-18-2019, 05:48 PM.


            • #7
              Andy, thanks for posting that! All slot car news is appreciated here and the video is great.

              You know what I find ironic? Bugs Bunny has been around since 1940 ... and Daffy Duck is even older!

              Meanwhile, totally off topic, I hope everyone noticed the recent posts in this thread regarding this site and the pending changes. None of us are sure what will be working properly afterwards, including YouTube posting. But once the dust settles, I hope you'll re-post your news either here or in News & Reviews if the content is lost.

              Back to topic, it's great to see a major manufacturer introducing a new system that will appeal to kids; that's how most of us got into this hobby, and why it keeps on going.


              • #8
                Daffy looks like he is in laid-back commuter mode, while Bugs looks manically juiced. Not quite in character for Bugs, who typically displays his mastery of comical chaos with calm nonchalance.

                Sylvester would be more in character as a gonzo driver.

                And Pepe Le Pew should be fitted with industrial scale pollution-abatement equipment.

                Ed Bianchi

                PS - Pepe is my hero. Panache conquers all.
                Last edited by HO RacePro; 01-19-2019, 12:08 AM.


                • #9
                  The incompatibility with other HO systems must surely be a deliberate choice by Scalex. Looks like their marketing strategy is selling their sets to buyers who don't own existing HO kit. Having bought their Scalex sets, buyers who want to expand their set up are then locked in to buying Scalex kit. No doubt that'll suit Scalex! Kind of implies Scalex are not interested in existing HO enthusiasts - maybe they reckon that's too small a segment of the market to worry about.


                  • #10
                    That has always been their position.

                    A couple of times myself or others have come close to getting them to go for a more serious product aimed to compete, and their proto from a few years ago was the best example.

                    Before that I had many conversations with Adrian Norman, who knew the first Micro chassis was not as good as it could of been and was the main person down at Margate pushing for something better for their 'other' scale.

                    I know with AFX there is a small band of guys who get upset at being ignored, as they see it. They struggle to acknowledge that they are not the main customers. Those are the big chains that will sell sets on to kids as toys (hence set-only cars, one of their pet peeves). This situation is the same, only more so, with Hornby.

                    The way I look at it is that, thanks to HWP, I can run the small but significant portion of MS releases that were cracking (The Astons etc) on his chassis.

                    As for the new Micro range, I suspect there will be a big uptick in sales here. Not because it is better, but because Hornby are putting a bigger push behind it. I know from speaking to their brand and financial people over the years that there was always the worry that increased Micro sales would simply drain down sales of the big stuff.

                    The development and PR people always wanted to go for it, and maybe in a couple of years time they will get their chance. Licences for both scales, more than one curve, maybe a timing system.

                    It is just a pity the core underpinning, the new chassis, isn't as narrow as it could of been....


                    • #11
                      It's the Sony Betamax of slot cars!


                      • #12
                        Micro Scalextric New Product

                        Andy, thanks for posting. While I am not a fan of their chassis system (and I am past following Warner Brother's cartoon characters), I have always been a fan of their racing car bodies, and their adaptability to the old TYCO-Mattel 440X2 chassis. The bodies you have sent me through our "horse trading" has been very much appreciated:

                        They may be a bit large and cumbersome compared to offerings from AFX & Life Like (like this comparison of Peugeot Rally cars with AFX illustrates):

                        But running them together (as a class on that 440X2 chassis) makes for some competitive fun! Besides, where else can one get such examples (and in interesting, colorful liveries, too) of cars raced in Europe and elsewhere?
                        Last edited by Speedhoppy; 01-19-2019, 08:57 AM. Reason: Pictures added


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JimDouglasJr View Post
                          It's the Sony Betamax of slot cars!
                          Betamax was better technically better, it just died because of the fickle public, the recording time, and some marketing mistakes.

                          The new Micro Scalextric system will have higher UK sales than any other HO manufacturer, and by a huge margin. But, then again, so did the old one.

                          It will be interesting to see if they try and take on AFX in any meaningful way in the future.
                          Last edited by NicoRosberg.; 01-19-2019, 08:59 AM.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Speedhoppy View Post
                            I have always been a fan of their racing car bodies

                            Whatever the merits of the various changes, or lack of, at least the 1.7'' wheelbase remains. As we have seem with some of their past stuff, as well as most of the post-2008 offerings from AFX and the forthcoming BT50 unibody from HWP, that extra .2'' makes a big difference to the proportionality we can enjoy.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Speedhoppy View Post
                              I am past following Warner Brother's cartoon characters
                              Say it ain't so!