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Realistic Digital Slot Cars Seem To Take Some Of The Fun Out Of It

The Realistic Digital Slot Car Raceway (Image courtesy Hammacher Schlemmer)
By Andrew Liszewski

I can understand that these digital slot cars are trying to make racing more challenging, but at the same time they seem to take a bit of the fun out of it. Instead of just squeezing the trigger and watching your car tear around the track, you have to manage and be aware of your vehicle’s fuel and make the proper pit stops in order to win.

Each of the cars, which includes a fairly detailed Ferrari 360 GTC, Chevrolet Corvette C6R, and an Aston Martin DBR9, have a chip that allows you to change lanes in order to pull into pit row and track how much fuel you take on. So for example, if you decide to ‘fill it up’ in order to minimize the number of pit stops you have to make, your car will actually go slower because of the extra weight of that fuel. And if you instead choose to make pit stops more often, you’ll have to watch your speed when pulling into pit row lest you be penalized a lap for speeding. A clever idea for sure, but too much thinkin’ for me. $499.95 from Hammacher Schlemmer.

[ The Realistic Digital Slot Car Raceway ]

  • cap10rob

    Interesting way to make an old childhood game more exciting but I agree there's a bit too much going on to make it worth the price tag. It would be cool if there was some kind of mini cam in the car and have a small monitor to get a POV of the race that would include different gauges and displays.

  • IdleThreats

    I also don't see why you'd want to simulate so much of the “real” racing experience. It's still going to be nothing compared to today's video games. Even if someone's up to the challenge, how long would it take before one would get bored of this one-trick pony? It seems like it wouldn't be good for the home and would get little attention elsewhere.

  • mcman

    When I was a kid my best friend had a huge track that folded down from his bedroom wall. It took up almost an entire wall and when it folded down it was like awesome! To little kids like us it was the coolest thing ever. His dad built it for him (probably to make up for the beatings). I still remember running those cars full out and watching them fly off the track going around curves. Then I got the powered matchbox track and those cars went so fast you could hardly see them.

    Now I'm an old man and the only race I'm interested in is the one I do after work to get home to my bed. If there was a competition for sleeping, I'd be a world champion.

  • Jessicat

    Am i missing something? When I was a kid, the whole point of slot cars, wasn't who lapped the most, it was how far you shot it off track. And bonus points for holes and dents in the wall. Parents loved slot cars, now it seems like control freaks would enjoy this. I do like the challenge but I think it would kill my joy to quickly when I died on the track from no fuel. Anyone remember Dark Cloud for PS2? No one liked the game because you had to keep track of the player's water intake, energy, weapon life, and the life of the player as well. I liked it enough to finish the game, but everyone else I knew hated it.

  • lobosolo

    i race analog slot cars competitively and i own a small digital track. most of the guys in our club are over 40, so this is really not geared towards kids anymore.
    when digital came out a few years ago people started hacking into the systems and made some great advancements like fuel simulations,lap timers,stats and such that are all kept on a PC interface.the companies that make these products are trying to catch up to the hobbyists in this regard.
    i work with or on a PC's all day its nice to unplug and just have fun once a month. also the entry level race set should cost around 150-200$ i have no idea why this is listed at half a grand.

  • Big D

    I would be too scared of them flying off the track and breaking because I dont want to let go of the trigger. I hope they lock in somehow, or I'm pretty sure they would have thought of that for your $500

  • xBerserker

    Ya, give me the old style

  • dubzilla

    if i had one of these as a child maybe i would have actually raced the cars rather than (like other people have posted) see how fast i could get the cars going and how far i could shoot the car off the turn. Nope I probably wouldn't i would just have to pit before the launch.

  • baggyklown

    and that's $500 you'll be writing off if you give this to anyone under 12

  • cirez

    I liked dark cloud, but then again that might be because it was a major treat to get on my friends PS2 back in the day.

    On topic, I agree the best thing with slot cars is shooting them at walls. I dont think I'd get my future kids something this expensive to do that.

  • Jessicat

    Nah, i would have still tried, I was like 5-7 when i had one. Maybe if I was a teen and was aware of the value of it. Like baggy below says “anyone under 12” is a waste…

  • facebook-19701276

    Ya, the only reason I played with the old style was to crash them together. How can you have fun with that if you are too worried with how much fuel you have.

  • Gingervitis

    Ahhhh, I think its a cool idea, but honestly what 5-9 year old is going to comprehend the consequences of his decision to get gas, or to drive too fast through pit row? Seems a lot more likely that a Dad would buy this for his kid, then sit there playing with it for hours telling Little Billy that his turn is coming up soon, and to grab another beer from the fridge for him.

    …Or maybe thats just how Christmas's were at my house.

  • facebook-1468931781

    When i was a kid there were slot tracks every where. My dad and I spent alot of time racing, building, and destroying slot cars. I wish it was popular again as this article points out it has become to expensive to get into.

  • huskerbullies

    i would like to buy a digital track for my husband that is similar but not as expensive to hammacher track. What do you suggest? I know absolutely nothing about them but know my husband would love it. Where do you suggest i purchase from. Thanks

  • huskerbullies

    i would like to buy a digital track for my husband that is similar but not as expensive to hammacher track. What do you suggest? I know absolutely nothing about them but know my husband would love it. Where do you suggest i purchase from. Thanks