Slot Cars: The Speed and Competition RCs
There are so many hobbies to choose from to kill time by yourself. Whether you want to do puzzles, start cooking, or maybe even gardening, there’s so much to choose from as to how you want to spend your leisure time. That said, there is one hobby that people always overlook due to its “childlike” nature – RC toys. Despite this, they’re the perfect fun toy for both grown-ups and children alike and for good reasons. They’re fun and exciting to play with, plus they allow for socialisation. After all, what’s the fun of driving an RC car by itself?
With that in mind, one subset of RC cars that is a great place to start is the slot car set. Throughout this article, I will go into great detail on how these cars further differentiate between the many other types of RC toys. Furthermore, what comes with them, and what exactly makes them such a thrilling and exciting activity from which all enthusiasts can start?
What Are They?
As previously explained, slot cars are a subset of RC cars, and several factors distinguish them from the other ones. But there are also several things that they have in common. If you want to get the best slot car sets for yourself, you’re in luck because I’ll explain what to pay attention to to ensure just that.
Like all other RC models and types, slot cars have a scale. The scale is the size ratio between the original full-sized model and the RC replica. It is expressed in the following format num1/num2. Num1 is the size of the original model, and num2 is the RC’s size in comparison. As such, the larger num2 is, the smaller the RC will be. Popular scales are, for example, 1/32. Depending on your choice of scale, it can restrict which surface you can drive and what you can do.
Motor and Controls
Another similarity is that the question of the motor is also present in slot cars. After all, it does provide you with the force to drive it. However, unlike many other RC cars, slot RC vehicles exclusively use an electric motor. This limited choice is because nitro is used for outdoors driving, where you need more force for your car to go and bear the rough terrain. On the other hand, you use electric-powered RC vehicles as they don’t need the same power.
However, there are other advantages and disadvantages of electric motors. An advantage is that the electric option is cleaner, but it does take longer to recharge and has a limited run time. Another advantage is that it speeds up faster, making it better for race competitions on clean terrains.
RC does stand for remote-controlled, so you need a device to do this. Controllers for slot cars are more complex. The reason why is that the terrain on which slot cars drive is substantially different from other RCs. And I will go into that now as it is the substantial difference.
As part of all slot car racing sets, you’ll also get a track as well as the cars. It is the terrain on which you drive your slot cars, and it is specially made for them. You’ll need to construct the track, of course. And your choice directly influences what scale of slot cars you can use. After all, not every car can fit on every track. Some can be too small or too big. Furthermore, you must be sure that you have enough space. Some sets take up 2×2 meters.
With that in mind, your choice of track and slot cars also impacts the type of control you’ll have. The first one is analog which only allows you to speed up and control the car’s speed. Meanwhile, digital allows you to block, pass, overtake and much more. Moreover, some come with a lap counter, which lets you simulate a classic race. And some also come with a stunt loop track, which adds another dimension and requires more skill.
Brand and Car Design
The last two factors that you must account for in scale car sets are the brand and the design. In terms of brand, two mainstream ones are a guaranteed quality purchase – Carrera and Scalextric, and they both have their signature car designs. This results from them owning the rights to several franchises, and they can reuse their image.
Carrera slot cars are a great first choice as the sets are much cheaper and have more fun themes. For example, they offer sets with a design of Nintendo’s Mario. Also, their cars are on a smaller scale, 1:43. Scalextric, however, is more of a hobbyist choice. There are two reasons for this. First, they have larger (1:32), more detailed cars with working lights or even ejector seats. Second, they have a dedicated community that has its own rules and holds regular competitions.
While we can overfocus on the technical features, we shouldn’t forget the many benefits. The hobby of RC slot cars brings numerous benefits, especially psychological.
If you’ve had a long day with a lot of work and serious obligations, whether you’re a kid, teenager or adult, you can use the slot cars to relieve yourself after the long day and have some fun.
One of the greatest advantages to any RC activity is that it’s essentially a social one. Sure, you can play with your slot cars by yourself, but what’s the fun of that? Accordingly, when you get together as a large group and compete against each other, nothing beats that thrill and social spirit. Therefore, it helps you develop social skills while having fun.
Coordination and Mental Skills
Aside from the two previously explained benefits, RC slot car racing can have an impact on your development. It can develop your hand-to-eye coordination skills, which is paramount in today’s society and can improve your reflexes. Plus, you further develop your critical thinking skills, as you have to make quick decisions.