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Thread: Slot Cars from a Young Adult's Perspective

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Slot Cars from a Young Adult's Perspective

    Hey guys. I recently came across Slot Cars after I did some googling about a mini race car track thing I had when I was kid, wasn't exactly sure what it was called, but it was likely a slot car track. I am certainly very interested in getting into the hobby.

    I just have done some reading and it seems like there are some real lack of new advancements in the slot car scene. Maybe some of you feel like the hobby is something young kids play for 10 minutes but they don't take it seriously being kids and completely forget about it a couple months later. Also of course there are the rest of you that have been doing it for years.

    But I don't see much of a middleground. How is a 25-30 year old who has some time for a new hobby supposed to get into this? I just don't see the expansion beyond driving around in circles in your living room like you are insane. Local race tracks is essentially the same thing, except with other people. During the race, you have no idea who is winning since the laps take 4 seconds and you will probably do 100 of them. Where is the excitement?

    These are some ideas I either took from other people or whatever.

    I think the cars going scale 1000 MPH etc is just overkill. The cars do not really look like they are racing on the track, and it is impossible to keep track of who is wining. They are speeding around without any sense of purpose almost.

    I think the idea with slot cars should be to replicate NASCAR at home. This means, going scale 150-200 MPH so the cars aren't complete blurs.

    You guys must realize the potential of FPV (First Person Video) in this hobby. This is already highly used in model aircraft or "drones" where people capture beautiful scenery and pull off amazing flights. Granted, slot cars will never mimic flying over the Grand Canyon, the idea would be to create that FPV racing view like you are the driver. The mini cameras are small enough to fit on some cars, if not all of them.

    The tracks also are really bland. I do not see how going around in circles on a plain black track is going to attract a lot of people. You could certainly have more ready to use kits with inner-city scenery, or like a freeway. Maybe throw in some ramps. I don't know, I don't know much about tracks.

    There definitely needs to be more maneuverability on the tracks. I see that digital has enabled kind of a half-ased lane change feature (not at all a very good "fix"), but there need to be actual turns where you can take a diferrent road instead of going straight. This would enable some interesting stuff like ghost cop cars that you try to avoid for as long as possible. Again, we are trying to avoid driving in circles with no sense of purpose.

    The cars you guys have are absolutely stunning. I find it surprising they go to such lengths to create realistic models when you can barely even see the cars when racing, let alone details. I think this should be taken advantage of and tracks should mimic downtown Los Angeles and other significant cities, with details as fine as the cars.

    I am urging to get into this hobby, but I know if I spend a couple hundred on tracks and some cars I am just going to end up bored after an hour and never take it out again. There has to be some type of room for expansion, or creativity, within the hobby.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Canton
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    202
    It is difficult to render with words the thrill and fun of fender to fender 1/24th scale slot car racing. I will grant that it is hard for a new racer to reach the skill level where he can experience that adrenaline rush. I have maintained for some time that a JK Products LMP car with the Hawk 7 motor geared with a 10 tooth pinion is a class that every commercial slot car raceway should agree to run. A couple of hours of practice with some coaching from a more experienced racer and a younger person (20-35) ought to be able to get up to speed and feel competitive in a race. It seems like an aerial dogfight at the speed of light where anticipation and planning ahead count as much as or more than your reflexes. Compared to video game training, I suppose that seems like a huge investment of time, money and effort, however, I have seen how rewarding the slot car racing experience can be for new racers who want a real world challenge. It is difficult to market that essence.
    "Ever onward."

    Nelson Swanberg

  3. #3
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    Feb 2014
    Location
    Springvale South,Victoria,Australia
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    18
    Racing is not all what this great hobby is about,sure you certainly get the adrenalin rush when racing is close and you can have a laugh and take the piss out of fellow competitors,but there is also the enjoyment and relaxation of scratch building chassis and detailing bodies,whether they be lexan or plastic,You can turn any static model plastic kit into a slot car or put whatever lexan body style that you like onto a flexi-kar or womp and have the enjoyment of seeing your creation going around the track.Also if you have a track setup at home you can spend hours detailing it to look like a real race track in whatever theme you like and there is many places on the internet where you can download signage as well as plans to build papercraft buildings.
    Tony Anderson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    Watkins Glen, New York
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    662
    " How is a 25-30 year old who has some time for a new hobby supposed to get into this?"

    Find a track, hang out there a while on race nights and if it seems like something you want to try, befriend a few locals and plunge in. That how slot racers have been born for 50 years.

    "I just don't see the expansion beyond driving around in circles in your living room like you are insane. Local race tracks is essentially the same thing, except with other people. During the race, you have no idea who is winning since the laps take 4 seconds and you will probably do 100 of them. Where is the excitement? "

    If this is your preconception, this may not be for you.

    In a few weeks or so, the biggest wing car race in the world will be taking place and will be heavily covered on this site. There will be no boredom, no driving around in circles. What there will be are the fastest things on wheels piloted by some of the hobby's most dedicated and colorful crew. This may not be for you, but it will demonstrate the pinnacle of the thing and from there you'll see that there are many layers, with one for almost all interest levels.

    Overkill? Cars going "too fast"?? Speed is the main ingredient in any race. More speed is clearly better.

    Welcome aboard.
    "Bring your ballistic $hit and your asbestos shorts, nobody gets out alive." Paul Kovich

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    4
    The potential problem I have with racing is during the race it doesn't really feel like a race. There isn't a back and forth with your opponents, and no way to tell who is winning during it. No epic finishes, or unexpected turn of events. If you watch the guys on the controls during the events, they look like robots bobbing their heads back and forth with their hands making a weird pulse. It doesn't look fun or something I would love to get into. I think there needs to be stuff beyond that for this hobby to grow.

    Also at home by yourself or even with a friend, racing loses much if not all of it's potential appeal. If you have to go out to an event to enjoy the hobby, that isn't much of a hobby.

    I would like to see a ready to run kit with a lot of detail and have decent size be retailed by a company for something like MSRP $1000-1500.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2009
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    Dayton, OH
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    Believe it or not we are actually aware of where we stand relative to other cars on the track and we know who we are racing. It takes practice, but it can be done.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2010
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    The Main Line
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    Please... not another Cauthen.
    Tachyon - A gluon that isn't quite dry.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2007
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    St. Catharines, Ontario Canada
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    265
    Sounds like John Again Again doesn't it?

  9. #9
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    Jul 2015
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    I don't know what you guys are talking about, but for you to appeal to new people you can't be stuck in your own ways. I understand you guys have been doing this for a long time so it makes sense and is fun to you, but getting new people to join a hobby is all about change and development of new ideas. Kids and young adults are not interested in stuff you were doing 20+ years ago. You guys haven't really addressed any of the ideas I made in the opening post.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2007
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario Canada
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    I think we all would like to see an influx of new people to the hobby, but you come across as being very critical of something you admittedly know nothing about. Take the advice above, and go hang around a track and make some friends. There are dozens of classes of cars to race, and the hobby is truly addictive once you learn it from the bottom up.

  11. #11
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    Jun 2002
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    Watkins Glen, New York
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    "You guys haven't really addressed any of the ideas I made in the opening post."

    Yes we have.
    "Bring your ballistic $hit and your asbestos shorts, nobody gets out alive." Paul Kovich

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    4
    Quote Originally Posted by Racer36 View Post
    I think we all would like to see an influx of new people to the hobby, but you come across as being very critical of something you admittedly know nothing about. Take the advice above, and go hang around a track and make some friends. There are dozens of classes of cars to race, and the hobby is truly addictive once you learn it from the bottom up.
    What exactly IS the hobby besides having 5 minute races where you do 100 laps? I am trying to find something in it that I would find myself doing for hours on end.

  13. #13
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    Dec 2009
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    Dayton, OH
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    Quote Originally Posted by buttswhat View Post
    I don't know what you guys are talking about, but for you to appeal to new people you can't be stuck in your own ways. I understand you guys have been doing this for a long time so it makes sense and is fun to you, but getting new people to join a hobby is all about change and development of new ideas. Kids and young adults are not interested in stuff you were doing 20+ years ago. You guys haven't really addressed any of the ideas I made in the opening post.
    I see your point, but I don't agree with it. Maybe taking time to understand something instead of blowing it off or trying to completely change it might be a better plan. That is, if you have the attention span to do that. If you are like a lot of other people your age you've likely played a lot of computer and/or wii/xbox/playstation games and can do quite well with a a game controller. In fact it's likely you sat there for hours to learn to do it. So, if you are interested, why not take the time to study the hobby and get up to speed first before you try to reinvent it.

  14. #14
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    Apr 2012
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    Citrus Heights, California
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    I would argue that there are certainly young people interested in this hobby. Some of the top racers are in your age group, or even younger. Top racers range from 16 years old to in their 70's, and everything in between.

    You're right though, this may not be for you. And that's fine. There are all kinds of "Slot car racing", from the fast 1/24th scale stuff, to very realistic, and slower, 1/32 hard body stuff. Even the old standard HO style cars. Perhaps none of them will appeal to you, and you'd be more interested in video games...

    Of course, if you feel that some "Changes" need to be made, and would make this hobby better, you could always open a track and put your ideas into practice, or perhaps find a way to manufacture the stuff you're suggesting. Perhaps it will take off as you think!
    Michael Colvin

  15. #15
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    Jun 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by buttswhat View Post
    I don't know what you guys are talking about, but for you to appeal to new people you can't be stuck in your own ways. I understand you guys have been doing this for a long time so it makes sense and is fun to you, but getting new people to join a hobby is all about change and development of new ideas. Kids and young adults are not interested in stuff you were doing 20+ years ago. You guys haven't really addressed any of the ideas I made in the opening post.
    I'll see what I can do to satisfy your request.

    Paragraph 1) You start with the statement that you're not sure if what you had was a slot car but you really want to get into the slot car hobby. That makes very little sense to me.

    Paragraphs 2 & 3) You say that we are split into two groups: aged Luddites (look it up) and little children with no attention span. You say you did some reading on line and you don't see any "development." You go on to say that you find no middle ground where someone your alleged age would fit in. At this point you demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of what slot racing is. You also make it abundantly clear that you have little or no experience with what we do. Given that most of the information on the internet is really not information at all, this is of little surprise.

    As far as your suggestions... your apparent inability to follow the action leads you to dismiss our progress as "overkill." The standard 150-foot King track lap record is around 1.5 seconds, That equals 100 feet per second. That is 68 miles per hour and no great speed as the real world goes. I would also point out that the 4 seconds you mention is a mere 25.5 miles per hour. Can't follow that? You got a problem.

    And what's this fascination with staying home? If you are unable to travel, my apologies, but (like most other hobbies) at least half the fun is in conversing and commiserating with our fellow competitors.

    Scenery? We don't care. On-boards? We don't much care about that either. Inner-city scenery? GO PLAY GRAND THEFT AUTO.

    If you want more maneuverability you may want to take up radio control which allows for steering and a wide area of operation. Slot cars are called that because they run in a slot. Nice idea, been tried, nobody really wants it as the comparative popularity of the analog v digital cars will attest.

    Thanks for your compliments on the appearance of slot cars, but that just tells me that you are posting your thoughts on the wrong forum. 1/24 RACING slot cars are anything but "stunning" (your word). I would suggest that you would find a much more agreeable and attentive audience at the Slot Cars Illustrated forum.

    Cheers!
    Tachyon - A gluon that isn't quite dry.

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