Scalextric sets still exist, but it’s not the mess of wires that it used to be – and it won’t produce that exciting ‘eau de transformer’ smell it used to, either. Scalextric can still give you some simple analogue fun but now it packs in some serious tech – giving you everything from brakes that work to the ability to change lanes and even record lap times.
Here you’ll find a list of our favourite current Scalextric sets, from the bog-standard ones that bear a passing resemblance to sets you may remember, to others that sit somewhere between racing games and train sets. Keep reading to find out how you can upgrade your existing gear.
For in in-depth review of a modern Scalextric set, check out our review of the Scalextric Sunset Speedway set.
The best Scalextric sets
Best starter set
Utilising the ARC PRO tech in a more basic set that you can build upon yourself. This set includes
- Great for drift lovers
- Speed limiting controls
- 5+ age range, perfect for the 'first' set
- Very simple track layout
What's cooler than LMP Cars? The huge fin on the back and the aggressive looks - plus the fact
- Extended layout for endurance racers
- Actual Ginetta cars
- Challenging layout
- A footprint of 7'8" x 4" is impressive but requires space
Best Scalextric bundle
British touring cars? Yes, please. This Scalextric set brings the unhinged world of the BTCC to
- For the BTCC fan
- Cool cross-over layout
- Narrow track section adds to the drama
- High price
Best micro set
Like the Bond set above, this is battery-powered, and is one of Scalextric's Micro sets. You get
- Best for young-uns
- Cool track layout
- Loop the loop
- Dinky cars
Best Scalextric cars:
As we know, racing your favourite cars in miniature is what Scalextric is all about. Along with classics, there is always a supply of dribble-inducing machines to let loose on your miniature version of Silverstone. We've picked some of our favourites.
Best BMW slot car
Can you get cooler than an E30 BMW? You might argue that you can but with this livery it looks
6. McLaren 720S
Best slot supercar
We're always unsure about road cars on a Scalextric track. However, the McLaren 720s is such a
Ford Sierra BTCC, do we have to say much more, really? The nostalgia of this flying around Brands
Best classic F1 slot car
Essentially the Tyrrell 001 but built with a marginally longer monocoque as, like this Scalextric
Best classic car Scalextric set
Yeah, but, the E-type was a pretty handy race car and the chances of evening one for less than six
How to convert your existing Scalextric sets
Got a dusty Scalextric set in the loft? It turns out you can make it work with the new kit we’ve written about above – but you will need to fork out for a few bits and pieces.
First, your cars will need digital chips to bring your existing cars into the 2020 era. These add-ons bring the tech behind the ability to use KERS and change lanes. You can get them here.
Can you use your old cars and track with the new Scalextric sets?
You can use your old Scalextric sets if you like, but not with the new-fangled digital ones, and you lose the digital elements such as lane changing and fastest times, too. However, you keep the wireless controllers. Some more recent cars can be made ARC PRO compatible, but you’ll need to retrofit them with a microchip and optical sensor.
Old track can be merged with new track as well; you just need to buy a cheap adaptor to link to the two connection types together. And significantly, you keep most of the digital features when using both your new and old track together; lap times will be logged, and laps will be counted. If your original track is clean and in good order, it’s fine to use both.
Aaron Hussain is a commercial content writer at Bauer Media writing for Parkers and CAR. He is obsessed with classic cars and anything with a fascinating story to tell.