Scalextric revival

It is good news that improved Scalextric model race-tracks, cars and accessories are part of the Hornby revival.

Hornby’s publicity people have been very honest about the company’s financial vicissitudes along the years, but those who were Meccano and Hornby trains addicts should welcome the news that the Margate factory has been given a new lease of life, competing against opposition from the Orient with new toys, trains and Scalextric products.

Model car racing arrived before the war, and even famous drivers of the time enjoyed playing with them. Improved Scalextric layouts and cars were developed by Mini-models Ltd, and in 1958 Lines Bros took the business over, only to fail in 1971. Dunbee Combex Mark Ltd bought the system and had considerable success, until 1980 when a receiver was appointed. Wiltminster Ltd took over in 1981, but competition from the Far East spelt disaster just a year later.

Hornby Group plc has now reorganised, however, and has experienced an upturn in Scalextric sales. At this year’s Toy & Hobby Fair it exhibited some very advanced accessories including electronic gantry start-lights and cars such as Jaguar XJR-8 and Porsche 962C with smoking tyres on acceleration, brake-lights and headlamps.

Scalextric also has Williams-Honda, Lotus-Renault and Lotus-Honda F1 models with turbo afterburn-flash, tyre-smoke and improved Magnatraction roadholding. Other cars include Lancia Delta HF and Ford RS200 with 4WD, and F1 McLaren and Porsche 956 with adjustable suspension and alternative gear-ratios as on the real cars. A new digital lap-scorer and other accessories are backed by a servicing dealer-network.

Men who are still boys at heart, or shops which wish to become agents, can get full information from Karen Shillcock at TMD, 143 Long Acre, London WC2E 9AD. WB