INTERVIEW WITH:
PAUL CHANDLER,
SCALEXTRIC/SUPERSLOT
Marketing Manager Scalextric/Hornby
INTERVIEW WITH:
PAUL CHANDLER
Marketing Manager Scalextric / Hornby


The interview with Paul Chandler has taken longer than foreseen by the full schedule that cause this summer London Olympic Games. But had time to attend SLOTCAR TODAY to answer some questions, and others ... others dribbled.

SCT.- You should be a bit busy preparing actions for the Olympics is not?

P. Ch.- London 2012 will be one of the most incredible sporting events in history and we at Hornby Hobbies Ltd are delighted to be a part of the occasion; as a licensee across all of our world famous brands; Corgi (die-cast), Hornby (model railways), Airfix (plastic kits) and Scalextric (slot racing).

SCT.- Slot fans stayed a bit disappointed with the Olimpic Games Velodrome Cycling Set. There are some slot range product planned of last minute as has been done with Corgi?

P. Ch.- The Team GB Velodrome set from Scalextric is a fun, gift product; targeted at a specific price point and a younger consumer. We have a separate and dedicated Scalextric slot racing product range which focuses on the detailed requirements of our discerning collectors and enthusiasts.
Hornby, under the Corgi brand, have developed a vast array of beautiful die-cast products which have been received extremely well. The latest release, the die-cast replica of the Olympic Torch, sold out within just days of release.

SCT.-The entry of licenses nearest to the toy than to the hobby, such as Star Wars, is seen as a necessary toll to bring the slot to new generations?

P. Ch.- Every year, we endeavour to offer a range of slot racing products which appeal to consumers of all ages and on an international scale; from young children to adult collectors. In addition to our core motorsport offering, to appeal to a younger market in the toy sector, over recent years, we have applied several top entertainment licenses such as The Simpsons, Disney Cars, Need For Speed, James Bond 007 and, more recently as you mention, Star Wars™. The number one toy license.

SCT.- Scalextric is taking great care to collectors with very special editions, with well cared cases. What part of the slot fans contemplated the Scalextric product more as a static model as a car that runs on a track?

P. Ch.- This is an interesting question and we can only guess the true answer! In general terms, Limited Edition products and classic cars are usually those which remain in pack and unraced. However, this is not always correct. Scalextric and Superslot products are designed both for racing AND to be the best possible replica model we can achieve. We are delighted that so many of our consumers appreciate the level of our design competencies; whether they choose to race, or simply admire, our models.

SCT.- From the perspective of the racing fans, Scalextric has not finished to take the step to provide a range of models with adequate performance to stand up to the dominators of the main worldwide slot events. I suppose it is a recurrent question, but are or have been the theme on the table ever?

P. Ch.-
We focus on what we are very good at to ensure we are the best in our class. We focus our energies on what works for our consumers. We cannot be everything to everybody.

SCT.- The royalties costs of reproduction for modern cars has been forced for a significant increase of classical range models in the catalog, to satisfaction of old slot rockers. Does it include the recovering of brand classics an ongoing basis?

P. Ch.- Classic vehicles have become a more significant part of the range over recent years as this is what our consumers have demanded. We will continue to release the best possible quality products that our market dictates; and if Classic cars continue to increase in popularity then we will supply.

SCT.- When Super Resistant range appeared many believed it was an argument to offer less quality at lower prices. Fact is that this less detailed on the inside, but cars are able to be the quickest on the track as Gallardo has shown in the Scalextric World Championship.

P. Ch.- Correct. The principle aim of Super Resistant cars is to offer more affordable slot racing cars. However, in minimising the components and removing lights, the results can, as you mention, produce a car which races quicker than it’s more detailed equivalents.

SCT.- And talking about Scalextric World Championship. When would you schedule a race in Italy or in Spain?

P. Ch.- 
We are growing our World Championship schedule every month and we hope to have all major territories covered in time. We target our World Championship at the amateur racer and to the family – everyone is welcome to enter the competition. We are not excluding this programme to high-end racers only – we aim to include everyone.

SCT.- What race number 8 will we see reproduced before, Nico Rosberg’s in the Mercedes GP that is not planned this year or the Scalextric staff Adrian Norman who pilots in the Mini Challenge?
P. Ch.- Keep an eye on www.scalextric.com

SCT.- Hornby has a great Visitors Center in Margate, but the Scalextric history is underrepresented. Will we see a Scalextric historical exhibition in Margate one day?

P. Ch.- The Hornby Visitor Centre is proving extremely popular with many visitors. We have sections for each of our key brands, including Scalextric, documenting key moments in each brand’s history, with some rare vintage models and accessories. The Hornby Visitor Centre may grow in size over time and, if it does, we can then offer more space to Scalextric. At present, visitors seem to be extremely happy with the results.

SCT.- This year ends the James Bond series. And after that? Scalextric will surprise us with a series on Simon Templar "The Saint" and its marvellous Volvo P1800, which is right now the 50th anniversary of the TV series? It would be the perfect complement to 007.

P. Ch.- An excellent suggestion! One of some many subjects we are lucky enough to be in the position to consider. Watch this space!
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