Fecha de publicación: 04/03/2016
STATE OF SLOT / PART III / Opinion / GER.ITA.ESP.UK.US.AUS.SA.
STATE OF SLOT PART III
J.Gererstorfer, G.Grazioli, D.Grimes, M.Gubianas, G.Jex, A.Smith and R.Sheldon value the debate on the State of the Slot.
J.Gererstorfer, G.Grazioli, D.Grimes, M.Gubianas, G.Jex, A.Smith and R.Sheldon value the debate on the State of the Slot.

A few days have elapsed since the two articles about the State of the Slot was published. Since then it has been enormous the impact that have had, the comments and statements made in those articles, in most international forums and on SlotCar Today own. We can say that own brands have followed closely the discussions that have caused his words and certainly positively valued this debate generated from this publication.
We wanted to go a little further and now give voice to some opinion leaders in the world of slot that although initially could have participated in this debate, it is also true that its valuation now take another dimension, once known the views reflected in the previous two articles.
We have made a selection that believe appropriate and that includes, with some rigor, different Slot world hubs. Again someone will feel forgotten. But as SlotCar Today publisher I believe that at all times we have tried to reflect the plurality of views and opinions and assurance that the expressed words have the desired importance. If someone searches affinities can find them, it's normal. Anyone who feels forgotten is that honestly did not understand at all the objective of these articles.
From Europe we have selected people who can probably provide an adequate view of the State of the Slot on the old continent. Jochen Gerersdortfer,Germany, active disseminator of slot through SlotNerd. Giacomo Grazioli, authentic SlotCar movement generator in Italy through ItaliaSlot. Miquel Gubianas, history and technique brain of Slot in Spain and historical entertainer in SlotAdictos forum since its establishment nearly 20 years ago and finally Gareth Jex, current Slotforum moderator and long involved in spreading the Slot in the UK.
US election of Alan Smith was inevitable. Authentic alma mater and Slot culture promoter in America and a tireless fighter for keeping alive this hobby.
From South Africa we wanted to bring you the voice of one of the greats of Slot, Russell Sheldon, but he has apologized with few lines from his golden retirement, yes, with controller in hand.
And the Australian market could not miss. Dominic Grimes defends his opinion as an active member of Australian Scalextric Racing and Collecting Club (A.S.R.C.C.) from where does a great job in spreading the hobby.

Entrants:
Jochen Gererstorfer (Germany)
Giacomo Grazioli ( Italia)
Dominic Grimes (AUS)
Miquel Gubianas (Spain)
Gareth Jex (UK)
Russell Sheldon (SA)
Alan Smith (USA)


JOCHEN GERERSTORFER (GERMANY)

It was very interesting to read the opinions of producers and shop owners.
Whether the hobby really is now in intensive care, could not be clarified. Opinions are still very asunder. The downward trend is certainly recognizable for everyone. Finally we all do not know where things are headed.
Much more important, but I find the question: "How can we give a new impetus to hobby?"
Here was frequently discussed the "Marketing" topic. I think there have many manufacturers a lot to learn. An updated and functional website should also have the small slot car manufacturers. But that is unfortunately often not the case. Young consumers are informed via Internet and not in hobby shops and stores.
Not even the offer of free advertising is accepted. I have myself already written several manufacturers for copies for review on slotnerd.de, but usually only receive refusals or no answers.
It is also have been often discussed the topic "new products".
Therein lies also my opinion about the hobby salvation. The majority of current Slotracer will die in the next 20 years. New fans are no longer tempted by a basic set of Carrera Go !!! Those days are over.
With Carrera AppConnect and Scalextric ARC the first steps towards youth and smartphones have been made already. From Carrera sides unfortunately not very professional, what has caused a lot of frustration to the users. My personal idea for a new product would be a mix with other popular toys. Lego is now more a trend than ever. Worldwide the children play long hours with little stones and build all sorts of things with it. My son had designed daily several new cars with the Lego bricks.
If now Carrera or Scalextric would build a chassis, where you could build a bodywork with Lego bricks, that would be a huge incentive for the children to drive it on the track.
Without innovation the Slot Racing hobby will probably become extinct.

(Deutsch)
Es war sehr interessant die Meinungen der Hersteller und Shop-Betreiber zu lesen.
Ob das Hobby nun wirklich in der Intensivstation liegt, konnte natürlich nicht eindeutig geklärt werden. Die Meinungen gehen doch sehr auseinander. Der Abwärtstrend ist aber sicher für jeden erkennbar. Letztendlich wissen wir alle nicht wo die Reise hingeht.
Viel wichtiger finde ich aber auch die Frage: "Wie kann dem Hobby neuer Schwung verleiht werden?"
Hier wurde öfters das Thema "Marketing" angesprochen.
Ich glaube da haben viele Hersteller noch viel zu lernen. Eine aktuelle und funktionierende Webseite sollten auch die kleineren Slotcar-Hersteller haben. Das ist aber leider oft nicht der Fall. Der junge Konsument informiert sich im Internet und nicht im Kaufhaus.
Nicht mal das Angebot für kostenlose Werbung wird angenommen. Ich habe selbst schon mehrere Hersteller wegen Exemplaren für ein Review auf slotnerd.de angeschrieben, aber meist nur Absagen oder gar keine Antworten erhalten.
Es ist auch noch öfters das Thema "neue Produkte" angesprochen worden.
Genau da liegt meiner Meinung auch die Rettung für das Hobby. Der Großteil der aktuellen Slotracer wird in den nächsten 20 Jahren aussterben. Neue Fans lassen sich mit einer normalen Carrera Go!!! Grundpackung nicht mehr locken. Diese Zeiten sind vorbei.
Mit Carrera AppConnect und Scalextric ARC wurden ja schon die ersten Schritte in Richtung Jugend und Smartphones gemacht. Von Seiten Carrera leider nicht sehr professionell, was bei den Benutzern für viel Frust gesorgt hat.
Meine persönliche Idee für ein neues Produkt wäre die Vermischung mit anderen beliebten Spielzeugen.
Lego ist heute mehr im Trend als jemals zuvor. Weltweit spielen die Kinder täglich viele Stunden mit den kleinen Steinen und bauen alles mögliche damit. Mein Sohn hatte täglich mehrere neue Autos mit den Lego Steinen entworfen. Wenn nun Carrera oder Scalextric ein Chassis bauen würde, wo man mit Legosteinen aufbauen könnte, wäre das ein riesen Anreiz für die Kinder, damit auf der Rennbahn damit zu fahren.
Ohne Innovationen wird das Hobby Slotracing aber wohl aussterben.



GIACOMO GRAZIOLI (ITALY)


The topic of discussion that the friend Albert Boet (SlotCar Today) proposed is extremely interesting.
Analyzing the situation we are faced with a lack of generational replacement and to a lack of visibility. We have entered a nebulous phase where most of today's children and young people know little about the slot track and those who will come in the future probably will not ever see.
The issues are very clear to all those in the industry but unfortunately the solution is beyond our possibilities.
The slot tracks producers should do advertising and targeted marketing actions.
Safeguard the stores and hobby shops that are the only way ensuring visibility throughout the year to the new generations.
I am extremely confident that if a producer of slot tracks did a convincing marketing operation aimed at launch of a new game, Slot Car, remain extremely astonished by the positive impact on future generations, the commercial success of which would enjoy the company and the effect of driving that would activate in the Slot world.
In Italy it has worked so hard in recent years to spread a passion. Since there is ItaliaSlot site, which combined the different territorial realities, the increase of fans has been exponential. Within 15 years, the Slot Club has increased from a few to a hundred. We also are fortunate to have companies like Slot.it and NSR collaborating with the fans by supporting the various initiatives. Unfortunately they do not produce slot tracks and the only thing they can do is feed the market of those who already practice slot.
Personally I think I made, and I will continue to do, as much as possible to spread the passion with the few resources at my disposal. The example that I can bring is that of Slotlandia, an annual event dedicated to Slot Car where the public is a protagonist. You can test and play on the many tracks available, ask for advice from experienced people, speaking directly with producers etc ..
A great festival made possible thanks to the passion of those who practice slotcar.
In conclusion, I feel like "Don Quixote." For many years I struggle against "windmills" to sensitize manufacturers to take decisions which will make the game visible to "NEW" public.

If you do not make a "NEW" seeding, never you will get a "NEW" harvest.

(Italiano)
L'argomento di discussione che l'amico Albert Boet ha proposto è estremamente interessante. Analizzando la situazione ci troviamo di fronte ad una mancanza di ricambio generazionale ed ad una mancanza di visibilità.
Siamo entrati in una fase nebulosa dove la maggior parte dei bambini o ragazzi di oggi conosce poco la pista elettrica e quelli che verranno in futuro probabilmente non la vedranno mai.
Le problematiche sono ben chiare a tutti quelli del settore ma purtroppo la soluzione va oltre le nostre possibilità.
I produttori di piste dovrebbero fare pubblicità e operazioni di marketing mirate.
Salvaguardare i negozi che sono l'unico mezzo che garantisce visibilità durante tutto l'arco dell'anno alle nuove generazioni.
Sono estremamente convinto che se un produttore di piste elettriche facesse una convincente operazione di marketing indirizzata al lancio di un nuovo gioco, le Slot Car, rimarrebbe estremamente stupito dall’impatto positivo sulle nuove generazioni, dal ritorno economico di cui godrebbe l’azienda e dall’effetto trainante che attiverebbe in tutto il mondo dello Slot.

In Italia si è lavorato tanto in questi anni per divulgare la passione. Da quando esiste il portale Italia Slot, che ha unito le varie realtà regionali, l'incremento di appassionati è stato esponenziale. Nell'arco di 15 anni gli Slot Club sono aumentati da poche unità ad un centinaio. Inoltre abbiamo la fortuna di avere aziende come Slot.it ed NSR che collaborano con gli appassionati sostenendo le varie iniziative. Purtroppo non producono piste elettriche e l'unica cosa che possono fare è alimentare il mercato di chi lo slot lo pratica già.

Personalmente credo di aver fatto, e continuerò a fare, quanto possibile per divulgare la passione con i pochi mezzi a mia disposizione.
L'esempio che posso portare è quello di Slotlandia, una manifestazione annuale dedicata alle Slot Car dove il pubblico è protagonista. Può provare le numerose piste a disposizione, chiedere consigli a gente esperta, parlare direttamente con i produttori ecc..
Una grande festa realizzata grazie alla passione di chi lo slot lo pratica.
Concludendo, mi sento come "Don Chisciotte". Sono molti anni che lotto contro "i mulini a vento" per tentare di sensibilizzare i produttori a prendere decisioni atte a rendere visibile il gioco al "NUOVO" pubblico.

Se non si farà una "NUOVA" semina, mai si otterrà un "NUOVO" raccolto.



MIQUEL GUBIANAS (SPAIN)

I must admit that I deeply appreciate my inclusion in this group of opinion. Always focused on the Rally Slot, I raced and won, and I have made many cars and drivers winners. I have built and designed many cars and chassis systems; I have published books and involved in magazines, clinics & meetings throughout my 22 years of active career. Currently there are 6 years of purely domestic hobby, I am aware and I am still learning and offering my experience. It took me horrors summarize my opinions, so more than ever I will ask to whom read me to look between the lines, because between the lines come out all.

THE SLOT IS NEARLY IN THE ICUs
At racing level: low Inscriptions; lack or lesser impact of major events; highest age average ... it is necessary that current managers and actors become aware of such clear problems that cannot believe that do not see them: Slot racing is incomprehensible. The nettle is in hands of the club or store.
At hobby level: it is clear by the interviewed that the easy recourse is talking about the console, Internet and the economic crisis when the problem comes from not knowing to see who is in the medium term, your client. Slotcar is a hobby, a motor sport born from a toy that reaches maturity. It pains me to see how the Big 3 have never been away from the toy. This is another of the main diseases.
Among respondents there are two groups. Curiously the small, specialists and hobbyists do not see the Slot entirely in the ICUs, it is because they can read the market.

GROPING IN THE DARK
It is what historically has been taking place mainly in two lines: consider the slot as a toy and not to approach the amateur, or do it halfway, which is worse.
We can speak first of mechanics. How many cars taken from his urn and without extra magnet are capable of running cheerful and reliably in a club track?
Luckily there are manufacturers that focus on the slot as a hobby, but even here there are gaps: Who invents today? M.Ferrari, G.Montiglio, brands with high added value in technology, and individuals. Others give grope with their designs, some without a minimum mobility on track will not survive the first lap.
To make a car that works well costs the same as one that does not: plastic injection is the same. The only thing you need to know is to set the right dimensions.
The Slot.it 4-point bench is a design from 1998, NSR system is 2008, Avant Slot or Black Arrow provide very good and own systems, but most of the, so-called "auxiliary industry" is based on the Slot.it. bench. Sorry if I disagree, but there are more forms of life on Mars.
3D design, the biblical solution, and we jump on the bandwagon without seeing that it is a hot iron: let's be honest, the 3D will be cheap and dynamic, but as a product is imperfect, has burrs and improprieties and does not solve the main problem: To create 3D also you need to know how to design. Arrived at this point I do not understand the position of Hornby Spain, can you be optimistic when you recognize that your original chassis are useless and also must rely on third-party technology that provide mechanical alternatives to yours to make your bodywork be seen in the clubs? You are recognizing that a huge company like yours cannot do, athletically speaking, great chassis while you're doing overspend your customers.

Slot cars should include a User Manual as was the case of the Xsara Pro and Pro Audi of SCX Tecnitoys.
Some well-supplied information opens the technical appetite to Slotcar fans.

INCOMPREHENSIBLE RULES
Clubs and rules are partly blame as well. Incomprehensible categories either by technification by budget or concept, and lack of facilities to allow the entry of inexperienced fans, that needs a journey through the desert to get a fairly competitive car.
We need a lot of education and a little more patience, not navel-gazing and see if what we are doing, instead of attracting people, drives away.


PRIVATE INITIATIVE
A Club / store is like a tennis club: rents its tracks and serves as a meeting point.
This is pure private initiative, and as wisely analyzes Maurizio Ferrari is the entry of new fan to the base and the perfect interlocutor between them and manufacturers.
The entry of new fans to Slot does not come from the "Starter sets" but rather from the product for over 14 years.
In 1993 there were no manufacturers, yet within 3 seasons inscriptions increased fivefold, Rallyslot Catalunya were born and Spain SlotCar Championship and broke out creating all type of events and Open races.
The arrival of fans and cars technological climb soared. Everything was due to the initiative of individuals and clubs.
In 10 years, brands and retailers had capitalized this arsenal, and appropriated it, hanged themselves a medal that was never of them. Between 2009 and 2012 the house of cards collapsed: They had opened the belly to the goose that lays golden eggs.
Now the clubs are again, ie, the private initiative, who has the hot potato, and surely achieve it again in a different format but has not yet found (maybe when regulate differently).
The problem with the big brands has been not to understand that the particular initiative is the real source of fans.
Zero communication and zero response capacity, all for not knowing to take the pulse of the hobbyist.
Still and all, I doubt that we will see again the men of EXIN to take an amateur toolbox of and after a few months bring to the market an Audi Quattro OR the SRS…
... I doubt that we will see a project as good kidded as the former Tecnitoys Pro.


DOMINIC GRIMES (AUSTRALIA)

To set the scene and where my perspective comes from:
• Australia has only been mildly impacted by the economic problems experienced so harshly in many other countries during the past 10 years. The economic climate could well worsen from now, presenting some big challenges already faced in other countries.
• We don't manufacture much slot gear here and whilst the currency has dropped 30%, it was from historically high levels and only in the last 2 years.
• 1/32nd scale is the main focus in Australia. 1/24th gets some interest. 1/43rd and 1/64th is much less common.
• Australia's favorite brand is Hornby’s Scalextric given its history in Australia and helped by the ongoing Australian content in their range, particularly the last 3-4 years. People say “Scalextric” rather than “slot cars” in conversation.
• One of Australia's challenges is different to Europe and the UK, it is distance combined with low, enforced speed limits. Getting to a slot car outlet, slot car swap meet or event may be a long drive or even an airplane flight.
• Sydney has 4 purpose slot car outlets spread across the city, 2 more than 3 years ago. Melbourne has 2, as it has had for a number of years.
• Scalextric prices have risen noticeably in last 3 years and expect small increase in 2016. A 2016 Scalextric high detail car will be about A$73, similar to a Slot.It car, A$10 less than Sideways and A$45 less NSR (we have a 10% GST sales tax, similar to VAT).

ICU & Oxygen
Some great points of view from manufacturers and those involved in the hobby.

The sentiment is concerning, reflecting three main things in my view:
• The shift to online & digital in everything
• The economic woes in Europe & UK in last 5 years or so. I see USA important but not super important to 1/32nd scale.
• A lack of innovation and clever/engaging marketing in slot cars that is so needed to capture consumer & media interest.

I don’t see the status of the hobby as weak as the sentiments read, it definitely isn’t in Australia at this time. In Australia it is getting tougher as retailers margins are squeezed, prices rise and the number of cars released each year continue to increase (Scalextric range 2016 71 new cars, most in at least 5+ years!). I struggle to see their being enough increasing demand for the extra supply which means discounting and waste of resources from unsold product, not good for the hobby. It could also mean some rationalization at the manufacturer level which is natural but hopefully would be orderly.

The two big issues in Australia that can be changed are:
• Negligible marketing of slot cars in Australia outside the activities in the public domain that slot car outlets host or the Australian Scalextric Racing & Collecting Club host/promote.
• Hornby financial problems given the strength of the brand in Australia. The recent announcements & market response are concerning and initial feeling is seems we are revisiting where Hornby were two years ago.

To close out linking back to the global big focuses of online/digital, economic climate & more innovation and where the oxygen comes from.

It is great there are some positives being mentioned that the economic challenges may be bottoming out. The quality and desirability of the product has to be a great sign.

Regarding digital/online & innovation, I see these linked and a very interesting dynamic. Whilst the negative impact of digital/online has been huge, I see there now being potential that digital/online can help slot cars, that is contribute greatly to a bounce back in the hobby. This is not so much in the cars and track, more in how the hobby is marketed and manufacturers/retailers personalize the experience for slot car customers and identify potential new customers.

I hope you don’t think I am in need of medical care myself! Some aspects I see possible:
• Locally, slot car outlets & hobby shops better connecting with slot car enthusiasts.
• On a larger scale, manufacturers/brands facilitating enthusiasts to connect with each other globally.
• Manufacturers and distributors leveraging some great advancement in customer marketing to personalize their relationship with hobbyists, not just slot car enthusiasts.
• Slot car clubs to impress members with new and different ways of doing things and help connect enthusiasts with their local outlets, manufacturers and events.

The hobby will always involve change and challenges but with smart business decisions, great customer service, desirable product and more innovation there is a good future for slot cars.


GARETH JEX (UNITED KINGDOM)

Albert asked me to respond to the articles on SlotCar Today and also to comment on the subsequent discussions and opinions voiced as a result of these articles. Before I begin, can I publically thank Albert and all involved in producing these articles – being responsible for posting news articles on SlotForum.com I know how difficult it can be to get manufactures to send in news, let alone take the time to voice their opinions – great job!

The following is my own personal opinion interspersed with comments from others on Slotforum.com.

So to the questions asked and the responses given; The tone of the answers given by the manufacturers is (in my personal opinion) very telling, mainstream manufactures tend to talk about the ‘business’ of slot whilst the smaller manufacturers talk about the ‘hobby’. This is actually a very important difference and one that the articles never say it set out to answer. As several people have commented; are hobbyists (racers, collectors, builders, enthusiasts) responsible for the industry or the hobby? Many have pointed out that the hobby will not die if the major manufacturers stop selling product, we already have product and can either make our own or buy from small niche manufacturers in the future.

We have to separate the industry from the hobby.

Is the Slot Industry in crisis? – YES – why?

“There are too many manufacturers with too many models - chasing an ever decreasing number of consumers & enthusiasts. It‘s oversaturation.”
This comment from Slotforum sums it up for me. I simply do not understand why all the major manufacturers constantly make the same models as each other or make models of cars that have previously been made (well) by another company. I can just about understand remaking a model when it was originally made (badly) back in the 60’s, 70’s 80’s, but even then I think the manufactures simply don’t do their research.

I will give you a quick example about a year ago I was asked to suggest livery options for a new model of a Peugeot 205 T16 by a major slot manufacturer – I gave them two, when asked why I could not suggest anymore the answer was simple they had already been made and made well and were probably still available and will probably run better than a new product. I already have over 30 Pug 205 T16 models in my slot collection – I really don’t need anymore. They ignored my suggestions and released the product – it’s good, it’s OK – I have not bought one and look forward to seeing it in the sales bin soon.

Is this typical or just an isolated case? I think it’s typical and in some respects I can see why manufacturers do it – there really are not that many cars in motorsport left to make! I know that’s a bold statement, but based on my experience I think its correct. There is a thread on Slotforum.com which asked in August 2010 which classic rally cars had not been made as slot cars, the topic has continued all these years and now has over 19 pages of suggestions and photos – incredibly almost all the models suggested have now been made – perhaps not as RTR by major manufacturers, but I counted less than 10 cars listed that have not been made and they are obscure! (I might get around to making some of them!).

Whilst I don’t suggest I have an answer for the major manufactures the smaller manufactures who make specialist products for racers and collectors I think will continue to go from strength to strength – they simply do not need to make the numbers the big boys do. The product quality is normally very high, extremely well researched, accurate and desirable – it’s normally expensive, but that’s OK because it’s different!

Is the Slot Hobby in crisis? – NO – why?

I’m not really sure how a hobby can be in crisis – by its very definition a hobby can’t be important enough to be in crisis – if it were, it would be a business. I know from personal experience how easy it is for a hobby to become a business and in my opinion as soon as it does you should stop! A hobby should be a distraction from your day to day life/work. It might simply be playing on a figure of eight in your front room or it may be joining twenty other people at a club and racing highly engineered slotcars. However when it becomes a business where do you go to relax? Your hobby has disappeared! I think it’s true that our hobby is not as popular or as vocal as it was say ten years ago, but at that time there were new and exciting ways for enthusiasts to gather together and discuss new slotcar stuff those places were magazines, international clubs, and forums. There were probably only five slot related forums around the world so when something was discussed thousands saw it – now there are thousands of slot related forums or web spaces (including Facebook) post something in one and less people see it not just because less people are taking part, but because they have moved to more specialist locations. Events are harder to organise for similar reasons – in the early days people were excited to be involved and happy to help – now these same events have become the norm, they are commercial – people just expect them to happen. Same with race series and competitions in the early days it was new/exciting/different – now they are just normal. People just assume these things happen, because they are easy to publicise online, but the real world is different and slotcars are real world and real world requires commitment, travel, time and money – in my opinion these commodities are in short supply. One area where I think the manufactures have not helped themselves is the lack of support they provide for events and real world activities.

In my opinion, the Hobby went through a period of commercialisation, that has ended and now the hobby is returning to being a hobby rather than a business. There will be fewer players, but I think they will be happier!

ALAN SMITH (USA)

Is this Hobby and Industry that creates the Hobby in ICU, YES!!!

Anyone who answers differently is probably in denial, the Hobby is shrinking and to me the main reason is the Internet.
Slot Cars, and Slot Car Racing needs locations simple fact, without locations this Hobby will continue to shrink. Locations need sales and sales with a profitable margin. Sadly many Manufacturers and Distributors in this Industry have sold out Slot Cars to virtual sales, this has supplied the current Slot Car Hobbyist with cars at unbelievable prices, from Etailers with little or no expenses to cover, so at crazy prices.
And if this had grown the market I would be the first to say this is the new world order, Etailers, and reduced margins but more sales for Manufacturers and Distributors that supply the Industry and the Hobby.
But it has not grown the Market in fact truth be told the market is shrinking, and it does not need to, at least not in North America where I am based.
Children love Slotcars, but via the Internet they do not experience the fun of racing, building painting, designing their own versions of the cars the Hobby grew from.
Here I had a decision to make Go big or Go home, most sellers and promoters of Slot Car Racing have decided to Go home, meaning they sell product but cannot be found by new consumers, so they attack each other to get the few who already know about the Hobby of Model Car Racing.
I decided that what this Hobby needs is people prepared to invest in the Industry to showcase the Hobby and reach out in their local community to grow the Hobby, to get new people involved. That takes money ( Margin ) and without margin this Hobby is doomed to die.
All of that said in North America this Hobby and Industry can grow and become a very viable Business for the Manufacturers and Distributors and Retail Stores, and a fun pastime and Hobby for those who buy Slot Car Racing as the game, toy, hobby, collectible it can be.
But without a plan this Industry is certainly in ICU.
Really I see no plans from the Major Manufacturers, no ideas how to grow this Hobby, how to get it into the hands of new customers. This is what the Hobby needs new users.

Here at the ScaleRacing Center and at Scaleracing LLC I am fortunate, we have new customers, Car Clubs, Business leaders, Birthday Parties, Corporate Events, Car Clubs we are reaching out into new areas to grow the Hobby we all love.
My question is who else is growing the Hobby, anyone can give it away but can they grow it, reach new people which every Industry needs, I do not see that plan. Only who can sell it cheaper, on eBay.
We need a plan, we need locations, we need to promote this fantastic game, we need to be active and invest in the Hobby or it will die.

RUSSELL SHELDON (SOUTH AFRICA)

I'm honoured that you included me, however I don't think that I am suitably qualified. Since retiring two years ago and moving back to South Africa, I have grown out of touch with the 'plastic' slot car scene. Now days I race 1/24th 'metal' cars at the Cambridge Slot Car Club in Cape Town (https://www.facebook.com/CambridgeSlotCarClub), although we do have a 'plastic' class, but we use sponge tyres and the class is pretty much dominated by the Spirit Peugeot 406 with NSR 25k motors.

Unfortunately, there are very few hobby shops in South Africa and even fewer of them sell slot cars. The predominant brand is Ninco, since they have a very good distributor, followed by Carrera. The popularity of slot racing is also very much dependent on the economy. Right now the South African economy is not in good shape and the first thing that suffers is hobbies.



I for one do not want that to happen.
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