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It's a Race to Destruction
on 3 December 2013
If racing cars around a track trying to drive them to destruction sounds like fun, that's because with this toy, quite simply, it is. This is a 1:32 scale Scalextric set with a twist; you build and then destroy the cars, which takes racing to a whole new dimension.
In the (satisfyingly large) box you get a fair amount of track, two cars, as well as two hand power throttles and a power supply. Set up is fairly simple, each car, which is can be customised by the addition of stickers that are also provided, can be built in different ways, with a choice of bonnets and backs - bits can be left on or off and each driver can choose the configuration of their car. The pieces attach by a familiar looking stud system that has more than a nod to Lego, and is indeed compatible with said bricks. This, it turns out, makes for hours of fun as well as lots of interesting experimentation - I can report that a very tall tower car is not going to make it from concept car to the road any time soon, and a Santa lego minifigure has had the ride of his life! The supplied little articulated driver that comes with each car has more than a passing resemblance to a well known car show white helmeted driver: all adding to the fun.
Since we got this toy we've spent hours playing with it and testing it, literally, to destruction and a quick rebuild beyond. Everything is still working really well, and I'm sure we will have many more hours fun with it. The track is a little hard to put together, and requires adult input, and doesn't seem to be quite as well made as the track of my youth, however you can buy extra pieces and the a satisfying crossover and some straights with a wiggle which allow cars to come into close contact, are included which makes for lots of fun. I think there are a fair amount of track for the price.
It's a shame there is no counter in this set, but as a starter set it really is plug in and go, and I think that most children are going to love it - my kids aged 7 and 10 certainly do! The throttles are relatively easy to use, and I think a 4 year old would manage it, as suggested by the manufacturer, although play is likely to need some supervision. It's more tricky to add the parts to the car, they come off very easy - deliberately so I would imagine, but they can be quite frustrating and our red car seems to have roof fitting issues. The cars are easy to maintain with a quick change system for those iconic scaletrix braids, this is twenty-first century racing with all the attraction of the original.
Minor niggles aside I would totally recommend this toy, and indeed have done to several of my friends. It's pure unadulterated fun in a box!