12 Days of Christmas: Scalextric Digital Pro GT

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... Eight Scalextric cars a-driving. Which was a top present as we may have gotten a bit older, but you can never grow out of a spot of slot car racing. Even if they whizz off at every corner, because you wield the controller like a maniac.

Certainly, Pocket-lint will always remember being given its first Scalextric set back in the late 70s. And how we loved the March Ford 771 with its six-wheels, a clear advantage when it came to gripping the track. Still bonked the dog on the head though.

So why don't you give such wonderful experiences and memories to a loved one this Christmas. Better still, buy one of these for yourself. And here's 12 reasons why...

Scalextric Digital Pro GT

What is it?
Slot car racing set

Who is it for?
Boys - big and small

How much is it?
£299

Delivery speed?
1/3 days (in UK - rest of the world will take longer)

It's a perennial favourite

Scalextric has been around since the late 1950s, and it's barely changed in all that time. Yep, the new Digital version has more bells and whistles, but it's still, essentially, the same game, with chunky cars and perilous corners.

It does, admittedly, take a while to set up, and you need a decent sized space to run a competitive track, but it's all worth it for the thrill of the race.

It's great for kids and adults

Digital Pro GT is recommended for kids aged 7 and up. However, whenever we've got a sniff of a Scalextric track at Pocket-lint, you can't get the grown adults off it. Indeed, we even got to race Force India Formula One driver Adrian Sutil recently, and all we've got to say is that he takes it very seriously indeed. We still came second out of six though. Ha!

It comes with four cars

The Digital Pro GT set, which came out in October 2010, comes with four cars - each of which would cost £40 if bought separately. It includes the digital versions of the Aston Martin DBR9, Porsche 911 GT3R, Maserati MC12 and Ford GT-R. And, to be honest, it may be the only time we get to drive such amazing vehicles.

They have working head and rear lights

One benefit of the digital set-up is that it can send power to the cars without them needing batteries. Therefore, each of them have fully working LED head and rear lights. It's great if you turn the lights down low on a long night time race. Looks a bit like a mini Tokyo street race.

There's a lap counter

The lap counter is digital and is included in the set. It can be set for 999 laps, has a built-in start sequence and can penalise racers for a false start. Of course, you won't race hat many laps, surely, or your trigger finger may fall off.

You can race four cars at the same time

This is the best part about Scalextric Digital, you can actually race up to six cars on the same lane, therefore you can stack the cars behind each other and jostle for position. "But," we hear you cry, "how do you overtake?" Well...

There's a lane changer

The track comes with a lane changing section, which looks like an old-fashioned chicane. When you twiddle a knob on the trigger you can swap lanes, and therefore overtake. It allows for some crazy racing, we can tell you.

You get a lot of track

Another reason why the Digital Pro GT set is pricier than a lot of its stablemates is that you do get plenty of track in the box. Certainly enough to form the figure of eight pictured above. It's important to have that much track if you're going to race four cars at once.

The pick ups can be replaced easily

This is an important improvement for all those that remember having to bodge their old Scalextric cars with aluminium foil strips when the brushes had worn down. The pick ups on the digital cars can be swapped in and out with ease.

The cars don't fly off so much

Another feature of Scalextric's digital range of cars is that they all feature Magnatraction technology. In short, small magnets help them stick to the track more effectively than the cars of old. It's an important aspect if you're going to be lane-shifting often, although it still won't stop them spinning or flying off at the corners if you're foolhardy.

It can be expanded

Naturally, like all of Hornby's big boy's toys, there's massive room for expansion. The official website sells plenty of extra track pieces, new cars, and even the old track is compatible. However, to use the old analogue cars on a digital tracks, they will need to be modified with a digital chip. It's best to check out the official website at www.scalextric.com for more info.

You will never tire (tyre?) of it

Groan!

Have you got a great Scalextric memory? Let us know in the comments below...