Hands-on: Scalextric RCS Race Control System review (video)
Scalextric has been around for a while, but the company has used the London Toy Fair 2014 to introduce the first 1:32 scale slot car Race Control System that will let you use a Bluetooth-enabled device to wirelessly create and manage races.
Scalextric RCS is available in three sets including RCS One, RCS Air and RCS Pro, each offering different app functionality including race modes, in-race settings, pre-race configuration and social media.
The RCS One comes with two hand throttles, but they are still connected by wires, while the Air also offers two throttles but lets you play wirelessly. The RCS Pro is where it really gets exciting, allowing you to play wirelessly with up to six cars, along with providing full app functionality.
The app is available on Android and iOS platforms, and on the RCS Pro it will let you manage a range of racing modes including quickstart mode, practice, drag race, tournament, Grand Prix, endurance race, qualifying, round-robin driver selection, arcade and pursuit mode.
The in-race features that can be monitored by the app include race start, yellow flag mode that kills the power when a car jumps off the track, jump start, start reaction times and lap counting. The app will also analyse top speed, proximity sound, pit lane pit stop, fuel, tyre, in-race damage, weather conditions, allow you to use KERS just like they do in F1 and add random incidents like punctures or engine blow-outs forcing you to pit stop to mix it up further.
Essentially, the app means that everything you might have argued about when playing Scalextric before - such as your opponent jump starting or the number of laps you have completed - is all managed for you and it has a simple layout that is easy to navigate.
For pre-race configuration, with the RCS Pro set you will be able to control set selection, car selection, multi-device display, handicap system, hand throttle mapping and car mapping and go as far as allowing to you complete in qualifiers so you aren't arguing with your mates about start grid positions.
In addition, there is a My Garage feature that lets you list your slot car collection and add your favourites to make starting a race quicker. The My Garage section lets you log all your track pieces and accessories, as well as save custom track designs by taking a photo and giving them a name.
The majority of the app features are available on both the RCS Pro and RCS Air, but there is slightly more limited app functionality with the RCS One. All three will allow you to post your race stats to Twitter or Facebook to compare results and change the speed units between kph and mph, as well as scale speed.
Scalextric RCS will be available from June and there are a couple of options to get hold of it. If you are a big Scalextric fan and you already have your cars and track pieces, then you can buy accessory packs which cost £40 for the RCS One, £80 for the RCS Air and £100 for the RCS Pro, but it is worth noting that with the pro set you will also have to have digital cars, or at least cars fitted with digital chips.
For those that are new to Scalextric, the RCS One complete set will set you back £100 and the RCS Pro set with six cars will cost £500.