As traditional toys continue to feel the pressure of not only games consoles but iPads as well, toy makers like Scalextric are having to up their game when it comes to appealing to players young and old.
Scalextric's take is to introduce not only Bluetooth connectivity to its slot car racing sets, but also enhanced features for those that have a smartphone or tablet.
The Scalextric Track Day (£199.99) comes with a Jaguar CX75 and McLaren P1, around 6m of track and two wireless Bluetooth enabled controllers for wire free play.
The track, which has 12 suggested layouts out of the box, before you add your own creativity, is long but varied, and will require a decent sized room to be laid out.
For testing purposes we opted for the default layout, but certainly enjoyed not having to worry about where we would sit based on the wires to and from the controllers (there are no wires).
On the surface the Track Day Set works as you would expect. The cars are detailed, and although a little shiny, fast.
Snap the track pieces together, power up the system, connect the wireless controllers, and away you go. The cars hurtle around the track at seemingly break neck speed.
At this point, it's like a traditional Scalextric experience. It's once you connect your smartphone or tablet to the mix that things get a little more interesting.
Although the app itself is fairly crude in terms of design and usability, it adds a number of cool features to your racing experience once you tell it the track set you are racing on.
Those experiences range from basic things like adding five-and-out light starts, a lap counter, and post race statistics so you can evaluate your performance to more elaborate options like changing how the car reacts to tyre wear, fuel usage, and weather.
That's right, play a long enough race and rather than just whizzing around the track without too much effort, you'll now have to worry about pit stops and how that affects your race plans.
It's great fun and certainly something that breathes new life into the slot car racing format.
Of course the beauty is, is that you don't need a tablet or a smartphone to get started or enjoy the set, but obviously it adds plenty to the experience if you do. The fact that you don't need an tablet is a great move, and one that we feel hampers many of the "connected toys" we see at Pocket-lint, especially if you are a parent worried about "screen time".
The Scalextric Arc Track Day Set takes a tried and tested toy experience and brings it up to date without being detrimental to the core experience - racing cars.
We love the fact that you don't need a tablet to enjoy the experience, but that by adding one into the mix, it enhances the gaming experience. It also means that young kids and old granddads can enjoy the racing, without it getting overly complicated if they don't want it to be.
If you like Scalextric and are looking to get more from your sets, this is certainly the way to do it.
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