Wednesday, December 19, 2007

SCX Compact - some impressions

A few days ago my 3 year old son and I got out the SCX F1 Compact set, we had a blast. We set up the track on his small Thomas-the-Tank-Engine-type table. We could only set up a small oval but even with that set up it was evident that there were lots of difference between the F1's that came with the set and the Nascars. The first difference was that the Nascars seemed to slide much easier and didn't accelerate quite as quickly.
When I first got the F1 set I was impressed by the level of detail in the molding of the F1's. The finish on the McLaren is well done, the printing is good but the reddish bits of printing are a bit too low chromatically speaking... but that's nit picking to be sure.
The F1's have very sticky tires, much stickier than the Nascars. The grooves in the tires may have something to do with the cornering speed of the F1's. Piloting the McLaren, my son was able to pass me within a few laps of the start of the "race." The magnetic pull of the F1's seems to be stronger because they "snapped" down on the track. But with all their speed and ease of cornering, the F1's don't give you much warning when they're going to deslot. The 'Cars always start to slide a bit before letting go...the F1's are off like a shot!
I will be working on a full review of the F1 set soon.


Unknown said...

I was thinking about buying one of these SCX F1 sets tonight at Target, but backed out of it. I have a 3 year old son..he's a bit hyper. I'd like to play it with him but worried he would not really be interested for long.

Any recommendations? How much fun is it to run them by yourself.

Thanks, Freddie

DaveKennedy said...

Freddie, it's a tough one to answer. I do enjoy racing slot cars by myself in general. My son lost interest in a little bit so you probably will find yourself racing alone.

A few things that might help you make a decision.

The system is geared towards hobbyists, meaning it is a well built system. The track feels solid and snaps together with a nice positive "snap". You get the feeling that the track is substantial and not "just a toy" because of the quality of the track.

You have to drive the Nascars, you can't just hold the power down and they zip around the track without you having to pay attention. I think this is a good thing since it requires that you learn to drive them, that will help hold your interest. The F1's (the ones that come with the set you mention) hold the track tightly (because of the magnets) but you do still have to drive them.

I think you will see some expansion of the product line. I'm not sure exactly what SCX will be adding to the Compact line but this isn't a system designed to be sold only at Christmas as a "once a year" type of toy...if you know what I mean.

Thanks for taking the time to write Freddie, let me know what you decide.


Unknown said...

My 4yo and 7yo got this set for Xmas and have been having a blast with it for the past 2 days. Being a huge F1 fan and brainwashing my kids this was a necessary "toy" to add to their collection. This is a perfect starter set for anyone in this age group. Even my 4yo has mastered it after a few races. Definitely worth it and a blast for the entire family.

DaveKennedy said...

Don, I'm very glad to hear you like the set. It's an exciting new product for SCX to be sure. And since the quality is excellent it's a good basis for "serious" racing if you care to go in that direction too.