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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

Well was poking around Ebay and punched in AFX and had a rush of fun memories from childhood. Had a uncle who had a track set up in his garage and have great memories of AFX racing.

Well fast foward, I'am now 36 and have a 7 year old son and looking to pick up a track to introduce son to this great hobby.

The questions I hope to get answered are as follows-

Is AURORA AFX ( and non-Aurora AFX),T-JET and TYCO compatible?

Does old AFX track work with the new Tomy track?

I ask as have seen old AFX tracks on ebay for what seems very fair prices but not sure if "old" is the best route.

Could any one suggest a racetrack?

Is there other brands out there that I should also consider?



EDIT: After reading additional threads here (Saw thread below this one from 71rcode) was wondering if the following would be a good way to go-

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=2619&item=5917397301&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

I like the price and with 4 cars seems like a good deal. The only thing I'am not sure about is 4 lanes. Are these 4 lane tracks or just 2 pcs. of track side by side?
Ask as the above set is advertised as 17ft. but if its tracks side by side then I would create a larger 2 lane track.



Thank you for any input and glad I found this site. :thumbsup:
 

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Matack said:
Hello,

Well was poking around Ebay and punched in AFX and had a rush of fun memories from childhood. Had a uncle who had a track set up in his garage and have great memories of AFX racing.

Well fast foward, I'am now 36 and have a 7 year old son and looking to pick up a track to introduce son to this great hobby.

The questions I hope to get answered are as follows-

Is AURORA AFX ( and non-Aurora AFX),T-JET and TYCO compatible?

Does old AFX track work with the new Tomy track?

I ask as have seen old AFX tracks on ebay for what seems very fair prices but not sure if "old" is the best route.

Could any one suggest a racetrack?

Is there other brands out there that I should also consider?


Thank you for any input and glad I found this site. :thumbsup:
Hmmm. I'll try to do this in order, and I'm sure others will have different opinions...

First off, Tjets (Thunderjets) are the old Aurora cars that came before AFX. Thunderjets, Aurora, AFX, Tyco and Lifelike will all work on "standard" HO scale track made by Tyco, Aurora, AFX, Lifelike, and a few others.

Next: AFX changed track connection systems a couple of times. Tomy AFX will interchange with some of the older AFX, but not very far back. I'm sure someone here will know about what year the current style connectors came out. I'm thinking sometime in the 1980s, but I may be wrong. Adapters are available to connect new AFX to old AFX. A warning about "old" AFX: The older type track connections have little tabs that are frequently broken on used track.

Currently, if you're into HO scale, Tomy AFX is pretty much recognized as the best hobby-quality stuff to get. It has the greatest variety of track sizes and shapes. Curves are available in 3" hairpin, 6", 9", 12", and 15" radii, as well as a couple different radius banked turns. The sets most often recommended are the Super International and the 4-Way Split. (Someone please correct me if I screwed up the names...) They're both big and offer a good variety of track pieces.

Tyco is now owned by Mattel. Current Mattel/Tyco track is for the most part the same as when it came out in the late 70's. Most of the Toys R Us-type sets sold in the last 10 or 15 years have been Mattel/Tyco, but they're making less and less slot car stuff. If you're into yard sales and flea markets, you can pick up bunches of this stuff cheap. However, they only have 9" and 12" curves, and I think a 9" banked curve, unless you're lucky enough to come across some old 6" pieces, which are rare. Some slot enthusiasts don't like the Tyco system--I've heard complaints that the electrical connections aren't as good as AFX, or the track joints aren't as smooth. Personally, I have boxes of the stuff and I love it for running Tjets.

Other brands? The only other major player in the HO field is Lifelike. They are also limited to 9" and 12" curves, and the rails in their track are unusually high. Other cars will run on it, but it can cause problems... serious hobbyists generally stay away from Lifelike track.

A last note: I'm 34, and I grew up with the same AFX stuff you did. If you like the old AFX stuff, the cars in the new AFX sets will surprise you. They're lightning-fast and use very strong magnets to hold them to the track. Some folks (myself included) prefer the older-style "slower" cars that run around the track at more realistic speeds. They slide around visibly when you drive them, unlike the newer "magnet" cars. If you get a new set and aren't enjoying the new fast cars, pick up a couple of vintage AFX or Magnatraction or even old Thunderjet cars, or a couple of new Johnny Lightning Thunderjets (replicas of Aurora Thunderjets) or X-Tractions (replicas of Aurora Magnatractions). The driving experience is a whole different world from the magnet cars...

Keep reading. Keep asking questions. Enjoy the hobby.

--rick
 

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Hey Mat - man, your post might've been from me three weeks ago. The only difference between the two of us is the age of our oldest son. Yes, Rick's post is great advice and I think covers it all. I had a bunch of questions to start and these guys came through for me as well. You can look back at any of my posts these past three weeks, and they should prove helpful.

I bought a track the other day, similar to the one you're looking at. Mine is the 'super international' - the one you're looking at is the 'split' track. They are similar in size, and the split track has the lap counter track. I considered that one, but wanted to get the international (and did buy it from www.trainsbymail.com for less than the e-bay auction BIN from the link you posted - owner's name is jeff) because it includes instructions for many of the famous road courses around the world. Plus, I wanted the open wheeled cars. I think the 'split' track was about $5-10 less than the 'international' set. I haven't pulled it out of the box yet - will wait until my son's birthday, but will report when that happens.

It really is a rush to find all the cars you had as a kid. Someone asked the other day on this board, why? (why someone would care about getting the cars you had as a boy). Probably because of all the cool toys I had as a kid - ttps, ssts, robots, army guys, legos, whatever.... - the AFX tracks and cars were the coolest. And that I can find today, the same sets and cars I had then, really floors me. Just wait until you hold that first magnatraction car in your hands, and stick your nose to it. What a rush... I know, that's weird. But it's like turning back the clock to 1974 or so, at least for me. Good luck man! Have fun :) 71Rcode
 

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JL XT Cars For Sale Cheap

Do an Ebay search for 'x traction' and you'll see some cases on auction starting around $60. A good deal considering the regular price for a case is over $100.
 

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I think everyone else addressed your questions well except for the 4-lane one. A 4-lane track is made from nesting two 2-lane tracks together. The turns come in 3-inch radius increments just for this purpose. With Tomy you can easily get 6", 9", 12", and 15" turns for an 8-lane layout. There are now some great aftermarket 18" Tomy compatible turns available to get you up to a 10-lane layout. Technically, Tomy makes a 3" hairpin turn that will nest inside the 6" but it is not anything you would want to use for racing. Some cars don't run well on the 3" hairpin. Tomy also makes 9" and 12" banked curves but they are too steep for the old TJets to negotiate without some driving skill. For playing in the basement the steep banks get real old real quick. The larger the radius the corner the more of a realistic racing experience you'll have but the more real estate you'll need.

The situation on the Tyco/Mattel side will be improving a lot in a few weeks when the same person who did those outstanding Tomy 18" turns releases Tyco compatible 6" and 15" turns. The quality of these pieces is better than the brand name pieces. So all of you yard sale Tyco track bargain hunters will be rewarded real soon and be able to do a real 8-laner.

As far as everything else goes, trust your own judgement and discover what you enjoy most. I grew up with the steering wheel controllers and the TJets and was thrilled to no end when the AFXs, TycoPros, and Riggens arrived on the scene. I only had a small number of cars then and only one or two magnatractions. The mere sight of a race car sitting vertically sideways on a track, much less climbing a wall, just seemed downright deviant. I sort of got out of HO right around the time the Aurora G-Plus arrived but I was still fascinated by the prospects of having a true open wheeled racer that the G-Plus provided. When I got back into it 20 years later I was shocked to discover that my ancient pancake powered cars were still popular. I'm glad I kept the cars that I did, but my primary focus now is on the newer cars and looking forward. Despite my initial feelings about magnetic traction assist I now enjoy the heck out of running and racing the high performance Tyco, Tomy, BSRT, Patriot, Slottech, etc., cars. It's as much fun as anything I've ever done with HO and is a great way to meet other people with similar interests. There are so many different levels that you can enjoy with this hobby and I try to sample them all. From running some pokey old TJets in a basement on a scenic'd track with friends to adrenaline pumping organized magnet car racing it's all great fun. I have a decent collection, but nothing rare or unusual and nothing that doesn't find its way on to the track. I have no problems with putting a vintage AFX body on a G3 chassis and running it at high speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you one and all for all the input.

Looks like I will be going with the International as seems like the best all around starter track. I like the idea of being able to change from 4 track to a large 2 track style layout.

One of the best parts of slot cars was setting up the track with my friends and hope as son grows older he will enjoy that aspect also.

Have to say looking at some of those old cars on Ebay brings a big smile to my face. Like 71Rcode, I to look foward to picking up a few of the ones I played with as a child.

Thanks again all and will reply after I get track and race for first time with son.
 

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Hi Matack,

Welcome. I got back int slots about 2 years ago and was excited about getting the cars I had when I was a kid also. Now I have about 300 and i have thinned my collection a couple of times already.

Mike U
 

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I'm about done cleaning off the tables in the garage. I'm looking forward to getting the tracks set up again.

Hey AfxToo, Where would you be able to get the curves to expand a Tyco track to a 4-8 laner? I know that you implied that they aren't available yet, but who sells that kind of stuff?

I can already set up a 4 laner using a combination of one 9" 1/4 circle & two 12" 1/8 circles. I also have the 9" 1/8 circle pieces that when coupled, are the same radius curve as a 9" 1/4 piece. Does anyone know if there are there any other curve variations out there, available for us Tyco owners?
 

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Tyco/Mattel Curves

Fred, that group making the 6" 1/8, and 15" 1/8, are almost ready to produce them. They're working out the kinks. Right now, Tyco owners can make a 6-lane track with 12", 9", and 6" curves (which can be found if you hunt for them. They pop up on Ebay here and there).

P.S. Jay's Race Place will have them, along with VroomVroom Hobbies.
 

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Matack said:
Thank you one and all for all the input.
Have to say looking at some of those old cars on Ebay brings a big smile to my face. Like 71Rcode, I to look foward to picking up a few of the ones I played with as a child.
Kind of makes you wished you would have kept those cars that you had back in the day, huh? I'm still trying to remember what I did with my stuff.

I'm sure it was my mother who gave them away with my baseball cards. ;freak: ;) rr

PS - Welcome!
 
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