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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, first post here.

My wife and I are planning to open a gourmet hot dog joint in the early part of 2010. A real fun and family oriented type place. So, twice a month we plan to set up a slot track for everybody to come in and have a great time. They only problem is that I know nothing about slot cars anymore.

I had all Tyco stuff when I was a kid - do they even make Tyco slot cars anymore? I haven't seen them.

In any case, We want a plain jane kind of set up... no loops or anything. And I guess if cars can be durable.... We plan to allow folks to bring their own cars if they like, but we'll supply some as well.

I have no idea what this may cost.... hopefully under a few hundred bucks?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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do a google search of TKO slot car tracks and get one from him - don't fool around, this is going into your professional business organization...do it the right way
 

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if your business and money maker is the Hot Dogs, then I wouldn't drop a ton of cash on the slot end of it. The afx listed above is nice, or tyco. tyco is the most available and cheapest.
To really keep interest in it, make sure you do 4 lanes.
For cars, I would grab one of the last releases of autoworld xtraction or 4 gears, the cars are relatively cheap and durable and don't need tons of tuning for fun racing.
 

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To really keep interest in it, make sure you do 4 lanes.
And don't do an oval :freak:

I agree with ya Ed, if your bread-n-butter is buns-n-brats (couldn't help that) you don't need a pro-style track. A TKO is nice and definitely something to consider but for example a simple 4-lane oval...

4' x 8' $470 (not a bad price at all for what it is)

...add in power supply, table, wiring, labor if needed, controllers, and cars, you'll quickly be over $1000 just to get it rolling. Far above a few hundred. It escalates pretty quickly if you want to make the track "interesting"...$990 for a basic 4x12 road course. This is where "set track" makes a big difference dollar-wise, though you can still expect to spend a couple hundred at least on plastic track and it will require more labor to set it up nicely. So it really boils down to the classic time/money formula.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the responses.... We aren't looking for anything huge.... was hoping to fit it in a 4' x 8" area as we can't afford to sacrifice a ton of square feet. $1000 surprises the heck out of me.... so I'll have to see what we have available after the restaurant build out.
 

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Thanks for the responses.... We aren't looking for anything huge.... was hoping to fit it in a 4' x 8" area as we can't afford to sacrifice a ton of square feet. $1000 surprises the heck out of me.... so I'll have to see what we have available after the restaurant build out.
Here´s a "Mushroom" track I built several years ago out of TomyAFX track.




It´s on a 4x8 and is relatively easy & inexpensive to build because it doesn´t require a ton of straghts.

Just a thought.

Rich
www.myspace.com/northtexasslotcars :thumbsup:
 

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Thanks for the responses.... We aren't looking for anything huge.... was hoping to fit it in a 4' x 8" area as we can't afford to sacrifice a ton of square feet. $1000 surprises the heck out of me.... so I'll have to see what we have available after the restaurant build out.
A real good idea in my opinion and I'm sure many others as this has been said sooooooo many times - to test the waters, go out and buy a Tomy Super International set. It's a complete 4-lane package right down to including 4 cars. You can get it brand new for $150 give or take a little, set it up on a decent table and if interest grows you could easily expand it later to make a very good racetrack.
 

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You should try to get a sense of what your customers are interested in prior to spending any money at all. It sounds like you are not doing a professional slot car racing business and will be dealing more with casual and infrequent users. Based on what I see at dedicated slot car shops and hobby stores the most popular slot cars for infrequent and casual users is 1:32 scale slot cars.

The only downside with 1:32 is the additional space that a 1:32 scale track takes up compared to HO (which is now closer to 1:64 scale). Putting a 1:32 scale track on a 4x8 foot table does not provide a lot of racing action. If you can go to 5x12 then the larger table would be much better suited for the larger scale. One thing to also consider is that 1:32 is also available in digital, which allows multiple cars to run on the same lane. This alleviates some of the space issues and allows 4 or 5 people to be racing at the same time on a 2 lane track. Starter sets are definitely available in the price range you mentioned. The 1:32 scale cars are more expensive than HO, but the level of detail is stunning.

You have fewer off the shelf choices in HO scale. Tyco as you remember it does not really exist anymore. Mattel bought Tyco about a decade ago and tried to sell slot cars as childrens toys and eventually lost touch with the serious slot car enthusiast. Mattel does not take slot cars seriously and it shows. The Tyco/Mattel track is somewhat widely available as cheap yard sale and Craig's List fodder. The Aurora AFX line has fared much better. The AFX line was eventually acquired by Tomy and is now handled exclusively by Racemasters in North America. Racemasters is completely in touch with the serious slot car enthusiast and collector. The quality, variety, and support of HO products from Racemasters is second to none, approaching 1:32 scale in detail. The downside with AFX is the somewhat limited availability, you won't see it being sold at Walmart or most toy stores. Mattel's stuff on the other hand is toyish looking at best and support is pretty nonexistent. You will see Mattel in toy stores occasionally, providing raw material for future yard sales.

One potential compromise is 1:43 scale, slightly bigger and cheaper than HO and smaller and cheaper than 1:32. There are even digital 1:43 sets. This scale is just starting to gain momentum among serious slot car enthusiasts and it's hard to tell where it will end up relative to the other scales. If I had to assess the current popularity levels in slot cars I would say 1:32 is number one, followed by HO, 1:24, and 1:43.

Do some more online research and try to test the waters in your area to see what would generate the highest level of interest. Also try to look around your area to see what is being sold in the local hobby and toy stores. It would be nicer if your customers had easy access to the type of cars you are using at your place.

Keep it simple and focused on family oriented and casual fun. Good luck with your business endeavor!
 

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A real good idea in my opinion and I'm sure many others as this has been said sooooooo many times - to test the waters, go out and buy a Tomy Super International set. It's a complete 4-lane package right down to including 4 cars. You can get it brand new for $150 give or take a little, set it up on a decent table and if interest grows you could easily expand it later to make a very good racetrack.
I agree with Gene's way of thinking, 100%. Something like this is a turn-key affair. The only thing Id maybe do differently would be to get 4 of the newer Lifelike cars in place of the Super G+ cars since they are very simple and durable and will scream right out of the box with no further mods. Super G+ cars are great for the enthusiast, but the rear wheel/tire arrangement is sorely lacking, and the pickups do have a tendency to come loose which means youd lose a spring. Tomy's track and power paks are top quality, so thats the track you want to start with. Sell the Super G's either here or on Ebay and you'll get more than enough out of those to get some more easily raceable cars.

Seth-N-Dad mentioned getting some AutoWorld X-Tractions and this is a good idea as well. Tuneup parts are plentiful, and the variety of bodystyles is mind boggling. 4 F1 cars or Nascars will have appeal to fans of those types of racing, but AutoWorld literally offers something for everyone. Tuner cars, muscle cars, 4x4s, GT cars, classic cars, cop cars, whatever you want AW probably can hook it up.

You mentioned having people bring their own cars to race, thats a brilliant idea. AFXToo mentioned finding out whats in the hobby shops but if it takes off on any level, Id recommend keeping some cars on hand to sell. I guarantee you that if a few people enjoy racing the 'loaner cars' you have there, theyll happily fork over a few bucks to have their own and keep coming back to race em. In fact, the AW Mopar Madness cars were a bit overproduced, so there are a couple HT members selling them for ludicrous low prices, thats probably where Id start personally.
 

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Good point about the Super G's, they are no fun with the stock rears. Here's a great setup, and you could do this for under $300....buy the Super International Set, buy two of the new Tomy 3-way variable power supplies which will plug right into the track, build a small table, and you'd probably have enough change for a half-dozen X-Traction cars and a small stash of parts (shoes, spare tires). Depending on how complex you make the table, you'd be up and running in a day.

:thumbsup:
 

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Oh and I think that the new AFXtras A/P corvette bodies would be a good place to start. Theyre light, durable and look super nice. Bud's HO can hook you up some nekkid Xtraction or SRT chassis. Pop em on there and youre rolling right. A dozen of his silicone tires, or SuperTires would be a good investment too.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Once again, I thank you. I will have to actually learn some of what you have talked about; it's like talking Greek to me. But it sounds FUN, and that is what I want to provide to the folks who come in to the place.
 

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Papa what is your location. Maybe one of us can stop in for a dog and talk slots with you. Even if we just grap a bite and support a fellow slotter.


Dave
 

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Too bad your way on the other side of the continent, Papa D. Probably the absolute best thing you can do before investing in any slot stuff is to spend some time on this forum, reading the posts. You will learn a LOT from the guys on here.
 
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