It’s that time of year again! If you’re seeking fresh ideas or hoping for inspiration – or even tantalising recommendations then… welcome! Scroll down to dive into this review, and if you want further gift ideas, just click here for the full range from my Critical Popcorn Christmas Gift Guide 2021!
This isn’t the first time Scalextric has graced, and swerved around, Critical Popcorn’s virtual towers but it’s certainly the maiden journey for one of their all-new MicroScalextric and we’ve got a real treat, as it’s the 007 – No Time to Die set, complete with miniature Aston Martin DB5 and Jaguar XF, and who knew something so small could be so much fun! *Raises eyebrow*
While I’ve always enjoyed setting up a racetrack, for as long as I can remember, there’s no doubt that the space taken up is always something you have be clever with. With the MicroScalextric No Time to Die set, the team at Hornby Hobbies have shrunken everything down – quite literally – but it’s not lost any of the fun elements, woohoo!
You see, while this one is battery powered (just the 6 AA as well), meaning no wires across the room yet it still packs an important punch of power with a stunt loop track, a 90-degree stunt ramp option and up to 9 track layouts for you to design. While these controllers aren’t wireless, and they exist these days, the classic wired controllers fit the kit and because everything is so compact, you’ve still got all the right moves, in all the right grooves.
As briefly mentioned, space for your Scalextric is always a prime point when it comes to building the course you want, for the first time. While you can change the track later, I somehow instantly forgot about the battery-powered element and made a space near some plug sockets but soon realised what I was doing. But this set isn’t just about slotting it in wherever you can fit it, because Hornby Hobbies have considered even smaller spaces with the Stunt Ramp option, which is quintessentially a half-pipe you can put up against a wall or corner. Whether you’ve got a spot in a bedroom, front room or hallway, you’ll be able to get this No Time to Die kit into the right place, which is smartly judged because we don’t all live in big homes.
As you’ll see from my shots, it looks every ounce the traditional Scalextric style and quality you’d expect. The tracks slot in pretty easily together, just watch those small metal ‘prongs’ that occasionally bend out the wrong way, yet are bendable to click back in. I’d already put the batteries in at the beginning and so once they’re fitted in together – And I initially went for the classic track layout with the loop because who can resist a stunt loop, right?! – and plugged in the controllers, put the cars on the track and I was away, instantly. No connection issues. No delay in the speed of the cars. No problem with the stunt loop, everything working as you’d want it to and, yes, if you go full throttle, even these small cars will fly off the corners, old school style. (And that’s fine).
The two cars themselves are obviously not as intensely detailed as the larger version because they’re half the size, but they do look very cool – you know which car is which. It’s just as fun as ever watching the Aston Martin DB5 and Jaguar XF race, and it’d be up to you on their pace and who wins what. The only thing I want now is more track, and there are options…
You can pick up more straights and curves, another stunt loop track and other cars from the likes of Looney Tunes, Justice League, and even Batman Vs Joker. They do mention that on the battery sets, if you go beyond 15m then there might be a slight power drop, but there is a mains powerbase (if you’d like) to take care of that issue! One more thing that’s great, both controllers have a small, sliding button that restricts the power your cars can go at, so perfect for all ages, from experienced Scalextric players to the newbies, everyone is welcome from 4 years and up for MicroScalextric, perfect for the Christmas season, and beyond!