A "revolutinary" new toy that bridges remote control and video games will race to retail this year, in a bid to boost the struggling slot car sector.
The Scalextric-style product from Wow Stuff – Real FX Racing – features R/C cars that can detect the track and steer by themselves. They can also be used in the traditional way, letting kids race each other, as well as ‘computer-controlled’ rivals.
The toy can record lap times and boasts different difficulty/handling settings, like a video game.
There are plans for licensed versions of Real FX Racing too, with Wow Stuff talking to brands in Europe and North America.
A standard Real FX Racing pack includes a two-metre roll-up play mat, a pair of cars embedded with AI (Artificial Intelligence) and a couple of talking handsets for around £99.99 ($130 in the US). It will hit shelves mid-November in the UK.
25,000 limited units will be produced for October – 5,000 for the UK, 10,000 for Europe and 10,000 for the rest of the world.
The product looks similar to Anki Drive, which can be controlled using iOS smartphones and tablets, and was shown off at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference recently. But Wow Stuff assures ToyNews Real FX uses different technology with three granted UK patents. “It’s more suited to mass market pricing and therefore ideal for the toy market,” read a statement.
CEO Richard North told ToyNews: "You could not wish for a better endorsement of the play pattern than for Apple to publicly support this type of roll-out race track system. This is a whole new toy category and we are at the forefront. This is the most revolutionary thing to happen to the radio control sector in 30 years.”
ToyNews watched the first unveiling to a major retailer, who described the product as “brilliant, fantastic”.