Wow Stuff’s Real FX Racing is finally heading to retail, after five years in development.
The product uses AI to allow a car to recognise its position on a track and stay on the track without the use of a traditional slot as seen in traditional RC tracks.
“We are finally there,” Dr. GraemeTaylor, Director ofNPD at Wow Stuff told ToyNews.
“The product is complete so 2014 will be big for Real FX Racing as it gets released to the public.
“It has taken five long years of development, but we believe that we have delivered more than just a new R/C car racing experience. We hope that it will become a new ‘platform’ in toys pioneering our patented Artificial Intelligence.
“Each handset has a replaceable memory slot so in future we can release different themes/versions of RFX. It’s a bit like buying a console – once you have bought the console, you can continue to enjoy it as you buy new games. Retailers have already jumped on board with this new technology and are looking for exclusive variants.
“This is not R/C and it’s not Slots. It’s AI racing, a whole new category and ripe for licensors.”
The firm set about creating AI racing after seeing the RC sector stagnate following years of slow, slight enhancements.
“We knew that slot car racing sets had been a huge success when they were first introduced in the sixties,” added Taylor.
“The slotted track allowed a rudimentary form of racing in a small space. Of course, this was a game-changer at the time, but other than what are essentially ‘tweaks’, it’s a system that has barely changed in 50 years, and all of the drawbacks that contributed to the decline in popularity of slot racing are still evident today.”
The technology then took three years to create, with added time spent making the finished product affordable.
Taylor told ToyNews: “The technology took over three years to develop and refine. It was also essential for us to make sure that what we were creating was going to be commercially viable.
"We could probably have done the project in half the time if we had gone the expensive route of a multi-layer track. That’s when our team needed to be really clever to ensure we had something that competed with slot racing sets on price but had far greater playability.”
The launch pack will include two cars, two handsets and a two-metre roll out racetrack, retailing for £119.99.