Scalextric is a British-made miniature electric road circuit brand , now operated by two competing companies, Hornby (UK company) and Tecnitoys (Spanish company).
In 1946, MB Francis created a toy manufacturing company Minimodels Ltd and had the idea of placing track-guided mechanical models. The models called Scalex are presented in 1952. In 1956, an electric version on track-guide is developed. Presented in 1957 under the name of Scalextric , the control of the vehicles is done by push button on the track and the motorization is imperfect.
The brand is offered to Tri-ang group in 1958 who perfected the system in the form that we know today: motorization from the miniature train and adapted weights, ergonomic handle control, modular track.
The first box “Tri-ang Scalextric” in 1960 is a success that will almost no longer be denied.
Since the 1960s, the scale and compatibility of products between them have been preserved, but at the same time have evolved. On the one hand the standard analog tracks have been improved, and on the other hand the appearance of digital has revolutionized the game, allowing cars to change tracks and roll together up to 6 on the same track.
Meanwhile, the property of the brand has also evolved, as well as its manufacturers. Since 1997, two companies share the Scalextric brand, on different territories: Hornby and Tecnitoys.
Hornby (Britain, Scalextric-Superslot)
English manufacturer, Hornby is now the owner of the brand SCALEXTRIC for the whole world, except Spain. In Spain, for historical and legal reasons, Hornby markets its production under the SUPERSLOT brand. Otherwise called “Scalextric Sport”, the current analog range is compatible with the old Scalextric “Classic” range thanks to adapter rails. Even in digital, you can mix with other manufacturers, provided that turnouts and digital accessories (rev counter, etc …) are all Scalextric Digital.
Tecnitoys (Spain, Scalextric, SCX)
Spanish manufacturer, Tecnitoys sells its products worldwide under the brand SCX, but under the brand SCALEXTRIC in Spain because it holds the rights. The risk of confusion is great, especially since both SCALEXTRIC are not fully compatible, especially in digital version. In analog, we can mix the 2 marks Scalextric (the Spanish and the English), the “Classic”, the “Sport” or “Superslot”, SCX. In digital, the entire SCX digital system is totally specific and is not compatible with any other brand, or even with analog SCX; Indeed, the bottom of rail is specific, the fasteners are specific, and even the vehicles (at the level of the guide) are specific.
This confusion around the Scalextric brand may seem strange, but it is the legacy of the story. Scalextric produced at one time mainly in Spain. During the bankruptcy of the company, it was sold on one side for its English part, and on the other for its Spanish part, which explains the coexistence of the two. This split was even at the origin of the creation of a new independent brand, Ninco, by a team of Scalextric Spain having launched their own production.