Every time a new James Bond film comes out, you can guarantee that there will also be new Scalextric sets available for you to re-enact the amazing car chases that have many times been the main highlight of an otherwise dreary adventure.
And just in time for Father’s Day, because cars and murdering people is a truly manly thing that only men can bond over, Hornby has released two new sets in their Micro Scalextric line for Bond, a special No Time To Die set featuring the classic Aston Martin DB5 versus a Jaguar XF, and this set that sees the DB5 take on another great Bond car, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
For the uninitiated, Micro Scalextric is, well, exactly that. Well, maybe not exactly that, we’re not talking about Micro Machines here (although Galoob did release a set of 007 Micro Machines in the ’90s) but cars that are in the 1/64 scale, so the same size as a Hot Wheels car; for comparison, normal Scalextric cars are 1/32 scale. Because of the size, the tracks themselves are also scaled-down, so you can’t put a normal Scalextric car on a Micro track and vice versa.
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So with this set, you get two cars, two controllers, a power base, and eleven feet worth of track. The track here is their generation 2 track, so it’s not compatible with any pre-2018 Micro track. It’s also worth mentioning that the set is battery operated and takes six AA batteries, so don’t be a total Moonraker like me and forget to buy any.
So, the cars. This is where it gets interesting because this set is literally pitting James Bond against James Bond. There’s the DB5 in Birch Silver, which first appeared in Goldfinger in 1964 and has subsequently appeared one way or another in Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Casino Royale, Skyfall, Spectre, and No Time To Die, as well as being driven by Roger Moore in The Cannonball Run. The model is pretty decently moulded, although a little wide to accommodate the track function, and includes the original licence plate, although sadly it doesn’t revolve. No machine guns either.
The V8 Vantage has much less of a history and focus than the DB5, originally appearing in The Living Daylights before returning for No Time To Die. It comes in its Cumberland Grey colour as in the films and is similarly wider than normal like the DB5, although looks a little sleeker. As before, no missiles and it doesn’t sprout skis. Harumph.
What this means is that for a nerd like me, you have an almost infinite amount of combinations of Bonds (and Bond girls) to pit against each other. Well okay, five. Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig all drove the DB5 while greatest 007™ Timothy Dalton drove the V8 Vantage, along with Daniel Craig’s Bond and Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann, who inherited it after the superspy’s shocking demise at the end of No Time To Die. What this means, of course, is that you can literally have a race or tournament of races to decide who was the best Bond. Which is silly really, as it was Dalton. DALTON.
You know the drill with Scalextric unless you’ve never played it before. Put the cars on the track and watch them fly around while you press the trigger on the controller and try to get around corners as fast as you can, or if you’re me, deliberately crash them. There’s an episode of The Simpsons where Milhouse has a radio-controlled aeroplane and Bart tells him to “Make it crash or something”, to which Van Houten replies “Perfectly level flying is the supreme challenge of the scale model pilot”. Sorry, Milhouse, I’m with Bart – watching Scalextric cars fly off the track is still hilarious to my clearly regressed mind, although it’s almost as much fun trying to beat the cat to rescue the poor vehicle.
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This set also comes with a neat booby trap feature, which sounds a little Bondish. Basically, there’s a lap counter which comes in two analogue red and blue dials, one for each car. Set the lap counter up, and the winning car goes smoothly across the finish line while the second-placed vehicle is thrown off the track by a secret blocker that pops up. No time to die indeed.
Look, it’s Father’s Day shortly. This set is pretty cheap considering – £69.99 – and it’s enough for you and your dad or any other family member to have a lark on, or even start a blood feud. And it’s a lot better than another tie or a mug that says “World’s Greatest Dad”.
The Micro Scalextric James Bond 007 Race Sets are out on 19th June from Scalextric.