TV, Movie and Gulf fans are in for a treat…
The TV & Film and Gulf-livery themes were introduced into the Scalextric catalogue last year – and they are most definitely back in 2021. There are three brand new cars in this category, plus revised tooling and re-liveries for some of the 2020 releases.
You can browse and pre-order all the 2021 Scalextric products here: www.jadlamracingmodels.com/scalextric/2021-releases
In my first 2021 catalogue blog post, I took a quick look at some of the highlights – now I’m going to dig much deeper through each of the categories and including some background from the Scalextric team. A big thank you to Martyn and Simon for taking time out to talk to me.
This is probably the iconic Batmobile – certainly for my generation. The real car was produced for the wonderful 1966 TV series, starring Adam West as Bruce Wayne. With its colourful mix of live action and comic-style fight scenes, the series and accompanying films were light-hearted family entertainment. The star of the show was the Batmobile – a last-minute reworking of a one-off 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, hand-crafted by Ghia in Italy and owned by legendary Hollywood designer George Barris.
Barris gave the Futura to his design team and they turned it into the Batmobile in just three weeks – extensively modifying the bodywork and painting the car gloss black with fluorescent cerise stripes. During filming, the twelve-year-old car proved very unreliable, so the engine and other mechanical parts were replaced with up-to-date components.
The car was a massive hit with the public. Three replicas – fibre-glass bodies on Ford Galaxie chassis – were produced by Barris and his team for car shows, including regular drag race exhibitions. Of course, everyone wanted their own Batmobile and millions of diecast models, plastic kits and slot cars have been made and played with over the years. The first slot car was produced by Aurora for their 1:72 scale Thunderjet range in 1967 – in boxed mint condition these now change hands for $300 or more.
In terms of the car’s fictional features, the central rear rocket thruster has been borrowed for almost all the subsequent Batmobiles. There were also loads of gadgets – many of them unwittingly predicting the sort of anti-theft and computer-control devices we have as standard in road cars today – plus everyone now has their own Bat Phone.
Like the real car, the Scalextric Batmobile is massive and looks sensational. There are no hidden gadgets, but it doesn’t really need them. The Batman figure looks the part – Robin is busy elsewhere – and there’s a cool Batman logo cut-out on the underpan – over the inline F1 slim-can motor. The car is Digital Plug Ready (DPR), meaning it can be quickly converted to Scalextric digital using the C8515 digital plug – or Carrera Digital132 using the C707130 Carson chip. The Batmobile is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2021 – January to March and can be pre-ordered here.
More Batman in 1:32 and 1:64 scale
Last year’s Batman and Joker-inspired cars remain in the catalogue. For 1:64 scale Micro Scalextric fans, the best-selling Batman vs Joker set is joined by a new Batman vs The Riddler release that includes a Riddler-themed car, the new ‘Booby-Trap’ lap counter and humpback bridge track piece. The new set will be available in the summer and can be pre-ordered here.
Knight Rider: KITT
Like the Batman TV series, Knight Rider is a classic crime-fighting caper. The scene when David Hasselhoff first encounters KITT’s hidden secrets is a classic moment of 1980s television (look for it on YouTube). The Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT) was a massively futuristic car for the time. KITT – voiced by actor William Daniels – is a customised 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am with a talking artificial intelligence that controls the highly complex computerised vehicle. The car still looks great and the tech is gloriously ‘retro’ for modern viewers. It took three decades for Apple and Amazon to bring us Siri and Alexa – and neither of them quite matches up to KITT.
The Scalextric model will be available at the end of the year. The only pictures available at the moment are 3D renderings, but they give us a good idea of what to expect. The model is not self-conscious and doesn’t speak, but it does have the red LED light at the front that moves just like on the real car. The Scalextric model has a standard short-can motor in sidewinder orientation and is Digital Plug Ready (DPR) for easy conversion for digital racing. You can pre-order the car here.
James Bond 007
Following 2020’s ‘No Time to Die’ Aston Martin DB5 and Vantage V8 – plus the Micro Scalextric set – there’s even more Bond in the new catalogue. The Vantage V8 returns in a re-worked ‘The Living Daylights’ version – complete with skis! The V8 is due in the summer and can be pre-ordered here.
However, the most exciting Bond surprise in the catalogue is the iconic 1977 ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ Lotus Esprit S1. No gadgets on this one, it’s a model of before and after the appearance of ‘Wet Nellie’ – the submarine that the Esprit turns into during the film. Nonetheless, it’s a very classy car – the Esprit and the DB5 are what pop into my head when I think of Bond cars.
The Esprit was the handiwork of Giorgetto Giugiaro – one of the greatest Italian car designers – who’d made his name at Bertone and Ghia before founding his own studio in 1967. The Esprit was the first of Guigaro’s angular ‘folded paper’ designs that also included the DeLorean DMC, BMW M1, Lancia Delta and the VW Golf Mk1.
Reports from the Scalextric team are that this is a lovely slot car to drive – nicely proportioned and hugs the road. The Esprit has a standard short-can motor in sidewinder orientation and is Digital Plug Ready (DPR) for easy conversion for digital racing. The James Bond Esprit will be available during the summer and can be pre-ordered here.
In 1:64 scale, there’s also a new Micro Scalextric James Bond 007 set in the catalogue. This one features the original Aston Martin DB5 – BMT 216A – from Goldfinger, plus a brand new Aston Martin Vantage V8. The set also includes the new ‘Booby Trap’ lap counter and the humpback bridge track. It is scheduled for a summer release and can be pre-ordered here.
DeLorean Time Machine: Back to the Future 2
The Back to the Future DeLorean Time Machine was one of the best-selling Scalextric cars of 2020 – so it should be no surprise that a Back to the Future 2 car will follow this year. Film buffs know that the key difference between the two cars is the addition of the Mr Fusion Home Energy Reactor to power the flux capacitor and time circuits. It’s a much cleaner and more efficient power source, compared to the original plutonium fission reactor…
The modified car makes a brief appearance at the end of the first film, but the streamlined time travel process sets up some action-packed plotlines in the second and third parts of the trilogy. What that means for the Scalextric model is that there’s no lightning rod conductor necessary and the Mr Fusion Home Energy Reactor sits on the back of the car. There are also some small detailing changes, including a different numberplate. The Scalextric model will be arriving in the spring and is available for pre-order here. I suspect there’s a very good chance the DeLorean from the third film will be in the 2022 catalogue!
Only Fools & Horses: Supervan Returns
The fabulous Only Fools and Horses Special Edition twin-pack arrived just in time to cheer up Christmas 2020 all around the country. The cars and the packaging are simply awesome – and hopefully we’ll all be able to use the free Hornby Visitor Centre tickets before too long. If you haven’t partaken of the twin-pack yet, it is available to buy here.
For 2021, the Trotter’s Independent Trading Reliant Regal Supervan returns as a solo boxed car with unique Only Fools and Horses ‘Fortieth Anniversary’ packaging. A must for collectors and highly recommended if you like the look of the van, but didn’t fancy the twin-pack. This is scheduled for the spring and is available for pre-order here.
Gulf Edition Cars: The Iconic Blue & Orange
The Reliant Regal van also pops up in the Gulf section. You might have seen it driven by Martyn in the Scalextric Drag Race Championship video before Christmas. The Gulf edition is super-cute and has all the surprisingly good road-holding and rapid pace of the Trotter version. There are working front and rear lights, but the Regal is not Digital Plug Ready – you’ll need the C7005 Retro-Fit chip to convert the van for digital action. The Gulf edition is expected in the next month or two and can be pre-ordered here.
A second Gulf van in the 2021 catalogue is the JW Automotive VW T18 Microbus. Currently in the ROFCO Gulf Collection, this is the team minibus that ferried John Wyer’s employees at Le Mans and other endurance races in 1970 and 1971. If you have any of the NSR or Fly Gulf-sponsored Porsche 917 models, this is an absolute must-have model. It’s also another great Gulf Edition release and a perfect addition to the Scalextric VW T18 van series. It’s available in the summer and can be pre-ordered here.
The Gulf-liveried Aston Martin V8 is one of my favourite cars in the catalogue. Scalextric have revamped the Bond V8 and added a muscular front spoiler and new racing wheels. This is a real racing livery, prepared by Aston Martin dealer and restorer Rikki Cann and driven by Riki himself at numerous events around the UK. This livery was seen on the car during 2019. Expect the V8 to arrive in the summer and it can be pre-ordered here.
The fourth new Gulf Edition car is a stunning Ford Sierra RS500 that Richard Millar has driven with some success in numerous Classic Touring Car Racing Club events in through the 2010s. The car was originally raced by DJ & TV presenter Mike Smith in the 1989 and 1990 BTCC seasons. Richard is a classic car restorer based in East Sussex – and his son Aston competes in the Ginetta Junior championship, sponsored by Scalextric. The Gulf Sierra is scheduled for release over the summer and is available to pre-order here.
Don’t forget you can browse and pre-order all the 2021 Scalextric products here: www.jadlamracingmodels.com/scalextric/2021-releases