9 December 2014

S.C.O.T.Y. AWARDS 2014
Another year is almost in the books and that means it is time for our Annual HRW Slot Car Of The Year Awards!  It's our way of highlighting all the coolest toys that have came our way this past year. Not only the large manufacturer, but also the cottage industry enthusiasts that create those outstanding after-market products that truly make our hobby what it is today.

So without further delay...let the awards banquet begin!
Slot Car Of The Year


To win this award it must be a new mold and something that really delivers it all. Quality, performance, price, and appeal. Well this little bug has done that and more. Given the performance alone is enough to make it a contender, but combine it with a great price and the fact it is just too cool to look at earns this year's award easily. We sometimes see manufacturers literally copy one another by releasing the same models. Not here. Truly original thinking brought this car to life and we can't thank the Carrera team enough for it.
Honorable Mentions
Scalextric released some new classic F-1 models that caught the eye of collectors as well as a few of us home racers. Not very tuning-friendly and a steeper price tag takes them out of the normal release category, but they were still highly anticipated models and deserve recognition. Racer and Slot.it also sneaked in a couple new items that the advanced racer embraced. With decent pricing and high quality parts, these two brands continue to lead the way in this category.
There were not a lot of new molds this year by other brands, but sometimes those older molds in fresh paint are just as new and beginner and veteran enthusiasts alike grab them up fast. The popular Scalextric Trans-Am Series had several new models come our way including the ever-popular Camaro and Cougar.
Even NINCO had a bright spot thanks to new distribution and a new price point. With the previous pricing through the roof and lackluster model selection, the brand had virtually vanished from the mainstream. A few of us die hard fans still grabbed occasional model, but we waited until a good sale came along.

It was fun seeing these models return and we look forward to more from this brand.
Manufacturer Of The Year

Year after year Carrera wins this award and as long as they keep doing what they do, they will keep on winning. Not only are they the leader in 1/32nd scale, but the efforts in digital racing in both 1/32 and 1/24 scale as well as the 1/43rd offerings make them clear winners. And we cannot forget to mention that the track system is still the most recommended plastic track in our hobby. They also release new versions of older models that are our favorites and we enjoy seeing these models continue. Because what might be old for us, is brand new for the newcomer.

Product lines that range from young to old, beginner to veteran. Analog or digital, Carrera has it covered and with a price that is easy on most any budget.

New Product Of The Year/Best Silicone Tire

The announcement of this new line of tires was a big one. Finally a tire made by the true enthusiasts in our hobby who know what the competitive racer wants in a silicone based tire. Not only is the quality & performance king of the road, but so is the price and service.

Best After-Market Tire (Urethane)

The Paul Gage line of tires is tops for my personal fleet as well as many other enthusiasts. The incredibly wide selection, low price point, and stellar on-track performance continue to earn these tires this award year after year. Our hat is off to the long hours of hard work Paul puts into providing us this great resource.

Racer's Choice Award

Every year we like to honor a new product that is aimed directly at the competition level enthusiasts as well as the countless slot car garage mechanics in our hobby. This new motor delivers the value and performance both are looking for. Perfect for those seeking higher speeds as well as the discerning driver who wants precise control. In a big sea of after-market motors that have price tags nearing the absurd, this little fish easily wins when you check the rock-bottom price.

Racer's Choice Honorable Mention

The name Difalco is synonymous with slot racing. This year saw the selection grow even more with models targeted to the home/club racer at a much nicer price. It might look wild, but it can tame just about any home racing motor. After testing it I just wanted to replace all my controllers with it, almost having me wish I never did....almost.

Best Motors

Sometimes there is no clear winner. Motor choices are vast and the types you choose are based on your own personal taste. But from our budget-minded point of view, these two brands deserve the top billing. H&R has motors than range from mild to wild. MT focuses on the mild side but with slimline and larger can styles.
Each one gives a lot to choose from and at prices that won't bankrupt your racing team.
Best Wheels

For the 4th year in a row this brand once again reigns supreme. It earns all the accolades you hear about by delivering everything an enthusiast could ask for: Precision, Quality, Selection, Price, and Customer Service. Not only do they have all of that, but they are not sitting still either. New sizes arrived this year along with more anodized versions that just gave us all more to choose from.

Best In Resin

This year we must give this award to two outstanding sources: RMS Resins & MT Racing Resins. Both of these master casters make truly unique offerings and they combine it with excellent customer service. RMS has been the modeler's choice for Trans-Am racing enthusiasts for many years and has expanded to include several classics no old school racer should be without. MT has cranked out some truly inspiring oval racing models as well as those hard to find wheel inserts to really finish them off. 
Best Tool

Nothing can make your stock slot cars run better than getting those wheels and tires as round as they can be. This outfit does that easily and at the best price in our hobby. Made right here in the good old USA and backed by excellent service, this machine is still the most valuable tool on our bench.

This year we have had another handy little item appear that has made quite an impact on many scratch builders.

The infamous "Honeycomb" Soldering board!
Leave it to a slot racer to take an innocent item designed for another hobby and use it to make great running cars. Shown in our forums, this little block took the sting out of those high priced setup jigs and had us swarming over them. (Ahem). Anyway, we like them a lot and you will too if you try one. Search the web for them or go straight to that famous auction site and just type it in!
Tops In Timing

The Trackmate interface has long been the industry standard in our hobby. This year they updated the product to include the ever popular plug and play USB.
Dollar for dollar this is still the system of choice.
Many thanks go to this year's award winners. The people behind the product are the real heroes and rarely do they get the credit they deserve. In our own small way, these awards at HRW are our way of thanking them. Because without the efforts of the people behind the scenes our hobby would not be near the fun it is.

Thank you all and we look forward to next year!