There’s a tradition my stepdad started when I was about 12 years old. He purchased our first Tyco slot car set. It must have been for Christmas because, every year after that year, we bought either another set or more cars at Christmas Time. The collection began to grow so large that we pretty much only took it out at Christmas time. When my 8 year old was old enough (4 years old), my mother sent us the entire set. minus the always collectible Dale Earnhardt Truck and Slot car combo. So now the tradition is passed unto us. The set is large enough to fill a large holiday tote.
Although it’s worth hours of fun, it can become cumbersome. In the span of the Christmas holidays, my husband and I get tired of playing it, managing the use of it and, of course, designing the many combinations of track it takes to keep the children entertained through the remainder of December. But what keeps the tradition going are the numerous games you can play with a Slot Car set.
- Fast and Furious – Your typical one on one race.
- Faster and Furiouser – Your typical bracket race challenge.
- Survival of the Furious – Race until someone gets stuck or falls off the track.
- Nana Nana Boo Boo – Use the squeeze tracks or cross tracks and try to trick eachother into derailing.
- SuckaPunch – Use curves to spin out and knock eachother off.
- Mega Mega Survival – Split up all the cars evenly (We have 12 cars, so each gets 6) Race until all your cars are stuck on the road and only one car is still going. This is my favorite. You basically race your first car till it gets stuck. Then you send out your next car to hopefully knock the first car out of the way or into the other lane. This usually ends up in an 11 car pileup on the other end of the room. Sometimes you knock your cars back on the track and regain them back into the game.
- The Road to Nowhere – Tyco tracks don’t need to be continuously linked (I know this from experience) Make the longest straight track in the world. Now end it with a ramp and launch your cars straight into a pillow. See who can launch the farthest. Don’t allow kids to sit between the track and the pillow. It hurts. (I know this from experience as well).
- Deck the Tree – Make your track go around the Christmas Tree. Lose all the cars behind the tree. Now ro-sham-bo to see who has to go fetch them.
- Damn Kitty – This one requires a cat. See who survives the longest before rambunctious kitty swats all your cars off the track.
- Go Fish – Tyco tracks have a knack of getting residue build-up on the tracks after long use. If you build a large track, you can either employ a small child to fetch the stuck cars for you or you can play Go Fish. Discover a tool in your house that can reach long distances and snatch the cars up to ‘reel’ back in. We used a golf ball retriever back before there were those grabby arm thingys. Determine who is the best at this and, by the end of the holidays, dub them the “Sucker of the Year”.
- Happy Holiday 500 – Take on the insane and impossible feat of combining all the tracks to make one enormous race track. See if it’s even possible to make one lap around without getting stuck or spinning out.
- Farewell Party – Spend New Years day disassembling and organizing the entire set so it fits back in the tote and the lid closes properly.
We are setting this sucka up this week and I CANNOT wait. Although Tyco tracks are no longer made, you can still find them at some hobby stores and definitely on eBay. I’d love to know if there are more games we haven’t played with our Tyco sets. If you have a strange family tradition, I’d love to know that too.