Carrera Racing Sets: A Beginner’s Guide
It is easy to be confused when it comes to toys. There’s so many available. Each type of toy is usually made by more than one brand. Then each brand has numerous imitations, which may or may not be compatible with the brand of toy you have purchased.
This confusion only becomes worse with toys that have expansion packs, especially if you are buying for someone else. Carrera Racing Sets are toy cars at their most basic level, but they require a track. Expansion kits are even bigger than the needed basic set.
The first Carrera slot set became available to Germans in the 1960s. A lot has changed since then. Carrera Racing Sets are more than the typical toy car. They’re a brand of slot racing cars, therefore need a track and it has to be the Carrera track. Not all Carrera tracks are compatible with other Carrera tracks. When children ask for a particular brand, an imitation or different brand won’t do. Imitations or other brands expansions won’t even work with the Carrera sets.
Carrera Racing Sets get children started with the first sets recommended for ages three and up. The “and up” part is important as like other slot car brands, Carrera Racing Sets appeal to older children, teens and adults. As they get older, the tracks and cars change, so you’ll need to level them up with new starter sets every few years until they’re on the adult one.
The Carrera preschool set is called Carrera First. This is for children ages three and up. The controllers are easy for little fingers to operate, leaving young kids playing happily instead of becoming frustrated. Preschool sets come with fun recognisable characters for the target audience. Don’t be tempted to get your three-year-old one of the sets for older children. They won’t be able to use it as even at the next level, it gets more complicated. An older kid will get bored with Carrera First.
Six and Up
Carrera Go is recommended for ages six and up. The cars and tracks are on the 1:43 scale, this number is important. Tracks for older children and adults are on a different scale. The manual controllers with a turbo option are more advanced than the preschool set. Two people can drive cars around the track at the same time. Some sets include fun and recognisable character for the age group, such as Nintendo Mario Kart.
Carrera Go Plus is the expansion pack with digital connectivity via Apple or Android app. Race modes and sounds are available in the Plus Set. Junior racers can play against themselves with a ghost car in Go Plus.
Although light up cars can be bought for the basic Go Set, the Plus Set includes sounds.
Carrera Evolution is the set most people are familiar with. It is the one recommended for ages eight and up. The one kids unwrap on birthdays but their fathers end up inviting their buddies over and play with it instead of buying their own sets. The cars are on the 1:32 scale with the track on 1:24. The basic set is for two cars, but expansions can make it up to eight cars. The analogue set can be retrofitted to go digital. You will need the basic Evolution set before you start building expansions.
There are a few different digital sets, with different compatibility to the other sets. Carrera Digital 143 is compatible with the Go and Go Plus sets. Digital 143 allows three cars on the track. The cars can be controlled digitally. Lane changes and overtaking can help improve hand-eye coordination for young players.
Digital 132 can adjust driver levels up to ten levels. The track can be extended for as far as your basement can take. Digital 132 works with Carrera Evolution.
Carrera Digital 124
Carrera Digital 124 needs its own section. The cars are bigger on the 1:24 scale and it is an entirely different track, with expansions available. This one is recommended for ages ten and up. This set does away with Mario Kart, sticking to motorsport brands such as Ferrari. Like other sets, it is expandable.
Start with a basic set, add the expansion and then go digital. When purchasing expansions and additional cars, make sure the expansions and cars are compatible with the basic set. Even without much space, you can still have fun on a smaller track.