Slot Car Enthusiast

2482 Westhill Ct.
Norcross, Ga.  30071
(770) 263-8565

Editor-In-Chief
Greg Wells
SCEMag@mindspring.com

Associate Producer
Ray Gardner
OldNSlo@juno.com

CONFIRMING THE RUMOR…

…because for the past month or so, rumors have leaked out across the Internet and slot car DL’s…so we figured we’d best ‘fess up.

YES…IT’S TRUE…A NEW MAGAZINE FOR SLOT CAR RACING !!

Here’s what it will, and will not be

It WILL concentrate on all scales and sizes of model race cars and racing, along with the people who remain the backbone of the commercial and club scene, as well as the collectors across the country.

It WILL be more like several publications of yesteryear – Model Car Science; Model Car and Track; and Car Model.  In fact, the very name of this new publication has been "resurrected" from the mid-eighties…and with the gracious permission of the former editor and publisher, Mrs. Teresa Laman, the name of this new effort will be Slot Car Enthusiast.

This new magazine WILL be endorsed by TOA and a portion of the advertising revenue generated will ultimately end up in the TOA treasury.  It WILL NOT, however, be directly affiliated with this Association nor will the TOA Officers and Board of Directors be in any way responsible for the content or editorial policies, even though its members will be solicited for future material.

The new editorial staff of Slot Car Enthusiast will be headed by Editor-In-Chief Greg Wells of Norcross, Georgia, along with Associate Producer Ray "Old ‘n Slo" Gardner.  We are already soliciting additional staff writers to assist with the publication.  One of our future plans is to pay staff writers for instructional articles that are published.  Initially this will not be a lot of money but we plan to increase submission fees as the publication grows, the initial investors are repaid and the publication becomes profitable.

The NEW Slot Car Enthusiast will NOT be competition but rather is being produced to compliment Paul Meiers excellent publication, Slotcar Bulletin.   No one could do a better job of reporting, showcasing and representing the ultimate classes and glue racing than Mr. Meiers and his coverage of USRA and other nationally recognized race events, including the USRA Nats.

The decision to pursue another magazine for the model car industry was by executive discussion of the current TOA Board of Directors.   This was voted on at their meeting in Indianapolis this past October.  The Board determined that, from all indication TOA member John Ford is now directing his energy toward his electronic media, websites and hosting services.  John and his wife Linda had always done an excellent job of covering a wide variety of slot racing, even though during the past couple of years, issue releases were rather sporadic.

The news generated by the whole of slot racing and its related industries, while still growing, has far too many facets bigger than one magazine can cover.  The TOA Board feels that more aspects of the hobby side of model car racing needs to be showcased.  As good as he is, Mr. Meiers just can’t do it all by himself.

With that in mind, the scope of the NEW Slot Car Enthusiast will devote its attention more to the general racing public, regardless of the scale.  We are inviting any and all to contribute racing articles and want to give equal coverage to 1/64th (H.O.), 1/32nd, and 1/24th.   Our goal is provide coverage of interest equally to the home and club racer (that huge 9/10th’s part of the iceberg that’s under the water) as well as the enthusiasts who frequent the commercial establishment.

Since we will not initially be able to travel to all the races and sites around the country we will rely heavily on contributions from devotees of each realm of interest.  While financing for this endeavor is from individuals and companies interested in seeing another publication which will directly put profit into the hands of the distributors, raceway and hobby shop owners around the globe.   No TOA funds are being used to produce this magazine.

Distribution will initially be through a chain which includes distributors, commercial slot car raceways, hobby shops, private clubs and collectors. In order to reach the largest possible body of readers it will be necessary to ultimately go beyond the tip of the iceberg.  We who already KNOW and love slot cars are the ones who sit at the very top above the waterline.  For every one of you there are thousands who’ve never been through the doors of a commercial raceway.   Sadly there’s just not enough of you yet.  What about the thousands upon thousands of potential raceway regulars and casual users we have yet to attract?  The only way we’re going to create an interest outside the normal ebb and flow of racing enthusiasts is to get word to the 4600+ hobby shops in the U.S.   Every attempt will be made to get a flyer in the hands of these hobby dealers – especially those who sell plastic model kits, die-cast or anything concerning the field of model cars.

Hobby shops who stock and sell model railroading, radio control or other types of hobbyist magazines surely will not mind carrying a publication whose primary goal is to reach the thousands of people who like model cars but don’t realize that slot racing as we know it even exists.  Once the "great unknowing" realize that slot racing is alive, well, and growing and not something that died back in the sixties, the magazine can then generate more interest, enthusiasm and ultimately more consumers.  The end result will be more people trying to find the raceways that are already out there which could easily develop into more commercial facilities.  Perhaps a feeding frenzy of new interest will be developed.

What remains to be accomplished is the very large task of getting Slot Car Enthusiast into the hands of the hobby shop owners.  They who wish to add the new publication to those they already are selling will be able to purchase copies from any of the current slot car distributors.  We’ve already received a commitment from ALAN SMITH of ADATR who has graciously agreed to insert an SCE flier in every Scalextric home set track and in his shipment to his customers.  There’s the possibility of several hundred readers right there alone.  Thanks, Alan!

We WILL be offering subscription service to get the magazine to the readers in areas too far removed from the commercial raceway scene. Interested enthusiasts need only to contact Associate Producer Ray Gardner to set up personalized subscription service.

21st Century Sites will be contracted to set up a dedicated Slot Car Enthusiast web site.  On this page will be a listing of locations where those consumers who do not have a local raceway but would still like to obtain the magazine can call or write and place orders.

ADVERTISING in Slot Car Enthusiast

Before we wrote this text for this issue of the TOA Newsletter, an e-mail was sent to several dozen companies and individuals.  Happily, we’ve already heard from several and they have pre-booked ad space in the first issues and one has graciously agreed to purchase two facing pages in the first six issues now that the rate card has been finalized.

We will be contacting each company who would like to place advertising copy.  When the rumor spread via the Internet, we began getting e-mail requests for ad rates and have already reserved space for several very well known companies.  Since coverage initially is being devoted more to the new as well as casual racing enthusiast, advertisements should reflect those concerns.

THE FIRST ISSUE…

…is slated for release sometime shortly after the first of the year…and here’s something to remember. Volume One, Issue No. 1 will only be 1000 copies.  The number is rather low and only for the purpose of "testing" the market to see how well it is received by hobby readers. Each TOA member who’s paid their 1999 dues will receive their copies free as part of their annual dues.  We’re asking for reader feedback because we want to publish what the track owners and their customers want to know and read about.   Should you wish to place an order for additional copies for your customers, simply contact your favorite distributor and have them shipped with your weekly parts order.

The first issue is curently scheduled to be released dated April/May and will be shipped around the first week of March.

ADVERTISING POLICY

Due to daily work schedules of the principals involved in production, this new magazine will be printed and shipped to distributors every other month – six issues for the first year.  It will retail for $3.50 with each raceway and hobby shop owner realizing their customary 40% profit.  A concerted effort will be made to also see that hobby distributors are given the opportunity to order magazines which can then be sent to the 4,600 hobby shops around the country – especially those who carry die cast and hard plastic model kits of race cars.  We will seek permission to have these distributors place flyers in their outgoing orders such as is graciously done for slot car manufacturers by slot distributors.

What does this mean to current TOA members?   Any one who has ever owned a company – especially a commercial raceway – knows the value of advertising.  All of you are also aware that without good, regular promotion it’s almost impossible to succeed.  By the same token every one of you know that pleasing all the people all the time is virtually impossible.  We will attempt to please as many of you as humanly possible and that will remain one of our largest tasks!

Copyright 1999-2000 Slot Car Enthusiast