Thursday, December 23, 2010

Toyota Introduces Slotcar Racing Game for Christmas

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota has agreed to pay $10 million to settle the lawsuit filed by the family of a California Highway Patrol officer slain by a runaway Prius. A series of unprecedented safety and quality recalls have been issued by Toyota over the past 14 months, all involving sudden-acceleration problems with their popular hybrid vehicles.

Toyota executives expressed disappointment with the settlement, but the company hopes to recover some of its losses with the release of its new Christmas toy, “Prius Pedal Force Robot Happy Lightning DRIVE!”

The game, modeled in the fashion of vintage slotcar racing games, features two miniature Prius vehicles and a set of tracks that kids can put together to create a variety of different racing environments. As with traditional slotcar toys, the Toyotas run on electricity, are powered by handheld triggers, and drive in a grooved surface along a plastic track.

“The real fun,” says Toyota’s marketing department, “is in the unpredictability of the cars. Slotcar racing requires controlling speed around curves and tight corners. The only real way to lose the game is to fly off the tracks, so once a child masters the system, there’s little real challenge left. But with our game, the cars are programmed to suddenly accelerate at random intervals. And once they do, it’s virtually impossible to stop them without special assistance. It’s just this kind of innovation and creativity that will renew interest in the slotcar racing genre of toys.”

Toyota expects its first foray into the toy industry to yield high margins and wildly successful sales figures. The “Prius Pedal Force Robot Happy Lightning DRIVE!” kits are available now in major retailers across the country.

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