Tyco Lamborghini Challenge is a slot car racing set manufactured by Tyco Industries, and released into the US, UK, and other markets worldwide from 1988.
Not to be confused with the 1993 Lamborghini Championship released a few years as its successor, 1988’s Lamborghini Challenge is a solid slot car set, with a simple but fast track, some great looking cars, and that all-round quality you don’t find in toy store slot cars these days. A great buy almost 40 years ago, it remains a decent proposition even today. So, let’s get stuck into it!
With Tyco licensing use of the Lamborghini Countach for its Twin Turbo Lamborghini Countach 9.6V Radio Controlled car, it made sense to extend the license to its other product lines… and what better concept than a Lamborghini Slot Car Set!
Legendary Ken Smith would get to work on the products incredible artwork (seen above), and with car models based on the real life dream machine and Tyco’s own 4xAA and 9.6V versions of the same, this was a set that shaped up to be one of their best.
Out of the box, Lamborghini Challenge is simple, but with a little extra punch to make it worthwhile.
Included in the set are:
- 2 x Lamborghini Slot Cars (440-X2)
- 10 Sections of Track
6 x 9″ Radius, 2 x 15′ Straight, 1 x 9″ Automatic Lap Counter, 1 x 9″ Terminal Track
- 2 Piers 8 Crash Batteries with Poles and Flags
- 2 Plug-in Controllers
- Wall Power Pack U.L Listed
Featuring an automatic lap counter built into the starting track, this was a cheaper and more elegant solution than the usual large timing box you’d sit over the track..
In the words of Tyco’s marketing team…
The world’s fastest sports cars, the world’s most beautiful sports cars—now in a super-fast electric racing set. With automatic lap counter, crash barriers for super fun!– 1990 Tyco Catalog on the Lamborghini Challenge Electric Racing set
And they’re right, the twin Lamborghinis look phenomenal on the track, aggressive and futuristic, just an overall great car design, and the perfect amount of style and drama for a slot car.
The red and fluro yellow cars are well modelled, with the decals identical to Tyco’s larger remote controlled varieties with a simple ‘Lamborghini’ on each side, a small logo up front, and that’s it.
Underneath, while it’s not mentioned directly on the box, they look like Magnum 440-X2 to me, though please correct me in the comments below if there’s anything I’ve missed. If you’re not familar with slot cars, it’s a great chassis, still in use today almost 40 years later.
The track is an elongated figure 8. Simple, but providing two decent straights to gain speed, and a nice over/under leading to a very tight corner that’s sure to result on a few Lambo shaped projectiles heading off in that direction.
With a total of 10 feet, it’s one of the smaller Tyco sets, but it’s not designed to be comprehensive, it was introduced to price well and hopefully get a few interested in purchasing track and cars to upgrade it.
Sadly I don’t yet have a better copy of the 6201 parts and track layout page, with this the best I could obtain.
If you have this page, please take a photo and attach it to a comment below!
Availability and Collectability
There are literally dozens of Lamborghini Challenge sets available online in various conditions, from individual parts, to complete mint collector grade sets.
If you’ve ever considered grabbing a good 80s/90s slot car set, whether to share with your kids, or to have some fun yourself with a genuinely good toy suitable for grown ups too, then the Tyco Lamborghini Challenge is a heck of a good buy.
Unlike most vintage Tyco Toys, it’s still possible to buy an average condition used product for less than 100 USD, and if you’re lucky alot less, though I suspect that won’t remain the case for much longer. These are simply too good a deal for a nice track, great looking cars, and a clear future collectors item in any decent condition.