Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Oh boy! What a toy!!

Toys are fun, educative, sometimes they are companions to the child. Especially, a single child. I used to look for a new arrival in the market, when we wanted to gift one on birthdays. kids in the family wait for their birthdays, just to get the newsest toy from me!

Year before last, it was the Beyblade. Of course, it wasn't all that new in 2004, as it was one of the hottest toys of 2002 in the U. S. They are Hasbro's battling tops. (Yes, the age old tops we all played with a thin rope). More than 2 million beyblades were sold in the U.S. alone in 2002. But the accessories and the creativity with which the toy was built over was amazing. We used to play with tops on the roadsides near our home with circles drawn with the nail in the top. And we used 'technical' terms like 'Apeeet', 'kuthu'. . . and many more.

And Beyblades too have set rules. Look at the official rules:

- All Beyblade battles must occur in Beystadium!- Beystadium cannot be on table or other elevated surfaces. - To begin official Beyblade battles, Beyblade tops must be launched after the signal of 3,2,1 Let it rip!
- Only one launch per battle - battle ends when one top stops spinning.
- If player touches opponent during opponent's launch of top, player loses 1 point. Player scores 1 point if opponent does not launch top into the Beystadium.
- If player's top enters one of the three penalty pockets anytime during battle, opponent scores 2 points (max score of 2 points er battle)
- Player scores 1 point if his/her top spins longer than opponent's top.
- If player touches Beystadium during battle, opponent scores 3 points-battle immediately over .
- Compete in multiple battles-the player with 7 or more points at the completion of a battle wins!

There are other types of launches:
DRAGOON STORM (Dragon Spirit) Reverse Launch - Opponent must launch his/her top with his/her opposite (non-writing) hand.
DRACIEL (Turtle Spirit) Delay Launch - Launch your Beyblade top 5 seconds after opponent launches his/her top.
DRANZER (Phoenix Spirit) Power Launch - Player can use a Deluxe Beyblade launcher while opponent can only use the standard Beyblade launcher.
DRIGER (White Tiger Spirit) Customization Launch - Opponent cannot use a customized top. His/her top must come straight out of the box.

Really cool!

But whats up this year? In the American International Toy Fair 2006 held in New York City between February 12 and 15 2006, nine games were selected as the best games of the year. And the best property of the Year - Dora The Explorer. It has won this award for the second time in a row.

Boy - Toy of the year award goes to Shell shocker from Mattel.It is a radio-controlled toy. By remote control you can have the shell shocker roll up into a ball or open it up into a "cyberbeast". This vehicle is also designed to stand up to play action in the dirt. As the toy opens up, a cyber extention flaps down hard and helps propel the shell shocker. It has an alien feel to it that might appeal to older boys, the tweens and the teens, as they call them!

I haven't seen the Shell shocker yet. But the mad-mad Beyblade will remain popular with our kids for another two years atleast! After all Beyblade found a place even in the annual Odyssey quiz (2006) in Chennai, which happens on every Republic Day! Sure, all the school teams would have made an additional point on that question over the others!

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