EDitorial ± 1-Feb-2010

Tops In The Playground

Did Poundland. Done Argos. Dusted the Co-op. Woolies would've been wonderful but is weirdly AWOL. Into MPV and up to big Sainsbury's. Skate through to the non-foods toy section and yay! Behold this weekend's grail, a smattering of gaudy boxes each containing a:

Mega Bloks
Battle Strikers
Turbo Tops
Reload Striker

Fair trips off the tongue, don't it? In late January 2010, as it happens, you're nobody at your 7-11 junior school if you're not packing at least one Battle Striker. By all means, go ahead and ask your dad to find you a £10 starter pack, as long as you pay him back. That'll get you your own launcher and controller (essential). But prepare for disappointment when you debut the accompanying underpowered turbo top. See, you really need to invest in a standalone reload striker. Choose from 15 models, all available separately for a further £5...

There's something both deeply cynical and wholly admirable about this latest ploy to part kids from their pocket money. Last year, it was the diabolo. Last term, it was GoGo's Crazy Bones. Now, if you go to Google and type "battle space s", it'll zeitgeist the following:

  • 4th position -- Battle Star Galactica
  • 3rd position -- battle studies
  • 2nd position -- battleships
  • 1st position -- Battle Strikers

You and your opponent use your battery-powered launchers to spin your top into a fury, you hit it to release the whirling dervish, then try to bash your mate out of the plastic arena. Course, this is no more than the latest evolution of the Battling Tops (by Ideal!) that me and my brother had when we were in shorts. Gotta respect those Mega Brands toy technicians for taking the idea, moving it on and milking it still further.

When he came back from school today, The Boy was full of it, mighty proud to have finally beaten one of his pals with the superior control and defensive skills of Tank. Like the hokey-cokey, that's what it's all about.