Last holiday season, I wrote about Larry Lion, one of my favorite childhood toys I received at Christmas. This year, as I sit and ponder past Christmas memories, I remember receiving a fantastic game one year called “Battling Tops” that I absolutely loved to play with my family.
Battling Tops was relatively simplistic in design and strategy made by the geniuses at Mattel. It consisted of a shallow, bowl-shaped playing surface and tops with such names as “Dizzy Dean,” “Hurricane Hank,” “Cyclone Steve” and “Tricky Nicky” which you wound around a string and the players would pull or “rip” their strings to propel their tops onto the playing surface or “arena”. I loved watching the tops dance and buzz around knocking each other all over the place. The last top standing won the round and that player would receive a point. The first player to win 10 rounds reigned supreme.
A few years ago, after seeing other classic games of my youth such as “Kurplunk,” and “Operation,” reappear in the isles of toy stores, I hoped to find “Battling Tops” on the shelves there as well so I could introduce the game to my two boys. However, after seemingly endless searches that resulted in nothing but disappointment, I continued my hunt via the Internet. After searching for awhile, I found an original version of the game for sale on Ebay for aboout $100. To my dismay, I figured I would have to just continue telling my boys how much fun it was and hoping one day Mattel would again reissue it.
Recently, my youngest son informed me that his elementary school was having a “garage sale” as a fundraiser and asked for some money to purchase an item or two. Thinking he’d buy the typical stuffed animal or other such item, I sent him off to school with a couple of bucks. When I got home that evening, he was waiting for me at the door with a huge smile on his face. He quickly grabbed his back pack and from it, unveiled his purchase – “Battling Tops” for the bargain basement price of $.50. It didn’t take us long to get set it up and begin play. Since that day we have had some great games filled with a ton laughter and fun. It’s been great to relive some of the same memories I had as a child with my family.
How about you? Have any games from your past that you have introduced to your family?
We wish you and yours all the joys and memories this holiday season brings!