Battling Tops

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1986 version by Ideal Games.

Battling Tops is a children's game first manufactured by Ideal in 1968. In 1977 it was renamed Battling Spaceships in response to Star Wars fever. After Ideal was sold in 1982, Marx took over the game. By the late 1980s, the game was out of production. In recent years Mattel has rereleased Battling Tops.

The game has similarities to gasing pangkah, a traditional Malay sport. [1]

Game play[edit]

Two to four players launch spinning tops into an arena. The object of the game is to have the last standing spinning top. The game takes place on a circular concave arena with four spinning top launch positions. Players wind a string (attached to a pull tab) around their tops, place them in the launch positions, then pull the tab vigorously to release the top. The concave surface forces the tops together to battle. The outcome is somewhat indeterminate, but there is a slight element of skill. Pegs in holes on the rim of the arena mark victories. The first to win ten battles wins the game.


There were eight different colored tops to choose from, although as noted only four could battle at one time. The tops were composed of octagonal discs slipped over a ridged shaft that had a notch to engage the string. The game came with a sheet of coloured stickers to place on the discs. Ostensibly the stickers were to match the colour of the disc and the shaft, but it was possible to mix and match shafts, discs, and stickers (with the proviso that the stickers only stuck once). In the new version of the game, Smarty Smitty has been replaced by Cyclone Steve. In the 1968 version there was an 8 top version that included Fighting Frank and Rocky Rocko. The six player sets had red, yellow, green, light blue, white, and orange. Some sets have rarer colors. There is a 1986 version with a red arena that included 8 tops.

Name Original Color
Hurricane Hank Green
Tricky Nicky White
Dizzy Dan Light Blue
Twirling Tim Orange
Smarty Smitty Red
Super Sam Yellow

See also[edit]