But usually when there is a lull of any new releases, we see side releases. Hasbro released “BeyWheelz” which received a limited toyline and short anime adaptation in the U.S. before continuing with the 4D series and then later to “Samurai Steel”.
While Hasbro has done well, in giving enough time between releases, Takara Tomy has focused on their popular B-Daman, while Korean distributor, Sonokong has decided it was time to release a side-series known as “Top Plate”.
The game has been promoted in Korea as a family game, to the point that you will see children, mothers and fathers participating in mall tournaments.
But what is Top Plate?
The tops are similar to Beyblade in the fact that you have the following five components: Head (think face bolt), Clear Top, Metal Top, Binding and Spincore.
You get a tool which you can lock the head into place but then another part of tool which locks the binding from the bottom. the spincore spins freely and the tips are fixed. At first, I thought that all tips were the same but after purchasing three: Blaze Liger, Wind Falcon and Dread Dragon.
The three are actually different from each other, as Blaze Liger has a flat tip and Wind Falcon has a tip that can go in and out. Dread Dragon on the other hand has a four sided tip and comes with a hole flat attachment.
The tops are released in three varieties, stand alone which comes withe the Top Plate and winder, unity set which comes with the Top Plate, winder, attack plate and the tweezer. The other sets include the Top Plates and a variety arenas which were released in Korea.
But the game is fairly different from Beyblade. In Beyblade, part of the skill is the launch, the combination of tips and knowing how the metal Beyblades work. The game requires certain skill and with Top Plate, it’s somewhat simplified as customization is not as great as Beyblade, but the fun is the fact that you can wind your Top Plate, launch it on your attack plate, guide the Top Plate to the arena and then battle.
Also, with Top Plate, your tweezer has a hitting function that allows you to slam your Top Plate towards another. Granted, it may look easy on YouTube but it takes some time to figure out, especially if you using the Attack Plate.
But one of the positive aspects of Top Plate is the fact that you won’t screw up your winder as reusing the winder will not wear anything down and you can use left or right spin.
But Sonokong really came up with a fun, innovative game for the family and as you can see in videos, parents are hardcore in the fact that you can see fathers and their children with their Top Plates inside cases, ready to take on others at the mall. Although, looking at the Sonokong video, some of the fathers need some practice, while the mothers, they look like they have the game down!
While Sonokong Top Plate look to do well, considering the support for more arenas and newer Top Blades, it looks like Sonokong of Korea has a hit on their hands and I’m looking forward to see what they have coming out for the remainder of 2014.
Especially with the animated series being aired in Korea.
While others in Korea, have found a way to make Top Plates the second coming since the YoYo when it comes to doing some really crazy tricks.
And another plus for Sonokong’s Top Plate…there are some US Sellers selling it cheap on eBay, so you’re not paying a fortune for them! So far, I was able to get the unity set for $16.49 and the Blaze Liger for $9.49. So, not much difference compared to Beyblade prices in the U.S.
But overall, a pretty awesome toyline from Sonokong and it will be interesting if Hasbro will pick it up for U.S. release!