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"It's in the wrist action" !!! (Read 2,870 times)
 
Bob Jennings
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"It's in the wrist action" !!!
Jan 18th, 2013 at 1:27pm
 
If you're fifty or over you might remember the "Battling Tops" game and the commercial where the winning kid says, "it's in the wrist action".     I recall tons of folks using that expression as an answer to any kind of question back then.      (You can still see the commerical on you tube at

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Well if you have kids,  or grandkids or you're still a kid at heart;  here's a fun project I recently completed that you might enjoy.

If anyone's interested I can provide some more details and a top storyboard.    

cheers

Bob

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Ed Weber
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Re: "It's in the wrist action" !!!
Reply #1 - Jan 18th, 2013 at 1:45pm
 
Our family had that game when I was young, I really like your version better.  Smiley Very well done.
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Walt
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Re: "It's in the wrist action" !!!
Reply #2 - Jan 18th, 2013 at 2:40pm
 
WOW!  That brings back some memories.  I had one of those!
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Tom Coghill
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Re: "It's in the wrist action" !!!
Reply #3 - Jan 18th, 2013 at 3:06pm
 
I still have my "Skittle Board"... bit I think it is in the crawlspace...  not high tech enough for kids these days....

I can still recall pulling that string REAL FAST to get the skittle (top) spinning REAL FAST only to have the string get tangled and locking up resulting a pain shooting up from your fingers REAL FAST    bang head.  OUCH!


Great looking game and tops! Wink
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Robert Harper
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Re: "It's in the wrist action" !!!
Reply #4 - Jan 18th, 2013 at 5:24pm
 
My kids who have never seen one of these said I should make one of those a few years ago when I made a bunch of tops for the little ones in the family. The adults played with them more than the kids.
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Robert Hayward
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Re: "It's in the wrist action" !!!
Reply #5 - Jan 18th, 2013 at 7:06pm
 
I am interested. What are the details ?

Bob
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Bob Jennings
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Re: "It's in the wrist action" !!!
Reply #6 - Jan 19th, 2013 at 12:48am
 
By request here are the details for the Battling Tops Game  my apologies for the length of the write-up.
           
BASE:
The game features an 18” diameter parabolic base shape with a one inch drop from the side wall to the middle.    Note:  It can be made with a steeper drop towards the middle, but that crashes the Tops together more violently and the games don’t last long as the Tops are frequently bopped out of the arena.   

My base is made from 8/4 maple, two pieces joined together with biscuits, you could get away with 1.5 inch thick pieces as well.
Bottom support ring is a 4/4 maple 12 sided segmented ring.    There are two reasons for the ring:  1)  provides some lift to the game so that when the players pull their Tops they have some clearance between the table top and their hands.     2) Cut-outs on the base allow your hands to get under the base to lift it.   There would be other ways to raise the base.
  
I also glued a maple block on the bottom of the base,  a faceplate can go directly on the top of the base. I turned the bottom first, removing significant material near the edge but less material in the middle and then put a tenon on the bottom glue block.
Flipped the game over, chucked it and turned the parabolic shape.   I used a narrow parting tool to put a groove in the outside wall.   This was to accommodate the Plexiglas wall that I intended to install.      This wall could be eliminated but it keeps the Tops in play a bit more.     Another approach could be to add a couple of segmented rings on the top and turn them down to a narrow wall instead of the Plexiglas.   This would also make the construction of the Top launchers a lot easier.

LAUNCHERS:
On my prototype game I simply glued the launchers to the outside wall, seems to have stood up quite well.  But for this game I made the launchers with a tenon on the bottom that inserts into the groove on the ring wall.     This made the launchers much more difficult to make and I ended up using a router circle jig to cut out the tenon on the launchers.   I needed eight launcher vertical pieces.    The horizontal launcher pieces are glued to the top of the vertical launcher struts.     (A simpler approach would be to just glue the launchers on the side wall or make the side wall higher and cut the launcher slots out from the side wall.)
There is a 0.375” drill hole in the inside of the wall to allow the Top to sit there and a corresponding 03.75” hole in the horizontal piece of the launcher.   
The launchers are two inches tall with one inch clearance in the middle for the shafts.

SIDE WALL:
The side walls are 1/8” Plexiglas which I heated up in boiling water and then curved and dropped into place.   

TOPS:
The Tops are 3.75” tall with outside diameter 2.25”.   The shaft diameters are 0.25”.    The little string pulleys are 0.75” diameter by 0.125” thick.     I made about 5 prototype Tops before I landed on this design.    Storyboard picture attached with dimensions.

The Tops have four flat spots grounded on the disc to make them “bounce” a bit more.   Without the flat spots the Tops slide off each other.   You can make the Tops “too aggressive” if you put too much of a flat spot on each side.    
The pull strings are about 18” long. 

Wind the pull string between the pulleys and feed the Top into the launcher from the inside of the arena.   Hold the tip of the Top with one hand and let er rip,...  “it’s all in the wrist action”. 

Cheers

Bob Jennings
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Freddie Hicks
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Re: "It's in the wrist action" !!!
Reply #7 - Jan 19th, 2013 at 1:15am
 
That's so cool
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Brendan Stemp
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Re: "It's in the wrist action" !!!
Reply #8 - Jan 19th, 2013 at 5:58am
 
That is a brilliant project and so well executed.  I still have my Battling Tops game that used to be brought out when the kids were younger.  Remember Smarty Smitty and Twirling Tim.  I think you'll need to name yours to keep it authentic Wink

Thanks for sharing this, what a blast from the past. smiley=thumbsup.gif
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Scott glass
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Re: "It's in the wrist action" !!!
Reply #9 - Jan 19th, 2013 at 8:49am
 
I agree with all the above,tops are way more fun than people might think who might not have tried one. I have made a few tops and yo yo and given them away. they tend to sit in a place where people pick them up once in awhile.  A game like that would get a lot of use and better than can be bought.
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Brendan Stemp
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Re: "It's in the wrist action" !!!
Reply #10 - Jan 31st, 2013 at 2:23am
 
This thread had me reminiscing and I thought I would dig out the old game, take some pics and show you all what the original looked like.
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« Last Edit: Jan 31st, 2013 at 2:25am by Brendan Stemp »  
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Buck Nemitt
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Re: "It's in the wrist action" !!!
Reply #11 - Jan 31st, 2013 at 8:47am
 
Very, Very Nice Bob  Smiley
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What the heck,Give it a try---
 
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Ed Weber
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Re: "It's in the wrist action" !!!
Reply #12 - Jan 31st, 2013 at 9:45am
 
I noticed that there is an article about this very thing in the latest AAW magazine.
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Bob Jennings
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Re: "It's in the wrist action" !!!
Reply #13 - Jan 31st, 2013 at 11:34am
 
Thanks everybody for your comments on the Battling Tops.
smiley=dankk2.gif
Ed,  I'm quite interested in the AAW article,  what's it's about?

cheers

bob
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Bob Jennings
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Re: "It's in the wrist action" !!!
Reply #14 - Jan 31st, 2013 at 11:41am
 
Hi Brendan:
It's amazing that you've still got your BT game and it looks like both the game and the box are still in great shape.      That's exactly how I remember it.

Very cool and thanks for sharing.

bob

PS:  I gave the game to a family with three boys ages 8 - 12 and they loved it,  and of course there was four tops so I just had to play as well. 
Grin
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