The high tech tops known as Beyblades have reached another milestone here in the U.S., where over five million of the battling spinners have been sold since the toy was introduced in late 2001. Toy giant Hasbro, which licensed the high tech tops from Japan, where the property has been hugely successful, is now working with mega-retailer Toys R' Us to create a series of in-store events designed to push the craze to new heights. Hasbro and Toys R' Us will host 'Beyblade Rip Zone' events at 200 selected Toys R'Us around the country. The free Rip Zone events started on April 12 and will continue on the second Saturday of every month through October.
Driven in part by an anime series, which appears daily on the ABC Family Network (see 'Beyblades' Daily Run A Success'), the Beyblade top has established itself as the dominant product in its field. The Beyblade Rip Zone events will allow kids to show off their skills, learn from more experienced players, and find out all about the new Beyblade accessories and products. Unlike old-fashioned spinning tops, Beyblades can be customized as new parts with new features become available -- and this fall Hasbro will be offering what could be the ultimate weapon in Beyblade competition, a remote-controlled top.