Well, my youngest has moved on from Beyblades to Yu-Gi-Oh!, but this was a great article on all of these sorts of kid obsessions, from the tops to the cards…
Why Are Kids Obsessed With Beyblades? | Culture | AlterNet:
Beyblades are snub-nosed metal tops, modeled on beigoma, seashell-shaped spinning playthings that were originally invented in the 17th century, and that peaked in popularity sometime before World War II.
But Japan has always had a particular genius for mining the past to build the future — something I’ve often ascribed to the dual influence of Shinto and Buddhism, both of which deeply embed the idea that things never die, merely transform and reemerge. (Spiritual recycling, if you will.) Refreshed with colorful creature graphics, snap-on accessories and a ripcord-style high-speed launcher, and paired with a seizure-inducing cartoon series that’s best described as a 22-minute commercial interrupted by 30- and 60-second commercials, the battling tops have since spawned a burgeoning consumer fan base that generated $477 million last year for its global distributor, Hasbro.