In my house, BeyBlades are everywhere. The battling spinning top toys are really popular with young boys, to the point where they were actually banned at my oldest son Owen’s school because kids were bringing them to school and arguments were breaking out over battles. Getting banned at school is pretty much the universal symbol of “making it” as a toy. Another symbol is the spinoff, if you’ll pardon the play on words. With that, Hasbro has introduced BeyWheelz, a toy based in the BeyBlade universe, and one that is similar in basic look to their spinning top cousins, but with subtle enough differences to make it stand on its own.
Whereas BeyBlades spin like a top, BeyWheelz spin like a, well, wheel. The basic mechanism is the same, but the launcher is held vertically, and when ripped, BeyWheelz take off across the room. This means you’re going to need some room to play, depending on how you want to play. There are three suggested options. One is Crash Battles, where two combatants face each other, launch their BeyWheelz, and see who’s left spinning after they crash. If they crash. BeyWheelz aren’t the easist things to control on launch (they’re bigger and heavier), and even if you have a BeyArena that funnels them towards a crash, it’s not a guarantee. When we shot our video, we had quite a difficult time getting a good battle as the boys found it difficult to create a good crash. An easier to manage option is the Race Battle. You’ll need a long space to do it right and these things go fast with a good rip. The third option is Stunt Battles, basically a battle of one-upmanship. This is a lot easier if you have the Crash Course Battle Set, which we received for review.
Because they’re made of rubber, BeyWheelz are softer, so they won’t wreck your floors and walls as easily, though they’re heavier than BeyBlades, so they’ll pack quite a wallop when they hit something (and hopefully not someone), especially if they’re travelling at speed. Don’t launch them towards windows, especially if you’re trying to hit the ramp on the Arena. I made that mistake and almost got a hole in my front window for my efforts. Younger siblings may be in danger of getting whacked with a stray BeyWheel, but luckily the pieces are bigger, meaning less chance of a choking hazard. In fact, the bolt may be the only piece to be concerned about.
I found BeyWheelz a little more difficult to take apart and put back together. The bigger size and smaller number of pieces is good, but there are no tools that come with it, and it’s not as easy to screw and unscrew due to its size and the tendency for the rubber to want to stick. It might dissuade kids from wanting to customize them, which is one of the draws of BeyBlades. That, and being able to slip them in your pocket, which is much harder to do with BeyWheelz. Luckily, this can be offset somewhat by giving you more options for doing stunts with the Wheelz. You can buy them individually, or pick up the Crash Course set we reviewed, which will give you everything you need to start BeyWheeling.
The GamerPops Recommendation
BeyWheelz may not quite have the appeal of BeyBlades, but they’re a great toy in their own right. The rubber construction makes them feel a bit more robust, and their mobility gives you more play options beyond just battling spinning tops. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to try all these options as they’re quite big for little hands, and sometimes hard to control. This might limit the enjoyment that some kids will have. They’re a worthy addition to the BeyBlade universe, but will take their place firmly in the supporting role as a spinoff that offers a little something different if you want a break from spinning tops all the time.
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