I'll try to comment on some of the comments - starting at the end. The mold for the Monarch tops is sort of in my possession. First, I purchased half interest in the mold, not half of the mold. The mold was in the possession of my plastics molding provider when they went out of business. The owner kindly took many of his molds with him when he went to work for a different plastics company as their sales person, so the mold is theoretically still available. I remember some discussion with Cliff about whether the separate mold for the tips was also still around, along with a mold I had made for some lovely little plastic finger tops that I used in our "Spinning Top Mazes". The mold remained mine ( 1/2 mine ) even with the sale of The Toycrafter, and subsequent bankruptcy of the new owner.
The little gate flaws were always a problem. We trimmed them a bit, but did not put any special effort into trying to make them perfect, so the issues of part orientation, etc did not come up. (The tape idea is a wonderful innovation) There is an inner lip that aligns the crown part and the base part quite nicely! In our defense, probably less than 1 in a thousand of them were sold to anyone who even knew how to spin them, and certainly not to anyone who weighed, balanced, or taped them! The button was originally die cut from plastic sheeting, and subsequently we laser cut them from 3mm Baltic Birch, and also supplied the wood buttons to Brad Countryman for his various generations of tops. In fact, we used lathe turned white plastic tips from Brad as the tips for our wood tops for a while, until we realized we could mold them cheaper, and then we sold tips to Brad.
I'm don't remember the kind of plastic we used, but I do remember that some of the odd colors for different batches were based on Cliff having odd small batches of the right plastic that I could get cheaper than insisting on a particular color! I remember particularly liking the Yellow & Black version! The blue and red ones were a similar serendipity of small batches of colors available. The few pieces with mixed colors during the switchover in the colors, were particularly cool, and would be particularly collectible I presume.
The comment on the sharp points is right on target. The original tips from the mold were quite rounded, but the new ones (made with some combination of fiber glass and plastic) came out quite sharp, and the cost of reshaping the mold - essentially adding material back in - was very expensive. I always threw the first throw on the floor to blunt the tip! The artwork on the instructions was done by an old girlfriend. I wrote the written material with a lot of agonizing over how to convey the complexity of top spinning in words! In the old days, pretty much everybody learned from the previous generation - you just absorbed the skill from watching the big kids!
The Monarch, and the Wooden Peg Top were always big money losers for us. Given that we sold up to a million tops and other toys a year, the 2 or 3 thousand peg tops we sold per year were a tiny drop in the bucket, and cost us a lot more than we were ever able to sell them for. I just felt I had to keep them around. I was always amused that many toy ads and ads for the NY Toy Show, would feature the old fashioned throwing top as an iconic toy, even though pretty much nobody knew how to play with them!