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Author Topic: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?  (Read 4485 times)

JODA9395

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How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« on: June 09, 2020, 12:11:11 AM »

If you have a story you'd like to share, I'd sure like to hear it.
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Jeremy McCreary

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2020, 01:55:19 AM »

I remember really enjoying the (non-throwing) tops I had as a kid. Ditto for the LEGO. Then I became a teenager and got way too cool for such things.

Came back to LEGO as an adult ~40 years ago -- with an emphasis on making things that move. And to tops ~6 years ago on discovering, quite by accident, that I could make some really fun (non-throwing) tops with LEGO. Which reminded me that something in my brain really likes spintoys.

Also quickly realized that LEGO construction opens up many unconventional possibilities in top design. And to take advantage of that, I started studying the physics and engineering involved -- only to discover many of the things real tops do have yet to be worked out in the literature. Which only added to the challenge and fascination.

Then I discovered late 19th and early 20th century mechanical and optical tops on this forum -- especially those from Japan and Germany. Now tops are more than just fun for me. They're kinetic art forms full of surprise and wonder. And in the LEGO realm, lots of juicy engineering challenges to solve.

I've since tried throwing tops but haven't made much progress -- in part, because I like making new tops even more than playing with them.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 02:03:55 AM by Jeremy McCreary »
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Art is how we decorate space, music is how we decorate time ... and with spinning tops, we decorate both.
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JODA9395

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2020, 02:03:53 AM »

I remember really enjoying the (non-throwing) tops I had as a kid. Ditto for the LEGO. Then I became a teenager and got way too cool for such things.

Came back to LEGO as an adult ~40 years ago -- with an emphasis on making things that move. And to tops ~6 years ago on discovering, quite by accident, that I could make some really fun (non-throwing) tops with LEGO. Which reminded me that something in my brain really likes spintoys.

Also quickly realized that LEGO construction opens up many unconventional possibilities in top design. And to take advantage of that, I started studying the physics and engineering involved -- only to discover many of the things real tops do have yet to be worked out in the literature. Which only added to the challenge and fascination.

Then I discovered late 19th and early 20th century Japanese and German tops on this forum. Now tops are more than just fun for me. They're kinetic art forms with emotion and lots of interesting engineering challenges to solve.

I've since tried throwing tops but haven't made much progress -- in part, because I like making new tops even more than playing with them.

That was an interesting read. Thanks for sharing. I like that LEGO brought you back to tops by merging the two interests. Just thinking about it, I can see a peg top LEGO with the right pieces. I hope you find more success with your top throwing though. That's a real challenge.
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Jeremy McCreary

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2020, 02:15:27 AM »

That was an interesting read. Thanks for sharing. I like that LEGO brought you back to tops by merging the two interests. Just thinking about it, I can see a peg top LEGO with the right pieces. I hope you find more success with your top throwing though. That's a real challenge.

Thanks! Unfortunately, good parts for throwing tops don't yet exist, and wrapping and impact tolerance are still major hurdles. But with ta0's expert guidance (especially on string-top interactions), I've managed to make exactly one working LEGO throwing top (out of by now over 1,000 different designs). At least working in his hands, here on a visit to my home in 2017. What fun!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUiiDxb9fqA

Forum discussion here.

« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 02:36:12 AM by Jeremy McCreary »
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JODA9395

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2020, 02:52:29 AM »

That was an interesting read. Thanks for sharing. I like that LEGO brought you back to tops by merging the two interests. Just thinking about it, I can see a peg top LEGO with the right pieces. I hope you find more success with your top throwing though. That's a real challenge.

Thanks! Unfortunately, good parts for throwing tops don't yet exist, and wrapping and impact tolerance are still major hurdles. But with ta0's expert guidance (especially on string-top interactions), I've managed to make exactly one working LEGO throwing top (out of by now over 1,000 different designs). At least working in his hands, here on a visit to my home in 2017. What fun!

Forum discussion here.

Nice! We should be seeing these on the shelves. Or on the online page since it people are probably online shoppers as of late.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 08:16:21 AM by ta0 »
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ta0

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2020, 08:48:24 AM »

I remember watching older kids back in Uruguay playing with pegtops in the 60's but I never got to play. I even remember a pegtop that was for sale at the barber shop where I cut my hair, but I got my father to buy me a Superman magazine instead.
Towards the end of the 1990's I got the Levitron as I was interested in science toys. In 1998 I also got the Top Secret and then on the checkout at Academy Sports store I picked up the Hart motorized top. It was then that I had the idea to collect spinning tops with a scientific interest. But soon I decided that I needed at least one regular throw top in the collection. Went online and ordered a Monarch from The Toycrafter. Using the little paper with instructions that came with it, I learned how to throw a top:



Sometime in 1999 I ordered a Spintastics Sidewinder. That one came with a full page with several tricks, ending in trapeze, a trick that at that time looked to me completely impossible. But I was juggling as a hobby, so I decided to try the boomerang and worked up the list until I finally succeeded with the trapeze. I joined a couple of spintop forums that had just started (Button-n-String and topspinning.com), and the rest is history.  ;D Interestingly, I did not meet in person another top spinner (Dale Oliver) until 2004.

Thanks! Unfortunately, good parts for throwing tops don't yet exist, and wrapping and impact tolerance are still major hurdles. But with ta0's expert guidance (especially on string-top interactions), I've managed to make exactly one working LEGO throwing top (out of by now over 1,000 different designs). At least working in his hands, here on a visit to my home in 2017. What fun!
Great memories!
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kevinm

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2020, 11:39:22 AM »

From the epic movie released in 2000, How To Be A Player!
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JODA9395

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2020, 11:53:01 AM »

I remember watching older kids back in Uruguay playing with pegtops in the 60's but I never got to play. I even remember a pegtop that was for sale at the barber shop where I cut my hair, but I got my father to buy me a Superman magazine instead.
Towards the end of the 1990's I got the Levitron as I was interested in science toys. In 1998 I also got the Top Secret and then on the checkout at Academy Sports store I picked up the Hart motorized top. It was then that I had the idea to collect spinning tops with a scientific interest. But soon I decided that I needed at least one regular throw top in the collection. Went online and ordered a Monarch from The Toycrafter. Using the little paper with instructions that came with it, I learned how to throw a top:

Sometime in 1999 I ordered a Spintastics Sidewinder. That one came with a full page with several tricks, ending in trapeze, a trick that at that time looked to me completely impossible. But I was juggling as a hobby, so I decided to try the boomerang and worked up the list until I finally succeeded with the trapeze. I joined a couple of spintop forums that had just started (Button-n-String and topspinning.com), and the rest is history.  ;D Interestingly, I did not meet in person another top spinner (Dale Oliver) until 2004.

Thanks! Unfortunately, good parts for throwing tops don't yet exist, and wrapping and impact tolerance are still major hurdles. But with ta0's expert guidance (especially on string-top interactions), I've managed to make exactly one working LEGO throwing top (out of by now over 1,000 different designs). At least working in his hands, here on a visit to my home in 2017. What fun!
Great memories!

Thanks for sharing that story Ta0. Without those chain of events, we probably wouldn't have this forum. Also, thanks for putting up those resources on your webpage.  Very helpful. 👍
« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 01:37:06 PM by ta0 »
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Jeremy McCreary

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2020, 02:12:20 PM »

Wonderful story, ta0 -- with some strong resonances with my own. Interesting that you and I, and I think Iacopo,  got our SOCD (spintoy obsessive-compulsive disorder) in no small part from the science involved. And pretty sure we're not the only ones.

But beyond overt scientific interest, everyone has a skilled inner physicist key to our very survival in a largely mechanical world. That's also the inner voice you hear objecting to an old sci-fi movie flying saucer or WWII movie ship model moving in a  clearly fakey way. And the one saying, "OK, that's just not right!" when most people see a top standing against gravity.

I think many if not all of us on the forum have inner physicists that get a special kick out of watching and hearing and feeling and puzzling over tops doing the darnedest things -- whether or not we try to understand it on a verbal level.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 02:40:43 PM by Jeremy McCreary »
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Texture

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2020, 06:14:09 PM »

To be honest, when I was a youngster, the only tops I ever played with were the lego ninjago spinjitzu tops, which I was somewhat addicted to. Then, what feels like ages later, I discovered the trompo (peg-top) on vacation in Peru, on YouTube (I was bored :P). On the last day of my trip there my grandfather  came in the door with a bag full of peg-tops. I was overjoyed, but he had to leave right away, so he didn't have time to show me how to spin them.  :'( I sort-of figured it out, and when I returned home, I dedicated myself to it, and found out I was doing it wrong. I all of a sudden learned about all sorts of of other tops, top tricks, top companies, ta0's wonderful website, and then this amazing forum! It all seems to have happened in one day, it's crazy!
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Jeremy McCreary

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2020, 08:03:53 PM »

To be honest, when I was a youngster, the only tops I ever played with were the lego ninjago spinjitzu tops, which I was somewhat addicted to. Then, what feels like ages later, I discovered the trompo (peg-top) on vacation in Peru, on YouTube (I was bored :P). On the last day of my trip there my grandfather  came in the door with a bag full of peg-tops. I was overjoyed, but he had to leave right away, so he didn't have time to show me how to spin them.  :'( I sort-of figured it out, and when I returned home, I dedicated myself to it, and found out I was doing it wrong. I all of a sudden learned about all sorts of of other tops, top tricks, top companies, ta0's wonderful website, and then this amazing forum! It all seems to have happened in one day, it's crazy!

Didn't take long for me to get sucked in, either. That bag of tops from your grandfather -- what a gift!
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JODA9395

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2020, 08:45:37 PM »

To be honest, when I was a youngster, the only tops I ever played with were the lego ninjago spinjitzu tops, which I was somewhat addicted to. Then, what feels like ages later, I discovered the trompo (peg-top) on vacation in Peru, on YouTube (I was bored :P). On the last day of my trip there my grandfather  came in the door with a bag full of peg-tops. I was overjoyed, but he had to leave right away, so he didn't have time to show me how to spin them.  :'( I sort-of figured it out, and when I returned home, I dedicated myself to it, and found out I was doing it wrong. I all of a sudden learned about all sorts of of other tops, top tricks, top companies, ta0's wonderful website, and then this amazing forum! It all seems to have happened in one day, it's crazy!

That's awesome. It seems that most of us here would thank LEGO for leading us to tops. XD
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Jeremy McCreary

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2020, 10:36:46 PM »

That's awesome. It seems that most of us here would thank LEGO for leading us to tops. XD

Pretty interesting. Who knew?
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jim in paris

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2020, 01:23:41 AM »

1982 I confiscated a yoyo in my classroom
put it in a drawer and forgot about it, it was a coca-cola/Russell yoyo
1995 at a kite festival in Le Touquet , I saw a member of team "high performance"
doing yoyo tricks : I thought : this is for me !
back home I found the old yoyo in the drawer and started to play ..
it took me 6 months to do a double or nothing
2000 I attended the german masters in yoyo , was introduced to tops
by eric bergman and Jumper from TYM
2002 my friend yo-chi went to Worlds in Orlando, and was taught the basics by Unkle Steve himself..
back in Paris , we progressed fast,Lapin got the hang of it and we had the chance to do a few open stage shows
with yoyos and tops
later I bought a lathe and started woodturning , spent weeks at Philippe Dyon's workshop in the center of france
the pleasure to make wood tops has never died since then
in 2010 , Ludo and I started organizing the first "festival des toupies du monde"
2020 was the 10 th edition
in 2015 I convinced TA0 to start a non -profit structure
to help promote tops worldwide "the International Top Spinning Association" was born


best memories
2nd trip to Philippe Dyon's workshop

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulx13ohwsqM&list=UUHWpbqTxG-m2znuYJ5QmA-g&index=159

TV show with Lapin
after waiting 6 hours in a row ,2 make-up sessions, starving , with no funny cigarettes allowed,
we finally DID IT with no drop 
phew ! never again !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clgOreVY2mY&list=UUHWpbqTxG-m2znuYJ5QmA-g&index=145




jim


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JODA9395

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2020, 01:44:27 AM »

That is the best. I love watching woodturning. I wish I had one but can't afford one right now. And to think we owe a student messing around with a yo-yo for this domino effect to occur. Those videos are priceless. I'm sure you'll cherish those memories for a very long time. Thanks for sharing Jim. I'm still amazed at the plethora of stories we have; Each story is like a unique footprint. I'm sure many got interested in tops through yo-yos, but not in the manner you were introduced to them. :)
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