Review by JoshB
When a friend came back from a trip to Japan, he gave me this toy as a present. He had just entered a Japanese department store when the staff opened a carton of Beyblade toys. Chaos ensued, but somehow he managed to grab one. He said he had never seen anything like the frenzy over these toys. Beyblade had taken over Japan in 2001.
In the US, retailers had high hopes for Beyblade. Japanese children snapped up 20-30 million units of Beyblade toys, and with the success of Pokemon they were sure they had another huge hit. But Beyblade has failed to catch on in the US. The only place you can see the show is on ABC Family, and the quality isn't that good compared to competitors like Yu-Gi-Oh.
The Beyblade Salamalyon toy looks really nice, but is awkward in many ways. The assembly is simple enough, but the smaller stickers do not like to stay on. The transformation from dragon to top mode requires you to remove several pieces, and it is not instinctive.
In top mode, there are several layers that can be added or subtracted, based on how you want to play. There is a separate gadget to spin the Beyblade top, but it does not come included with this set.
One thing to be aware of when purchasing a Beyblade is not all tops transform. Most of them just consist of a metal ring and a couple of plastic layers.
This toy may be fun for the younger set, but if you are an older collector, looking for something that will display nice with your transformers, you may want to pass.