Metal Fight Beyblade
In April 2008, TAKARA-TOMY announced the return of the Beyblade toyline with a completely new series called Metal Fight Beyblade (MFB) in Japan, after having suspended production in 2005. This new series is targeted towards a whole new generation of kids. The first releases were in stores around August 9th 2008. To gain a wider audience, a manga drawn by Adachi Takafumi, an anime and a Nintendo DS game that feature a whole new cast of characters have since been released, and sales have only been increasing. A new official organization called World Beyblade Battle Association (WBBA) constantly hosts tournaments in Japanese shops and in bigger events, such as the bi-annual World Hobby Fair. In a recent press release, TAKARA-TOMY indirectly revealed that Metal Fight Beyblade should be active, perhaps outside Japan, until 2012.
Starting in spring 2010, Hasbro will be distributing Beyblade: Metal Fusion in Canada, and fall 2010 in the United States and UK. It is unknown at the moment whether other countries will get the new beyblades around the same time.
Components of MFBs
Before the beginning of the anime in April 2009, Metal Fight Beyblades were constituted of four parts:
- Face/Face Bolt: Hexagonal screw-like piece that fastens the Beyblade together, similar to Bit Protector from the HMS. They feature graffiti-style illustrations on the top (i.e. Bull, Pegasis, etc). With the introduction of the Hybrid Wheel System also came the Metal Faces, which are 3.5 grams heavier than normal Faces, therefore they help add weight to a Beyblade. After BB-27, Faces have become blank and stickers now have to be added on them.
- Wheel: Main source of attack from a Beyblade; unlike HMS, the Wheel is completely made out of metal to compensate for the lack of a Weight Disk. They use various shaped protrusions to lower the spin velocity of an opponent. The Wheel is fundamentally the same as the Attack Ring from the HMS and plastic Beyblades. The shooter connects directly to the Wheel and does not depend on the Face or the Track for a solid connection. The Wheel determines the spin direction of the Beyblade.
- Track/Spin Track: The Track is the component of the Beyblade that connects the Wheel and Bottom. The Track determines the height of the Beyblade. Their names (when read with a decimal before the last digit) determine their height in millimeters. For example, Pegasis' Track is called 105, which stands for 10.5 MM. Some Tracks have gimmicks which help make multiple good customizations since some of them are significantly heavier than others, like Flame Sagittario’s C145 Track.
- Bottom/Performance Tip: The bottom of the Beyblade. It has interchangeable tips which the Beyblade spins on. Movement patterns can be altered with the differently shaped tips that can be used. It is similar to the Blade Base from plastic Beyblades or the Running Core from HMS. The Bottom is indicated by the (sometimes two) last letter(s) of a Beyblade’s name: for instance, Capricorne 100HF, where HF is the Bottom and stands for Hole Flat.
Faces and Bottoms are screwed onto the Tracks by using a Tool, which resembles an assembling key. One of its side is hexagonal-shaped to fit around the Face, and the opposite side is more round.
Hybrid Wheel SystemCoinciding with the release of the anime in April 2009, a new system was introduced which has five components instead: the Hybrid Wheel System (HWS). The structure is very similar to the four-parts system, but it differs in that the Wheel is now separated into two:
- Clear Wheel/Energy Ring: Upper part of the Hybrid Wheel which is made of clear polycarbonate, a kind of plastic that is supposed to be more resistant than normal. All plastic parts of a Metal Fight Beyblade are made out of that plastic. Unfortunately, most Clear Wheels rarely get to make a good impact in the game unless there is a significant height difference between two Beyblades; only the L Drago, Perseus and Meteor L Drago Clear Wheel obviously comes into play, as it is wider and that it actually extends to cover the Metal Wheel. However, Clear Wheels are mostly different because of their slight weight variations.
- Metal Wheel/Fusion Wheel: As the name indicates, it is basically a thinner metal equivalent of the normal Wheel. The Metal Wheel mostly determines the weight of the Hybrid Wheel, as well as the type of attack of the beyblade because it is usually wider than the Clear Wheel.
Together, the Clear and Metal Wheels’ weight is equivalent to that of a normal Wheel. Also, the Clear Wheel is the second part of a Hybrid Wheel name, while the Metal Wheel comes first: for example, Storm Pegasis – Storm is the Metal Wheel, Pegasis is made of plastic.TAKARA-TOMY has also been releasing Random Booster Light Volumes in which the Metal Wheels are replaced by Light Wheels: most of those are the plastic equivalent of already existing Metal Wheels, except Heat which only exists as a Light Wheel. There is no point in using Light Wheels competitively unless only that type of Wheel is used. Because of the huge drop in weight the different material causes, Light Wheel Beyblades do not spin for as long as normal Beyblades.
A special note must be made about left-spin Wheels: not only do they require a special launcher currently not sold separately, but, in the case of Hybrid Wheels, left-spin Clear Wheels and Metal Wheels are incompatible with the ones that spin in opposite direction. That is both due to small ‘walls’ in the Clear Wheels where the hooks of the launcher are supposed to be inserted, and another, parallel wall on the Metal Wheel that prevents the opposite spin launcher’s hooks from getting under the Clear Wheel. In other words, at the moment, the Lightning Metal Wheel and the L Drago Clear Wheel can only go together, while all the other Clear Wheels and Metal Wheels are interchangeable amongst each other.
There are four different types of MFBs:
These can be easily compared to the types of the plastic generation, the only difference being that survival/endurance is being called stamina.
Shooter and Beypointer
There are currently three types of launchers: the Right Launcher; the BeyLauncher, a string shooter which allows for a more powerful launch; and the Beylauncher-L (also called Launcher L), which is exclusive to left-spin beyblades and is only sold with L- Drago 105F ,Lightning L-Drago 100HF, and Meteo L-Drago LW105LF.A Beypointer was also released as a device that records your points from battles, and a few accessories were developed to help ease the player's grip on the launchers.
Multiple stadiums have been released, some of which are comparable to the Takara HMS ones, and others that are more innovative like Wide Square and Super Attack.
The WBBA (World Beyblade Battle Association) is an association being run by TAKARA-TOMY to promote Metal Fight Beyblade, by holding tournaments and giving away prizes to Beybladers who achieve a certain amount of points using the Beypointer.
WBBA shops can be found in numerous Japanese toy stores. These give access to a Bey Tai 1 arcade machine, which allows players to test beyblades and win prizes.
- TAKARA-TOMY also released BB-00 Pegasis Prototype. It is a silver version of Pegasis which is either without paint or simply bare die cast. Since it is event exclusive, this Beyblade cannot be purchased officially through online stores. Japanese people could however easily get one by either going to the World Hobby Fair 2008 or by playing on the GanGan Stadium arcade machine (Bey Tai 1) and winning three consecutive matches.
- TAKARA-TOMY will reward players in Japan a special, limited edition Beyblade (Quetzalcoatl 90WF (08/2008-08/2009) and Anubis (08/2009-08/2010)) for obtaining a certain amount of points (15000) through battling other players in the WBBA and collecting five sub-licence cards and getting a premium licence card.
Metal Fight Beyblade offers some very interesting customization possibilities and several beyblades can beat the best blades of the previous series at the moment. The important variety of parts that can be used even if the series is still young makes the game quite balanced because there are no ultimate combinations such as zombies.
TAKARA-TOMY Metal Fight Beyblade website
Hasbro Beyblade: Metal Fusion website
TV Tokyo Beyblade anime website
Hudson Soft DS Game website
Press release for BEYBLADE: Metal Fusion
Nelvana BEYBLADE: Metal Fusion website