I grew up in the Bronx, and we called it “crack top” too. Those small wooden tops came in a variety of colors and and spun very well on the city streets and they didn’t cost much to replace if your top did get cracked. I haven’t seen tops like those for sale since I was a kid. It’s too bad. Simple toys like that give the most fun.
I too am from the Ft Greene Projects born in Cumberland hopsital. I remember late spring/early summer was the season for Crack Top. I remember that we never played “stringies” you had to be able to pick the spinning top up in your hand and bring it over to the pot, if you missed the pot on the fly. Getting “color” from other tops on your top was a badge of honor.
hey I’m a girl born and raised in Brooklyn- the Fort Greene Projects and i loved that game we called it crack top too. And i was good till to day, married with two kids. i had a BBQ this Aug 2002 and it so happens that i had seen in a book that i get in the mail. they had the tops and i bought 4 dozen when i got them though they were the bigger ones, i like the smaller one they go faster and humm better. anyway one of the guys i sing with was there and i said hey Gilbert look what i got. So he took one and started playing, then of course i started before i knew it there were about eight people playing, even Gilberts mom whose 76 and my uncle both born and raise in Puerto Rico were spining a top. My brother whose about 13 years younger than me tried but he sucked at it. we would run when he tried. we were all playing in the streets by then. A cop car pass by and i thought they were going to say something but they didn’t. But the best spinner there was Gilbert, man he made that top humm so loud you could hear from a couple of feet. That was the best time i had in a long time. it was great. The only bad thing was the string it came with they were too short and too weak. we had to tie two strings together to get good spins. I still have about three dozens. Next i want to play skellys.
Yes Rich- I’m from the Soundview/Classon Point area of the Bronx and we played “cracktop” the same as “costy”. The intent was not only to get other colors on your wooden top but to crack the other tops. I can see why “costy” would be a name for this, a walk to the store for another 15(small) or 25(large)cent top was part of the game. They gave you a string with a wooden button along with the top but we usually tied a sliding knot loop onto the finger. We could really whip those tops!! This game was as cool as it gets!!
Yo, Yall did not have anything in here about tops. We used to wind these things up with a string and shoot them and they would spin. At the outset of the game all participants would shoot their tops. The one whose top spun the longest would shoot first all others had to put their top into a “pot” where the shooter would try to “costy” all of the tops in that pot. There was no real winner in this game, but the one with the most colors on his or her top would have braging rights. I just had a friend of mine buy me one of these tops, and I keep it on my mantle piece. this game is one of the coolest games from the past. Rich provide133@aol