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Spinjitzu tops
The Spinjitzu fighter (weighted turntable + minifig + weapons) is well-designed for battle but lousy as a spinning top. To fix that, just keep the turntable and replace everything else. Spin times of up to 192 sec (3:12) await!
About this creation
Please feel free to look over the images and skip the verbiage.

The "Spinjitzu turntable" (aka "Ninjago spinner" or just "spinner") is an unusual disk-like 6x6x1.5 LEGOŽ part with 16 studs on top, a centered 2x2 receptacle on the bottom, and a donut-like metal weight inside.



The receptacle accommodates the turntable's intended tip -- a 2x2 boat skid (3654), here in red and yellow.



Partially recessed into the upper surface is a centered minifig foot clamp good for little else. Missing is any kind of center hole.

The turntable was produced in 2011-2012 as a key enabling element in the Spinjitzu Spinner Game -- TLG's answer to Beyblade (which was in turn based on the centuries-old Japanese battle top game of bei).

This slow-motion video by Artifex shows just how well the Spinjitzu system turns rotation into mayhem.



The turntable serves as a weighted rotating platform for a Ninjago warrior -- typically, a named martial arts minifig brandishing gruesome weapons. The goal: To clash with an opposing warrior on its own whirling turntable and and break it apart, preferably with pieces flying everywhere. Hiiiiiiiiiiya!



A not-so-typical Spinjitzu "fighter" (turntable + minifig + weapons). Is it cheating to soak your opponent in radioactive waste before delivering a good whack with the sprayer?

The metal weight hidden inside the turntable greatly improves a fighter's effectiveness by adding angular momentum and lowering its center of mass (CM). Together, these effects help the fighter spin long enough to engage the opponent, hit hard enough to make ABS fly when the weapon really connects, and take lesser blows without too much loss of speed.

Some wobble may add to the excitement by making solid hits more likely and travel more erratic. But excitement also requires a certain amount of spin time and travel distance, and wobble can affect these adversely.

The broad boat skid tip induces tremendous wobble, and the fighter's likely rotating unbalance and unavoidable lack of rotational symmetry only add to it. Since the weight suppresses wobble, it may therefore have the added benefit of limiting wobble to a workable compromise.

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Make tops, not war!

As well-designed as the Spinjitzu fighter is for battle, it hardly qualifies as a LEGOŽ spinning top:
  • The fighter lacks the kind of stem needed to reach high angular speeds with a twirl of the fingers or a spin-up tool (e.g., here and here).
  • The warrior onboard generates too much aerodynamic drag, makes the fighter too top-heavy, can be a challenge to balance, and lacks stiffness.
  • The overly broad tip generates too much friction, adds greatly to the wobble, and makes travel too erratic.
The result: Dismal spin times (usually under 10 sec) with way too much travel and wobble for use as a top.

But all of this is easily fixed: Just keep the turntable and replace everything else!





The result: A colorful, smoothly spinning LEGOŽ top able to spin up to 192 sec (3:12) with a good hard twirl on a low-friction surface! It also has a nice heft.



My spin time record holder on its best surface -- a very shallow biconcave lens. The cheapest and most effective tip lubricant by far is a thin film of forehead oil smeared on the glass with a finger.

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Design notes

With a weighted rotor like the Spinjitzu turntable to work with, I couldn't resist going for maximum spin time and smoothness. The designs below were therefore driven mainly by...
  • The turntable's lack of a through-going central hole.
  • That pesky minifig clamp poking up above the turntable's upper surface.
  • A desire for the best aerodynamics and lowest CM possible.
  • A desire for a tip much finer than the original 2x2 boat skid
But some minor decorative frills snuck in anyway. Two examples...





The turntable accounts for over 80% of each top's mass and nearly all of its axial moment of inertia.

All of my newer Spinjitzu tops use a special tip assembly designed for long, smooth spins with little travel.



The tip proper, cut from the end of a round-tipped 4L antenna (3957), lasts a surprisingly long time if you avoid dents -- and you will if you don’t drop it on the ground. The surface abrasions visible here are unavoidable but seem to have little effect on spin time and smoothness.

These 3 fluorescent examples have more decorations than usual for added visual impact under blacklight. They appear in the Spinjituzu top video at 4:22.





To see how even a few small decorations can add to the visual, compare these with the 3 undecorated examples at 0:24 - 1:33 below...



More color schemes. Only the first on the left is fluorescent.







My original Spinjitzu top with an old tip design yielding significantly shorter spin times and more travel...




At 6:08 in the Spinjitzu top video, this top puts several dish tops of similar size to shame in the spin time department -- all because of the metal weight inside the turntable. And the current version spins 22% longer!

This all-plastic Ninjago 3D battle arena is great for Spinjitzu fighters and other LEGOŽ battle tops (coming soon). However, you'll need a supporting surface with less friction to get the longest spins from a Spinjitzu top.



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Specifications (no decorations)

Construction:Studded
Rotor:Spinjitzu turntable (82% of total top mass)
Overall dimensions:47x90 mm (DxH, including stem)
Mass:39 g
CM height:~18 mm
Tip radius of curvature:1.5 mm
Grounding angle:29°
Release speed:>1,600 RPM by hand
Topple speed:~550 RPM
Spin time:192 sec (3:12) by hand
Modified LEGOŽ parts:Tips cut from 4L antennas
Non-LEGOŽ parts:None
Credits:Original MOCs
See also:LEGOŽ spinning top folder, my original Spinjitzu top, Blacklight tops

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Comments

 I made it 
  April 15, 2017
Quoting Oliver Becker Wonderful addition my friend, some of these parts I don't know yet... ;)
Thanks, Oliver! Two years ago, I knew nothing about Spinjitzu turntables (aka Ninjago spinners). Now I keep finding new uses for them. Very few other parts have metal weights inside.
 I like it 
  April 15, 2017
Wonderful addition my friend, some of these parts I don't know yet... ;)
 I made it 
  March 22, 2017
Quoting Nils O. Very cool, these spinners look like a lot of fun! I think I'll have to buy a used part (or two) with one of my next BL orders. Great job! :-))
Thanks, Nils! The weighted spinners themselves are cheap. So are the rest of the parts. The original minifigs are a different story, but you won't need any.
 I like it 
  March 22, 2017
Very cool, these spinners look like a lot of fun! I think I'll have to buy a used part (or two) with one of my next BL orders. Great job! :-))
 I made it 
  March 22, 2017
Quoting Doug Hughes Awesome!
Thanks, Doug!
 I like it 
  March 22, 2017
Awesome!
 I made it 
  March 21, 2017
Quoting Gabor Pauler Your next top could be Trump's microwave owen top, a dish with tiny Gopro cameras fixed to that for spying. What a view onboard!
Great idea -- as long as someone else has to watch the footage. At this point, I can't stand to see his mug or even hear his voice.
 I like it 
  March 21, 2017
Your next top could be Trump's microwave owen top, a dish with tiny Gopro cameras fixed to that for spying. What a view onboard!
 I made it 
  March 21, 2017
Quoting Nirds forprez The tops are back! Nice to see you again Jeremy!
Yes, the tops are back. There's apparently no end to the tops you can make with LEGO, and I've been busy developing new ones all along -- recently with an emphasis on optical illusions and odd behaviors during spin-down. (The Spinjitzu tops don't reflect that. They were just overdue.) Stopped posting tops here due to the limited audience but now need a LEGO top blog somewhere online for other audiences, and MOCpages provides a good format for that -- at least when it's not down.
 I made it 
  March 21, 2017
Quoting Nick Barrett A good toy made much, much better! These perform remarkably, very entertaining.
Thank you, Nick!
 I like it 
  March 21, 2017
The tops are back! Nice to see you again Jeremy!
 I like it 
  March 21, 2017
A good toy made much, much better! These perform remarkably, very entertaining.
 I made it 
  March 20, 2017
Quoting Clayton Marchetti Great looking tops!
Thanks, Clayton!
 I made it 
  March 20, 2017
Quoting jds 7777 Great to see you didn't fall off the face of the earth Jeremy! :) I was wondering when you would get to the Ninjago spinners. It was inevitable. I can't believe Ninjago came out in 2011! Let it die already Lego! As far as your lubrication method goes, as a teenager, I can attest to the extreme lubricating properties ones forehead can produced (much to my chagrin). Some days, I'm convinced I could replace the oil in my car with it (to save money, since I need it for like, college and stuff), considering the amount that I wipe of my face every day (gross!). Anyway, nice to see some Lego awesomeness again! Helps me get my overworked mind off school (they tell me it's important) and all that :)
Thanks, JDS! Good to hear from you. A friend who machines metal pocket tops discovered the forehead oil trick. When he compared the spin times turned in by a variety of lubricants, the forehead oil came out way ahead. College will be over some day. Until then, hope you're managing to have at least a little fun.
 I like it 
  March 20, 2017
Great looking tops!
 I like it 
  March 20, 2017
Great to see you didn't fall off the face of the earth Jeremy! :) I was wondering when you would get to the Ninjago spinners. It was inevitable. I can't believe Ninjago came out in 2011! Let it die already Lego! As far as your lubrication method goes, as a teenager, I can attest to the extreme lubricating properties ones forehead can produced (much to my chagrin). Some days, I'm convinced I could replace the oil in my car with it (to save money, since I need it for like, college and stuff), considering the amount that I wipe of my face every day (gross!). Anyway, nice to see some Lego awesomeness again! Helps me get my overworked mind off school (they tell me it's important) and all that :)
 I made it 
  March 20, 2017
Quoting Uncategorizable Potato Cool! Are the tips purist?
Thanks! There are a few purist tips that work well in battle tops, but when spin time is paramount, this impure tip is best.
  March 20, 2017
Nevermind, I found it!
 I like it 
  March 20, 2017
Cool! Are the tips purist?
 I made it 
  March 20, 2017
Quoting Henrik Jensen Always very entertaining to see how your passion for spinning tops is expressed in your posts. Always putting new items to the test, and improving the ones already existing. Keep on spinning!
Very kind, Henrik! A LEGO top-maker never rests. That's probably why my wife keeps trying to get me to a shrink.
 I like it 
  March 20, 2017
Always very entertaining to see how your passion for spinning tops is expressed in your posts. Always putting new items to the test, and improving the ones already existing. Keep on spinning!
 I made it 
  March 20, 2017
Quoting Gabor Pauler I will create an association and political lobby fighting for human rights of minifigs, and file USD 25 million lawsuit against TLG, because they tortured poor minifigs by spinning...
Now, let's not go overboard, Gabor! I heard that the minifigs love it -- beg for it even! Would you deny them this simple pleasure?
 I like it 
  March 20, 2017
I will create an association and political lobby fighting for human rights of minifigs, and file USD 25 million lawsuit against TLG, because they tortured poor minifigs by spinning...
 I made it 
  March 20, 2017
Quoting Didier B Hi Jeremy, nice to see you back with a top(s) page. That page is nice. 192s is quite long... Are you using a microwave glass platter to test your tops ? Hahaha ! You should do a video with the tops inside the microwave...
Thanks, Didier! (1) I have only 2 LEGO tops that spin longer than these (up to 4:15), and they're much larger and heavier and carry much more of their mass at maximum distance from the spin axis. (2) If our microwave could spin the platter without turning on the microwave radiation, I'd love to give your suggestion a try. However, we here in the US recently learned from a (spectacularly dishonest) spokeswoman for our (certifiably insane) President that it may be possible for the government to spy on us through our microwave ovens. As you probably know, she even suggested that if Obama didn't exactly wire-tap Trump Tower, he must have "tapped" the Trump home microwave oven instead. (Like Trump ever uses a microwave himself!) It would therefore seem prudent to minimize microwave use until the feasibility of microwave oven surveillance is determined. ;^}
 I made it 
  March 20, 2017
Quoting Sven ;o) Awesome work on the tops and attention to detail in your descriptions. Absolutely understandable how it works. Thanks for sharing my friend! It's a joy watching your tops spinning. :)
Too kind, Sven! Glad you enjoyed the videos.
 I like it 
  March 20, 2017
Hi Jeremy, nice to see you back with a top(s) page. That page is nice. 192s is quite long... Are you using a microwave glass platter to test your tops ? Hahaha ! You should do a video with the tops inside the microwave...
 I like it 
  March 20, 2017
Awesome work on the tops and attention to detail in your descriptions. Absolutely understandable how it works. Thanks for sharing my friend! It's a joy watching your tops spinning. :)
 
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