The latest toy trend is bringing back old-school styles and traditional games from years past. Our latest find was the Japanese style Kendama. This game is played with a wooden ball attached with a string and a hammer-shaped base. The challenge is to catch the ball in one of the (3) rounded cups of the handle, or “spike it” on the point that sticks up from the toy, at the top. When the toy is not being used, the ball rests on this point, so it doesn’t roll around.
This game is gaining momentum as a growing trend. There are competitions in Japan, and it has many followers all over the world. It appeals to many age groups because it is not an extremely difficult game to play. The champions of the game are the ones who can do unique moves with the Kendama, like the Yo-Yo masters of the past.
The Kendama traditional version has three cups to catch the ball. The bottom cup is the largest, and the two smaller ones are on the sides. The point is at the top of the Kendama, and that one is the most difficult. The ball of the unit is attached to the string securely, by also being attached to the base. It isn’t stapled or on a thin string that will break.
The new Kendamas have multiple designs to choose from. There are faces painted on the ball of the toy and the base can be different shapes. There are also many colors to choose from.
When doing tricks with the Kendama, you have to master how to hold it and cast the ball upward. You can hold the handle from the top, turning it over and gripping it between the two small cups. Flipping it upside down, you can hold it at that same point, but in reverse, with the point sticking upward. Or, you can hold it from the point, and catch the ball in the largest cup.
This is a fun game to try, and an inexpensive toy to buy. They start at around just $20.00.Play Kendama for a unique and challenging game.