Kendama is a toy that originated from Japan but has currently spread to many places across the world. The toy usually consists of a stick that has 2 cups as well as a spike on the stick’s end. Usually there is a ball attached to the stick’s handle by a string.
The aim of the game is to catch the ball into the cups and spike by performing tricks in sequential order. It is quite challenging but fun. The best kendama can either be made of wood or plastic material.
The kendamas you are likely to come across are standard sizes and are about 7 inches tall while standing. However, their overall sizes do vary from one another. It is a game that helps improve hand-eye coordination, creativity and strength among others.
In this piece, I’m going to take you through all you need to know about these toys. Hope you enjoy the read till the end.
Editor’s Recommendation: Top 3 Best Kendama
Reviews Of Best Kendama to Buy in 2022
Here are top kendama in the world
1. Bahama: Most Expensive Kendama
- The Original Bahama Kendama
- Solid Beech Wood
- Scrolling Skulls
- Free Extra String
- Standard Size
Made from solid aluminum which has been machined to perfection, the Bahama Kendama is heavier, sturdier and durable compared to the conventional ones. It is built to style and even amazing to hold; leave alone playing with. It is a standard-sized product that you can use to enhance your game.
Spiking this metallic kendama is quite amazing and the sound produced brings about high level of satisfaction. Actually, the sound resembles that of a metallic sword that is being sheathed. This product weighs just 1.3 pounds and has dimensions of 7 by 3 by 3 inches which is quite a recommended size.
The package comes with extra strings as well as a solid gift box that is stained with wood cherry. It is also worth noting that the aluminum used in the production of this kendama is high grade in its entirety. This product is recommended for use by children above the age of 12 years.
- Well-built and sturdy
- Additional strings included
- Nice packaging
- Made from high grade aluminum
- Too heavy ball
- A bit costly
2. Kendama Kraze Wood Toy
- 2015 UNIQUE EXCLUSIVE DESIGN IS THE PERFECT SUMMER GIFT - The Original Ninja Brush Kendama's Exclusive Paint Design Makes Your Kendama Unique
- EXTRA STRING INCLUDED - Each Kendama is Packaged with Extra String for Longer Play Value and More Fun with Your Friends
- BECOME A PRO-Durable, Quality Wood Allows You to Play for Hours on End. Can You Master the Kendama?
- SHOW OFF YOUR SKILLS by Catching the Ball in All 3 Cups and the Challenging Spike. This Games takes Yo-Yo's, Juggling, and Diabolo's to the Next Level.
- LEARN NEW TRICKS with FRIENDS - Cool Twist on the Traditional Cup-and-Ball Game. Test Your Determination with This Traditional Japanese Wooden Toy and Add to Cart Today.
This game of the sword and the ball can also be enjoyed using the Kendama Kraze wood toys. The kendama is made of three cups; one at the stick’s bottom and the other two on either sides. These cups on the sides are of different sizes which makes it quite difficult to catch the ball with one of them.
The difficulty in catching the ball is what makes the game enjoyable. Catching the ball on the spike is the most difficult part of the game. The game might appear simple but quite tricky especially when it comes to the mastery of the sequences.
Extra strings are included for extended durations of play. The toy is also uniquely painted to give it a nice look. Besides, it weighs 5.6 ounces with dimensions of 7.3 by 3.2 by 2 inches. The toy is recommended for anyone above 8 years.
- Improves eye-hand coordination
- Quick delivery
- Reasonably priced
- Sleek and beautiful design
- Enamel dents and chips off after just a few uses
3. Toysmith Bamboo Kendama
- This ancient Japanese game of skill involves tossing a small wooden ball and catching it in one of the kendama's shallow cups.
- The kendama's authentic bamboo construction is both lightweight and very durable.
- A string tether anchors the kendama's wooden ball to the handle for safety.
- At 7 inches long, the kendama is designed with small hands in mind.
- Recommended for ages 6 years and up.
Made from bamboo, this kendama from Toysmith is not only durable but also lightweight. In fact, it weighs just 5.6 ounces. The use of bamboo also makes this toy naturally beautiful.
It is designed in a way that the wooden ball is anchored using a string tether onto the handle for purposes of improved safety. The kendama having dimensions of 7.5 by 1.8 by 2.8 inches is purely meant for persons with small hands; preferably kids between 6 and 15 years.
This is another great toy that you can use to challenge the imaginations of your kids. The toys have been designed with safety standards being put into consideration. It is also quite durable and that is something that you will love about it.
- Eco-friendly package
- Nice looks
- Nice quality
- Sanding process not properly done
- Too soft wood
4. Kotaro Pro Bamboo Kendama Toy
- FULL BAMBOO CONSTRUCTION: Made of laminated bamboo parts
- Named After Fuma Kotaro, the Legendary Ninja Clan Leader in Ancient Japan. . Ninjas are known for their agility and speed. Do you have the eye hand coordination to use the Kotaro Kendama?
- FULL SIZED KENDAMA: Fits in your hand well for kendama tricks.
- REPLACEABLE STRING: Comes with Extra String
- Traditional 7.25" size from top to bottom when ball is on the spike. Handle is 6 1/4" from bottom to tip of spike. Spike is approximately 1 1/2"
This toy was named after Fuma Kotaro who was a Japanese Ninja clan leader. His speed, agility and eye-hand combination are what have been grouped together in this kendama. Just like Yo-Yo strings, these kendama strings are replaceable.
The strings do wear out, get dirty, frayed and at times knotted which calls for the need to have spare ones. However, the package is usually accompanied by some extra strings. Made from laminated bamboo, these toys are eco-friendly and easily available.
The cups are deep, well-angled and nice. These toys are recommended for use by kids above 12 years of age. It weighs 4 ounces and measures 7.2 by 3 by 3 inches in dimensions.
- Challenging and fun to play
- Additional strings included
- Good pricing
- Chips off some wood if not properly used
5. Kendama USA – Tribute – Half Split Silk Kendamas – Great for Beginners
- Kendama USA is America's Original & Most Trusted Kendama Source
- SIMPLE, addictive, skill-based, Japanese desktop game that be played anywhere!
- STAY ACTIVE - Improve your reflexes, hand eye coordination and balance all by playing Kendama!
- ENDLESS TRICKS - Great for all ages. For the beginner or the seasoned master!
- HIGH QUALITY - Kendama stands 7 inches tall and can be used for both left & right handed players. No Batteries Required!
Coated with silk matte paint, the Orange kendama from the USA has a tacky and smooth feel. They are probably amongst the coolest kendamas you can find in the world. The correct amount of stick still remains at your disposal during play which gives room for making adjustments.
Every Kaizen kendama package comes with a user’s manual, bead, replacement string as well as stickers. It is made from beech wood 100%. Both left and right-handed players can enjoy this game with a lot of ease.
It is a highly versatile product that can be used by beginners, professionals, kids and even the aged. It helps improve eye-hand coordination, balance, creativity as well as balance.The product measures approximately 8 by 3.5 by 3.5 inches and weighs 8.8 pounds. Anybody who’s more than 9 years old can actually play this game.
- Easy to track
- Well-built and durable
- Nice, sleek colors
- Standard-sized and lightweight
- A little pricey
6. Kendama Toy Co. 2 Pack
- Kendama’s are excellent for increasing hand/eye coordination as well as reflex, agility, and balance.
- This set of two Kendama’s makess a great gift, encouraging competition and family fun.
- Bamboo construction is eco-friendly, as well as light weight and durable. The crackle paint method used guarantees a unique look for each Kendama.
- Great for older kids. The string tether anchors the ball to handle for safety, but user discretion is advised.
- SIZE AND WEIGHT: 5 ounces, 7 inches tall (full size).
A set of 2 kendama’s is a nice package especially if you have two or more kids. They are made from eco-friendly bamboo which makes them quite durable and lightweight as well. These products are uniquely designed with crackle paint to make them nice looking.
Standing 7 inches tall plus weights of 5 ounces, these are great for kids. They are perfect for 6-year olds and above. The ball is safely anchored onto the handle. However, you still need to ensure the safety of your children before you allow them to play the game.
The products don’t cost much either. Its eco-friendly nature is also something that most people will love about it. However, some people complain that this product is too light.
- Inexpensive 2 pack
- Well-made and durable
- Encourages competition
- Improved hand-eye coordination
- Too light
7. Yomega Plastic Kendama
- COORDINATION AND CONCENTRATION: Builds hand/eye coordination and sharpens balance and concentration.
- TRICKS: Learn traditional tricks or create your own! Trick possibilities include catches, throws, spikes and stalls.
- MATERIAL: Features durable plastic ball (tam) and handle (ken)
- DESIGN: Superior design at an affordable price
- PACKAGING: Colorful package with illustration of all the catching zones
Unlike most of the kendama toys reviewed in this guide which were made from wood, this one has been made from a durable plastic material. It is well-packaged and comes with illustrations on how to play the game plus all the available catching zones.
This relatively inexpensive product weighs 12.6 ounces and has dimensions of 7 by 2.2 by 2 inches. The recommended age for these toys is 36 months to 15 years. Catch the ball across all the cupped surfaces and enjoy the game.
- Reasonably priced
- Easy to catch
- Durable plastic
- Colorful package
- Plastic is too hard making the ball bounce out of the cup with a lot of ease
8. Yomega’s Coyote Kendama
Also made from beech wood for great grip and a nice feel, the Yomega’s Coyote kendama also features among the elites in this field. These toys are available in different models, some of which include trickster, Painted Desert and malachite. Also included in the purchase are extra strings and beads.
The kendama pro from Yomega features a smooth handle as well as a painted ball. The cups are made in different sizes which allows you to catch the standard-sized ball before going for the spik and thereafter having the ball land onto the pointed tip. They are however available in different colors.
The product weighs 6.4 ounces and measures 9.8 by 4.3 by 2.5 inches. Recommended for use by children from 7 to 15 years.
- Quick delivery
- Nice graphics
- Standard-sized with proper weight
- Durable wood
- Easy to balance and adjust
- Falling paints
Best Kendama Brands
There are currently a large number of firms producing these toys unlike before when it was just one or two firms running the show. Some more are still emerging. However, the brands that have stayed in this field for quite some time with proven tracks of producing quality kendamas are:
- Kendama USA
- Kendama Kraze
- Sweets Kendamas
- Catchy Street
- KROM Kendama etc
How to Pick the Best Kendama and Tricks
What is your experience level playing kendama? Well, these toys are available for use by people of different levels. For beginners, most of your kendamas are made from a mixture of plastic and wood. They are usually inexpensive either.
Then there are mid-level kendamas which are high performance products. They can be used in competitions. However, they are quite costly compared to beginners.
There are also premium kendamas that are also high performance. They are however made from expensive woods, materials and paints among others. They are also shaped into different designs. These are the most expensive of them all.
However, if you are restricted on budget, then you can go for the beginner kendama as you are likely to have the same experience as anybody else who’s on a premium kendama.
The various kendamas you’ve come across in this article have been designed with specific age groups in mind. There are models meant for kids while others are for adults and others are for both. Before you make a purchase, ensure that you are aware of the recommended age for which the kendama is suitable for use.
For the Best Kendama Tricks, Especially for Beginners Watch this Video.
Having looked at some of the best kendama in the world as of now, it is now my hope that you’ll be able to make an informed opinion on what is suitable for you or your kids. It is a nice way to keep the kids away from computer games for example.
For me, I’d go for the Kendama USA. It is durable, nice looking, inexpensive and well-designed. The other ones are also great picks that you can rely on for different reasons. I believe you are now well informed about kendamas.
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