If you’ve been waiting, now is the perfect time to take up the traditional children’s game!
As the game grows in popularity overseas, kendama is also getting a bit of extra attention in Japan, it seems. From an updated, high-tech version to impressive videos of kendama masters having fun, it looks like the game might be developing some real mainstream appeal. And with Sanrio now releasing some ultra-cute kendama sets, we’re pretty sure it’s popularity will only grow more!
▼ Because who wouldn’t want to play with this in public?
Kendama has been around for generations, so there’s no questioning its staying power, but we also think it’s fair to say the game isn’t quite as popular as, say, Candy Crush these days. But a Hello Kitty version of kendama seems like the perfect way to get some new people to play the game. And the toys, produced by Sanrio and available on their online store for 2,268 yen (about US$20), even bear the Japan Kendama Association’s specially recommended product mark, so if you’re looking to get started, this is, officially, one of the best you can buy!
▼ Though we’re a bit sad it’s really just a sticker…
There are six to choose from, all featuring some of Sanrio’s most popular characters. Of course, the first, and our favorite, is Hello Kitty!
▼ Though we’d feel kind of bad swinging her around like that…
There are also two versions of everyone’s favorite lazy egg, Gudetama! First is the normal version, which has the character sitting in half an egg shell, looking as if it just settled into a nice hot bath.
And then we have a golden version of Gudetama.
▼ Though he looks no less lazy…
And for a old-school, child-friendly version, we also have one of the cutest frogs in Japan, Kero Kero Keroppi!
There’s also a Pom Pom Purin kendama toy in case your favorite animal is the adorably illustrated dog.
And, finally, there’s a My Melody version. Interestingly enough, it’s not listed on Sanrio’s website — but you can find it on Amazon Japan.
If you live outside the country, don’t worry! You can also find all of these kendama sets on Amazon USA, where they’re a bit more expensive than in Japan at $31.99 each. However, it looks like they have free shipping, so it’s probably about the same when you factor in paying to send them oversears.
But as awesome as these kendama sets are, we have to say, they’re not the most awesome thing we’ve seen over the last few days. That distinction clearly goes to this video of a paper airplane that managed to make a return flight to the excited high school kid who threw it. But we suppose it would have been even better if it featured Hello Kitty throwing the plane!