About this project
Even though the kendama has been widely known and beloved in Japan for some time, it is just now starting to take hold in the United States. The kendama is a particularly engaging skill toy because it is easy enough for anyone to pick up and master the basics - like catching the ball in one of the cups - but its potential for amazing tricks is limitless. We need your help to build LearnKendama.com to introduce the world to kendama through tutorial videos.
For the last 5 years we have been running YoYoTricks.com and filming tutorial videos to teach people how to yoyo. We even launched our own yoyo, the Civility, through Kickstarter, which has helped us take our tutorials to new heights. It has been our pleasure to hear story after story of kids and adults finding our site and mastering tricks they never thought possible. We have been amazed and humbled at how meaningful our site has become to our users. We often receive emails from customers who share with us how the yoyo has helped them gain personal confidence, stem the tide of boredom, and even how parents are connecting with their kids as the whole family learns to yoyo together. While this certainly reaches far beyond any goals we had for the site when it launched, it has made the work more gratifying than we ever thought possible. Our hope is that through LearnKendama.com our users will experience the same joy and camaraderie others have through YoYoTricks.com.
Our long term aim with LearnKendama.com is to build the most thorough and engaging place to learn kendama on the planet. In the short term, through this campaign our goal is to get kendamas into the hands of interested people, and have enough tutorials released on LearnKendama.com by Christmas to familiarize those players with the fundamentals. The funds we raise through this campaign will not only help us launch LearnKendama.com by Christmas, but will supply us with our initial stock of products so that we can continue to run this business and make tutorials for the foreseeable future.
$1 - A LearnKendama.com sticker, and our thanks!
$15 - The Catchy Air Kendama. Featured in our video, the Catchy Air is a plastic kendama that is inexpensive, but surpasses expectations in terms of playability. Its cups have been designed with a rubber inner-ring to cushion the ball (i.e. the tama) when it is caught making catches surprisingly easy. Its weight profile is also well balanced throughout its Death-Star-esque design making even advanced tricks attainable. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, it is more durable than a conventional wood kendama, making it a great choice for families with children who just need to get their hands on whatever big brother, sister, or mom and dad are using.
$35 - The Catchy Street Kendama with Personalized Ken. Featured in our video, the Catchy Street is a kendama designed for learning and extreme play. It features a rubberized ball (tama) which makes catches easier to land, as well as an oversized base cup which gives it a unique weight profile, great for mastering advanced tricks. Exclusively for this Kickstarter, Catchy Kendama has agreed to personalize each Street Kendama with the supporter's name or handle.
$50 - Get both the Catchy Air and the Catchy Street Personalized Kendama.
$55 - Krom Viking Zebra Kendama. We went looking for the most refined and stylish kendama we could find for our supporters, and this naturally led us to Krom. Their Viking Zebra Kendama is a cut above any other wooden kendama we have seen. To overstate it only slightly, having this kendama in your home or office will let everyone know you are a superior person. It is slightly over-sized which has the effect of slowing down tricks to make everything easier to learn. For us, this kendama captures so much of what makes kendama so great, and we are happy to partner with Krom to make it available to you.
$99 - Get the Catchy Air, the Catchy Street Personalized Kendama, and the Krom Viking Zebra Kendama.
$100 - Catchy Metal Kendama - Available exclusively through this campaign, affectionately known as "The Executive", the Catchy Metal combines great play with a sheik and elegant design. The Catchy Metal Kendama is precision machined aluminum with a sleek matte finish. (The picture below is a prototype. The final version will be dark grey with black cups.) The cups and tip of the spike are machined delrin, offering great sound and feeling during play. Every part of this kendama has been precisely machined for superb balance for all kinds of tricks.
$199 - Get the Catchy Air, the Catchy Street Personalized Kendama, the Krom Viking Zebra Kendama, and the Catchy Metal Kendama.
Risks and challenges
As we mentioned in the video, the majority of the rewards are already made and will be available to ship when the kickstarter campaign is complete, so we do not foresee delays with these items. The metal kendamas are still being manufactured, but we also expect to receive these before the end of the campaign.
If the campaign succeeds vastly beyond our expectations we may find ourselves temporarily overwhelmed with shipping rewards, and because we are closing in on the holiday season, some international orders may take longer than usual. If anything changes and we anticipate any delays beyond the end of the year, we will post an update immediately with details.
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