Flatpack Kendama


The Flatpack Kendama reexamines the classic toy through the lens of a playable model kit, lasercut from a single flat piece of wood. Pop the pieces out & fit them together to build a beautiful & highly functional kendama, great for both expanding your collection & sharpening your skills.



Technical Specifications

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Technical Specifications

KEN
Height: 6.8 Inches
Weight: ~32 Grams

TAMA
Height: 2.25 Inches
Weight: ~30 Grams

Made & designed in the USA. Lasercut from 1/8″ Birch & packed in a hand-screened record sleeve.

The Flatpack Kendama is designed to be played. It is worth noting, though, that its construction naturally makes it lighter & more delicate than traditional kendamas. For this reason, we ask that you take care during assembly & while attempting risky tricks.

Assembly Instructions

1. Slide the slip stop (B) & the sarado (C) onto the ken frame (A)

1. Slide the slip stop (B) & the sarado (C) onto the ken frame (A)

2. Slide the ken crosspiece (D) onto the ken frame (A) through B & C

2. Slide the ken crosspiece (D) onto the ken frame (A) through B & C

3. Press ken into rings: the bottom cup (E), big cup (F), & small cup (G). The easiest way to do this is to set the rings on a flat surface, line the cup feet up with the slots, & push pieces together with gentle, even pressure

3. Press ken into rings: the bottom cup (E), big cup (F), & small cup (G).
The easiest way to do this is to set the rings on a flat surface, line the cup feet up with the slots, & push pieces together with gentle, even pressure


Hey, Ken’s done!

Hey, Ken’s done!

1. Slide together the center tama frame (H & I)

1. Slide together the center tama frame (H & I)

2. Press the gate rings (J, K, & L) into the slats for the tama hole, one at a time. Start with the smallest (J), then the middle (K), & end with the largest (L)

2. Press the gate rings (J, K, & L) into the slats for the tama hole, one at a time.
Start with the smallest (J), then the middle (K), & end with the largest (L)


3. Slide the first tama side pieces (M) onto the tama frame parallel to each other

3. Slide the first tama side pieces (M) onto the tama frame parallel to each other

4. Slide the final side pieces into place on the frame

4. Slide the final side pieces into place on the frame

Tama’s done!

Tama’s done!


Now, attach the string through the holes on the sarado and the top of the tama, tie a knot on each end, and have fun!

The Flatpack Kendama is designed to press fit together out of the package. However, we recommend a small amount of glue for models subject to heavy play.

Flatpack Kendama in Action

We recommend checking the blog for more posts about the Flatpack Kendama. In the meantime, here is the inimitable Jarin Valdez with a quick example of what can be done.

can’t stop watching the madness of @jarinsayz. makes it look fun & easy every time

A video posted by 44RPM (@44rpm) on

FAQ

How was the Flatpack Kendama made?

The Flatpack Kendama was lasercut in the USA from 1/8″ birch plywood. Drew handled the design, Hank managed the machining & printing.

Who is behind this project?

44RPM was founded by Hank Freeman & Drew Tetz, two professional yoyoers & best bros looking to explore the creative side of the skill toy scene. Hank is a three time world yo-yo champion living in Prague, Drew is the 2014 trick innovator of the year working as a graphic designer in New York.

Can the Flatpack Kendama be played with?

Yes! The Flatpack Kendama is a fully functional kendama.
The unique construction of the Flatpack Kendama makes it a little lighter & more delicate than traditional kendamas. For this reason, we recommend that you use caution when performing difficult tricks… but there are also some tricks that are easier on a flatpack kendama. Take a look at some of the tricks you can perform on the blog here.

Do the toys need glue?

The Flatpack Kendama will press fit & hold together on its own for display or light play. However, we strongly recommend the use of glue for maximum playability.

What is a Kendama?

The kendama is a traditional Japanese skill toy consisting of a ball (tama) attached to a handle (ken.) It expands on the classic “ball & cup” archetype through the addition of two smaller cups & a spike, giving the player a dizzying number of trick possibilities. Recent popularity has brought in a new generation with new tricks, making kendama more exciting than ever.

Where do I start with Kendama?

Most players begin by trying to land the tama on the big cup; pull up gently, & bend your knees to soften the landing on the catch. Once this feels comfortable, try bouncing the tama between different cups. With enough practice, you can “spike” the tama & learn a variety of other advanced moves such as Bird, Airplane, & Revolver.

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