Cody Griswold demonstrates The Jammer at Toy Fair
"We do kendama different" is the motto of Sweets Kendama, and at last week's Toy Fair, the company showed something different indeed in its new item, The Jammer, which it calls "the future of desktop toys."
Demonstrating the Jammer, Sweets Kendamas' event coordinator Cody Griswold set the slim finger-length, barrel-shaped object on his exhibition booth's counter top, then proceeded, with a finger flick, to get it to "roll" vertically, end-over-end, such that it somehow tumbled from it starting position on one flat end to finish standing up straight on the opposite flat end.
"It's a desktop toy—and a fidget toy," said Griswold, noting that the fidget toy category is currently "opening up" into a "huge" toy market.
Like the kendama, The Jammer, said Griswold derives from an old Japanese game that has no taken the kendama world by storm. It is said to be easy to learn, with endless possibilities for "tricking" the more you fidget.
"It's an alternative to chewing pen caps!" said Griswold as he continued fidgeting. "You can play while watching TV or working on your computer, and the community is growing and inventing more advanced tricks."
He said that a Jammer instructional video on YouTube quickly drew 100,000 views.
"We saw that there was no market for it in the U.S., and decided to start selling it," said Griswold, and currently the $9.99 Jammer is sold out, though prospective players can sign up to the Sweets Kendama mailing list "to be notified about the next [Jammer] drop."