Wednesday, 14 September 2016

[Review] Speldama, by Spelexperten and Krom Kendama

Speldama was born out of a collaboration between Krom Kendama Team and the local Kendama dealer named "Spelexperten" in Gävle, Sweden.

Background to the story of this Kendama goes back to 2010.
That was founding year of the "Spelexperten" shop.
Firstly specialised in boardgames and puzzles.

It all took off with Kendamas in 2014, when Kendamas were taken into stock but no big boom happened quite at that time.

2015 a young gentleman named Oliver came in and told the owners of Spelexperten to start selling Kendamas now!
So they did, and what a good call it was!
Booming happened.

After a while the idea was born to make their own "Speldama".
They discussed the idea with the Krom Kendama Team and even got some design help from Thorkild May , world champion in Kendama to add playability and balance into the "Speldama".
Lo and behold, the Speldama was born!

The Speldama comes packaged in a classy looking canvas bag with a carabiner attached for easy clip-on .

Beauty in rest.


There is  also some beatiful stickers, a spare string and the Speldama of course.
The Speldama itself is crafted out of maple wood and it feels really light and smooth in hand.
The tama is a grippy,smooth and silky one, with a artistic motive painted on top .
Cups and edges of the cups are engraved adding a classy touch .
Note the dual colours, enabling you to get a good eye of the position mid-air .
Having an orange string also adds a nice "zing" to the desing .

A slingful package!

So how does this pretty thing fly then ?
Lets get to it!

- How long played with :
  2-3 Weeks.

- First impressions, out of the bag:

Providing a canvas bag is a stroke of genius really.
No plastic or cardboard boxes to get rid of.(enviromentally friendly too)
Just slip the Kendama back into the bag and latch it on your backpack, belt, bike or whatever and bring it along with you anywhere you go.
Stickers and spare string is always , always a welcome addition. We love it !
Maple wood for the Ken and Sarado is a good choice,
We feel the durability and lightness in hand. 
String and Tama feels solid as well.
I was not able to chip any of the silky paint off the Tama even though being a clumsy 1- year user on Kendamas.
Thats a plus in my book!

- Recommended for, suggestions, comments:
  
Speldama can easily claim a spot as your daily slinger, grinder or whatever.
The grip is strong in this one!
Cups well crafted and balanced all around.
Designwise it also gets there, visually original even without playing with it.
This is an impressive first collaboration by Spelexperten and KromKendama.
Let us hope they do more of these collaborations in the future!
  
A big whopping high-ten to Spelexperten for having Androidistica testing this slinger !
Make sure you go and check it out in their webshop!


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

[Review] Kendama USA, TJ Kolesnik Pro Model


Kendama USA has been around for a while and their product line includes a lot of different Kendamas.
Androidistica was lucky enough to receive a "TJ Kolesnik Pro Model" for review .
Being fortunate enough to have been able to meet the man himself, this review turned out to be a work of honour.
Earlier this summer, TJ came down to Spelexperten for a visit , during his world tour and it was a day full of insane Kendama tricks, competitions, inspiration, burgers and even more Kendama!


TJ Kolesnik Pro Model by Kendama USA


So what do we get then, in a TJ Kolesnik Pro Model ?
The Kendama itself , naturally and a quick guide to begin with.
Also included are the replacement string and some sweet Kendama Usa stickers.
What strikes the eye is the four colours on the tama, and the engravings on the handle, cup and cup rims.
This is beautiful work !
The four-coloured Tama is painted with a "Updated Super Sticky Paint", making it really grippy.
Designwise this is a really classy Kendama, but looks aren't everything are they ?

Once put to work, the super sticky paint really feels grippy .
Those lighthouse tricks feel easy as a breeze to begin with .
The spike on the Ken is durable, really not dulling out even though in the hands of a novice.
They are ment to be used, and so we did ! 

Of course , this takes its toll on the paint but this is expected.
(We have been touching the subject before, about breaking in a Kendama).
Build material on the Ken and cups is Ash wood, which works really nice.
There is a light feel to this Kendama, with the added grip on the Tama.
You can feel the potential in taking your tricks even further with this one without a doubt.

- How long played with :
Approximately a month.

- First impressions, out of the box:
Class act, right out of the box.
The Kendama itself is really stunning visually and the extra goodies in the box, spare string, quick guide and stickers only adds to the swagger-feel in this package.

- Recommended for, suggestions, comments:
Anyone playing Kendama can benefit from this one.
It is naturally good for those grip-tricks such as lighthouse and others but also excellent as a daily grinder if you like.
A companion you need to be ashamed of bringing along anywhere.

We'd like to take a bow to Kendama USA for letting Androidistica review this Prod Model.
Don't touch that dial, we have more goodies to be reviewed soon!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

[Review] Play Monster Grip K

Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the  "Play Monster Grip K"
This Kendama is a biggie.
As mentioned in an earlier review, it has the exactly the same dimensions as the Play Monster K with the exception of grip on the tama .
Big sized Kendamas are refreshing to play with.
Refreshing and exhausting ,but with fun included .
Crafted out of Austrian Beech wood , the Play Monster Grip K is packaged in style as you can see in the images below.

Release the beast!

Big fun!

Big balance

Perfectly crafted

I am big , with grip!


How long played with:
2 weeks and counting.

First impressions, out of the box:
A package of fun, waiting to be played with. The included quickguide for basic tricks and spare string is always appreciated.
Including extras makes you feel covered by the manufacturer.
Smooth surface on the sarado and ken, silky smooth Tama .
What strikes here is the same that struck when we tested the Play Monster K.
A slight elasticity on the string, presumably to prevent the string from breaking due to the sheer weight of the Tama.
Not a problem at all actually, well thought of .


Recommended for, suggestions, comments:
A good choice if you want to bring your Kendama jamming to the next level.
Airplane to Lighthouse is actually doable for me with this Kendama, tricks i am struggling with on a regular sized Kendama.
 (Practice, practice practice).
Why not try those hard to land tricks with this one ?
Durability , quality and playability sums it up really.
This goes for the actual woodcrafting on the Ken and Sarado, and also on the paint of the Tama.
A reliable choice if you are in the market for a Big Sized Kendama!
Hats off for Kendama Europe, letting Androidistica test this big Piece of Fun!

Saturday, 13 August 2016

[Review] Play Grip K

Kendama Europe has blessed Androidistica with yet another Kendama in their "Play" series.
This one is called "Play Grip K".
This Kendama has the same dimensions as the "Play Pro K" , which was reviewed earlier by us.
One difference that is intentional looking at the name of this Kendama is the Tama itself.
We now have grip!

Grip me!
Now, in my early times with Kendama, i preferred non-grippy ones.
Someone , somewhere on the internet wrote something that struck me.
The theory was based on starting out with a non-grip kendama, to catch the basics so to speak.
This approach was recommended just to avoid problems later on, when trying to land tricks with a non-grip Kendama, it could cause struggling results.
I have now played Kendama for 3 months, and the Play Grip K makes sense to me.
(As does all other "grippy" Kendamas out there as well of course).
When venturing further from the basic ball and cup tricks, into the world of Lighthouse and other balancing tricks the Play Grip K really helps, a lot.

Read, play , eat repeat.
As always with Kendama Europe products, the balance is there, the smoothness of the beech tree is there too.
What also is there is the Tama itself, durable, smooth and distinct in it's weight.
Again, i was able to do progress on my tricks skills with the help of a Kendama Europe product.

Craftmanship

How long played with:

Two -three weeks.

First impressions, out of the box:
Smooth Tama, quality Ken and Sarado, serious string.
Pro package as you can see in the image above.
Balanced and well crafted in hand, a tad heavier tama than the "Play Pro K" but same size as it.


Recommended for, suggestions, comments:
An excellent Kendama, daily driver material any day.
Personally a big help going further into balancing tricks, such as lighthouse and mixing it up with other tricks.
Durable tama here as well, the paint seems layered, as i clumsily enough dropped the Kendama on tarmac while practicing some hand-turns.
The Kendama Europe Team know their game , this too is a quality Kendama .



Thursday, 11 August 2016

[Review] Play Hardwood K


The Kendama Europe review-series continues and we have now reached a noble piece called "Play Hardwood K".
Packaged as Kendama Europe always does , beautifully boxed.
Spare string, quick guide included.

First thing that strikes me when taking this Kendama out of the box is the lightness in hand.
Being a hardwood Kendama this feels really light compared to other hardwood ones.
The lightness in weight enables you to perform those "just about there - tricks" and complete them,
Being a beginner myself, i managed to land "Earth-turns" , "Ken-flips" and "Lighthouse" with this little beauty.





Bringing it out and about, those who have tried this Kendama also reflected on the lightness and the comfortable feeling in hand while jamming with it.


Don't just watch me, pick me up nao!

Being a hardwood Kendama, the aging is gorgeous.
Looking at the pictures from unboxed to being used a month , the aging is graceful, never ugly.


"I'm hard and beatiful."


How long played with:
A month.

First impressions, out of the box:
Hellooo gorgeous! No joke, this Kendama is beautiful to watch, to hold and to use.
Light as a feather almost. Smooth hardwood all over , both the Ken, Sarado and Tama.


Recommended for, suggestions, comments:
Once broken in, recommended for those tricks you almost are making .
As mentioned earlier, yours truly made progress on a couple of tricks i've been struggling with .
All thanks to the sheer lightness of the Play Hardwood K Kendama.
Aging does make it even more manageable, which is just as it should be.
It also clicks discreetly and distinctively, which i like a lot.

If you head up to  Kendama.de website, you have comments from some Pro Kendama players on the Play Pro K product line there as well.

And also , for more information about this piece of art, go to Kendama Europe's homepage.

A proud Lighthouse-filled thank you to the crew at Kendama Europe for letting us make this review!


Tuesday, 2 August 2016

[Review] Play Monster K from Kendama Europe

This one is a BIG Kendama.
We have reviewed another beatiful biggie before , from Krom Kendama but Play Monster K is even bigger than the Viking.
Packed beatifully , with a spare string and a leaflet with the basic Kendama tricks illustrated , the Play Monster K hits you with the dimensions and weight .

Built from european beech wood , there is nothing to complain on build-wise.
On the back of the box we have an age limit, you'll have to be 14 years or older to be playing with the Monster.
Once you drop the tama (ball) a couple of times the age limit makes  sense.



Hello everyone! I'm a big beatiful Kendama!

So that's the presentation, how is the Monster performing then ?
I'd say it does very well .
As Kendama Europe states on their infopage regarding the Monster, this one is excellent for practicing those new tricks with, or performing with.
What strikes me once again with Kendama Europes products is the paint on the Tama.
It just wont chip at all, which i really like.
This is one of the key elements for Play Monster K as well.



A few weeks  of hammering tricks, paint still sticks.



So the final verdict then :
How long played with:
3 weeks.
First impressions, out of the box:
Classy package, spare string included is always a plus, and the leaflet is nice as well.
Big is the word, new dimensions to the Kendama - ism.
Recommended for, suggestions, comments:
As stated earlier, a good Kendama for learning new tricks with due to the huge dimensions. The Kendama string is elastic, just a bit. Most likely this was a design choice to prevent the string from breaking due the weight of the tama.
This fact does not affect the tricks negatively though.
A clicking "Thanks " to the crew at Kendama Europe for having Androidistica doing this review.


Friday, 8 July 2016

[Review] Kendama Europe , Play Pro K


Next Kendama up for review is Kendama Europes "Play Pro K".
The Kendamas made by Kendama Europe are produced in a detailed way.
Just looking at the industry certifications, regarding workers wages, sustainability and enviroment, there is no match amongst the European Kendama brands to these ones.
You can catch more details here.
Package is familiar by now, if you caught the previous review of the Play Pocket K.
As you can see it is premium.

Inside the box we have :
- Kendama
- Manual   
- Replacement string


This one is beatuifully crafted .
European Beech wood used as building material and the paint on the Tama is durable!
Now what i mean with durable, is non-chipping durable.
As you can see in the image "after some use", there is no paint chipping yet from the Tama.
Taking that into consideration and also the armada of certifications these Kendamas qualify for we have nothing short of a pro build here.
And the certificates are plenty i assure you , these Kendamas are safe to use from 7 years and up.
Read more about them here.




So whats the verdict then ?

- How long played with :
3 Weeks .

- First impressions, out of the box:
Classy! A quality product when it comes to balance, grip and details. Also nice to get a replacement string and a brief manual with some basic trix illustrated.
Packagin is also stylish inside the box.

- Recommended for, suggestions, comments:
Easily a daily driver. It's joyous to use and also the wear-in is very satisfying on the tama and the cups.
No large chips of paint or wood falling off even though I'm surely not an expert in Kendama.

 4,5 / 5 

Make sure to check this one out, and keep your finger on this dial for the next review coming up, also a Kendama Europe product!