One of the many reasons we love kendama; it can be played anytime, anywhere, and by anyone; this can even include superheroes. With the Friday, July 8 release of Thor: Love and Thunder, it's now canon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or in our minds, at least) that our favorite Norse god of thunder, Thor, has played kendama!
If you go to see the newest installment in the Thor franchise, you’ll see a brief moment of Chris Hemsworth, as Thor, playing with a hammer-shaped wooden ball-and-cup toy. He tosses the ball into the air and catches it in a cup, to which he laughs and turns to Natalie Portman, cast as Jane Foster, showing her his glorious achievement. Upon further inspection you'll see that it's one of our kendamas, a Cosmic Swirl from Target!
The biggest American franchise ever to give kendama a spotlight, as well as the first time we've ever seen it featured on the big screen, this scene in the film has the kendama community BUZZING. In some ways, Marvel has helped us further move the needle in our goal of making kendama known worldwide with this moment. Adding a scene with kendama into one of their films further cements our place within popular culture and hopefully brings even more newcomers into the space after seeing Thor use it the movie.
At the time of this writing, the film has earned ~$300 million worldwide, per Disney. If every ticket cost between 8-10 dollars, you could estimate that a staggering 30 million people saw kendama for the very first time in this movie! To add onto these insane stats, the film is still showing in theaters and about to enter its second weekend of release. Over the next few weeks, it's likely to bring in millions more who have still yet to see it.
While it's exciting that someone on-set got a kendama into Chris' hands, it's even more astounding to us that someone in the editing room decided to put this clip into the final version of the film. It's thanks to the unknown heroes on Marvel Studios' team, who brought kendama into places and hands that we never thought possible, that kendama continues to grow and be exposed to millions of new people. If you found yourself here after seeing the movie, welcome!
You can still grab the same kendama Thor plays in the new movie at Target stores that still have them stocked. You can also get your first kendama directly from us, here at our website, or even on Amazon.
If you don’t know anything about kendama and want more, check out our Learn Page or our Buyer’s Guide to get started. For more kendama in popular media, check out "Anime x Kendama! 10 Kendama Appearances in Japanese Animation".