Childhood toys are starting to require some skill

Student Jordan Palmer solves his speed cube

The bell rings for third period and as the hallways start to fill with students, the air is filled by the sounds of yo yos whirring, cubes clicking, and kendamas clacking. Comments are being heard such as, “Whoa look at that!” and “How do you even do that?” Amazement is the common emotion in the classrooms of LHS thanks to skill toys.

Skill toys such as yoyo’s, kendamas (Japanese toys with cups, spikes, and a string), Rubik’s Cubes, and playing cards are a very common sight in the hands of students when walking through the halls of Lindale High School.  Jordan Palmer holds Lindale’s fastest solve of a Rubik’s Cube at 13.32  seconds. He achieved this while at the Dallas Winter Competition this past December.

“I enjoy the challenge of cubing, beating myself, and just having fun with it,”  Jordan Palmer said. “I get to meet a lot of cool people with this and it’s just pretty awesome.”

Some students are very passionate about improving their skills.  Some attend conferences and skill contests in order to improve. There are conventions around the world for skill toy collectors every year. One of the most popular is YoDama Fest and is held in Hawaii.

“I’ve tried quite a few skill toys, but the ones that stuck were my yo yos and cubes,” junior Spence Griffith said. “I plan on going to Skillcon this upcoming summer to try and get better and meet more people that have the same passion for this as I do.”

There are a large array of toys classified under the term ‘skill toy’, and a majority of them come from foreign countries such as China and Japan where they are most popular.  Out of all the skill toy owners at Lindale, Spence Griffith trumps most of them with 17 yoyo’s, 6 Rubik’s Cubes, a terra pill, and a kendama.

“Of course, I’m not near as good at cubing as J Palm, but I’ve been told that I’m pretty good with my yo yo,” Griffith said. “I enjoy yo yoing best out of my skill toys because it’s a kind of spin off of the childhood toy that we all knew and know it’s something amazing and stunning.”

A sponsorship from a skill toy company can be achieved by an application and videos of the player with the toy. Perks of being sponsored include, professional competition access, discounts with whoever you are sponsored by, and even free merchandise.

“Most of my friends play with some kind of skill toy,”  sophomore Kyler Mathews said. “I always find it entertaining watching them play with them and they never cease to amaze me!”