Juggling Genius Toys, $14.99
Dan Holzman’s Volcano Ball is condemned to lay dormant in closets and on the desks of gym teachers but his newest invention seems destined for greater things. At the time of publication there are already a handful of videos featuring the RingDama and I myself am guilty of abusing photo editing software to create my own RingDama “memes”.
As a skill toy it is great. It’s ultra portable and fun. There is a reason why the old cup and ball is still around. It’s satisfying to get the ball in the cup. Golf is basically just a really expensive version of Cup and Ball. And Ringdama is just an updated version of the Cup and Ball. So…Ringdama is the new golf. People. For the skill toy side of things I’d like to see RingDama sell different colors of balls. I’d like to see each component sold separately also. It’d be fun to have multiple balls or rings in play.
It’s well constructed and easy to manipulate. Though the Velcro does catch on the string and tear it a bit and after a week of playing it has shown considerable wear. It is well constructed enough that replacing the string seems feasible so it has that going for it as well.
Comedy Juggling Prop?
Not as great. It’s ultra portable and fun. There is a reason why the old cup and ball isn’t performed much by comedy jugglers: it’s too small. In fact, there are a ton of great and entertaining skill toys that comedy jugglers don’t use because it’s just too hard to scale them into large theaters or outdoor venues. It’s really a shame. There isn’t anything inherently funny about the RingDama but that’s also true about most other juggling props. It wasn’t designed or made for professional comedy jugglers though so you can’t hold that against it.
It has great potential for walk-around sets, as a small skill to engage and draw in crowds during street performance, and perhaps most importantly it feels like the kind of thing that a juggler could easily sell after their shows. Especially school and library performers. Many savvy Variety entertainers supplement their income greatly by selling merchandise after shows. Some claiming that they double their fee with sales. It would be great if Ringdma offered some kind of wholesale option for professional jugglers and perhaps some branding options. I would also love to see a little how-to booklet with some basic tricks and ideas for people who buy the Ringdama. Dan, if you’re reading this, I know just the blog to help you write that booklet…cough cough.
It’s a great skill toy with some interesting potential for the professional juggler as well.
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