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Ken engravings Yea or Nay?

Discussion in 'The Sesh' started by goenKendama, Sep 5, 2019.

?

Do you like the ken with engravings, burns, laser etches?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. A little is OK but not "over the top"

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. goenKendama

    goenKendama Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Location:
    Metro Manila, Philippines
    Seems like there have been a bunch of models coming out with ken engravings, burns, laserings etc. on the ken and sarado lately. Used to be you'd see one just now and again like the Alex Smith promod with the maze or the JAC camo ken. Now there are everything from pro's sigs and QR codes to designs that are supposed to actually help with stalls (bird specifically).

    Also if you think some marking is fine but aren't thrilled about a completely covered ken what are examples of just enough design and too much? Also do you think marking changes playability making them more grippy or too rough? For me there are some designs I like the way they look but don't like the way they feel.

    2015Smith1_1024x1024.jpg walnut camo large.jpg
     
    Sep 5, 2019
    JHard502710 likes this.
  2. DerHerder

    DerHerder n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2017
    Honestly, it depends on what the engraving is for me at least. I've got a few burned/engraved kens and it's all about the depth of the marking, how busy it is and how fine the detail is. IE: Monkay Glands' burns and the Luzumaki Boost ken.
     
    Sep 5, 2019
    Jewbacca and goenKendama like this.
  3. Dre_11

    Dre_11 Honed Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2019
    Location:
    West Covina, CA
    I think the Craft line and GT-KA have the best burn lines as they’re simplistic and clean. Some damas like the Krom Camo look a little too tacky for my liking and some of the crazy engravings that people do are not my personal favorite, but I do see the appeal. Quill Kendama is a new company that lets you custom design engravings on your ken from the big cup to bird stall & it’s like having your own pro mod! Pretty cool stuff def gonna check them out.
     
    Sep 6, 2019
    Jewbacca and goenKendama like this.
  4. JHard502710

    JHard502710 Slayer

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2018
    Location:
    Louisville, Ky
    Is that a Luzumaki Ken in your pic under Alex’s pro mod???

    I’m good with engravings..,I think on the Ken it helps for tracking sometimes.. the reverse laser etching on the BooJohnson mod is interesting but good feeling in hand. I like the craft burn lines around the big cup giving it its Signature look.. QR codes are kind of gimmicky to me and not real useful.. I hardly ever keep a QR reader app on my phone nor does anyone else I encounter.. and the look of them is big and doesn’t look techy but rather kind of distracting and unappealing to me. If it was smaller and on opposite side of the Sweets Seal on the basecup I think I’d like them more..
     
    Sep 6, 2019
  5. Emil Apostol

    Emil Apostol DS Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Location:
    Philippines
    As long as the engravings are clean, tasteful, and don't mess with the kendama's play, I'm ok.
     
    Sep 6, 2019
  6. GwynFlip

    GwynFlip n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2019
    I love engravings, they can add personality and utility to a ken but I do think some go a bit overboard, personally I don’t like lots of words and branding on the ken.
    I think a perfect example of a ken that goes overboard is the newest drop from Quill kendama.
     

    Attached Files:

    Sep 6, 2019
  7. GwynFlip

    GwynFlip n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2019
    I definitely agree on the whole QR code thing, it feels a bit tacky to me.
    I was going to pick up the sweets safari mod but the QR code really turned me off.
    90% of people won’t use them, it would make more sense to put it on a sticker.
     
    Sep 6, 2019
    JHard502710 likes this.
  8. goenKendama

    goenKendama Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Location:
    Metro Manila, Philippines
    I think newer phones can do QR from the built-in camera app. Here's a Google search on it. I've got an old phone so I need an app but in Japan they use QR everywhere so I use mine periodically. Actually I made a QR code for my contact info that I use on my luggage tags.
     
    Sep 6, 2019
  9. Emil Apostol

    Emil Apostol DS Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Location:
    Philippines
    On the QR-Code Engraving, it may find better use in the future as QR codes are quietly taking root in society. Currently, I find it being used for e-payments in restaurants and other similar establishments. I also regularly see QR codes on flyers and other advertisements, so I wouldn't be surprised if this is a move by Sweets to "future-proof" its kendamas.
     
    Sep 7, 2019
  10. htimSxelA

    htimSxelA Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2016
    Location:
    Vancouver
    QR codes are this weird thing that some people seem to hate, others seem to love. They're very useful in certain applications, even if they aren't universally loved by consumers.

    But as far as having a QR code on a dama, thats a BIG nope from me. I get the idea of making it a 'gateway item' that the new player can easily access more info from... but in my opinion this is just destroying the aesthetic of the product, in order to cater to the lowest common denominator of lazy-ass consumer culture. Like, if someone is interested enough to scan a QR code, I think they'll be able to make a little effort to type 'Kendama Company Name' into a search engine. It looks a lot nicer having 'Kendama Company Name' engraved into the ken, than a QR code.
     
    Sep 8, 2019
  11. GwynFlip

    GwynFlip n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2019
    I definitely agree, I think it might be a cute idea for something like the radar model where it’s clear that it’s a beginner kendama, in my opinion it really detracts from the looks of the pro models they have been doing them on.
    They put a ton of care into the details of the Kendama’s paint and engravings but the QR code sticks out like a sore thumb, I don’t understand why just putting it on the box isn’t enough, typically the only time someone would scan it would be right after they get it just to check out what it does but I doubt anyone who has been playing for long enough would ever get anything from it, neat idea but I think it’s definitely misplaced.
    Imagine slapping a QR code on the newest luzumaki drop, there would definitely be some backlash.
    Sweets is definitely making strides in terms of pushing kendama to new markets and getting them in the hands of new players I just hope they keep the more experienced and dedicated players in mind for future drops
     
    Sep 11, 2019
  12. CodyGriz

    CodyGriz Honed Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2016
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    The QR codes will have a lot more applications in the future.

    Every iPhone and Samsung now has a QR reader built into their camera, so no new app is needed.

    Everything below is personal thoughts and opinions, not official company deets

    To comment on the Luzumaki thing, if there was a code on there, it could be unique to each ken, offering an authenticity check as well as a 1 of 100 numbering system, Obviously kendama is there.. .yet

    We also used these at a party in NYC and the codes on the damas given out linked to the website/ photo album from the night.

    Pros will have options to release exclusive content, giveaways, etc.
    Imagine you can only cop a new exclusive Coop Strap if you have a Coop Mod to scan
    Or an edit drops a week early
    Or other ways for a pro to show that they love the players who supported them by buying their damas

    Most importantly, no.. people won't google Kendama Company Name when you meet them on the street. But if you ask them to just open their camera, it is simple.

    Also for players just learning, a link to a tricklist or tutorial is still important. Enough people find kendamas second hand, that they need a connection to that info. A little Terra T Leaf/Crossken/Kaizen symbol does nothing to help them if they cant remember 'kendama'
    shit... we all have an aunt who has seen us playing for years and pronounces it "kehblana"

    Also, durring NAKO the event damas will link to the brackets
    after the event they will link to the photo gallery and/or video recap.

    I personally think it is exciting for what the future can bring.
     
    Sep 12, 2019
  13. htimSxelA

    htimSxelA Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2016
    Location:
    Vancouver
    LOL. This is very true :D

    I do see the merit of having it on something that is designed to be an outreach product, like the Boo J model. But at the same time, I don't like how it makes the product look more like a toy/gimmick. I do honestly hope that the outreach potential outweighs the gimmicky aesthetic of QR codes.

    As a consumer, I don't think I would purchase a kendama with a QR code on it, even if it comes with some small perks. QR codes on supplemental materials that come with the dama? Cool. On the dama itself? Nah, I usually grab a dama to spend some time in the analog world, I don't need it to be a portal back to the digital like that. But.. I'm not the target demographic anyways.

    One thing you haven't mentioned, but I imagine is a part of it, is that a QR code allows for analytics. How many new players is this product actually bringing in? A QR code that forwards you through a tracker URL can give you a ton of info about who is scanning the code. Plenty of data to be had there.


    The idea of using it to verify authenticity is interesting, but a QR code is insufficient to accomplish that goal.
    If someone went through the effort of making a counterfeit Luzu, then it would be no problem for them to just copy one of the QR codes as well. If authenticating your dama is as simple as scanning the QR code to link to a Sweets page that lists a dama with that code as authentic... well then any copy of that QR code will also appear to be 'authentic' when scanned.
    In order to use something like that as a certificate of authenticity, the QR code would need to concealed, so that only the true owner could access it -- but this is still a broken system, since a past owner of the dama would still have knowledge of the QR code, and thus could copy it, etc.

    To actually create an ownership and authentication system, you'd need to employ asymmetric cryptography. As a rough idea: each dama has a serial number, and that number is registered in a database that Sweets runs, along with the public key of the customer who purchases it. If the customer sells or trades the dama, they authenticate themselves using the related priv key, and the system is updated to list the public key of the kendama's new owner. This way, someone can't make a fake, because it won't authenticate against the database.
    Of course, 99% of dama players aren't going to go to the effort of creating a keypair and registering with some database just to authenticate their $30 wooden toy. But it is fun to imagine how it might work :cool:
     
    Sep 12, 2019
    JHard502710 likes this.
  14. GwynFlip

    GwynFlip n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2019
    I think it comes down to the type of player you are, while I agree that outreach is important to grow the kendama community I don’t think that it’s so core to the experience of playing kendama that it needs to be burned into the ken.

    Honestly I think there are much better ways of spreading the love for kendama, and it takes actual physical person to person interaction, when I am out in public playing kendama and someone comes up and asks me what it is I don’t whip out my phone and show them a website or YouTube channel I actually talk to them about it, show them some moves and let them play with it, that goes much further to help get someone into it.
    I have done my part in spreading kendama by actually buying them for people, you can argue that the QR code is helpful in showing them more info but I guess my gripe is that it’s not me who needs the QR code it’s the noobie who hasn’t tried yet, so in my opinion it should be left on the beginner kens.
    I don’t think it belongs on premium Kendamas for serious players, luzus don’t need authentication and if they did just put it on a card that comes with the ken, you don’t need to put the code on your kendama to check the brackets during competition just put it on your badge and it does the same thing without needing a big code on every kendama.
    To me Kendamas are pieces of art that you can play, the look and feel are just as important if not more important than any extra functions you throw on it.

    And none of this is meant to put down anyone who does like the addition of the codes, I just find it interesting to hear how others view kendama.
     
    Sep 13, 2019
    htimSxelA, Jewbacca and Cheech_Sander like this.
  15. Oliverwebb

    Oliverwebb n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2017
    Strongly dislike the QR code. Feels super tacky and makes the dama seem like publicity stunt or something rather than a fun toy.
     
    Sep 21, 2019
    GwynFlip likes this.