Fidget toys are all the rage right now, from spinners to multicolored cubes with clicky-clacky buttons to push. Maybe the speed of the modern world makes it impossible for us to sit still without doing something. The latest fidgeting frenzy is Mokuru: an ingeniously simple wooden toy that can go from desk to pocket to bar and back in the blink of an eye. Play solo or show your skills off to all your friends.
The toy’s name comes from the Japanese words “moku,” meaning “wood”, and “kuru,” meaning “flipping.” Mokuru is the brainchild of Tokyo-born Masakazu Node, who created it in 2010. Since then, it has gone through several rounds of testing and development before arriving at its current form, which looks something like a mix between a barrel and a cylinder. Each Mokuru is 1 inch in diameter, 3.6 inches tall, and weighs just 1 ounce. The toy is crafted from high-quality Japanese beech wood for a classic look and is available in seven different colors: black, white, red, blue, green, yellow and orange. Three grooves are cut near each end of the wood to help prevent slips. Silicon rubber stoppers cap the Mokuru’s top and bottom surfaces.
Depending on your skill level, there a few different ways to play with Mokuru. Start by trying to flip it down the length of a table or countertop. Eventually, you’ll be able to flaunt your skills by stopping the toy mid-flip or moving a pair of them at the same time. The company’s crowdfunding page features some helpful video tips and tricks on how to become an expert Mokuru player as well as ideas for multiplayer games. The first set of video lessons includes a breakdown of the “basic flip” and instructions on performing an exercise in which you make the toy trace the outline of a square and a triangle.
Advanced lessons graduate you to two Mokurus, which you can use “stacked” or move independently of one another. You’ll even learn a funny trick called “The Advanced-Flip and Kiss.” When you feel skilled enough to attempt expert maneuvers, you’ll learn the “Air Trapeze:” “Use one finger to flip Mokuru from left to right. Catch and hold it on your hand after you flip Mokuru. Turn it 360 degrees, and make it stand up straight.” After you’ve mastered that, try your hand at the “Expert-Five Moves,” in which you use a single hand to flip five of the toys at the same time!
Inventor Masakazu Node has stated that his goal in creating Mokuru was to help people play and have fun anywhere. As a toy-maker, he adheres to a simple motto: “Don’t create toys that are safe and easy to play; create toys that can bring joy and happiness.” However, Node also believes that Mokuru training can sharpen one’s focus and hand-eye coordination.
People certainly seem eager to take up the Mokuru challenge—the company’s Kickstarter campaign has raised 2,035 percent of its initial goal. Worldwide shipping began just a couple of weeks ago in April.