Social media makes it look like a piece of cake, but how will our reporter handle his magical ball?

When I was a child, I had to entertain myself with things like yo-yos, Tamagotchis and trading cards, but kids these days are into much more futuristic toys. One toy in particular that’s currently popular on Japanese TikTok is called a Flying Ball, a toy that seemingly defies the laws of gravity, so our reporter Seiji Nakazawa decided to get in touch with the trends of today’s youth and buy one for himself.

A quick search on TikTok for フライングボール (‘Flying Ball’) shows a myriad of videos featuring kids playing with what seems to be a ball magically floating in the air, or returning to its owner after being thrown, like a boomerang. The balls seemed to move around in the air like magic, but Seiji was keen to get to the bottom of how they really worked, so he ordered the Tikduck Flying Ball for 2,999 yen (US$20.34) from Amazon.

In the videos Seiji had seen on TikTok, the balls all had bright, glowing exteriors so it wasn’t clear to see the ball in detail, but as he opened his box and inspected the contents, it became clear that the ball’s “magic” was created by a motor propeller, kind of like a drone. Unlike a drone, however, there didn’t appear to be any controls that came with the Flying Ball, although there were some stickers you could use to personalise your ball.

Instead, there was an on/off switch at the bottom of the ball, as well as a port to charge it. According to the instructions, once you push the switch, give the ball a little shake and it’s ready to go!

As Seiji pushed the ‘on’ switch, the ball lit up with green, red and blue glowing lights. He gave the ball a little shake, and…

▼ The ball immediately went spinning out of control!

Seiji had been planning to try out the ‘Levitating Ball’ trick that he’d seen in the instruction manual, but the second he let go of the ball it immediately careened off in every direction it possibly could. Instead of the ball casually floating in the palm of his hand, Seiji spent the next few minutes desperately chasing the ball around the SoraNews24 office.

▼ The instruction manual included a picture of the ‘Levitating Ball’ trick, but more as a ‘this is something you can do’ rather than ‘this is how to do it’

Seiji’s attempt at the Levitating Ball trick was unsuccessful, but still in high spirits, he decided to give the ‘Boomerang Ball‘ trick a try; it was the trick where you throw the ball forward, and it comes back to you. Seiji had seen it in many TikTok videos, and if little kids could do it then surely Seiji, a grown man, could do it too.

But maybe young children have some sort of control over the laws of gravity that is lost as they grow older, because Seiji’s Flying Ball refused to return to him at all, and flew every which way it pleased, including (at times) into the wall. Impressively, even after crashing several times, the ball still remained in one piece.

Feeling pretty defeated, Seiji decided to change up his tactics; instead of throwing the ball, if he just let the ball roll out of his hands at a certain angle, maybe he’d get a different result.

And he did, as proved here with his new Flying Ball catch partner P.K Sanjun!

Even though the ball was just flying in a straight line, Seiji felt an overwhelming sense of achievement, like he’d just nailed a really high-level technique.

Spurred on by his success, Seiji eventually managed to master the Boomerang Ball, too!

So in the end, Seiji’s Flying Ball didn’t move about in exactly the way he’d expected, nor in the way that it appeared in all the TikTok videos that he’d seen. On the other hand, much like yo-yos and kendamas, the Flying Ball seems like a toy that can allow for a wide breadth of creativity. Rather than just the ones written in the instruction manual, Flying Ball masters have the potential to invent their own original tricks and moves.

At any rate, while Seiji probably won’t become a viral TikTok star with his new found Boomerang Ball mastery, he still had a lot of fun.

Related: Flying Ball on Amazon
Images © SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]