OGDEN -- It's been a little over a month since 15-year-old Mikey Schelling and his father opened up a kiosk at the Newgate Mall, and their product has nearly sold out.
Kendama is a Japanese toy made of wood with a hammer shaped handle connected to a ball and string, Mikey said. To play the game, the ball is swung upward and caught in one of the cups or impaled on a spike.
"It's hundreds of years old," he said. "You can do all kinds of tricks and games and it can get really competitive."
Mikey, a student at Snowcrest Junior High School, said he and his dad, Craig, began selling the toy on the internet as well as at a local restaurant. It became so popular, they decided to approach the Newgate Mall to ask about opening up a kiosk.
"They gave us a six-month lease and since we opened they've been selling so fast we're almost out of inventory," he said. "We've had to put in a new order already."
The toy sells anywhere from $20 to $40, Mikey said, depending on the style and design.
"We have people of all ages who come in to buy it," he said. "We've had them as young as five and as old as 40."
On Feb. 22, a professional Kendama player will be at the mall for a Kendama tournament. Every junior high and high school student who enters the competition will earn 100 points toward My School's Cool, a program where school's compete for the highest accumulation of loyalty points for shopping at the mall and receive a cash award at the end of the school year.
"The tournament is free and we'll be giving away prizes," Mikey said. "The first place winner will get a $150 card to the mall and a free Kendama."
The tournament will be held center court in the mall. To participate, go to the kiosk right past the food court and sign up.
"It's going to be a lot of fun," Mikey said. "This has been a great experience. I honestly didn't think the business would take off this fast. It kind of blew my mind. We're thinking about expanding to the Layton Hills Mall. It's pretty exciting."