Zing's Thumb Chucks cross skill and fidget toy categories
Professional Thumb Chucker Weston Hamilton at Toy Fair
To promote its new Thumb Chucks, Zing showcased some major Thumb Chuckers at last month's Toy Fair, including brand ambassador Weston Hamilton.
Characterizing the Thumb Chucks set as "half skill toy and half fidget toy," Weston, who has some 30 tutorial videos on his YouTube channel "mostly featuring my original moves," showed a number of increasingly complicated twirling, flipping and twisting finger roll manipulations with the pair of "high-bounce" plastic "Chucks"—each with built-in motion-sensitive LED light--connected by a thin fabric belt.
"I've been doing this for eight months," said Hamilton, also a master in cardistry—the fancy shuffling of playing cards—who came to Thumb Chucks via begleri.
"They're based on begleri—an ancient Greek skill toy sort of based on prayer beads," said Hamilton. "It's a real small thing that people are beginning to play with. You can spend an entire day with a set in your hands, and some people are making a conscious effort to create tricks, while other tricks just happen while you're playing around."
Begleri players often have kendama backgrounds, noted Hamilton, for whom Thumb Chucks are like a "begleri trainer."
"Begleri is a lot heavier and made of metal," he continued. "It bruised my knuckles and was painful when I started. But Thumb Chucks are rubbery: I've even come up with tricks where they bounce off each other."
Zing has three Thumb Chucks skill levels, said Hamilton, and awards custom karate-like ranking belts to players after they submit videos via #ThumbChucks proving they've reached a new level of proficiency.
Thumb Chucks, which are available in red, orange, green and blue, are supported by a free Thumb Chucks app that include over 20 tutorials, as well as a recording feature with built-in special effects.