A wooden Japanese toy from the 1700s is flying off the shelves and finding its way under many Christmas trees in Calgary this year. 

Local retailers say the toy is a hit with both kids and parents.

Shawna Lam headed straight to a rack of kendamas on her search for the perfect gift for her son this year.

'It's been crazy. In one day, we've done over $10,000 in sales on them.'- John Tate, of Discovery Hut

"Our son is really into soccer and he's got the great hand-eye co-ordination, so he loves doing this and it's better than video games, I think," she said.

The simple wooden toy essentially places two cups of different sizes on the centre of a wooden spike with a smaller cup at the base with a ball connected by a string to the middle.

Kendama

American suppliers told a retailer that Calgary is one the hottest markets for the toy in North America. (CBC)

"You throw the ball up and you try to get it on it," said nine-year-old Kieran Hood. "Basically, the main objective is to hit every single one and then hit the spike at the end."

Hood said while it's challenging, the toy does have its benefits — for example, it's battery free.

John Tate of Discovery Hut says he has already sold thousands this holiday season.

"It's been crazy. In one day, we've done over $10,000 in sales on them," he said. "It's been one of the hottest things we've ever seen in toys and I've done toys for a long time." 

Tait said his suppliers in the U.S. tell him Calgary is one the hottest markets for the toy in North America.