The Black Dragon Stick Ninja Super Set is one of many mass-produced souvenir sword sets which please the eye but don’t hold up to close inspection. Relax and enjoy this interesting desk set, but don’t expect combat quality for this price.
When you do have reasonable expectations, a sword set like this can be fun. There’s often an incredible amount of skilled work involved in producing souvenir-quality blades. If you haven’t been scammed by a professional shopkeeper on a dark Hong Kong street (one hint is that the shop closes as soon as you leave), you can appreciate the lacquered finish and detailed decoration. Often much of the carving and intricately painted symbols — dragons in this case — is produced by hand by skilled artisans who work for low wages and still do a remarkable job. If you ever visit an Asian workshop where such things are produced, the pace and the difficulty of the work will amaze you. You’ll feel like you aren’t paying enough money.
Marginal functional construction is the usual disappointment, and if you do have the urge to test things, you’ll no doubt find that tangs separate from handles without too much tweaking, and the temper of the stainless steel blades isn’t enough to hold a sharp edge. Often the least expensive sets are only ground and polished. If a bent blade doesn’t spring back on its own, obviously the foundry was getting by cheap.
The set of three blades includes ninja-style straight katana, wakizashi and tanto — all of letter-opener quality. A simple three-tiered wooden display stand fits on a desk or table and is much more safe and secure if placed against a wall.
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