Category Archives: Reviews

Doc’s Review | Zeekio Quasar

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Machined delrin is one of those luxury materials that everyone says they want, but once a yo-yo comes out the requesters balk at the price tag.  I have seen many machined delrin yoyos, both good and bad over the last few years.   The Milk by Crucial is one of the best yoyos of all time, and the DBYY Gung Fu is a classic favorite of mine.  On the other hand, the Lucha Libra by Throw Down was a disaster that ultimately destroyed the brand.  While it is cheaper to use a mold and celcon, it just doesn’t have the same feel as a truly machined derin.  The problem is that delrin is a fickle product to work with and the result is usually an expensive yo-yo leading to yo-yo buyers to drop Grandma’s birthday check on a new metal instead.  Enter Zeekio, a mid-budget brand from the people behind YoYoSam.com.  Zeekio has been working on an affordable mid-budget machined delrin with metal weight rings to fulfill the delrin gap in the sub $50 yo-yo market, and the Quasar seems to be just that.

 

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Doc’s Review | The Forte by MonkeyFingeR – Mike Montgomery’s signature yo-yo

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Introduction:

 

Note: This is a new format.  if you want to know more about the new review format, please see this post here.

When I first heard that Mike Montgomery was picked up by MonkleyFingeR I was really excited. I have known Mike for a few years and have loved his enthusiasm, uniqueness, and skill level.  Mike has a keen eye for knowing what he likes in a yo-yo.  His previous signature yo-yo’s, the BaseBoost and Beast, were  perfect designs for his technical yet flowy play-style but failed to have enough exposure to catch on.  His new yo-yo from MonkeyFingeR is the Forte and was recently released.   Ray was kind enough to get one in my hands.

Note about Mike though: The kid snores like a truck…  Jus’ saying.

 

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Guide to the new YoYoSkills.com review format

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Introduction:

In my five years of yo-yo reviewing, I have boiled down the overall success and popularity of a product into five basic elements that quantify the quality of a skill toy.   There may be others, but having had thousands of yoyos across my hands and having delivered feedback on hundreds for five long years, this is how I have come to see it.  Also I like graphs, and my reviews lacked a visual for quick reference.

 

Sample: This yo-yo would have high performance and experience elements, but average value and design, and lower than average hype.

 

The five basic paradigms of the quality of a yo-yo are as follows.

Performance: Performance is captured in how well the yo-yo holds up to the basics in the tricks style it was created for.  In reviewing yoyos, a 1A / 5a yo-yo will be measured against its ability to handle complex maneuvers with minimal spin loss, 2a for looping, 3a for long spin times and stability, and 4a for clean return reliability.  Some of the other measurements of quality can be overlooked if the level of performance is high enough.  For example, a yo-yo could perform very well, but be really ugly preventing you from playing it.  In this case over all Experience would not be greatly impacted by performance.  Inversely, a yo-yo could have almost zero hype, but have a high level of performance.  In this case, overall experience would be heavily weighted by performance.

Hype: Like it or not, admit it or not, hype plays a factor in your yo-yo choices.  Hype could possibly be the most important and least important measurement in the quality of a yo-yo.  Proper advertising and word of mouth can influence sales and usage of an item, but can also have a negative effect if overused or if the product fails to live up to the hype.  Hype from a manufacturer is not as powerful as hype from consumers, which is prone to wild fluctuation.  Hype can also be overlooked and if other the other elements of quality are high enough.

Design:  Design captures all elements of manufacturing and presentation which can include but are not limited to; material, color, shape, finish, extras, logo, engraving, marking, recognition, specs, name and packaging.  Design has variables that can change based on user preferences, buy overall design choices can greatly affect the success and overall user experience of a product.

Value: The element of value is determined by the feeling of worth versus the associated cost.  A product can have a low cost and a high feeling of worth greatly scaling up the element of value and impacting the overall user experience.  Inversely, a product can have a high cost, but a low feeling of worth if the other elements of quality fall short.

Overall Experience: Your experience with the product is always the first and last measure of quality.  This is where the vision of quality for a product is translated into reality.  Generally, captures the value of their experience based on the measurement of the other 4 paradigms of quality, those being Performance, Hype, Design and Value.

Reviews on a non technical item are extremely subjective, and this format that I have been working on, i think, best depicts my feelings on any particular yo-yo.  People who love to read can read, but for those that are TLDR types, can jump directory to the graph.

 

Mr. J Review: CLYW Puffin

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I’m back with a long overdue review. It’s been a long time since I have reviewed a yoyo, modded or other wise. So it feels good to get back into the swing of things. Today I’m reviewing the new CLYW Puffin. There has been a lot of buzz surrounding this yoyo but no real review. Well, today I give you a real review of the Puffin.
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Doc’s Review | The YoYoJam H3X

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Between Andre’s winning charisma and YoYoJams excellent design, the Dark Magic is considered to be a must have “staple” yo-yo for any yo-yo veterans collection.  If you search the forums looking at “What should I buy next?” threads, the Dark Magic is constantly recommended.  The Dark Magic is a classic, and a well-loved one at that.  YoYoJam has often moved to repeat the success of the Dark Magic with modernized takes on the classic design.  Yoyos such as the Meteor and the Trident were lauded for design and play-ability, but failed to capture heavy demand in an already crowded metal yo-yo marketplace.  This time YoYoJam and Andre Bouley bring us the latest spiritual successor to the Dark Magic, the H3X.   Pronounced “Hex”, this yo-yo takes everything you love about the Dark Magic, and modernizes it into an aluminum and titanium hybrid firmly set to make a mark in the yo-yo world.

Included:

  • Poly string
  • Beautifully customized satin lined box

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Product Review – Yoyofactory NEW Velocity

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The Yoyofactory Velocity has been one of the most popular beginner yo-yos on the market for years. The adjustable response has given it the ability to be responsive and unresponsive bridging the gap between beginner tricks and advanced play. Recently, Yoyofactory decided to revamp the Velocity to improve the yo-yo and update the design to today’s standards. Changes were made to the yo-yo’s shape, response adjustment dials, and even the plastic used in the throw. Have these changes benefited the Velocity?

Included:

  • Cotton String
  • Extra Poly String
  • Starter/Trick Guide

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Product Review – King Yo Star Boss Man

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King Yo Star is a quickly growing company out of China run by Chen Jia Lin (a.k.a. Kuyos). The brand has a strong and unique line of yoyos including the wide Hop King and the tiny Spider Man. The brand is also making a name for itself in the competition circuit with players like Luckey Li and Joshua Ray. Today, I look into one of their newer throws, the Boss Man. This big bright silver beast of a yoyo is a wide oversized throw that seems competition ready. I love oversized throws, so I have been wanting to give this one a shot.

Included:

  • 10-Ball Bearing
  • Poly String

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Doc’s Review: The Prism by Zeekio

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Zeekio is a line from the fine people at YoYoSam.  They also have a Kendama line called Bahama Kendama.  I have had a chance to play with a few Zeekio products in the past and most have been solid purchases for the price but none have really stood out as exceptional.  Recently, Mitch from YoYoSam contacted me about the Prism saying that it is a “must try” yo-yo.  He was very excited, and over the last month chatted me up to get my impressions.  The Prism is a new yo-yo with a new machinist and a fresh start for the Zeekio brand.  Oh, did I mention it is only $40?  I didn’t?   Huh…..

Included:

  • Polly string

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Doc’s Review – The Bear vs Man Round 2 by CLYW

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The Bear vs Man is a legendary yo-yo.  Back in 2007, CLYW released the BVM as a signature yo-yo for Boyd.  Only 37 of them were made on that first run, and were quickly snatched up by collectors.  Praised for its small size and extreme playability, the BVM was an instant hit with both players and collectors.  The BVM was released in many edition releases including an “Augie vs Boyd” model.  Recently, CLYW announced plans to release the Bear vs Man, Round 2.  It would be larger, and more aggressive. Chris was kind enough to hand one to me at Cal States.

Included:

  • Box
  • Poly String

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Andrews Interview / Review of The Tre by Werrd and Eric Tranton

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The Tre is Eric Tranton’s signature model featuring a simplistic exterior designed for elite 3A performance. In the competitive realm of the yoyo market, this yoyo meets a common $100.00 price point, but can it stack up to other popular models that specialize in 1A play? Continue reading to catch up on the latest interview with Eric Tranton as we discuss his design.
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Robinson’s Review: CLYW Arctic Circle

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Doc’s Note: Andrew Robinson is a modern day legend in yoyoing and I am very proud to have him on the journalism team.  I think we will be seeing a lot of action from Andrew as time rolls on.  Here is his first review

CLYW has always been known to produce the highest quality return tops that present a unique experience with each different model. The Arctic Circle is a compilation of previous CLYW return tops with Zach Gormley as the mastermind behind the design. Can this return top maintain its charm  and performance with the fusion of the most popular CLYW elements? This is where we find out.

Included with the return top is the classic 6 panel CLYW box. Each side is hand stamped in black ink with the sea, terrain, and sky of the arctic circle. Lift the tab and open the box and you’ll find the return top itself fitted with a polyester string, cradled in a paper hexagon nest with a CLYW sticker underneath.

Statistics
Diameter:     54.95 mm / 2.16 inches
Width:        43.45 mm / 1.71 inches
Gap Width:    4.05 mm / .16 inches
Weight:    66.5 grams
Bearing     Size C Concave (.250 x .500 x .187)
Response:     CLYW Snow Tires
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Francis’ Review | C3yoyodesign Alpha Crash

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I was very excited to review this yo-yo. I’m a big fan of plastic yo-yos. In my opinion, plastic yo-yos can be just as good as metal ones. When I heard about C3yoyodesign’s first plastic my interest was piqued. A quick e-mail to the folks at C3yoyodesign and a couple of weeks later, the Alpha Crash was in my hands. Does C3yoyodesign’s first plastic have what it takes to be the alpha male, or does it crash and burn?

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Doc & Brian H2H Review – Victory by Eternal Throw

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This review session, we are going to try something different.  For a while now, I thought it would be interesting to do two reviews of the same yo-yo from two different reviewers.  I am excited that the first yo-yo to undergo this treatment is the Victory by Eternal Throw. Joining in our first Head to Head review is new YoYoSkills Journalism team member Brian Melford!

DOC’S REVIEW

BRIAN’S REVIEW

Eternal Throw has recently popped up on the scene as a new yo-yo designer contracting the skilled hands at One Drop to machine.  This is becoming more and more popular over the last year as big names like Anti-Yo and new names like G Squared and Eternal Throw utilize David and Shawn’s machining expertise.  I was contacted by Eternal Throw about reviewing the Victory, their flagship model.  The Victory is named after Victoria, Hinton’s daughter and as a nod to her awesomeness, it was released on her birthday.  As a father of an awesome daughter myself, I think this is amazing on the scale of epic parenting. I have been following the new company Eternal Throw for a little while now. I saw the Victory proto on Joseph Pallagi’s video and I knew I had a get my hands on it. The name comes from one of eternal throws founders J Free Hinton. He named it after his daughter Victoria and it released on her birthday officially. Today I review the Victory by Eternal Throw. Machined by OneDrop (awesome guys) with a custom Side Effect the Victory is a well built throw and the Eternal Throw hit a home run with this first release.

 

Comes With:

  • Custom tin
  • Designer String
  • Custom Side Effects

 
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Doc’s Review | KLR by General-Yo

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Whew!  What a week!  This weeks review session seemed like it was at least a month long! (life happens).  On a positive note, we have more reviewers on staff here at YoYoSkills so you have N-Mart, Melford, Mr. J, and Francis to fill in when I get slammed with life, work, and lifework.

I think it is safe at this point to just assume that Ernie at General-Yo knows what he is doing.  This guy has consistently pumped out killer design after killer design, and has even experimented in the precious metals realm that is always hit or miss.  His big wins make up a list of names that reads like a champion horse pedigree.  To this day, I still consider the Torrent, Ernie’s introductory design to the General-Yo brand, to be one of the best yoyos I have ever thrown.  One of the latest General-Yo designs landed on my porch.  The KLR.  Did I let this killer into my home?  Yes, yes I did.

 

Included:

  • Sticker
  • Poly String

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N-Mart Review: Adegle PSG

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The Plastic Sandglass, or PSG, has been around for some time now. Many of you out there have already played this plastic. Much of what I have to say in this review will not be new to many.

Adegle created a yoyo awhile back called the Sandglass. This is the plastic version. There have been a few yoyo companies that have done the same thing-design a plastic throw based off the specs of one of their popular metals. But just because these plastics are “copies” of their metal brothers, does not mean they play the same at all. Different material=Different feel.

On to the review.

Included:

  • White Poly String
  • Cylindrical Case

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N-Mart Review: Zombie by Aero-Yo

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Some things I’ve learned about zombies:

  1. They feel no fear, why should you?
  2. Use your head: cut off theirs.
  3. Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
  4. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
  5. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
  6. No place is safe, only safer.
  7. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.

If you follow these rules you will be safe-r.

Okay, on to the review of the Aero-Yo Zombie!

Includes:

  • Metal Tin
  • White Poly String

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Doc’s Review | Aero-Yo Cold Metal CO2

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A few years ago there was a brand called Cold Metal.  I always thought their yo-yos had a really cool look and style to them.  I got to try them here and there but never had a chance to own one or do a review.  Then the company seemed to disappear for a while until recently, resurfacing as a line under the Aero-Yo brand.  When the CO2 showed up on my doorstep, I tore into the package like a kid on Christmas day.

Included:

  • Killer tin can
  • Cold Metal Dog Tags
  • Poly String

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N-Mart Review: Sense by Yoyoskeel

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Spidey Sense. Sixth Sense. Common…Sense.

This week I am reviewing the Sense by Yoyoskeel. A short history lesson about Yoyoskeel. Yoyoskeel was the first high end yoyo company of Malaysia, founded by Malaysian national champion Muhammad Shakeel Mohd Rose. Yoyoskeel has been making quality yoyos since 2010.

And here we have the Sense. Before this review the only other Yoyoskeel throw I’ve played with was the Stalker, their first release. I liked the Stalker, but wasn’t “awed” by it. The Sense has a very interesting design, and some of the approaches to the design make me a little leery but I’m hoping I’m wrong about my preconceived notions.

Here is a more in depth look at the Sense by Yoyoskeel.

Included:

  • White poly string

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Doc’s Re-review | The Liopleurodon 2012 by ILYY

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Like all yo-yo companies, ILYY takes their popular releases and tweaks the specs to modernize the design.  When I look at these new releases, I like to highlight the differences between the two models.  I loved the first Liopleurodon.  It was large and full bodied, and perfect for a mixture of play styles.  That being said, there were a few things I would change now in retrospect.  This won’t be as in depth as a full review since the differences between the 2009 model and the 2012 model are very few, but are very important.

Included:

  • ILYY Red Velvet bag
  • ILYY Button
  • Poly String

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N-Mart Review: Deadly SpINS-The Wrath

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This week I am reviewing The Wrath from new company Deadly SpINS. I love seeing all these new companies! There are some amazing new designs coming out! So, who is Deadly SpINS?

In their own words: “We are a small Yoyo Manufacturer looking to provide dead smooth competition ready throws in crazy colorways with all the works + more in the extras department.”

Without further adieu, here is The Wrath, “a yoyo that plays on a rampage!”

Included:

  • Three types of String Lab strings (types 1,2,&X) to match the throw
  • OD 10-ball bearing
  • Trifecta 10-ball bearing
  • Extra CBC red pro pads slim
  • Two axles,1 black and 1 black silver
  • Two stickers, 1 String Lab and 1 Wrath logo
  • All in a brown drawstring bag then into a clear impact resistant jar with black lid

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