Guide to the new review format


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.



Chris "Dr. Yo-Yo" Allen is the creator and founder of He has been yoyoing for over 25 years and has a passion for the industry.

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