Signature YoYos #yoyoskills

Signature YoYos

What was the first signature yoyo? Who did it belong to? I’ve been poking around all morning trying to remember. I suppose it’s most likely a Steve Brown FHZ (or something of that nature) It could have easily been someone else, but either way, signature releases are a relatively new thing in the yoyo world.

This question, along with this recent release of the Replay Pro, got me thinking… What is the deal with signature releases? Why do we have them? Also, and perhaps more importantly, why do companies release so many signature yoyos with the same player?

The Replay Pro came out last Saturday. Make no mistake about it, it’s an awesome throw for an even better price. But in case you are curious here is the list of Gentry Steins signature yoyos:
Super G
Replay Pro

Ok 5 isn’t so many, no big deal. What about André Boulay?
Dark Magic
Dark Magic II
Legacy II

Psshhh just 6! That’s only a half dozen. But then there is Ann Connolly who has had her name on:
One Star
Avante Garde
Then like 4 or 5 different kinds of string?

Ann Connolly has 8 yoyos with her signature on them. Those are just the ones that came to mind. I’d bet there were more.
I think you get my point.

Companies sponsor popular players and they do their best to get the fullest worth out of the players image. In other words, André Boulay came out with the Dark Magic, created tutorials using the Dark Magic, then people every say “if it works for him, it will work for me!” And for the record, they’re not wrong. The Dark Magic STILL does really well in the YoYoSam shop. It’s a great product with a big name behind it. The legacy was also a huge hit and it kind of makes sense to also have the André Boulay name being as there were not too many big names in yoyoing back then. But then we fast forward to the H3X and it leaves me scratching my head saying, wait what? Is that really your signature throw or is it just a new throw that you just put your name on? I mean no disrespect of course, yoyojam is one of my favorite brands! This is just one example of many. The idea is that customers can feel safe knowing that big time pros prefer this yoyo too. While I’m sure they do (at least for a little while), I think signature yoyos are a little out of hand in the community. Not to the point that its causing anyone any harm. I think that for me, its just starting to feel really redundant.

It’s possible that the Steve Brown FHZs may have a bit more worth one day. Or possibly the Team Losi Cherry bomb? Or maybe the die nasty? The Role model? It could be something from CLYW! Or perhaps it will be something with the next company he works with. I’m still waiting to place my bet.

So what’s your point, Sam? Are you boycotting signature yoyos? HELL NO! I can’t wait for Mark Montgomery’s next signature throw! My point is just to share my thoughts. That Companies sponsor players to keep their image hip. It’s fashion. Good old fashioned fashion. So the fact is you should buy whatever yoyo you want for whatever reason you want. If you want it it because it has Gentry Stein’s name on it, go for it! Buy it! Have fun with it. If you like it because its purple– that’s a good enough reason for me! If you buy a yoyo because its exactly 63.45 grams, then cool! You do you, bro. I’m behind you.

In this players personal opinion, you can pretty much ignore the signature on it. Hell, scratch it out and put your own on there. After all, that particular yoyo, does in fact, belong to you.


'Signature YoYos #yoyoskills' have 1 comment

  1. May 7, 2015 @ 12:30 pm patrick

    I think YYF goes too far with signature throws, especially in the Ann Connolly case. When I see a yoyo like the Role Model, Hitman X, Barracuda, Proton, or Phenom, the name on the side tells me that that person knows a lot about yoyoing and they played a huge role in designing the yoyo that is made to perform. That type of signature throw means something to me, especially when I see a name on a yoyo I liked that I used before. The sucess of Hiroyuki Suzuki’s brand of yoyos, Something, is based of the reputation he earned by his signature yoyos with YoyoJam, yoyos that he helped create that are well reputed. Having his name on the yoyo means that you should be buying a high quality, and high performing yoyo.

    Now take YYF and Ann Connolly. Her name is plastered all over different yoyos, but she doesn’t appear to have contributed to the design of any of those: just a color scheme. That is not valuable to me as a signature throw. If YYF does come out with one that she created from scratch, why would I want that yoyo if she has doesn’t have a good reputation as a yoyo designer?

    Take the Barracuda from Duncan as a good example. It is the signature throw of Raphael Matsunaga. There was a special edition run as a Janos Karancz signature throw after he won Worlds. The Janos edition was a great colorway, but Raphael’s name on the yoyo meant a lot more. Janos used the yoyo to win and made a cool colorway, but Raphael designed, not just colored, it after years and years of travel, competitions, demoing, working with different companies’s products, and doing yoyo reviews for Yoyo News. “Designed by a yoyo legend” means a lot more to me than “Used by a yoyo champion.”


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