Product Review – YoYoFactory Protostar


Introduction:

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the Protostar. As former World Champion John Ando’s signature model, the yo-yo has a lot to live up to. It has been used in competition by big names.  It is one of the best selling high end plastics ever released, and in no small terms, the hype surrounding this yo-yo is huge. The real question I had going into this review was if it was indeed worthy of the hype. Shortly after the last Worlds contest, Bird In Hand had an early model of the Protostar.  The prototype I tried… I disliked almost everything about it. I even refused to review it. Then something changed. YoYoFactory went back to the drawing board and refined a bunch of minor things and suddenly the Protostar was the play of choice by many players. This yo-yo was gaining popularity faster than Velcro shoes. I was curious; what changed? I had to find out.

Manufacturer

YoYoFactory

Shape

Butterfly / Wing

Weight (g)

67.00

Width (mm)

42.79

Diameter (mm)

55.85

Gap Width (mm)

4.55

Bearing Size (Inside x Outside x Width)

.250 in x .500 in x .187 in Center Trac

Gap Type

Fixed

Stock Response System

CBC Pad

First Impressions:

I love YoYoFactorys boxes. The Protostar came in a special version of the new YYF presentation box. Inside the John Ando signature box is an instruction sheet that takes a player through the two most important things a new player needs to know; 1: How to put on your string. 2: How to bind. I am impressed by this simple attention to detail. Since this is a plastic, it could be considered a starter yo-yo by uniformed buyers. This little extra that YoYoFactory includes takes that into consideration.
The first thing I noticed when removing the Protostar was that the plastic used did not have that “Pulled from a bowl of Jell-o” feel I was dreading. It had been a while since my first encounter with the Protostar prototype, but in this instance the plastic was smooth. I also noticed how large the Protostar was. Speaking of plastic, what a great look. The blue on this model is incredibly bright. The light catches the Protostar very nicely and the translucent body seems to magnify the sunlight. I saw an edge glow green model at Cal States, and it was the same. Brightness.

Comfort and Tech:

There is no doubt, that the Protostar is a full size yo-yo. At almost 56mm in diameter, the Protostar fills even the largest hands. I don’t have a first generation Protostar to compare it to, but it seems now that the yo-yo fits better in my hand. When you break it down to the brass tacks, the Protostar is a plastic body yoyo with weighted inserts. The spacer system has changed since the first one I looked at. It looks like the new spacer setup brings in the gap and also sits tighter in the spacer well. The 4.55mm gap is just the right size for the Center Trak bearing.
The Center Trak bearing works very well in this setup. 4.55mm is not a small gap, but it is not huge either. The Center Trak bearing keeps the string off the CBC pad response, but should still provide a stable response when bound. The pad response is replaceable, but I am not sure about siliconing the groove. It looks deep enough, but don’t quote me on it. Regardless, the CBC Pads will last a long time, are not that hard to find, and don’t cost an arm and a leg to replace.
The catch area is very open and provides a comfortable hold. It hits the thumb meat perfectly. The rounded edges don’t dig into your palm and the dang thing is just comfort city. 42mm width is just perfect for a yo-yo with this diameter.
Another HUGE feature are these two black arrows.  This pair of black arrows are very important.  They tell you when your Protostar is screwed together correctly.  Because the body of the Protostar is plastic, that means that someone, somewhere, will bear-hug the yoyo together and discover that metal is stronger than plastic and boom, you have a stripped Protostar.  Remember, friends don’t let friends over-tighten yoyos.

On a Throw:

Words fail me. I had to listen to talk radio fishing to remind myself how to describe the simplest things. That is how awesome this yo-yo is. Perfect weight distribution and balance provide a solid platform for any string trick combination or just playing around. Here is a video of me having fun with the Protostar (and silk screens…)

The Protostar’s catch zone is very clean and open. Transitions were a breeze, and even the messiest of hops were met with a vibration and wobble free spin. The diameter may be a hefty 55.8 mm, but I had no problem maneuvering the Protostar in and out of chops and convoluted string segments.

Not much room to IRG, but not impossible either.  The key to pulling off an IRG is to get the Protostar on a slight tilt.  I was able to get my thumb nail right under the anodized weight ring and pull a 360 without snagging my thumb, and if My sausage mitts can pull that off, I know your can also.  Grinds are possible also.   Unless your talking about delrin or celeron throws, most plastics don’t grind well so to expect a plastic to grind is pretty silly, but the Protostar is no slouch on a grind either.  It is not going to Humming Bird on your finger, but won’t Jackrabbit arround either.  I was able to get a fairly consistent grind from the finger up the arm with no major issues.

Final Thoughts:

A metal in plastic’s clothing… I hate to use this precise verbiage, but the Protostar is the best plastic I have ever used, and one of the best yo-yo’s I have ever used. Period. It is ridiculous how outstanding this yo-yo performs with no errant movement or flaw. When I threw the prototype of the Protostar at Bird in Hand shortly after Worlds, I hated it. I didn’t feel right in my hand, it had a sticky surface, and it would not respond to anything but the most aggressive binds. With the production version, this is not the case. It is easy to understand why so many World Level Champions loved this yo-yo; it’s easy to.

The Protostar is priced between $30 – $35 from a number of stores. With such an incredible low price point, there should be no hesitation in buying this yo-yo. I already have one, and I think I need about 10 more just to feel like I am spending enough to justify the performance I am getting.
Seriously, this yo-yo is awesome.

Written by Chris “Dr. Yo-Yo” Allen, who wonders if his metal yo-yo’s are jealous…

Edited by Dustin “Splugen” Gunter, who is currently staring at the mirror practicing breaking up with his Lyn Fury.

 

 

Get Your Protostar Here


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About

Skill Toy Network used to be YoyoSkills. From 2008 to 2014 YoYoSkills had multiple contributors. Many are combined into this yoyoskills account.


'Product Review – YoYoFactory Protostar' have 34 comments

  1. March 18, 2012 @ 4:34 pm Beavis

    Shadric:
    Yes it is. To do it, go into a Mach 5 mount, and , while holding the string as you would in Mach 5, bring your non dominant hand to your non dominant side
    AW, WHO AM I KIDDING?! If you do walk the dog you will be dubbed world yoyo champ by everyone who doesn’t throw!!!!!!!!!! No but in all seriousness this is a great trick

    Reply

  2. April 14, 2011 @ 10:54 am shadric

    whats the trick where you were spinning the string around the edge? was that a string tension trick?

    Reply

  3. August 7, 2010 @ 9:21 pm Dr. Yo-Yo

    fixed. Thank you m888

    Reply

  4. August 7, 2010 @ 9:17 pm M888

    The specs say the gap is 4 .55 mm, but the review says 4.8mm, confusion?

    Reply

  5. August 7, 2010 @ 9:17 pm M888

    The specs say the gap is 4 .55 mm, but the review says 4.8mm, confusion?

    Reply

  6. March 23, 2010 @ 2:34 pm Alex

    IMHO best yoyo for anyone looking to seriously take up the sport 😉

    Reply

  7. March 23, 2010 @ 2:34 pm Alex

    IMHO best yoyo for anyone looking to seriously take up the sport 😉

    Reply

  8. March 23, 2010 @ 11:23 am Splugen

    Thanks for that! It always makes me happy to see people answering questions here. 🙂

    Reply

  9. March 23, 2010 @ 11:23 am Splugen

    Thanks for that! It always makes me happy to see people answering questions here. 🙂

    Reply

  10. March 23, 2010 @ 10:04 am YYN-D.Saylor

    JonRisk :
    So, do only the blue ones have the arrows for alignment on them? My brother has a gray protostar, and I don’t recall seeing them when playing it.
    Great review doc!

    I just checked our inventory and all four colors (red, gray, blue, edge glow) have the arrows, but we do have an older red one that’s missing them. I’m guessing that YoYoFactory’s first runs of the red and gray didn’t have the arrows, but everything since has.

    Reply

  11. March 22, 2010 @ 9:04 pm yoyomad8

    I don’t recall the red Protostar black arrows. maybe it was an early run.

    Reply

  12. March 22, 2010 @ 9:04 pm yoyomad8

    I don’t recall the red Protostar black arrows. maybe it was an early run.

    Reply

  13. March 22, 2010 @ 5:55 pm Erik

    Dr. Yo-Yo :

    Erik :
    by prototype, do you mean the gray and red ones that were sold last year at Nats, or was there a different one just after worlds at BiH?

    I played a Red one at BIH right after Worlds. It was a Worlds release, and to my understanding, not the production model we all know and love today.

    Ah, thanks. I have a gray one I picked up at Nats, and it’s basically one of my favorite throws. I do agree that you really have to try, to bind it. 100% poly string is hard to use, but 50/50 is just fine.

    –e

    Reply

  14. March 22, 2010 @ 2:36 pm Anthony

    were you able to get the arrows to point at each other after unscrewing the halves then putting them back together?

    Reply

  15. March 22, 2010 @ 12:25 pm JonRisk

    So, do only the blue ones have the arrows for alignment on them? My brother has a gray protostar, and I don’t recall seeing them when playing it.

    Great review doc!

    Reply

  16. March 22, 2010 @ 12:25 pm JonRisk

    So, do only the blue ones have the arrows for alignment on them? My brother has a gray protostar, and I don’t recall seeing them when playing it.

    Great review doc!

    Reply

  17. March 22, 2010 @ 10:11 am YYN-D.Saylor

    Kyro :
    so if i buy a red or gray one at yoyonation right now ill get the one that we all know and love now?

    Absolutely. We’ve also got the blue in stock and should be restocking edgeglow as well very soon.

    Reply

  18. March 22, 2010 @ 9:33 am Splugen

    It’s a MAME cabinet he built out of various and sundry parts he had around. Pretty awesome. I never play anything but Galaga on it.

    Reply

  19. March 22, 2010 @ 9:33 am Splugen

    It’s a MAME cabinet he built out of various and sundry parts he had around. Pretty awesome. I never play anything but Galaga on it.

    Reply

  20. March 22, 2010 @ 6:00 am nick maddox

    nice review.

    I’m going to go buy a blue one in a couple days. (yay)

    Reply

  21. March 22, 2010 @ 6:00 am nick maddox

    nice review.

    I’m going to go buy a blue one in a couple days. (yay)

    Reply

  22. March 22, 2010 @ 4:43 am Douglas Brown

    I did laugh at loud at Gunter’s little tag.

    Reply

  23. March 22, 2010 @ 4:43 am Douglas Brown

    I did laugh at loud at Gunter’s little tag.

    Reply

  24. March 22, 2010 @ 3:06 am yoyomeejay

    what kind of plastic material used in protostar??

    i have a protostar, but it was now wrecked,..

    there’s a craked around the axle,..

    Reply

  25. March 22, 2010 @ 3:06 am yoyomeejay

    what kind of plastic material used in protostar??

    i have a protostar, but it was now wrecked,..

    there’s a craked around the axle,..

    Reply

  26. March 22, 2010 @ 7:46 am captainhunter

    Nice review… but I’m more interested in your arcade cabinet!
    Is it an original MvsC unit, or a MAME that you’ve installed yourself?

    Either way, you’ve basically demonstrated how I like to spend my weekends.

    Yoyo’ing, standup arcade action… and if you tossed in playing M:TG, it would be summed up in entirety.

    Reply

  27. March 22, 2010 @ 7:46 am captainhunter

    Nice review… but I’m more interested in your arcade cabinet!
    Is it an original MvsC unit, or a MAME that you’ve installed yourself?

    Either way, you’ve basically demonstrated how I like to spend my weekends.

    Yoyo’ing, standup arcade action… and if you tossed in playing M:TG, it would be summed up in entirety.

    Reply

  28. March 22, 2010 @ 12:27 am Kyro

    so if i buy a red or gray one at yoyonation right now ill get the one that we all know and love now?

    Reply

  29. March 22, 2010 @ 12:27 am Splugen

    The tutorials for the shirt is easy enough. Just to go your favorite how-to site or youtube and search for how to silk screen.

    Reply

  30. March 22, 2010 @ 12:15 am joro

    can you make a tutorial of how you made the shirt

    Reply

  31. March 22, 2010 @ 12:15 am joro

    can you make a tutorial of how you made the shirt

    Reply

  32. March 22, 2010 @ 12:05 am Jeremy Tran

    Would it be too much to ask for a tutorial of C-Cow-B?

    Reply

  33. March 21, 2010 @ 11:06 pm Dr. Yo-Yo

    Erik :

    by prototype, do you mean the gray and red ones that were sold last year at Nats, or was there a different one just after worlds at BiH?

    I played a Red one at BIH right after Worlds. It was a Worlds release, and to my understanding, not the production model we all know and love today.

    Reply

  34. March 21, 2010 @ 10:43 pm Erik

    by prototype, do you mean the gray and red ones that were sold last year at Nats, or was there a different one just after worlds at BiH?

    Reply


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