I never knew how big of a skill toy company Henrys was until they sent me their catalog. It is at least one hundred pages thick and covers nearly every skill toy I could imagine. The Henrys catalog has yoyos, poi, fire tricks, stunt unicycles, and juggle-ready newborn kittens (I can’t back up that last one). They are a huge toy company in Germany, and after thumbing through their catalog, I seriously wonder why they don’t have a bigger presence here in the U.S.
Along with the catalog and plethora of yoyos Henrys sent me was the Viper Flux. I had originally intended to review the Flux at the same time as the Neo, but after comparing the axle system of the two yoyos, it became clear very quickly that the flux was a completely different breed.
Editorial Note: Before you go any further, I recommend reading the Neo review. I reference it a lot and don’t like repeating myself more than I have to.
Much like the Neo, the Flux was packaged in a clear box. The instructions are tucked away at the bottom just like the Neo, and the yo-yo comes with a cotton string setup in the 1a playstyle. At first glance, it just looks like a Neo with a black “Stack Kit” but once you get it out of the package and into your hands, it immediately becomes clear that in order to get the stack kit in place, Henrys had to take a different approach with the Flux.
Comfort and Tech:
• Diameter: 66mm
• Thickness: 43mm
• Weight: 64gm
I am going to save myself a paragraph and reference the Neo review when I would normally talk about a review units feel in the hand. The Flux and the Neo are the exact same width and diameter, but thanks to the hollow axle system, the Flux is unique. The stack kit literally is a peg and two plastic grips running through a hollow bearing’ed (?) axle. If you want to open up the Flux, you first have to pull the end off one side of the stack and then pull out the stack axle. Only then can you unscrew the yo-yo. It reminds me of the Duncan prototype yo-yo that surfaced in late 2008. That model also had a hollow axle with both stacks connected by a separate axle.
Once you get the Flux open, you will see a completely different axle setup than was on the Neo. The bearing is sandwiched in the center of the axle and is 100% unserviceable. There is no way that I can see to separate the threaded ends from the core of the axle. Inside the hollow channel in the center of the axle is another bearing. I am not sure how many bearing are in the channel but I don’t think they are serviceable either. The good news though is that Henry’s sells a whole new axle assembly for the Flux which comes with long pegs for those that want more stack. There is one thing that concerns me the most with these stacks though. If you hold the yo-yo by the stacks, there is play on the axle. I worry that this errant movement will cause vibe or wobble.
On a Throw:
Since Henrys sent the Viper Flux setup for 1a, I decided to focus mainly on this play style. Since it has nearly identical specs to the Viper Neo, it has nearly the same feel as the Neo. The main difference in the specs is the weight. Since the Flux has less aluminum at the yo-yo core, the Flux came off as a bit faster. With the decrease in weight, the Flux seemed to be easier to maneuver in and out of chops and segments. The stack kit did not rattle around as much as I worried it would, but it was still noticeable. I felt an instant improvement when I pulled out the stacks. The Flux without stacks was vibe and wobble free. It played fast and steady while staying rock solid. Without the stacks the Flux weighed in at 63 grams and played very nice. It kind of had me wishing that Henrys sold a plug kit to stick in the axle channel (hint).
Much like the Neo, the Flux plays very well in offstring. It is easy to catch, transfers cleanly, and at the lighter weight, it grabs an offstring bind better. I love the interchangeability and ease of replacement when it comes to the rubber shells, but when that rubber hits the string it creates a lot of friction. This is very noticeable in both 1a and 4a play but as long as you keep yourself centered it is not a problem. This friction, however, does make for (excuse the expression) wicked awesome rejections.
The Viper Neo was good. I wished it were a tad lighter…..and wish granted! I thought the Flux was a great throw and thoroughly enjoyed the week, but one thing that I am not 100% sold on is the axle. I don’t like the idea of being stuck on one bearing style or maker. The axle system in the Flux will never let you play a half spec, or concave bearing. You can’t maintain the bearing and here in the U.S., it is not that easy to get Viper parts. (yet) What the Flux does right is huge, though. The Flux gives you the option of long and short stacks with a bonus option of no stacks at all. You can also swap out shells with the rest of the Viper line including the Neo XL, which would make this a giant yo-yo with stacks! I am a sucker for a yo-yo that gives you choices, and the Viper line is really impressing me.
At $45 the Viper Flux a bargain. You get stacks and weight changes at a low price with complete customization potential. (except for bearings)
YoYoGuy.com – Euro-Yo – YoYoz.co.uk – YoYoSam
Written by Chris “Dr. Yo-Yo” Allen who sees the Neo XL review in the future and fears for his poor wrists.
Edited by Dustin “Splugen” Gunter, who is still wondering the difference between normal kittens and juggling kittens.