Werrd Alliance member Vu Ho shot some great footage at Worlds to promote the upcoming retail release of the Fruiture, the newest full-sized competition yoyo by Werrd. There was a midnight release of limited quantities of the Fruiture at Worlds, and the full retail release is expected to happen in the next month or two.
The Flying Camel is one of the most idiosyncratic and beloved bits of fixed axle yoyo history. Originally created by Tom Kuhn as the butterfly-shaped standard release of his No Jive 3-in-1 yoyo, the name came to him while backpacking in 1978 after seeing a cloud that looked like a camel with wings.
When Brad Countryman and What’s Next Mfg. took over production of Tom Kuhn yoyos in the late 90s, the quality fell tremendously and many of the shapes changed to reflect existing tooling that What’s Next was already using on their own wooden yoyo line. As ball bearing yoyos took over the market, the Tom Kuhn line slipped away into near obscurity, What’s Next production ground to a halt, and new models were not only few and far between but largely unsuccessful in gaining any traction in the market.
Which makes it all the less likely and all the more wonderful that this particular model has been resurrected by Adam Bottiglia at YoTricks.com. Available now in their webstore, I reached out to Adam to get the scoop on why this model, and why bring it back now.
The Flying Camel was the first yoyo I ever bought with my own money. This was back in the early to mid-90s when there was still some debate over whether bearings were actually superior to wood yoyos for learning tricks or not. Looking back at that moment in history, it is honestly hard to say. At the time I was using a Raider to work on my string tricks, and if a butterfly-style ball bearing yoyo was available, I was unaware. This was before the Freehand, before Team Losi’s Cherry Bomb, back in a time when two-handed play was seen as the pinnacle of yoyo skill. All that to say, in my mind, a butterfly shaped wood yoyo could still hold its own against the best plastic had to offer, and the No Jive’s reversible design had great appeal for me.
I didn’t have a job so I wandered the streets of my small town for weeks collecting soda cans to return for a dime each, constantly resisting the urge to spend my money on baseball cards. When I finally had enough I gave the money to my mother who wrote a check, I believe, and we sent it to Infinite Illusions to receive my reward.
I only had it for one week, but it was a glorious week. I couldn’t stop looking at it, mystified at the name and intricate laser etched design. I must have swapped it back and forth a hundred times from butterfly to imperial style. In my mind I owned the best yoyo money could buy. In typical adolescent fashion (typical for me, at least) I left it on the school bus, never to be seen again. I am sure some bus driver is still learning tricks with this oddly named bus-seat artifact.
I would be lying if I said my teenage disappointment was not a strong motivator for bringing this one back. Besides that, I genuinely love this yoyo and I knew it would never see light again if someone did not take action. The 3-in-1 design, while not so necessary any more, was pure genius back in its day. Add to that the bizarre and inexplicable name and graphic on the yoyo and it was just too sad to leave in the annals of yoyo history. With the recent interest in wood yoyos it seemed like a perfect opportunity to resurrect this lost gem without taking a total loss.
Since Tom Kuhn and Brad Countryman had closed down their own wood yoyo making facility a few years back they had to commission a new factory to make this run. Brad described the intricacies of the process to me over the phone, getting the hex parts to fit perfectly, and how precise each hole needed to be to make the yoyo work properly. “Wood is not like metal” he said, “and we know what it takes to get these made perfectly.” He suggested that it would be difficult to get another shop to hold to the proper specifications, but that he would make sure they came out right. His suspicions were confirmed when the first batch of yoyos came back unacceptable due to some carelessness or misunderstanding in production. Thankfully the second effort turned out a much better yoyo half. I believe Tom and Brad still had parts from other yoyos they make (many of them are interchangeable) so they assembled the yoyos and got them right out to us.
Of all the things I remembered, the one thing I forgot was the smell. The laser etching on the yoyo really brings out the maple, even syrupy, smell of the wood. I feel any yoyo player would find throwing this aromatic camel a soothing comfort at the end of a rough, yoyo-less day.
Huge thanks to Adam for bringing these back, and for sharing his story. The new Flying Camel retails for $29.99, and is available at YoTricks.com.
YoYoFactory has always been a player’s company. From the very beginning, it was two yoyo players trying to build better yoyos and put them in the hands of as many people as possible. YoYoFactory’s team has been filled with incredible talent from the start, and their attention to players needs is absolutely unrivaled in the industry.
YoYoFactory has gotten back to their roots with a series of custom Doomsday Genesis, built custom for Luis Enrique Villasenor for his run at the 2013 World YoYo Contest. Four versions were created, each with minute differences in weight and width, to give him the opportunity to find exactly the right throw the day of the contest for his routine. Practice and attention to detail paid off, and Luis took 3rd Place at this year’s World YoYo Contest. Less than 30 of each version of his yoyo were produced, and will be available soon from select retailers.
8 pieces PINK Grapefruit
CT bearing ( + multitool, pads and spec bearing included in box)
Duncan Toys released this Janos Karancz Edition Barracuda at the World YoYo Contest and it turned out to be especially timely since Janos took the top honors in the 1A Division!
With a great green-on-blue splash ano job and unique engraving artwork by Jason Week, this signature edition yoyo is the perfect signature model for the 2012 Hungarian National Champion, 2013 European Champion, and 2013 World YoYo Champion!
Expect this special edition to retail for about $120, and start shipping to retailers soon. Early reports had these limited to only 100 pieces, but with Janos’ taking the World Championship we hope they’ll make some more!
Expect these to hit retailers for
$100 – $120. Retail price of $120 confirmed by Brandon Jackson.
YoYoNews has your first look at Gentry Stein’s new signature yoyo, the Shutter! This model is a huge departure for YoYoFactory, and is a step in a new direction for the company in terms of shape and feel. Designed collaboratively with Gentry, the Shutter is in the hands of team members currently, but should be released soon
Weight: 67.9 grams
Response: 19mm White CBC Pad
Bearing: Center Trac
Finish: Soda Blasted
Werrd MINUTE – part of the Werrd Time SeriesUndersized battleship ready for action. Amazing value for money – but without compromise.Available for the Werrd Bounty – Together with the EightySix400 and HOUR yoyos
Bearing: Crucial 2
Finish: Soda Blasted
Werrd FRUITURE – The fruit of the future!Designed exclusively by the Werrd Alliance and Wrecking Crew. Input was straight from the team. The result – FRUITURE. We focused on our players needs and started with a blank canvas of the best 7075 aluminum. After many prototypes we have crafted a super comfortable shape and a well tuned rim weight yoyo to make, what is, a true players model. Each flavour has it’s own unique laser etching.
The Hitman is back!
10 years ago, Johnnie DelValle took the 1A game to a whole new level with his World Championship Freestyle. He introduced grind tricks to the World and made tech look like bangers.
In 2003, YoYoJam partnered with JD to create a revolutionary new yo-yo to accommodate his advanced style… and the HitMan was born.
The HitMan redefined unresponsive play and allowed players to do longer, more technical tricks. It became the icon yo-yo for grinds. Grinds are still one of the most popular, crowdpleasing tricks today. If you look back at JD’s winning freestyle, you’ll know what we mean.
In honor of JD’s greatness, we revamped the yo-yo he used to fit today’s style of play. YoYoJam introduces HitMan X – an all-new product that feels like the original 2003 HitMan, but even better.
Not only do the machined metal rims allow for smooth grind play, but the new HitMan X also contains a wider catch gap, larger diameter, and silicone response making it capable of even more technical play!
This Worlds 2013 edition HitMan is a special pre-release edition with exclusive artwork, set up for unresponsive play. A full production run will follow set up for responsive play out of a package and with a Speed bearing included.
Designed “For the Player, By the Player,” HitMan X is an iconic yo-yo, updated for modern play.
The XLR8 is a hybrid model containing a metal body with celcon rims. These celcon rims have an extremely smooth feel on the outer edges, making grind tricks easy. The metal body balances the yo-yo perfectly, which will allow your style to look smoother than ever.
Not only does this yo-yo have the smooth feel inside and out, but also its shape is designed for modern day yo-yoing — low cut walls and rounded rims. It feels just right in the hand. The yo-yo comes stocked with YoYoJam’s Solid Spin Axle system, 10 Ball Speed Bearing, and silicone response to generate a smoother style.
We don’t have a lot of details (other than the marketing copy above) on the new YoYoJam XLR8 yoyo being released at Worlds this year, but from this promo video we’ve figured out a few key details about YoYoJam and the XLR8.
- XLR8 requires awkward poses.
- XLR8 has a really wide gap and an insanely open profile.
- YoYoJam forces their apprentice team members to identify themselves via secret handshake.
- Two out of three YoYoJam apprentices are really short.
YoYoFactory has been dropping bits and pieces of information about the release of the newly redesigned Superstar, and they’ve finally pulled everything together into one comprehensive post on their website. So we nicked the whole thing, added full specs, and have reposted it below for your convenience along with John Ando’s recent video showing off just how good it looks in the right hands.
YoYoFactory Superstar 2013 Specs
Weight: 66.9 gm
Diameter: 56 mm / 2.20 inches
Width: 46.6 mm / 1.83 inches
Bearing: C-Size Center Trac (.250 x .500 x .187)
Response: CBC Slim Pad – 19mm
In 2008 we wanted to see how far we could push the rules of yo-yo design. We wanted to make something wide and easy to control, because that’s what our team was asking for. We wanted something that could spin longer so our team could have the best chance at success. What we came up with was the Superstar. Early prototypes were hit or miss. The ones that worked were amazing! But, because of the inherent difficulty in the design, we didn’t plan on making them a production model. That is, until our team started winning World and National titles with it!
John Ando winning the 2008 World YoYo Contest with the first YoYoFactory Superstar
John Ando was the first to capture a World title with the Superstar in his ground breaking freestyle that turned a new generation of yo-yoers onto arm tricks and movement in a freestyle. After that, we knew we had to make this for every player. After careful engineering and working closely with our factories we finally had the ultimate competitive design. The Superstar has gone on to win tons of titles, and become a staple yo-yo in any players arsenal.
Now, 5 years later, we have taken the core philosophy of the Superstar and given it new attributes that todays players are asking for. We pushed the boundaries even wider. We brought the inner wall closer to the bearing to reduce friction when doing horizontal tricks. And, most noticeably, we designed it without hubstacks to minimize center weight for even longer spin times.
John Ando shows off the new YoYoFactory Superstar
Available Worldwide August 1st.
Lots of #yoyodrops happening soon with so many huge contests coming up…here are a few that caught our eye.
YoYoRecreation has beautiful new colors of their offstring yoyo, the Aeronaut, coming out at the Asia Pacific Challenge.
Monkeyfinger has announced a new signature model for Mike Montgomery, the Forte. No price or specs yet.
YoYoFactory has new colorways of the ONEstar, Loop 1080, and new super limited splash versions of the H.O.T., Proton, and Genesis+. Each of these splash colorways are limited to less than 50 pieces each, and will hit stores soon.
OneDrop has released pics and specs for their new yoyo, the Chik, a signature model for Igor Korzhev. The largest diameter Side Effects model from OneDrop, the Chik was designed exactly to Igor’s specs. Similar to the Burnside, the Chik should be dropping soon at OneDrop retailers. Check out the video below to see it in action!
OneDrop Chik Specs:
Base Weight (two halves, response pad, bearing): 62.8 grams
Weight with aluminum Spike Side Effects: 66 grams
Since 2006, CLYW has built a solid name and reputation on producing some of the best yoyos on the planet. With unmistakable style and quality, owner Chris Mikulin has turned CLYW from an enjoyable side project to his full-time job, and is currently producing some of the most sought-after yoyos in the world for a team full of champions and innovators.
For the next step in CLYW’s evolution, Chris has designed their first plastic yoyo: The Yeti. Hailed by former World Champion Yuuki Spencer as “the best plastic I have ever played with”, the Yeti hasn’t even hit stores yet and it’s already as legendary as its name.
CLYW YETI SPECS
Diameter – 58.75mm
Width – 45.3mm
Weight – 68g
Bearing Seat – YYF Spacers
Bearing – TBA
Response – Snow Tires
Estimated Retail – $40
Box Art – Jason Week
Engraving Art – Paul Escolar
Made In Canada
We caught up with Chris for a quick Q&A session to get some more info on The Yeti, on the eve of its first public showing at the 2013 Bay Area Classic.
YoYoNews: So how long as the Yeti been in development?
Chris Mikulin: The Yeti project officially started in October 2012.
What prompted you to start working on a plastic yoyo?
Making an injection molded plastic part has been a goal of mine for over 10 years. During my last year of engineering I realized that I should have gone into industrial design. I would buy ID magazines and check out plastic part design books from the library, all while dreaming of one day becoming an industrial designer or designing plastic parts. I then realized that in an oil town like Alberta, jobs like that don’t really come around. I ended up working in the oil industry for about 9 years. CLYW became my artistic outlet, and ever since the company started I dreamt of the day that we could afford to make a plastic return top. With the success of the Chief in 2012, CLYW finally got into a position that we could invest some money into a mold. Little did I know how much it would actually cost!
The ones that have tried it absolutely love it. Zach can’t put it down and Jensen has really been putting it through the paces. We are still ironing out a few things, but it is pretty much ready to go. I decided to use the profile of the Chief but increase the diameter a bit from about 2.225″ to 2.3125″. This would help get us more rim weight and keep the material away from the center.
What was your biggest challenge in getting a plastic yoyo into production?
The biggest hurdle was finding the right plastic that could make an injection molded return top play the way we wanted it to. Most companies do weight rings or side caps to get the rim weight up. I wanted ours to be simple…no extra parts! This made things tricky since it would involve a non-uniform wall thickness at the rims. Something that is kind of frowned upon in the injection molding world, since this causes sink issues or distortion. During testing, some materials were too soft or too light while others would have sink issues or crazy wobble. We finally found a glass filled material that worked, but the kicker was that it only comes in black. The good thing about it is that it’s more dense than regular ABS/polycarbonate so it can really do really so some neat things for play/weight distribution with our geometry. I can live with this for a first run, because the play is definitely there. It’s just incredible! Over the next few months we will work towards finding a material that can be dyed, but I think we have something ready here to release soon.
“The customer can have any color he wants, so long as it’s black”. — Henry Ford
I have invested a huge chunk of money in this mold, so I think most of the first run will be sold direct to help pay it off. Then we will open it up to stores. My goal: available in the CLYW store early July, and other stores before Worlds. We shall see how things go. You never know.
The CLYW Yeti will be making the rounds at the 2013 Bay Area Classic this weekend. Find a CLYW player to try one out! Thanks to Chris for taking the time to talk to us, and congratulations to CLYW on this huge step forward!