PNWR for me was a lot of tabling with the Boutique Yoyo Collective crew – way different from being on the floor and chatting with people, watching the competition, and trying out new tricks. Can’t say that I can choose between one or the other, but I love yoyoing for the people and I get to meet the community either way. We got Rain City, Monkeyfinger, Inferno, PDX-YO, and ThrowCafe representing. I also brought yoyos from Sengoku, Thesis, and Old School Throws on their behalf.
The Inferno guys had so much energy. Always down to talk about their yoyos. 7086 bimetal, the Twilight Phantom, that plays less than 66g despite being 66.9g, won’t dent when you ding it on laminated wood floor, and unique 5-color ano on each of them. As people with engineering backgrounds, one guest and I both gave the Twilight Phantom a spin and agreed that it felt like ~66g on the string. (That guest also guessed basically was on the spot with the Cold Brew’s weight, so I suspect he’s secretly a yoyo wizard.) But yeah, I dig their energy and they’re planning on releasing a lot more yoyos.
ThrowCafe’s a lot more chill. If I’m showing stuff off in person, I want people to try it out before I give my own opinions. It’s a little different online since you can’t feel it in hand, which is why I’m getting my ass in gear and sending off some review copies for people to play with, and why I post the specs + profile so y’all get a good look at what you’re going to get.
PDX-Yo did some great stuff. Y’all have seen the Swamp Monster, yeah? If you don’t, this should jog your memory:
That’s some nice ano. They brought a minimalist ano v3 of the Swamp Monster as well as a super-spiky prototype, and they said they focus on making a good-looking comfortable yoyo over optimal performance. IMO they did the latter pretty well too. I can’t give the yoyo a fair review because it’s heavier than my tastes, but it’s a pretty solid design. Toby’s a top-notch professional in his design and photography work, and I respect him + the PDX-YO crew a lot. Just cool people making yoyos that they want to play with.
I also took a look at other booths to see what was new from other brands. C3yoyodesign had the Astraea, which I think bimetal lovers will like. Comfy yoyo with inner weight rings but a lot of rim weight, and the classic C3 detailed engraving design in the cup. It reminded me of the Bastet, so if you’re interested in a similar-playing bimetal, go for it.
The Sakura Stream was a purchase that I really didn’t regret. Given the choice, supporting local businesses is a cool thing to do, and at $17.99 it’s a reasonably priced starter yoyo. It’s injection-molded polycarbonate, comes with a slim bearing + silicone response, and it could probably be converted to unresponsive with a normal bearing. A few newbies came by the booth and I demoed some tricks with the Sakura Stream… and my loopers as string trick yoyos. The latter was awkward.
The yoyo I was both excited and worried about was the Old School Throws Resto. I haven’t liked most of the previous slimline yoyos… mainly because I’m bad and need more stability. So my response to the Resto was “Ehh… slimlines are cool but I don’t know how to feel about it.” I messaged Matthew from Old School to see if he’d be okay if we cracked one open as a tester, just to be safe. It’s amazing how good a carded package can look and I didn’t want to damage the yoyo. Sadly, forgot to take a pic of the packages even though I had multiple chances to. JouetDompteur on Reddit has a pic of it though. Click through for the post.
Then I threw it. Seriously impressed. Is it narrower than a normal yoyo? Obviously. Stability is also really, really good though, and it just made me happy doing normal yoyo things on a slimline with no problem whatsoever. I made it a goal to ask people to try out the Resto if they came by the table. Most people just started doing normal unresponsive stuff with it, missing a trick, then recovering while the yoyo was tilted or even horizontal. Can’t get that from most other slimlines. People tended to be a little skeptical at first, then I’d see their faces brighten as they played.
tl;dr: Try out a Resto if you really want to like slimlines but didn’t dig the other ones so far.
People were also a fan of the ThrowCafe Espresso, I don’t like heavier yoyos so I’m slightly baffled but it makes me happy that people at least like it.
The way I see it, if someone goes and plays with a yoyo for a long time, they like it. If they ask to swap out the string and continue playing it, they REALLY like it. Only saw the latter from the Cold Brew.
Speaking of which, planning to start dropping Cold Brew colorways on March 14. Staggering the drops so y’all get multiple chances at these.