Thank you for supporting our successful Proto9 Kickstarter Project!
If you missed the deadline for backing, you can buy the final product at Yoyoplay.com when it becomes available to the public in early 2015.
About the Proto9
The Yoyo King Proto9 yoyo is an aircraft grade aluminum, high performance, non-responsive ball bearing yoyo designed specifically for intermediate to advanced yoyo players.
What’s non-responsive? Crazily enough, in the past 10 years, advanced yoyo players have started to use a type of yoyo that WILL NOT wake up when you tug on the string like a traditional yoyo.
And non-responsive yoyos have taken the yoyo market by storm.
But why would someone want a yoyo like that?
Because it allows really cool string tricks that are not possible with a yoyo that wakes up.
Wait a minute. If the yoyo is unresponsive, how do you get it back to your hand?
It’s actually not that hard. You do a special trick called a “bind” where you sort of pinch the string and throw it back into the gap of the spinning yoyo, which forces the yoyo to grab on and wind back up to your hand.
Learning how to bind might take you 10 minutes or a few hours of practice, depending on how much yoyo experience you have. And once you know how to do it, it’s a piece of cake and will feel completely natural. There are a ton of videos on YouTube that can show you how.
The majority of the most popular high end yoyos on the market are non-responsive, and all of the top yoyo brands offer at least a few non-responsive models.
How do I know all this stuff about yoyos?
I’ve been selling yoyos online since 1999, and I’ve played with just about every major yoyo that has come out over the years since then.
If there’s one thing I know, it’s what kind of yoyos that customers like and want to buy, and the performance characteristics of those top yoyos.
So when it was time to develop the Proto9, I designed it with customers in mind.
I used a wide, flared gap shape. This shape gives the Proto9 a lot of gyroscopic stability when you throw it down and make it sleep. It also makes it easier to catch the yoyo on the string for advanced tricks.
For the ball bearing, I used the industry standard wide C bearing that is also used with most other top, advanced yoyos. It’s a proven size, and you can swap out the bearing with other types and brands of wide C bearings. That gives you a lot of options for adjusting the play of the yoyo.
I plan to go with a 10 ball, wide C bearing, with a channelized shape. The ridges on the outside of the bearing help center the string on the bearing, improving the play.
What about color and design?
As I went through various design options for the Proto9 yoyo and created samples, we made them in a lot of different colors and patterns.
One of the models was a solid black yoyo with no text or engraving at all. It looked so cool that it actually inspired the name of the yoyo! It’s called the Proto9 because I went through 8 other options before settling with my final design.
Yoyo King Proto9 Yoyo Specifications and Details
- Width 42.2 mm
- Diameter 52.8 mm
- Weight 68.2 grams
- Silicon response system for superior binding
- Bearing: wide, channelized, 10 bearing type C bearing
- Constructed of aircraft quality 6061 aluminum
- Anodized for color, added strength, and corrosion resistance.
- Take apart design for ease of changing and untangling strings
I am working with a manufacturing partner in Asia that has been making high end yoyos for around 7 years. I have already successfully worked with them to manufacture three other Yoyo King yoyos, the Grind Control, the Spin Control, and the Merlin. (These yoyos are available as some of the really sweet reward options for helping fund this Kickstarter project, by the way!)
I chose this company instead of a local CNC machine shop, because there are a lot of details about making a yoyo that are not that easy to understand if you are just a general CNC manufacturer.
By working with this specific manufacturing partner, you get my knowledge of which types of yoyos appeal to players based on 15 years of selling them, and their knowledge of engineering and manufacturing high performance, metal yoyos.
And since I have already done successful runs with them in the past with other Yoyo King models (like the ones you see listed as rewards for your support), it means that I am very confident and excited about how well the Proto9 run will turn out.
Manufacturing a product like a yoyo that needs to have very precise specifications is difficult. Working with a manufacturing partner that can already do it well is a big advantage, in my opinion.
How much will the Proto9 cost when it becomes available?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from running the Yoyoplay.com online yoyo store for 15 years, it’s that price is important to customers.
Making a pro-level aluminum yoyo is not cheap. There are plenty of $100 aluminum yoyos on the market that are similar in size and design to the Proto9.
The problem with a $100 yoyo is that it really limits the market of how many people are willing to spend that much.
Most yoyo players who are really into yoyoing will have a bag that might have 20 or 30 different yoyos. Imagine if 10 of your yoyos cost $100 each. That’s $1,000 worth of yo-yos right there!
As you can imagine, parents have a limit to how much they will let their kids spend on yoyos in a given year. And teenagers who are buying their own yo-yos (which is a big segment of the market) also have limited funds. Even adults with a full time job don’t like to spend more money than they have to.
So instead of pricing the Proto9 at $100 like most of the other yoyos of this caliber, I thought I should aim for a price point that makes it possible for a much larger audience.
I have already designed the box that the yoyo comes in for previous yo-yos, that saved a large amount of upfront setup costs that I have already paid for. Savings for you!
I am doing a single color variation, black. And there is no text printed on the yoyo itself. That also reduces my manufacturing costs so I can pass along further savings.
That means I can bring the price down to around $45 when it hits the market.
That’s LESS THAN HALF of the cost of other high end $100 yo-yos.
I think that’s a pretty good deal, and I believe that this price range will be extremely popular to yoyo buyers.
And I know a thing or two about yoyo prices. Remember how I am the owner of yoyoplay.com, and I have been selling yoyos online since 1999?
I am extremely excited about the Proto9 yoyo.
I would be honored if you would help me make this yoyo a reality by helping fund it.
If you look at all the funding options, you’ll see that I have created every different level of funding in a way where you will be rewarded well by making this project go forward.
Think about how much money you have spent on yo-yos in the past. It’s probably quite a bit if you’re a serious player.
Consider how much you’ve spent on a single yoyo recently. I’ll bet it’s a lot.
I suggest becoming a big backer of $100 or $150. If you look at everything you’ll get if you back me at that level, you’ll see that it is well worth your investment in funding the Yoyo King Proto9.
But if you can’t afford to be a major backer, I totally understand. Even $5 or $15 will be extremely helpful to me, and I would very much appreciate your support. You can spare at least $1, can't you?
Risks and challenges
I have already worked with my manufacturing partner and made other successful yoyo models that are on the market right now. So I am confident in their ability to create the final product in large numbers.
Risks might include late delivery. The product could get stuck in customs for an extended period. There could possibly be a quality problem with the yoyo that we don't discover until we take delivery that would cause a delay as we fix it.
However, having successfully made a yoyo before in the past, I feel confident that we will end up with a very high quality finished product that customers will be very, very happy with.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)