Yomega Glides Into The Star Wars Universe
|by Grahame Wright|
|Yomega Corp are a big name in the yo-yo world. Perhaps best known for their "Brain" product line (a yo-yo with a clutch that makes the yo-yo auto return when it slows), Yomega were a major player during the yo-yo boom of the mid-to-late 90's. Star Wars yo-yos have never been done particularly well, and while they may have been attractive to look at, the playable yo-yo aspect of the product was always overlooked. Yomega is looking to change that, and as a new Star Wars licensee they have released 3 new products aimed at both the Star Wars collector and the hard-core yo-yo player. As Rebelscum.com's resident yo-yo expert, I’m going to take a look at these 3 products and give my thoughts on what is an exciting development in the Star Wars/Yo-Yo crossover market.|
|First up let's take a look at the "String Bling" model. This model is available in 4 different Star Wars character designs – Darth Vader (red), Boba Fett (orange), Clone Trooper (white) and Yoda (green). The yo-yo is a version of Yomega's Fireball technology which is a take-apart design (great if you get knots in the string) featuring a plastic transaxle over a solid metal axle. This design provides for long sleep times while still being responsive enough for anyone to make the yo-yo return to their hand. The response system is plastic "starbursts" that enable the string to grab and return when the thrower tugs on the string.
The key feature of the "String Bling" models is the included Character Ring. This is a plastic ring shaped to match the character on the side of the yo-yo, and is worn by the player when the yo-yo string is secured over the ring, with the idea being that the ring will stop the string from cutting into the player's finger when throwing. This is a clever idea as the slip knot on a yo-yo can become very tight and cause an abrasion or callous, especially on children. The ring fits my adult finger just fine (remember folks, the yo-yo string should always go on the middle finger between the first and second knuckle) and it definitely stopped the string from digging into my skin. I have to say that as an experienced yo-yo player it felt a little strange having something between the string and my finger and the level of control wasn't quite the same, but clearly the "String Bling" isn't aimed at experienced players, but rather at beginners and I think the idea and execution are sound. The designs on the yo-yos are attractive, with Yoda and Darth Vader being printed on translucent sides while Boba Fett and the Clone Trooper are printed on white. All of the yo-yos feature a generic Star Wars logo printed on white on the opposing side.
|The second Yomega release are called "Yo-Men". This is essentially the exact same Fireball yo-yo (plastic yo-yo with transaxle) but this time, General Grievous has replaced Boba Fett in the lineup. The designs on the side of the yo-yos are also different from the String Bling model for a good reason. Included with the Yo-Men line is a yo-yo stand designed to look like the character's body, and the yo-yo slots into the stand with the design on the yo-yo completing the character look. It's a fun idea and looks great standing on your shelf or desk, while making it easy to grab the yo-yo whenever you feel like a quick throw.|
|The last yo-yo in Yomega's Star Wars product line might come with a bit of sticker shock to those who think yo-yos are a kid's toy. With an MSRP of $130, the Star Wars Glide slots in at the very top end of Yomega's yo-yo catalog, and with very good reason. The Glide is a professional yo-yo, and is in a completely different league than the other 2 Star Wars products they have produced.
The Glide is made from aircraft grade aluminum and is anodized and etched in 5 different designs/colors – Black (Darth Vader), Silver/Grey (Stormtrooper), Green (Boba Fett), Red (Rebel Symbol) and Blue (Imperial Symbol). It features an H profile which is relatively new in the yo-yo world and provides a very wide catch area. The Glide comes with a Dif-e-Yo KonKave bearing which as the name suggests is curved inwards, a design that keeps the string away from the sides of the yo-yo allowing for very long sleep times and multiple layers of string in the gap. For response, the Glide uses silicon pads which will eventually wear out but are a standard size so replacements are available from any good yo-yo store. On the subject of response I should mention, the Glide is a completely unresponsive yo-yo. This means if you pull on the string, the yo-yo will not come back like a beginner's yo-yo might. It will stay sleeping at the end of the string until you perform a bind return. This enables players to perform modern unresponsive tricks without worrying that the yo-yo will suddenly snag and return – trust me, you don't want a 68 gram piece of aluminum suddenly snapping back to you at high velocity!
The finish on the Glide is excellent, the inner surfaces and rims are blasted to give an amazing surface for grind tricks, while the cups are polished and etched with the Star Wars character design. I've been yo-yoing for 16 years on and off, and the Glide is one of the most stable yo-yos I've ever used. It's incredibly smooth on the string, and although my arsenal of tricks is nowhere near pro-level, the Glide handled everything I could throw at it.
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