3yo3 HanDPickEd Proto
Reviewed by: Julian Grunauer
Note to reader. The HanDPickEd is a prototype, meaning the production run may be completely different. Please keep this in mind while reading this review.
-Thin Hat pad response (will accept flowable)
Landon and I have been in contact a little over a month now, and I was asked to write a review on a prototype of an upcoming yoyo he is making. I was thrilled to be able to test it out. Last week it arrived at my doorstep in a little brown box. I ripped it open poured out the packing peanuts, and there in a little white box was the HanDPickEd. I had seen a couple of photos, but I hadn’t realized how extreme the shape was. Landon is known to use exotic materials and the HanDPickEd is no different. It’s made of HDPE (High density polyethylene) hence the name HanDPickEd.* For the rest of the review I will be referring to it as the HP*. Let’s see how this strange shape and bizarre choice of material holds up against the rest of his lineup.
Look and Feel:
The first thing that stood out to me the most is how clean this yoyo looked. Each cut was made with precision and care. The build was flawless with no machining marks or errors whatsoever. The bright white really suits the HP. It shines bright and looks great in the sun. The material feels a lot like delrin although I found it feels a little bit softer if that makes any sense.
This yoyo really looks quite odd. It starts out with large thick rims slightly angled downward. I am surprised at how thick the rims are. I am assuming the large rims are because of the light HDPE material. After the rims there is a sharp cut down leading into a gigantic catchzone. The catchzone fits my finger perfectly and looks amazing for grinds. It is slightly angled leading straight to the response. I noticed that the rims and catchzone both have the same angular slant making a really cool effect while looking straight at it. There is a metal bearing seat and a long axle preventing stripping. The hub design is very reminisce of Landon’s previous acrylic projects. The rims are completely flat and drop straight down to the inner hub. The inner hub is quite small without IGR, although I notice a slight curve upward. It then rounds out into a metal axle post.
Response and Bearing:
The bearing is a normal 8 ball flat. Nothing really special about it, it worked well and played smooth.
The response was perfect. It provided nice snappy binds and didn’t snag up. I’m not sure what response it actually is but it is a thick white pad.
Smoothness and Grindability:
After getting the HP I immediately did a finger test to assess its smoothness. I was quite surprised that it was nearly dead smooth. I unscrewed it and tried again to make sure it wasn’t a fluke; and it had the same result, smooth as glass.
The HP really excels at grinding. The large catchzone provides a nice stable grind area. My finger fits perfectly inside the catchzone without even touching the rims. The smooth HDPE material makes grinds feel soft and butter smooth. I was shocked to find that the HP is amazing for inner ring grinds. Even though it has no visible IGR, the slight angle of the inner ring makes the yoyo stay on your finger.
I really like this yoyo. It is fast, light, and just a joy to play. It goes from trick to trick smoothly and it just flows. Due to the beefy rims regens are amazingly stable. I am really surprised at the weight of this yoyo. Even though it has gigantic rims and a wide profile, the HP plays light as a feather. No, scratch that, lighter. It feels like if you take the string off it will just float away. I asked Landon how much it weighs and he told me it was 65 grams. I couldn’t believe it! I mean the Chief is only a gram heavier! He said it had something to do with the weight ratio that makes it feel light. Now you must be wondering, is this light feeling a good thing. I would say Yes…and No. One the Yes side: The lack of weight makes this yoyo extremely floaty. I have had a Peak, Punchline, and Flying Hut which pretty much define the word floaty, yet I can say without a doubt that this beats them all. The only yoyo that I think is floatier is the Yoyorecreation Acrophobia. In many respects the HP plays a LOT like the Acrophobia. It’s light, wide, extremely floaty, and the profile is very similar. The only thing the HP lacks, is spin times, which I will go over in the next section.
As I said earlier I really like this yoyo, but if someone asks me do I think it is ready for production, I would have to say no. There are 2 issues I had during this testing period that I would like to address; spin times and shape.
I talked earlier about whether I thought the lightness was a good thing or not. I told you the yes part and now I would like to go into the no. The lack of weight directly correlates to reduced spin times. Although the HP has wide rims, which in theory should make long spin times, the density of the material used causes the opposite. The HP can easily go through short tricks without a problem but as soon as you try a longer combo it tends to spin out. This is caused by absence of stability. Most modern yoyos are extremely stable and take a while to tilt and spin out even when you are trying to do so. But with the HP spins out with a flick of the wrist. This problem definitely needs to be fixed for the production run.
Landon really tried to push the envelope on this one. I don’t think I have ever seen a yoyo quite like this from any other company. But with all new things there is always room for improvement. The main issue I had with the shape was the catchzone. Although it was perfect for grinds and easy to land it had one major flaw. The size of the catchzone was so big that the string hit against it when landing on the bearing. On most yoyos the string hits the catchzone then slides easily to the bearing without even being felt by the user. But because of the increased length the string has to travel across, the hit can be felt. I believe that the string hitting the catchzone constantly is partially causing the poor spin times. This issue can be easily fixed by making the catchzone more narrow or just reducing its size altogether.
This is no average yoyo. The shape, the material, pretty much everything about it is abnormal. I assure you, this is different from anything you will ever try. If you are looking for a top notch competition throw I suggest buying a different yoyo. But if you are looking for an entertaining ball of awesomeness I suggest getting this. You won’t regret it.
Review By: Julian Grunauer