All my Duncan plastics have on the inside: made in China. Imperials, Butteryfly, Freakhand, Freehand2’s, Freehand Zeros, Metal Drifter, Metropolis, Momentum, ProZ’s… Metals and plastics are made in China so far, based on my observations.
I have plastic cases from Flameau, and those too are made in China.
Note I’m not knocking anyone, I’m just reporting what I’m seeing based on the information in front of my face.
The thing is, that we see things like “it’s cheaper to make it in China”, because we get the work for 25% of what we’d pay here. Even with expensive ocean cargo freight, it’s still cheaper to outsource. The Chinese find additional ways to cut costs, often by finding ways to substitute lesser cost materials. This isn’t always true, some companies lay down the “law” and make sure the materials used are within specs by the original manufacturer, often by having a foreign representative there to inspect the raw materials.
At the same time, we’re paying 25%, we’re only getting 25%(or so), so we’re not really getting the cost savings. In a few years, the swing will be back towards moving many of the jobs back to the United States and possibly also either moving machinery or making new molds and fitting existing machinery to do the same job.
We also have to accept that a good yoyo is a good yoyo regardless of where it is made, be it in China or elsewhere.
We see that “American Companies” that want to be 100% “American” from start to finish have to charge a premium most of the time. Are we willing to pay this? The answer isn’t a resounding “yes”. If it’s a quality product, plays great and people have given it good reviews, then yes, we yoyo players will buy them.
I’ve been hearing about Square Wheels for almost a year. I got on the IRC and one guy was typing it up over them, so the hype machine got flowing for a long time. Having received one, I can say it’s well worth it. And 100% made in the USA!
Similarly, when Brett and Jacob announced the forming of GSquared WITH the simultaneous announcement of a product, the Albatross, I knew this one had to be amazing. The hype machine didn’t get the same advanced notice. Another absolutely amazing product that I bought figuring “look, these guys understand the community, this should be nothing short of amazing”. The only downside is that it’s become a sleeper product. It shouldn’t be. Honestly, this is up there with the best of them, including stuff like One Drop, CLYW and other high end products. Once people grab onto this brand, it’s gonna be sold out like CLYW drops and even like the recent VSNYYC drop of Sky Walkers and Battossai yoyos. And there you go, another 100% US-made product.