Hey everybody, FullthrottleFRS here. I picked up a new yoyo this past week, and I’m enjoying it so much that I decided to write my first review about it. As you can tell from the title, I’ll be talking about the Anti-yo Bapezilla.2
First we’ll start with a little history for the uninformed. People who know of the history behind it, feel free to skip the next paragraph. You likely know more than me, because I just started throwing again after a 9 year hiatus and haven’t been around for pretty much any of Anti-yo’s existence, so this information is just what I have gathered while I was researching the Bapezilla.2.
The Bapezilla.2 was released by Anti-yo in July of 2012. The initial release was limited to 250 units, with 400 being the total final production number. Anti-yo drew inspiration from several previous models of theirs for the design of this yoyo, and those roots are well known by the yoyoing community. In 2006, Anti-yo released the iconic Bapezilla, which in my understanding was a slightly tweaked version of their previous model, the Eetsit. Sporting a half candy blue, half grass green colorway, with a beautifully minimalistic organic shape, the OG Bape was an absolute hit. Fast forwards 5 years through a slight stagnant period, Anti-yo released the Viszilla. Also sporting the same organic butterfly shape, the Viszilla was a sort of spiritual successor to the Eetsit and OG Bape that was updated to suit more modern performance standards. Improvements included a C sized bearing and One Drop’s revolutionary Side Effects axle system, which mimicked the very minimalistic cylindrical hubs sported by the Viszilla’s ancestors, and also solved the problems people had balancing the axle out in the previous models. The Viszilla quickly sold out, and Anti-yo decided to try and build upon that success by producing the Bapezilla.2. The Bape 2 is essentially a Viszilla remodeled with the iconic blue/green colorway of the OG Bape, as well as a different blast finish and obviously different engravings. However, the Bape 2 has not seen the same success as previous Anti-yo models, as evidenced by the plentiful stock still available here on YYE. I’ll touch on the details of why it wasn’t successful in my review, so enough history, let’s get to it!
Specs pulled from YYE:
Diameter: 52.30 mm / 2.10 inches
Width: 39.25 mm / 1.54 inches
Gap Width: 4.32 mm / .17 inches
Weight: 67.4 grams
Bearing Size: Size C (Crucial Grooved stock)
Response: One Drop Flow Groove Pads
Price: 145.00 USD
Color: Half Grass Green, Half Candy Blue
Shape: Organic Butterfly
Now that we have that stuff out of the way, let’s move on to the meat of my review.
This is the first thing that most people will notice about the Bapezilla.2. This thing is drop dead gorgeous. The grass green and candy blue color instantly grab your attention and draw you in. The organic butterfly shape is iconic, and the specifics of its shape are reminiscent of its heritage. There are no sharp corners to be found on this yoyo. The only breaks in the continuous and voluptuous curves of the body are the raised disk on the floor of the cups (I assume this makes room to house the response recesses on the interior), and the seam that’s a result of the side effects being separate pieces from the shells of the yoyo; but neither of those detract from the sheer beauty of the simple design.
Another aspect of the aesthetics that really appealed to me was the minimalistic engraving found on the yoyo. On top of each side effect you will find the traditional Anti-yo heart logo, and then there is a single speech bubble on the rim of each half that is filled in with a camo pattern that is a nod to the roots of the Bapezilla name. That’s it. No words, no extravagant engraving patterns, just two very simple and clean looking logos. I love this. So many other yoyos tend to go overboard with their aesthetics in my opinion. I don’t need the manufacturer, model name, patterns, or anything else engraved on my yoyos. They’re my yoyos. I know what they are because I researched them and bought them. I love that Anti-yo kept the engraving to a minimum, and I feel it really adds to the minimalistic design of this yoyo. They don’t need words to remind me what I’m throwing. They don’t need fancy engraving patterns to try and impress you. They don’t need a crazy splash pattern ano to make this thing look good. They just used simple, smooth, minimalistic design, and let the rest of the yoyo speak for itself. Perfect.
Shape and Feel
I already touched a little bit on the shape of the yoyo a bit in the aesthetics section. Like I said, it’s a traditional organic butterfly shape. This shape has been the bread and butter of yoyoing for a long time, and I feel the Bapezilla.2 is darn near the epitome of this shape. The smooth and flowing curves of the catch zone and rims are completely non-offensive to your hand. The smaller diameter nestles nicely into the curl of your fingers. This yoyo is just a pleasure to just hold in your hands, let alone actually play with. Anti-yo has absolutely nailed the design of an organic butterfly yoyo.
In addition to the shape, the “aggressive” blasted finish also feels extremely luxurious to the touch. It may seem a little grippy to some people, but it feels wonderful regardless. The aggressive blast also does wonderful things for the looks of the yoyo, as it catches a lot of light, dispersing it evenly across the curved surfaces which makes the colors very vibrant and removes any sort of reflection. It also casts deep shadows into the gap and IRG, adding depth and character to the soft and subtle design elements.
The Only Negative (in my opinion):
When you first receive a new Bapezilla.2, you can’t go straight to play time… That is unless you want to chew through your strings like a teething puppy though a stuffed animal, and risk sending your brand new prized possession on an unintended trajectory. Unintended trajectories equal bad news for keeping your yoyos in good condition. Remember that “aggressive” blast finish that feels so nice in hand? Yeah, that finish is present in the gap of the yoyo all the way down to the response pads, and will make quick work of even the most resilient string. So the Bapezilla.2 is not a perfect creation. But that’s nothing a little elbow grease and TLC can’t fix.
In order to prevent the aforementioned hazard, you need to buff the gap of yoyo to a smoother finish. Many people suggest using the rough side (back) of a leather belt to do so. Others suggest using a pair of jeans or other sturdy, textured fabric. What you do is take the yoyo apart, take out the side effects, and then just go to town rubbing the area you want to buff on the material of your choice. You don’t need to buff a whole lot, generally about 1/4" beyond the response pads should do the trick. Beware, since the finish starts out so rough, this will wear through a pair of jeans, so don’t do this with your favorite pair, unless you’re looking to add some character to them.
Personally, the belt or jeans method wasn’t doing a satisfactory job for me. So I rigged up an battery powered drill to hold a half of the yoyo and spin it. I suggest looking up how to properly mount a yoyo half to a drill if you want to go this route. Once the half was secured in the drill, I spun it at a fairly slow RPM and used some 1000 grit sandpaper to very carefully buff the area I wanted. You might think I’m crazy taking sandpaper to a brand new expensive yoyo, but carefully is the key word here. Yes, it slightly lightened up the color of the ano where I sanded, but it’s not significant, and you can’t see it when the yoyo is screwed together. It ended up turning out with a very smooth and slippery surface that no longer eats string whatsoever.
Now that we have that problem solved, we can move on to the good stuff. How does it play? In short, awesomely. But that’s my opinion. This is arguably the most subjective part of the review, because performance is a subjective matter. It depends on who’s judging the yoyo. The things that I like, you may not. I’m not very skilled yet, so I can’t elaborate on some components or styles of play that you may want to know about. I’ll do my best to explain my experience with it so far, and you can certainly pester me for more information if I miss something. So here we go.
To start with, the Bapezilla.2 is an extremely fun, challenging, and rewarding yoyo to play with. It has pretty significant rim weight, so it’s stable and spins plenty long enough to power through long sets of repeaters and lengthy combos. I haven’t gotten to horizontal play at all yet, but as I’ve gathered, organic shapes don’t fare too well with it. When throwing side style, it stays vertical very well, but also responds nicely to angle adjustments.
Although it is small, it still has a fairly hefty weight at 67.4 grams, so you can definitely feel it bouncing from string to string and swinging around. Just because it’s decently heavy doesn’t mean it can’t be fast though. I’d say that this plays more on the solid/fast side than a floaty feel, most likely due to the compact design with significant weight. With the stock side effects it plays great, but since they protrude so far, and the diameter of the rims is fairly small, my fat thumbs can’t utilize the IRG. However, thanks to the beauty of the side effects system, I experimentally swapped them with the ultra lights from my Summit. This brought two improvements for my personal preferences. With the ultra lights, it becomes slightly more floaty, which I thought brought it to my perfect balance of float/stability/speed. Additionally, the low profile of the ultra lights allows me to actually get my fat thumbs into the deeply cupped IRG. And let me tell you, this thing can grind like crazy if you can get your thumb or finger in there.
Like I said, this is a challenging, yet rewarding, yoyo to play with. Not challenging in the sense that it doesn’t perform well, rather, it pushes you to work on things you need to. I know my throw still needs work, and it let’s me know when I throw poorly. If I don’t have a smooth throw, it will vibe a bit, but not significantly, and the vibe diminishes completely once you start swinging it through tricks. When I have a good throw, it rewards me by spinning extremely dead smooth with a gentle hiss from the bearing.
TO BE CONTINUED IN FIRST COMMENT