Undersized ->Small->Mini. This thing is definitely Mini, but it isn’t just some gimmick. I got this return top (when in Rome) today and thought I’d do a little review. Please check out all the photos of my Bangarang by Lathed Back Designs. Specs are on the Lathed Back Design website. Go check out all the purty colors while you’re there.
First off, the packaging is super duper, 1980s, turbo rad. It’s a neon boom box containing the yoyo halves, axle, regular A bearing, slim bearing, and an anodized Ti blank for fixed axle play. A bearing removal tool with a handle is inside the bottom of the box, but it can be placed in the top of the box to make an antenna for the boom box. That said, the bearing seat on my example was perfectly machined, so I don’t see myself needing the bearing removal tool. Also included is a string pick, set of beleri (also counterweight?), and rims to convert this mini into a full-size yoyo. All of this is very creative, imo! All the parts/extras are created with biodegradable 3D printer filament, too. Neat, eh?
So… this thing is tiny! It’s pictured below sitting inside a One Drop Clique (another great little yoyo). It plays light and fast but spinz gud. It’s also surprisingly stable, because rim weight. I suck at pull starts, matador play, and finger spins, but I know for a fact all those are possible with this yoyo. I’ve seen it done.
The Bangarang has a nice, wide catch zone for such a tiny yoyo, which makes it easier for your brain to adjust to landing tricks. I’m using a rather long (~44") Airetic string without issue. The Bangarang has an A size bearing and flowable silicone response. It’s comfortable to hold and shockingly easy to play, considering its diminutive size. It’s still challenging compared to a full size throw, however. Try a Bangarang for 20 minutes, then pick up any full size yoyo. It’s like having cheat codes installed in your walnut.
I used to have a Heist, which is a fun stainless steel mini. The Bangarang seems similar in size but with a wider catch zone and much lighter feel on the string. This thing is truly a joy to play. It’s weight is nicely matched to its size, so it doesn’t feel like a rock on a string like most other tiny yoyos. I added size comparison photos so you can see how it stacks up to some other little yoyos. The only thing I’ve seen that’s smaller is the Mighty Flea (which plays like poo).
The Bangarang is excellent with the extra rims installed. Ti rims are in the works for folks who’d like to spark a yoyo without destroying the core throw (the expensive bits). I believe Joel also has a small library of free files that he’s planning to add to the Lathed Back website, so you can print your own rims. The o-rings are a standard size, too, and they’re very recessed into the rims. The o-rings can’t twist or pop out when you install and remove the rims from the Bangarang. The rims aren’t difficult to attach to the yoyo, and they’re very secure once installed.
Overall, this is a really cool package and a wonderful, unique yoyo. I don’t believe a better playing throw this size and weight has ever been made. I can’t imaging playing it set up semi-responsive or as a fixie, but people more skilled than I am might enjoy those setups. It’s basically 6 yoyos in 1 (more if you print extra rims), which is cool to play around with. Even though it’s an investment, it’s a quality product that you can pass down to your kids one day, provided they can pry it from your cold, dead hands. They should really just save up for their own, tho. With the rims removed, the Bangarang is comfortable in the pocket, so it’s a great EDC yoyo.
One last point: The ano is DOOOPE! Mine is sort of a matte finish, and I love it. If you’ve got the scratch available and don’t own a tiny yoyo, I wholeheartedly recommend picking up a Bangarang!