(Flaw on the left Copycat on the right)
I received a package from Doug yesterday in the mail. In it was the Big Brother Unnamed, or as Doug calls it “The Copycat”, since it bears a resemblance to the General-Yo 5-Star. Also in the package was the original version of this yo-yo which has an interesting harmonics issue, I will refer to this one as the “Flaw”. More on this yo-yo later.
The Copycat is a limited run of 12 yo-yos that Doug was working on with Manny (EEB) on the Yoyonation forums. He has stated that after this run of 12 there will be no more made. Originally it was supposed to have flat side walls but this caused an issue so Doug changed the design to have more rounded walls. Now that the backstory is out of the way, lets get on to the review of the Copycat.
K-pads or silicone
Look and Feel:
The Copycat is definitely a prototype. and feels as such. Mine had a few machine marks in the aluminum and the rims are not flush with the sides, you can feel a definite transition from the rims to the inner walls of the yo-yo. The looks of the yo-yo are top notch. While I can see a passing resemblance to the 5-Star, I can also see where it differs. The only major part where I can see it being confused with a 5-Star is the peaks inside the rims. Other than that the 5-Star looks quite a bit different. All in all, I like the rounded shape. It is a departure from the more angular Big Brother yo-yos as well as my main throw, the One Drop M1. Being a raw yo-yo means that it feels like raw aluminum and does not grind as well as a bead blasted or even a yo-yo with an anodized finish.
This is not your normal Big Brother yo-yo. This thing is a lightweight at 65 grams compared to other, heftier, BB yo-yos like the Wedgie I have in my collection. As such, the Copycat seems to float a little more on the string. It feels lighter than it actually is. My M1 feels a lot heavier during play than the Copycat and it is pretty much the same weight. I am chalking this up to the fact that the M1 is a smaller, more compact yo-yo. The Copycat distributes its weight a bit differently making it have a completely different feel on the string. The Weight distribution of the Copycat makes it feel more like my Project than any other yo-yo in my collection. Here is a comparison shot of the Copycat and the M1.
Response and Bearing
The Copycat ships with K-Pads and can take flowable silicone in the response groove. So far I have left the K-Pads in and when they wear down I will throw some clear flowable in it. The yo-yo is completely unresponsive out of the box. This is my first time working with K-Pads and so far I have no issues with them. They are even turning a cool shade of pink since they are picking up the red from my Chaos 122 stings.
I bought the Copycat from Doug without a bearing so I can not comment on the large bearing that he normally ships with his yo-yos. The General-Yo AIGR bearing that I am using in it works like a champ and can be had from the One Drop shop for $8.50.
The Copycat plays great. It is quite smooth in its movement and is a pleasure to use. It has almost the same dimensions as the Project and feels similar to it. There are some differences as well. I have found that the Copycat is not as forgiving as the Project when you have a bad throw. It also has a IRG area for thumb grinds which is nice if thumb grinds are your thing. I have sausage thumbs so I am not the greatest at it. As I stated above, the raw finish is not the greatest for finger or arm grinds but it will get the job done. A good bead blast finish to this yo-yo would make it a killer grinder. As for the rest I have thrown my limited barrage of tricks at it and it laughs them off. Hidemasa Hook, Plastic Whip, GT’s, no problem. I have not found a trick that this one can not do as well as my M1 or Project.
I would recommend this yo-yo to anyone who can get ahold of one that does not mind the less than stellar grinding ability of a raw yo-yo. It is a great little thrower that falls between the full sized and undersized yo-yos on the market. Unfortunately with only 12 in the world, it is going to be hard to find.
As I stated I also received the flawed first version of this yo-yo from Doug as well. It is amazing what happens when you ask an innocent question like, “what happened to the first set that you made?”
The Flaw plays quite similar to the Copycat although it has flat walls instead of rounded walls. the reason for the change is that the flat walls and rounded rims caused a harmonics issue in the yo-yo. The best way to describe it is that the yo-yo has a heartbeat. The Flaw pulsates from smooth to slight vibe to smooth again in the same rhythm as a heart. It isn’t a major issue but I can see why it would not be put into production. I find the yo-yo to be quite playable and fun. The pulse ads a weird feel to the play of this yo-yo because you can feel it in the string and see the yo-yo slightly beat while throwing it. This is a cool piece to add to my collection since there are only a couple of them out there.
Thanks Doug for the Copycat and the Flaw. I can not wait to see what you come up with next.