Big Brother YoYo Co. Pixel
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
December 3, 2011
It has been way too long between Big Brother reviews. The last BBYY review I wrote was back in the summer of 2010. I will be honest; this latest yo-yo came completely out of left field. I had thought that Doug Spence had gone on indefinite sabbatical when about a month ago I noticed a post by him over on YoYoNation showcasing his latest design. I asked him about it and he offered to let me review the then unnamed yo-yo. Flash forward to today and the review for the Big Brother Pixel. Lets see what this unique looking undersized yo-yo has to offer.
• Diameter: 50 mm
• Width: 46.5 mm
• Weight: ~66 grams
• Bearing: Steel C-Sized Bearing
• Response: Flowable Silicone
The best way to describe the profile of this yo-yo is simple. It is what happens when a tomato past can and an H-Shaped yo-yo breed. The profile on this is quite similar to the ILOVEYOYO PYBIT that I review earlier but with enhancements to that shape. Instead of having flat rims with high walls that drop straight down to the gap, the Pixel rims have a slight curve inward and a step. They also have an ever so slightly curved wall leading down to the gap. This give the Pixel a well-defined catch zone with gently curved rims that will guide the string where it needs to go. The face of the Pixel shows a cup completely devoid of obstacles. At the center is a small hub with a hole in the center that shows off the exposed tapped axle. On the underside of the rim is a shallow IGR that looks like it should be able to perform thumb grinds. The yo-yo has been bead blasted and anodized in a striking shade of green. I am not sure whom Doug uses for his bead blasting but it is unique only to his products. The best way to describe it is that it is a less aggressive feeling Candy Blast finish. The finish gives the Pixel a soft feel in the hand. When holding the yo-yo it does have a slight can-like feel to it but the curves take the bite out of any harsh edges that may hit wrong during play.
The specs say the Pixel weighs in at around 66 grams but I would hazard to guess that it is lighter, it zippy on the string with a decent spin time. I would have liked a little more meat on the rims for some added spin time but it still gives enough time to go through anything but a super long combo.
Response and Bearing
The Pixel comes with a recessed silicone response that was already broken in when I received it for review. Out of the box it gives dead unresponsive play snappy binds. I did not notice any slippage on the string while binding, even at lower speeds.
The bearing is just you standard 8-Ball, steel, crown cage large bearing. Big Brother has never sought out specialty or gimmick bearings. The one that came in the Pixel was louder than I like but a quick lube job later and I was ready to go.
The Pixel has that strange feel to it that most can shaped yo-yos have, like it just does not feel right in the hand. On the sting though it is a different story entirely. It is zippy through the tricks with only a hint of vibe that I was able to tune almost completely out while messing with the axle. Whips and slacks were easy to hit thanks to the slight curve in the rims that would guide the string into the gap. This was especially helpful during Eli Hops. On the PYBIT I would hit the rim and the yo-yo would go completely off kilter, on the Pixel if I hit the rim the string would move towards the gap. The yo-yo would tilt a little bit but not as badly as with a straight rim. The inner walls are curved enough to keep the string isolated. This kept the suicide loops open. As I said in the weight section I would have liked a little more heft to the rims. I noticed that on longer combos I had to rush or the yo-yo would spin out. Not a huge inconvenience to me since I rarely throw super long combos, it is just a matter of knowing the limitations of whatever yo-yo you are throwing at the time. When it comes to grinds I whole-heartedly approve of this yo-yo. The finish on the Pixel allows the yo-yo to just sit on your hand or finger and spin for extended periods of time. Thumb grinds were equally impressive thanks to the addition of an actual IGR and a rather deep cup.
Odd shaped yo-yos have been making a name for themselves in the market lately and I can see the Pixel being no exception to it. The play of the Pixel is solid and the grinds more than make up for its spin times. This is a refreshing addition to the can shaped market as well as the undersized market. I am glad the leave of absence has not dulled Doug’s design skills. If the Pixel is a hint to a shift in his designs, I am eagerly looking forward to his next creation.