Can someone explain the Mr. B!st controversy?

I have huge respect for Mr. B!st and he’s been nothing but friendly to me in direct communications. But on the other forum there seems to be serious hate for the guy. I’m very curious about the specifics (actual explanation of situation, not just comments on him)

Bist is a master machinist and his videos are very entertaining to me, is it normal between molders to have this type of vitriol going on? Seems sad to me. Modding is something I’ve never tried and I as a metalsmith myself (but not a machinist) I have a tremendous amount of respect for the intricate work by mr Bist. But being out of the mod loop I don’t know what all the fighting is about.

It seems very odd to see such negativity in what in my experience is mostly an incredibly friendly and supportive group. More so than any community I’ve experienced.

I’m really interested in watching mod vids where the machining is shown, please feel free to post links, I’d love to watch them.
@Sniffyo on twitter

I’ll explain it firsthand.

So here’s the deal… most of it started with the World Mod Contest at the world yoyo contest in orlando.

Etorre (aka Mr. Bist) first entered in 2009 with the Stradivarius.

I was one of the judges (as I am every year) along with Eric Wolff, Alan Gray, Rob Tsao, Frank Difeo, Dave Schulte, and Bill Deboisblanc. (don’t quote me on the exact judges actually, that’s the usual team, but somebody may have missed that year).

There are 3 categories for the contest… Mod, Creation, and Overall. The difference between them is a matter of how much of the yo-yo is original parts and how much is modified from existing yoyos… for the precise rules see the world yoyo contest website… but it doesn’t really matter for this story.

Etorre took 2nd place overall, behind Yuumi Shiga’s acrylic yo-yo (named the onedrop, no relation to the company).

The first problem was that we as judges actually screwed up. We put him in the ‘creation’ category, where he took 2nd behind yuumi as well… when in fact it really -was- a mod… we had missed part of his (very long) writeup on the yoyo. He should in fact have been in the mod category, and was later moved over and won that division.

He, threw, a, fit. He tracked down Eric Wolff, myself, and others and individually threw a hissy fit that he didn’t win the overall award. He ranted, raved, screamed, and was just generally a complete asshat to everyone. He insulted every other entry, insulted us individually as judges, and ranted about how our system was completely wrong.

There was in fact only a single point difference in the scores, and it could have gone either way pretty easily, but that clearly didn’t matter to him.

Now, I should explain that there is in fact a basic disagreement over the system we use and what ‘he’ thinks we should do. We judge yo-yos on Quality, Originality, and Performance. He ONLY judges yo-yos on performance, and how difficult the mod was. To him, the amount of time spent on the mod is everything. To us, that’s nuts. You could spend 10000 hours on a yoyo and it might still suck and be a copy of another idea… we can’t reward the amount of time you spend. The problem came with how he handled the situation.

Fast forward to 2010. He enters a wheel-like mod (I forget the name).

It was in fact one of the best yo-yos ever entered in the mod contest (which is saying a -lot-). He won the overall division.

He, threw, a, fit. He again individually tracked down various judges and ranted, raved, yelled, insulted us, insulted other entries, etc. His problem was that HE DIDN’T WIN BY A LARGE ENOUGH MARGIN. That’s right, he WON the contest, but was insulted that somehow somebody placed 2nd behind him. He apparently wanted -all- of the places to himself.

He then stated that since we were all such incompetent morons (paraphrasing there), he would never again enter, and that he might just stop making yoyos all together.

Since then, he has taken every opportunity to insult the mod judges, and in particular has taken an interest in Ben McPhee of yoyofactory. Note, Ben (until this last year when Etorre didn’t even enter) has never been a mod judge. Of course, Ben does like to stir things up and he has baited Etorre on numerous occasions into arguments.

On top of all of this, he has accused basically every yo-yo company that exists, of stealing or copying his ideas. He seems to think that he did -everything- first and that all others are just stealing the fame and fortune he thinks he deserves.

So, what it comes down to…

Etorre makes amazing yo-yo creations. Nobody doubts or debates this. The problem, is that his ego is so absolutely insanely large, that he can’t accept that anybody else on the planet could possibly do anything worthwhile.

Some of his videos are kinda funny, most are direct attacks at various modders… trying to make fun of anything they do. He made an entire video dedicated to mocking Landon Balk for winning the mod contest last year (which Mr. Bist didn’t even enter).

So yea, there ya have it…



It’s sad when creative people can get along.
I guess it is possible he’s at least partially joking in the videos, and people don’t follow his sense of humor.

People often don’t know when I’m joking, and think I’m joking when I’m being serious. That’s why I never leave my apartment, stay out of trouble.
@Sniffyo on twitter

It’s a yoyo! Fun. Not like working with cold fusion.
Just fun…


I wish that were the case, but based on my in person interactions with him, I can’t give him the benefit of the doubt on that. A dry sense of humor is one thing, yelling at someone crosses any line of possible humor.

I certainly wouldn’t let his personality detract from his ability however… there are lots of people who’s work I respect that I can’t stand to be around… he’s one of them.


Hi this is Mr.B!st tuning in from Italy!


You said it.
I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition
@Sniffyo on twitter

Its nice to know what has been going on. I too have been wondering what was happening. :-\

People need to just lighten up a little :wink:

Respect for others is the key. Many problems could be avoided if people were more respectful and considerate. It is possible and admirable when people stand up for themselves or something they believe in when it is done respectfully.

Hmmm… Sounds like an interesting guy, and this post makes me want to look at his youtube channel. I think Sniffy is onto something not just from the angle of a sense of humor, but the fact that it looks like a publicity stunt, not something to take seriously.

I have to give props to Kyo that despite any differences, he’s the type of guy who will still give credit where credit is due. Much respect for that.

I’d hope that in an industry so unique, that many of the competing manufacturers are friends, people involved in the hobby (or let’s be honest with ourselves; obsession) can also get on with each other.
@Sniffyo on twitter

I agree, in a community so “friendly” generally, this thing is a bit of a shame, but also keeps things interesting. I think my next comment is a spin-off thread, but I think part of the reason yo-yoing isn’t as big as it should be is because it lacks the level of controversy other industries have had. That’s only part of the reason in my opinion, but I guess it’s the parts that make up the whole, and it might be good to have all kinds to diversify things.

I saw Mr. Bist’s Youtube channel, and I think he’s an interesting personality. I hope the judges don’t take his outbursts too seriously…he could be a good guy who’s talented deep down, but likes to stir things up to keep things interesting. Maybe he uses that as a way of motivation to one-up himself for the next competition. Maybe he has no motivation to want to win if he can’t make someone the villain, or portray that someone has “wronged” him. He really does seem to have a good sense of humor in the videos on his channel, and his replies to comments from fans on his videos are very humble and gracious. I hate to stick with the publicity angle, but I really think it’s something like that along with digging deep for motivation to come up with new ideas.

Hopefully he will gain back respect of the judges for his personality in time, not just for the mod work he does. He seems really talented, but he seems to be a guy to not take too serious on that personal level. Easy for me to say because I didn’t get screamed on, but I think if the judges look at it from that angle, it’s easier not to have as many hard feelings. Let the judges take credit for being the motivators for his creations. If you look at it that way, everyone wins.

The “Community” isn’t always friendly and I wish people would stop believing it is that way. Behind the scenes, where people cannot see there is a lot of things people would be surprised about.

About B!st, there was also the idea that supposedly he has hidden behind multiple screenames saying stuff on international forums. There is also a issue with him and the Italian Yoyo Association if my memory serves me correct.

He butts heads with Ben a lot, and its hilarious.


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I agree. I’ve heard a lot of stuff. Nowhere near as bad as in the audio and entertainment industry, but still bad nonetheless.

Sometimes people are really “throwing down” and it has nothing to do with a yoyo or involving a yoyo.

I’ve had almost universally positive experiences with everyone that I have come in contact with. I’m kind of sorry I posted this thread, really I just wanted some context to know what he was referring to in his videos. It seems to have turned into a Mr B!st bashing thread. And he’s someone I have had very nice communications with, and whom I have a tremendous amount of respect for.
@Sniffyo on twitter

I’ve known about the kicking and screaming part but I never thought it was that bad, I’ve got a lot to learn.

Honestly, he does make some of the best yoyos around. But on the other hand, WHAT DOES IT MATTER? What does it matter if he cannot be a content winner?

Didn’t he recently photoshop Ann Connolly and put it on Facebook?

To use a statement I use often, I hate.