When I started yoyoing my main source of tutorials was YoYoExpert. You can say that as yoyoplayer I “grew up” on this site. Andre Boulay had giant influence on my “yo-yoing career”, his videos still bring up tons of great memories. As a beginner I always wanted to buy Dark Magic, but have never gotten a chance to order one. So when second version came out I knew I had to purchase it.
I purchased it on YYE in translucent orange color. I thought I was buying more of a “novelty” yoyo than a “hardcore” player and I am pleased to say that I was wrong. Instead of slow heavy throw I got pretty fast agile player, great performer with an interesting feel.
YoYoJam probably does not need an introduction. It is one of the most popular yoyo companies that always comes up with new original technologies. YoYoJam is known for their hybrid yoyos (plastic body with metal rims). Right now YYJ releases yoyos with their new technology Solid Spin Axle System instead of their traditional adjustable gap setting; they also switched O-ring/starburst response to silicone pads.
There are two versions of Dark Magic: original DM (with adjustable gap and hybrid response) and new one (with silicone pads and Solid Spin Axle System). Right now only second version is available in most stores.
There are a lot of colors available for DMII. There are two types of them: translucent and solid. Both look amazing: solid colors look great with shiny aluminum rims and translucent ones look awesome in sunlight.
NOTE: plastic on translucent and solid colored models is the same and has the same level of durability.
Dark Magic is signature model of Andre Boulay – creator of MasterMagic and YoYoExpert, his videos helped many people develop their yo-yoing skill, his work had great influence on yo-yoing community. If not for his site and his tutorials I probably will not get into yo-yoing.
With narrow bearing: 3.00mm/ .12”
With SPEED bearing: 4.95mm/ .19”
Response: YoYoJam silicone O-rings
Bearing: YoYoJam Speed bearing/narrow bearing
Bearing Size: C
Interesting details in construction
- Aluminum rims. I think all yoyoers know what this technology is about. Metal rings grant longer sleep times, more stability, better weight distribution. They also provide better grinding surface.
- Solid Spin Axle System. Some people had problems with usual plastic bearing seat because there was a high risk of damaging it. So guys from YoYoJam decided to prevent new yoyos from this problem. Now YoYoJam bi-metal yoyos (with Solid Spin Axle System) have one metal part that includes bearing seat and thread/axle, it goes all the way from the gap to inner cup of the yoyo.
- Caps. Nowadays YoYoJam is one of a few companies that put removable caps on their yoyos. Caps not only complete the design of their throws but also give you an opportunity to change weight of the yoyo to fit your preferences (you can reduce weight by removing caps for about 2 grams).
Feel in the hand
Dark Magic has very nice and a bit unusual feel. Its shape is very comfortable and probably will fit preferences of the most players. It is kind of unusual for me because of its weight distribution, feels semi-heavy, caps and plastic part give it an “empty” feel.
Out of the box
When you take DM out of the box it has thin responsive bearing installed in it, unresponsive bearing comes in a plastic bag in the box. So the yoyo comes responsive, but you can easily switch it to unresponsive setup.
I do not think that there is a lot you can say about thin bearing; it has pretty good spin time, 8-ball without shields, comes lubed.
Now to the YYJ Speed Bearing. I love these beatings, their quality and spin times are great, come clean and unresponsive, they are not loud even without any lube. Because they are made out of stainless steel there are not any problems with rusting.
DM comes with YYJ silicone pads. What can I say about them? Unresponsive, good for suicides, tight binds. DM is also compatible with other pads and accepts flowable silicone.
I use DM with standard setting (with silicone pads and Speed bearing) and have never felt a need to upgrade or mode it.
I have seen a lot of people saying that Dark Magic is a very durable throw. Mine has not experienced any hard hits so I cannot judge its durability. One thing you need to keep in mind: shiny aluminum rims remember every ding and you better be careful to keep your yoyo pretty and grindable.
Styles: 1A, 3A and 5A.
DM can also be used for 4A(with thin bearing will be probably pretty good) but it is obviously not made for this style.
Dark Magic handles fast play pretty well but it is too heavy for crazy Mickey-speed play.
“Spin Power” (“stability” + “sleep time”+other overused terms). DM has pretty rare “strong” feel while spinning.
NOTE: There may be some tricks that are hard to do on this yoyo only because of its shape, other than that yoyo performs very well.
DM is not the best yoyo for horizontals (because it is high-walled) but I it is not that bad. Shape has a bit of V-profile on the catch zone so it makes horizontal play easier. Not the best pick for horizontals but if you want to you can perform these tricks on DM.
I do not have any problems with any kind of hop tricks with this throw. It does not tend to tilt while you take faster, more “hardcore” approach.
Regenerations with Dark Magic are easy to do, its shape helps to perform them clean, wobble-free.
DM is a pretty agile yoyo so it is easy to go through narrow string formations. Its sleep time lets you perform any combos/tricks no matter how long they are.
Dark Magic is full-sized so some people may find it uncomfortable to do chopsticks with it but if you are used to big throws you will have no problems performing them with DM.
With DM suicides are pretty easy to do; silicone pads open loops very well.
If you are into grinds that involve yoyo staying at one place DM is not your best option. It is made out of glossy polycarbonate and has raw aluminum rims so it is pretty obvious why it is not the best grinder.
If you take off the caps you will be able to perform thumb grind pretty easily. With the caps on it is possible to do IRG grinds but much more difficult.
Only options to customize your yoyo without any serious changes are taking caps off, switching bearing/response.
-Reasonable price (40$)
-Classic yoyo with modern performance
-YYJ does not treat DM like a “budget throw” (Look in the outro down below)
-Not great for horizontal play
In this part I want to tell about one thing I really like in YYJ bi-metals. Most of them cost less than 50$ but they are not treated like “cheap throws”. YoYoJam specializes in this category and puts a lot of thought in their designs; all of them are different and unique. I think it is very important when company cares about their products and does not treat them differently just because they are less profitable.
YYJ Dark Magic is a great performer that can bring a lot of good memories to an old school player or help a beginner to go through his “yo-yoing career”. It is a classic yoyo with modern performance and friendly price tag.