The Core Concept Yo-yos (Core Co. for short) Standard first caught my eye around World’s 2016 this year. Core Co. has apparently been teasing the Standard for about a year now, but up until World’s I had not really heard or seen anything about it. Once I saw it though, I was immediately intrigued, as the design is something new, different, fun, and exciting in an ever growing field of competition-oriented designs. The concept is pretty novel: an H-shaped aluminum core with Organic-shaped acetyl (basically the same as delrin/POM) shells, working in unison to provide high performance in a modular design.
Upon first glance, with a working knowledge of materials and a general knowledge of the delicate balance and precision that yoyos require to be durable and play smoothly, I was worried that the Standard would be more of a gimmick than a serious player. However, those worries were eased slightly when I saw that Ed Haponik had picked one up and was shredding with it on Instagram. That didn’t completely mean that it couldn’t still be a bit gimmicky, but when Core Co. asked Ed to join their crew and he enthusiastically accepted, I was pretty sure that the Standard was no gimmick. I took the plunge and bought one, because this design was too interesting to not try it out for myself.
From here forward, this is going to be a very long and thorough review, but I just felt the need to write this out and give some praise to this awesome new yoyo company. Without further ado, here’s my review of the Core Co. Standard.
Upon opening up the box from YoyoExpert, I was pleasantly surprised by the packaging of the Standard. Instead of a simple cardboard box with a sticker on it (nothing wrong with that), the Standard comes in a clear plastic cylinder, completely devoid of any markings or branding. I think it’s a neat choice, as it fully allows the yoyo’s looks to just speak for itself. The only things inside are the yoyo and a string taped to the bottom cap of the tube. Nice, simple, clean, and I like it. The cylinder is a bit too big and probably not durable enough to use as a travel case, but it’s a good choice of packaging nonetheless.
After removing the Standard from its packaging, my biggest worry was put completely to rest. I was initially worried that the thin acetyl shells would be overly flimsy and prone to making the yoyo a vibey mess; boy, was I wrong. While the thin shells will still flex a little bit if you squeeze them, they are in fact very sturdy and do not flex at all during play; this thing is built solidly, and built to last.
Of course, one of the selling points of the Standard is its modularity. So, being the tinkerer that I am, I needed to disassemble it almost immediately, in order to see what makes it tick, and how easy it would be to swap shells in the future. After unscrewing the yoyo, I was met with a bit of a challenge. In order to achieve the sturdy construction and smooth play (more on that later), Core Co. needed to machine the shells, core, and spacers with pretty tight tolerances. As a result, all of the parts were stuck together pretty well. Since I was planning on swapping out the response for one of my preferred pads, I resorted to removing the stock pads in order to make removal of the brass spacer easier, and then from there it was a breeze. After disassembling a few times, it gets much easier to pull the shells and core apart, and removing the pads is definitely not necessary in the first place(also very much not recommended unless you are planning on replacing them right away like me and have extra pads ready to go). You’ll just need to be careful the first few times and press the core out by pushing on the bearing post with some force; I recommend using a plastic pen with the writing part removed as an punch to aid you in this.
Overall though, I’m impressed with the build quality, and I’m looking forward to the modular capabilities in the future. They’ve definitely put a lot of brain power into how the Standard is constructed to ensure that it is solidly built and ready to throw down. An additional bonus of this design is that you’ll eventually be able to buy rebuild kits, much cheaper than a whole new yoyo, that will allow you to replace the shells with brand new ones, which means that this is an extremely resilient design, all things considered.
One last point here, I like the bearing seat a lot. It still required a tool to remove the bearing, but just barely; it’s far from having a death grip on the bearing. Over time, I imagine it will allow the bearing to be removed with just my fingers. Apart from OD’s perfect bearing seats, a bearing seat like this one is the next best thing and I’m satisfied with it.
The surface finish on the Standard is pretty great. The acetyl shells are very cleanly machined, and have a nice, soft feel to them. Not the best for grinding, as no plastic is very good at grinding, but you can still pull off an acceptable finger/arm grind. The aluminum core also has a nice finish, with a gentle bead blast that’s very smooth to the touch. For some reason, the aluminum was initially sort of weirdly grippy, but once you’ve handled it enough it feels like any other decent bead blast and is a good choice of texture.
I opted for the silver version, because I think it looks very clean with the white shells. The Standard also comes in Black, Aqua, Pink, and a Black/Gold/Silver/Brown acid wash; all with white shells for the time being. I’m a big fan of simple solid colors, so the acid wash wasn’t for me, and the aqua and pink were too flashy. Between black and silver, I think silver goes better with the white shells, but I’ll probably pick up a black one as well in the future if they release black shells. I’m also sure they’ll eventually produce different anodizing colors for the aluminum cores, but the selection is still pretty decent for their first run.
The laser engraving is nice and minimal, which I like to see. In one cup, CORE CO., and in the other cup, STND RD; both are split up into two lines as you can see in the pictures on the YYE store. If a yoyo has engravings, I like them to be as minimal as possible, and these are plenty fine by me.
Bearing: Size C 10 ball grooved concave
Response: 19mm slim pad, white
The Standard has pretty average dimensions for modern designs. At a hair over 56mm diameter and 46mm width, it sits squarely in the full-sized category. It leans a bit to the heavy side, but I’ll touch on that more in the “Play” section of the review. The gap size is respectable and provides a good balance between not being too snaggy with string wraps while still providing nice, effortless, tight binds.
The stock pads look to be just white CBC 19mm slim pads, though they could be something else. If they’re white CBC pads, then they’re a good all-around pad that’s not too grippy, not too slippery, and should last a decent amount of time. I’d make sure that yours are fully pressed in just to be sure; I know from previous experience with other delrin/acetyl/POM yoyos that pad adhesive can sometimes not adhere to the plastic very well unless really pressed in firmly. One slight drawback here is that flowable silicone probably won’t work very well with the Standard, as the brass spacer is separate from the shells, and both parts each make up a wall of the response groove; if you don’t really plan on swapping shells, then you should be okay with flowable, but otherwise I’d stick to pads. I could be wrong on that, but I don’t have any flowable around to confirm.
The bearing is a C-sized concave shape with a groove in the middle, and has 10 balls, much like the Twisted Trifecta. It’s a good bearing that plays smooth and fairly quiet, and works very well for centering your string if you like centering bearings. The bearing came lightly lubed but not responsive at all, so it’s good to go out of the package with no real break-in time required. It’s a great choice in my opinion, as the centering shape and groove help deal with the high walls of the stock shells.
In two words, fantastically fun. It’s hard to boil down my thoughts on the Standard to be short and sweet because realistically I could go on and on about it, but I’ll try to keep this concise. The Standard is one of the most unique and fun yoyos that I have played with, period.
The biggest surprise to me was just how smooth the Standard is. With so many different independent parts, I was worried that it would be prone to some pretty bad vibe if not carefully assembled and tuned perfectly. That is completely not the case. At this point, I have completely disassembled the Standard at least 5 or 6 times “just for fun”, and swapped out the response and bearing (again, personal preferences, nothing wrong with the stock response or bearing at all). No matter how I reassemble it, not taking care to align the shells and the cores in any particular way, swapping the shells to the opposite cores, not caring about which side the axle is screwed into or how far, the Standard comes out smooth. It really is a feat of engineering and machining precision in my opinion, and Core Co. has pulled off what I for sure thought would be impossible. This alone cements the Standard as not a gimmick at all; it’s here to play, and play well.
The H-shaped aluminum core gives the Standard surprising stability and spin times, while the O-shaped acetyl shells give it a very comfortable and fun to play profile. While this is a hybrid material design, I find that the Standard plays closer to aluminum yoyos than plastic yoyos in terms of performance, while still retaining that fun and relaxed plastic feel. It really is unique, and a sensation that you need to try out for yourself if you get the chance, as it’s hard to describe or compare to anything else out there. As I mentioned earlier in the review, the plastic shells aren’t the best at finger/arm grinds, but they’re still workable. The completely flat floor of the cup and nice bead blast finish on the aluminum core should allow for pretty decent finger spin capabilities; I’m not very good at them, so I’m not the best judge of it, but from what I know it should work pretty well.
While it weighs in slightly higher than average, it’s hard to feel the extra weight during play. The size spreads the weight out well, so that it still has a relaxed and a bit floaty of a feel to it. You can still push it pretty fast, but it excels at chilling out and having fun while throwing. I think that the weight is appropriate and distributed well due to the H-shape of the aluminum core that provides stability and decent spin times. Having a high-walled organic shape, the Standard is a bit prone to tilting during play if you’re sloppy, but it’s still more stable than you would think thanks to the aluminum core. That also brings me to the final point of my thoughts on the play of the Standard; this beast is modular!
That’s right, it’s modular. As time goes on, Core Co. will be releasing different shaped shells that will all be backwards compatible with the aluminum core of the Standard, so it’s a very modular design. This means that you will be able to change the profile of the yoyo, while still maintaining similar performance in terms of weight, stability, and spin times. Right now we can only speculate what shapes may be available in the future, but I know that I’m really looking forward to the potential that this system has. Lastly, I think that they mentioned plans for different designs for the aluminum cores in the future, which should all use the same basic modular design so that the shells and cores are all interchangeable. The prospect of that is really exciting, as the possibilities are nearly limitless. Just a big guess here, but I can definitely see them producing larger diameter shells and perhaps a lighter weight core that would be good for 4A.
Overall, I think that the Standard is an brilliant idea, executed beautifully by Core Co. They managed to create a truly modular system that isn’t just a gimmick, and they pulled it off with flair. The Standard is extremely fun to play with, but also brings high performance to the table, with somewhat unthinkable smoothness for how many parts this thing is made of. It also has some incredible potential for the future, and I’m really excited to see where Core Co. takes this. The Standard is a great starting point and a firm foundation to build upon. Well done.
While the price, $100, may seem a bit steep for something with a design that is somewhat unproven, and may leave people with a lot of questions, I think it is very much worth the price of admission, and I’m glad that I took the plunge to buy one.
I hope this review helped in some way, and I’d be happy to try and answer any questions you might have. Thanks for reading!
Final thought: Core Co. needs to release a Standard with gold anodizing…the “Gold Standard". ba-dum-tiss
Link to the YYE Store page for the Standard here: https://shop.yoyoexpert.com/collections/new-releases/products/standard-yoyo-by-core-co?variant=24981758856