Death of the Tom Kuhn website/brand

It appears that the TK website may be officially out of business. If so, it would mark the end of an era in yo-yo history.

Someone turn off the lights on your way out.

The website goes through these issues every year or so, don’t worry,
They’ll be back…

That said, I also wouldn’t spend the rent money betting that they WON’T shut down in the near future.

It’s a once proud soul piece of yoyoing that has been allowed to languish and rot.


Allowed? They are a company, any company may shut down in the near future, especially toy companies.
I worked at a Harley dealership for many years, there is a real parallel between the two companies. They both made some cool innovations and dominated for a while, but they didn’t keep up with the rest of the competition. Harley came out with the evo’s in the mid eighties and went public. Their stock was really profitable for years. I work at a Suzuki shop now, and I won’t be spending my rent money on Harley stock.
Tom can be proud of the changes he made and the big impact he had. If they don’t want to do something different to follow the current trends in yo’ing, I don’t view it as really a negative thing, it’s just evolution.

Tom hasn’t been part of the company in quite awhile. Just in name. Brad Countryman has been the owner of the TK brand for a number of years now.

Tom Kuhn can be proud of the products he made and the innovations he brought to yo-yos. What does the fact that BC is marketing the TK brand have to do with the impact that Tom had on the community?

Btw, the website is back up :slight_smile:

Doesn’t have anything to do with Tom’s innovations. Just wanted to point that fact out, because there are still a lot of people that think Tom is the owner of TK. Just didn’t want people to read this thread and think that it’s because of Tom the way the TK brand is today.

AaronW is correct. TK is what it is today, as compared to what it was in years past, because of how Brad has run it.

There is a place in yoyoing for wood soul brands, look at TMBR or OUT. TK had that market, and the market of stylish simple throwback yoyos tied up, but let it die.

Of course Tom should be proud overall. And of course there is no responsibility for any company to keep going if it doesn’t want to or isn’t profitable. But TK could have kept going, could have been profitable, and could have brought something to yoyoing that few other companies are in a position to do. Now it’s probably too late for that. Such is life. But those of us who value what TK was and what it could have been, are going to feel a bit bummed about that.

I see your points, I just might not look at it the same way. Making a superior wood yo-yo was so cool when fixed axle was the norm. I would not have been able to learn as much or at the rate I did without having a no-jive.
What is success? I just throw for fun. If you look at the cool stuff TK did way back when, it has to be viewed as a successful venture. Not continuing to change and grow may seem sad for us as consumers that want new improved everything all the time, but my guess is he went where he wanted to go then stopped to have some fun throwing instead of growing.

I feel like the problem is that rather than just deciding as a company to shut down, they’re “rotting” as photogeek said.

I think they should keep going strongly or stop altogether. I didn’t have a good experience with TK when I ordered from them awhile back.

Yeah, I would advise caution with ordering; if you could even find anything in stock that you wanted.

I still get messages almost every week (a year after ceasing to be involved with the company) about unfulfilled orders and lack of responses to emails. As someone who has a No Jive tattooed on their shoulder (and metaphorically, on their heart) it’s a bummer.

At the same time, I will always look up to Tom as a genuinely unique individual who lent yo-yoing his wistful, curious spirit and made it better. Like Josh said, it pains me to see the company he built kind of come to a dead stop, but there are SO MANY people who have been inspired by his example (and his yo-yo’s) over the years, and you don’t have to look hard to find the “Tom Kuhn’s” of our present generation. Support the people who are out there making yo-yo’s themselves - who are making the art feel cooler, more authentic, more personal - who GET that the “State of Yo” will always be relevant.


That’s true, and after reading that it reminds me how much Tom Kuhn was always just as much a promoter of the fun of playing as he was the product he was selling.