Do you trust yo-yo reviewers…

These days it is hard to find a yo-yo that is just bad. Maybe it’s not what you like, or what you prefer, but chances are that someone out there would enjoy it. And if a manufacturer can take the time to send yo-yos out to reviewers then chances are they can take the time to make a solid yo-yo.

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I’ve had reviewers ask me for one of my yoyos to review before, and I said “Sure! that will be $80”. Strangely, they weren’t as enthusiastic about reviewing my yoyos after that.

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So my question becomes, are we watching the reviews to influence a purchase or are the majority of viewers watching to validate their purchase/own opinions of the yoyo?

If one is looking to be influenced to purchase then a slightly stronger case can be made for trying to find a more neutral party to watch/read a review from. I do feel when you watch reviews from a few sponsored players there is a slight embelishment of products, but nothing I would consider criminal, and something I consider fair play for the sponsor and player relationship. However if that player has similar taste to mine I still would have no issues in using the review as a tool to help base a decision. That said personally many of the items I purchase I don’t have much time to follow a review for it has to be a much quicker decision on smaller drop windows.

Now if the reviews is being watched for validity I think the gifted/sponsored scenario becomes completely irrelevant and it comes down to did you get what you needed out of the video/review. At this point the content is entertainment and should be treated as such.

I guess there is a pop up third scenario if you happened to get a lemon and wanted to see if it is just your example, or is it a common issue. In this case I feel like I would like to have a uninfluenced review. I’m curious though how many yoyo reviews out there flat out say a throw is bad?

I tend to fall in the second scenario more often than not so the tldr is that the influence of the company on a review is a non factor to me.

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Haha one of these days I need to write up a summary on my time with 2 of your throws, they deserve it for sure. Lord knows I’ve put some time in with them.

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I don’t wholly trust the reviews of anyone who receives the item for free, even if they don’t get to keep it.

Getting to try out lots of different throws, especially unreleased ones, is a special privilege enjoyed by the most popular reviewers. It’s good for the reviewer as it boosts viewership and it’s also gotta be great fun.

Now, if a reviewer develops a reputation for being critical, there’s a chance they’ll get bumped down on the list to receive new releases versus a reviewer who is more likely to garnish praise on the item. No reviewer wants that!

On the other hand, if a reviewer goes to the other extreme and avoids any sort of critical comments, it’s likely that they’ll lose credibility and viewership will go down along with their chances of staying on the “send this fellow our new stuff ‘cause they’ll reach a lot of people” list.

I think it’s a line that reviewers gotta walk between being brutally honest and generally positive.
So I watch and enjoy reviews, but make allowances in my mind for bias because I don’t think anyone is immune to preserving their status in small, maybe even subconscious ways. This goes for reviews of any product. For yoyos specifically, there’s plenty to glean just from watching the yoyo being played by someone whose style and abilities I’m familiar with, even if I were to totally ignore the reviewer’s personal opinion.

Right now there are only two reviewers online whose integrity I trust almost 100% and they unfortunately don’t review yoyos. If anyone’s curious they’re AvE and Project Farm on Youtube, no affiliation. These channels get no special treatment from manufacturers and it really shows in the way they do their reviews. I’m sure there are others as well, I just haven’t come across them yet. If anyone knows of a yoyo-related one that’s totally free from manufacturer favors please let me know, I’d love that!

Ivan

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I will say, Spinworthy has a fan base as supportive as Manchester United or the New York Yankees. I will also say this is for good reason, you hold yourself and your yo-yos to an incredibly high standard. They are fun to throw.

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Naw. Myself especially. Can’t tell you how many times I have convinced myself that I need a throw only to go “meh” after a few throws.

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I think that’s quite an exaggeration, but thanks for your kind words.

i find more value in interpersonal relationships, and looking for pieces my friends, and likewise, that know my preferences. i’ve put off umpteen purchases because a friend of mine - even though we’ll have similar preferences - they’ll know i won’t like something about it. i put more faith in this circle on a drop more than any review.

a good reviewer would buy (imo) the yoyo themselves and give a thorough analysis and opinion. and i would trust them more if i knew them, their preferences and even their current throw rotation. the idea of giving someone a free yoyo for a review is beyond me unless you’re looking for hype (fell for it) … which is expensive in credibility.

there are a lot of good points in this thread. but i can point out “reviewers” that won’t review my work solely because it’s FTY/mine. does that indicate a bias? how many free yoyos does a producer need to give? zero. a great yoyo stands miles ahead of a good yoyo-which anyone can make. you pay extra for hype, reviews are a part of that. imo those resources can be better allocated towards the folks that appreciate what you’re doing.

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There are two few popular reviewers on youtube for them to have to alter their opinion based on a free product. If a company wants their yoyos to receive traction through reviews, then there are only a few options to choose from.

The popular reviewers will get the free items because people watch their reviews and they can say whatever they want about a yoyo without any repercussions.

I do believe that most reviewers will try to put a positive spin on anything they review because they love the yoyo community and want every yoyo they review to sell out so that companies can continue to create.

That being said, you can clearly tell the difference between someone truly enjoying a product and someone reviewing a product out of obligation.

Trust reviewers regardless of whether or not they receive the item for free. They are just sharing their opinion and bring positivity to the community.

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This simply is not true. There are many yoyos that do not have the momentum to finish long combos especially when you are creating new combos and practicing combos that you do not quite have clean.

Some players and some styles do not require the extra spin time, but spin time still matters and helps when learning and perfecting tricks.

I would say a good 30% of my yoyos are not able to handle my current practice sessions due to a lack in spin time and due to me being earlier in my practice stage. When the tricks are perfected though, I believe all of them have the spin-time to do the tricks.

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That’s a more than fair sentiment, I forgot sometimes how far along the trick game has come for the more talented throwers.

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So much of it is subjective to skill level, history, and literally how many yoyo’s that person has spent time with. Ultimately I think the best route is to take the information from the reviews and make your final decision. I buy my Yo-Yo’s but at the same time the Yo-Yo’s I buy are the ones I think I will like so even within that “unbiased review” there is some preference.

All but maybe one person are Yo-Yo reviewers for fun so at the end of the day it should be viewed as an entertainment piece.

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i often find most yoyo reviewers put out pretty contentless, uninformed reviews, even if they look pretty.

I’ve seen reviews that are someone taking a yoyo out of the box in camera, play with it for a minute or two, say a couple of words and call it a day. I’ve seen reviews from people who struggle to do kwijibo too. Reviews are more often than not just pieces of good yoyo related entertainment, someone talking enthusiastically about a yoyo.

The only yoyo reviews i trust from an objective, technical standpoint are @Mazdarx7FD ones. If you have seen them, i think you’ll most likely agree. I haven’t seen a single other reviewer put out an objective, informed, quality review, and i think i’ve consumed every piece of yoyo related media on youtube.

As @chaosgow mentioned, I do reviews too. I pride myself in being thorough and objective with them, as not only they are a representation of the yoyo i’m evaluating, but most importantly they are an statement of the kind of player i am, how i like to think about yoyos and of my integrity as a member of this community.

Edit: i would also add @nightshadow as a honorable mention. I feel his reviews are informative in most regards.

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This is the state of yoyo reviews. They are not all that informative or helpful no matter who is giving them. That includes all of the ones I’ve made, too.

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Except for mine. They’re perfect in every way. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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That was a very nice response. I appreciate your kindness and understanding.

I apologize for my tone in the response and will try to be more kind and understanding in the future when I post on the forum.

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@Blieske @kretzschmar

I can see both sides of this.

Very impressed with the civil discussion. Props to both of you.

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I have mentioned this multiple times before, but here it is again. I find that most, if not all yoyo reviews are just purely for entertainment purposes. Even when the yoyo being reviewed is purchased by the reviewer, the reviewer is still compelled to make a review that is positively skewed because of the community. The community has a pretty severe allergic reaction to negative opinions about yoyos, maybe rightfully so (so that it doesn’t devolve into a toxic cesspool of insults, slurs and personal attacks, which happens all too easily when negative opinions are shared). But this ends up unintentionally conditioning yoyo reviewers to always make reviews that are skewed in favour of the yoyo. With the state of yoyo reviews now, I’m sure quite a lot of people want brutally honest and objective reviews. But, the community isn’t ready for it and cannot handle it, especially the brutality of such honest reviews. When you hear the phrase “praise publicly, criticise privately”, it just defeats the point of a brutally honest review, where you would have to criticise publicly as well.

As a lot of people have mentioned above, a lot of these reviewers get their yoyos for free or have some involvement with the people who made the yoyo. They have the incentive to continue to churn out positive yoyo reviews so that companies would send them more free yoyos to review in the future. Furthermore, a reviewer’s credibility, is in general determined by the number of similar products they have reviewed and tried out. A reviewer has to try out a lot of different products before they’re considered credible as people know that their opinion is well-informed from their past experiences with lots of different products. I know that this is not really the case in the yoyo community, but for most other communities, this is the case. This further incentivises churning out positive reviews so companies will continue to send free products to review, improving the reviewer’s credibility as he now has more products to review. This means that anyone who reviews a yoyo that have been obtained for free is going to favour the yoyo a little and their opinion should be taken with a grain of salt.

In addition, a lot of yoyos that come out nowadays are so good that everything comes down to preferences, which make objective reviews rather pointless since they’re just going to point out the obvious. Reviews need to provide value, but when you can glean the information the review provides for the product page for the yoyo, such reviews are no longer valuable. Rarely is there an objectively bad yoyo being produced. Recently, there has only been the Dumpster Fire and the Stoopid Capitalism Day Tree (sic) yoyo from Rain City Skills that can be considered objectively bad, and both are intentionally designed to be terrible, which says a lot about how great yoyos are nowadays. It’s like all yoyos produced nowadays are in the top tier, and at the highest tier, there really are only slight differences between the competing yoyos which means that purchasing decisions are going to be made on preferences rather than quality, since all yoyos produced today can be considered to be in the same league in terms of quality. No longer are there tier differences like in most other products. For example, cheap musical instruments are inevitably going to sound worse than those that cost thousands of dollars. Cheap audio equipment is going to sound worse than the more expensive ones, though there are some standouts that have an insane price to performance ratio which will end up becoming the most popular. That’s why there’s an entry level budget pick, a mid range pick, a top end pick and a money is no thing pick, for the best price to performance ratio. But for yoyos, a $30 yoyo can easily compete on the same level as a $1000 yoyo, removing the need for such picks. Sure, there are standouts that a lot of the community loves, but in the end, getting any $30 yoyo would do a great job. The same can’t be said for a lot of other products. This is why yoyos are categorised not in terms of performance or price, but in terms of shape, size and weight. The decision to buy a yoyo is no longer based on “how good of a yoyo can I get for my money” but rather “what yoyo do I think I will like the best”. It’s no longer based on objective traits of performance and quality for the price but rather, based on subjective preferences, which is why objective reviews have little value. This is why people are watching reviews to know the reviewer’s preferences and then finding the reviewer whose preferences align with theirs. This way, when the reviewer really likes a yoyo, there’s a good chance they would really like the yoyo as well. Subjectivity in reviews is the one providing value to a review instead of objectivity, which is quite the 180 from most product reviews. That is why I recommend that reviews should be very subjective to be valuable. For me, I find that too many reviewers skim on the answers to the questions, “How does it play on the string?” and “What are my preferences? How do I prefer my yoyos to play?” and instead ramble on about the history or the specs of the yoyo (basically objective facts that can be found on the product page), which makes most yoyo reviews obsolete in making purchasing decisions for yoyos, at least for me.

In the end, I think we have ended up in a very unique problem of having every single product be so good that purchasing decisions are made almost entirely by preferences rather than performance. We have reached a new frontier that I don’t think any community has ever reached before and we thus have completely new and novel problems so unique that we can’t look elsewhere for solutions, or even clues to the solutions. The question to ask is, “How do we make reviews work when purchasing decisions are made on preferences?” which nicely encapsulates the problems we face with reviews.

But first, the community’s tolerance for negative opinions has to be increased by a huge amount because the fear of backlash is very real for reviewers who decide to put up negative opinions, which will inherently skew reviews to favour the yoyo. People who want to post their negative reviews of a yoyo will also be greatly discouraged by the backlash, leaving only positive reviews lying around. I’m pretty sure we all want someone like Crinacle (somehow companies still send him free stuff even when he bashes them to the 9th circle of hell), someone who is extremely blunt, critical and honest in reviewing yoyos, but the community just can’t handle it yet. My negative opinions of the Assassin generates quite a hostile response from some people as it is so widely loved by the community and as we have recently seen, some manufacturers can’t take negative opinions well either. The aim of keeping the discussion civil has been slightly confused with a vendetta against negative opinions. I get that it is much more difficult to keep a discussion civil when negative opinions are involved, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t or shouldn’t share negative opinions. I also understand that we also want to keep the community very positive and really welcoming with it’s lovely energy, but some of that positivity is going to be lost if we want brutally honest reviews, it’s a sacrifice that we have to make for better reviews. It really depends on where our priority lies, better, more valuable reviews, or maintaining the current positive energy of the community.

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Happy cake day!

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