Engraved or not engraved? read on

I have a few questions for you guys(a girls).

First, a few statements leading to the questions.

Recently(as most regulars already know) I acquired the yoyo collection of a forum member.

Years before this ever happened, I already had hundreds of yo-yos. Most of them identified by some kind of markings from the Factory. The identification marks varied from minimal to way overdone and everything in between. Not that long ago(a few years) people started this kick about not caring for engravings and such and wanted unmarked yo-yos they felt would,just look better without the multitude of markings on the yo-yos.

So, that seemed to be the new normal; unbranded in any way kinda yo-yos. Personally I have seen some pretty ugly markings on yo-yos, so I didn’t give it much thought or concern. Just keep i in its’ box and no problems, right?

The collection I acquired threw a good curve into my equation.

Some people for whatever various reasons, keep the boxes or pouches or whatever the yo-yos came in. For reselling value… for storing the yo-yos not on display, safely… for a better than nothing way to identify the yo-yos in the future.

Well, Jeff is not that kinda guy. He doesn’t find anything critically important in keeping the containers the yo-yos came with.

So, I have another approximately 500 yo-yos in my collection. 2 boxes and the rest ‘zero’ boxes.

The idea for this topic emerged from my curiosity after the days of going through all 500 of these yo-yos and realizing that at least 250 of them have absolutely no identifying lettering, symbols or whatever on them. No boxes and no marks.

Several of the guys on this forum were nice enough to pm me a few months back when I first mentioned this situation. So it’s not like there is no solution to this dilemma.

But it really got me wondering for the benefit of ‘most people in general’, the value/importance of marking yo-yos.

My question> Do you feel yo-yos just look better without any marks on them?

If every yoyo Maker gave the option between engraving or no engraving, which would you choose?

Do you feel a yoyo has a better resale value or collector value if it has to marks on it?

Or do you feel that yo-yos would be more valuable if they had Factory markings on them?

I am not asking anybody to answer each of my questions as they have been asked. Or answering all of them, period.

I am asking your views on whether yo-yos should be or not be marked? And your value factor to each option.


Should a work of art, artwork or art object be signed/marked? I would say so.

Even a little mark that tells who made the yo-yo should be enough, even for trading purposes.


not every artist needs or wants recognition, and not every piece needs to be identifiable. most artists do it for the personal satisfaction.

as for the main topic- I like both, really case by case. if you want to identify your unmarked unknown yoyos, I would create an online data base with pictures and info. someone made the yoyo and more people owned them at some point. I would ask for help from the community and just keep it open for people to look and add to it over time. does this make sense idk if I can describe what I’m thinking. almost like a searchable Wikipedia data based by pictures

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Can you imagine the time you would spend trying to match your unknown throw in that database? It would be like grabbing a leaf from an unknown tree and trying to find the specimen in the internet.
Perhaps the leaf thing would be even easier if you know the area/region where you picked it from, but a throw? That would be really hard, but really neat at the same time.


Generally Yes and feeling the engraving on grinds or fingerspins is annoying. I see the value in having an identifying mark though.


I do not like large engravings at all. As identification one can do small and discreet ones.
Never while playing with a yoyo do I ever want to feel an engraving.
I dont think it affects the value of a yoyo that much.


I just think variety is the spice of life.


as a buyer, it doesn’t matter
too much - though i’m
not much into elaborate engravings
as a focal point of a piece. just like with colors, i’m
not too particular, but would
prefer some over others.

the Project Y run was tough for me to decide what to engrave. not everyone likes
engravings, or that engraving (or me). at the other end, i had folks asking why i didn’t engrave the whole
run (because many folks don’t like engravings
for the variety of reasons mentioned, and more…).

to that end, i only had a handful engraved. i knew there were plenty of folks that wanted them, and i did the best i could estimating while trying to keep costs down considering my ‘position’ in the industry :sweat_smile: lol


maybe I didn’t explain the best. have this person with all the unknown create an organized data base of pics of the unknown yoyos. for example- 3 pics of each yoyo side, profile, and face. then having an open source page where people can leave comments with any information the might have about it. “oh yoyo 37 I had when I was a kid its a X”. or any info that might lead to identifying.
then you could group them by shape or something. idk… I dont know how else someone goes about finding origins on unmarked goods without any kind of Info to go on

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it usually goes (depending on their level
of experience and involvement in the hobby)…

a search on google leading to dave hall’s yoyomuseum site, followed by a bread crumb trail to here. depending on the obscurity, generation and playstyle of the yoyo, yoyodoc and vegabomb can drop some knowledge, sparhawk will be able to (somehow) still dig out troves of info from the limited access annuls of the yyn archive… a search on here can bring a bast amount of info, and the yoyowiki has a smattering where the yoyomuseum tends to not…

but… i’m
sure we can help
you find what you’re
looking for


Answering to questions in your order:

  1. Some yoyos look better with engravings, some - without. Engravings could be a very cool drawing, filling a big empty space, and also could be a very ugly writings “Made in China” right in the middle of hub zone.
  2. Depends on place and form of engraving. May choose different options in different cases, by reasons in answer #1
  3. Again, depends on specific yoyo. If major amount of product have engravings, and some - don`t, then (in my opinion) these few could have better resale value.
  4. Opposite case of answer #3. Major amount of product can have no engravings, and few of these with engravings could be considered as “specials” and value more.

There is no simple answer to your questions, and it`s awesome.


I would say I usually don’t like big marking on any kind of yoyo. Some minimal one are great especially if they compliment the shape of the yoyo (think of the ones on the horizon). Also I find that on solid colour some minimal engraving looks good ( horizon hummingbird grasshopper X )

But on splashes I like them more with no engraving (think of basically any monkey finger yoyo I think they would really look wired with engraving especially colours like the core on the conspiracy).

I think for most people no engraving are not such a big deal because we don’t have such o large collection that we can’t tell them apart. But for 100 + yoyo I see how this can be a problem.


I am more interested in the shape, the profile and the technical characteristics than the design of the engraving in particular.
that if, particularly, I only like the engravings on the yo-yos with solid colors;)
I also think that the variety is the taste!
and I think that yo-y’s without engraving are more elegant and minimalist
(I cannot imagine a grail, a liopleurodon or a wasabi with engraving without losing some of their elegance … in the same way I cannot imagine a pistolero or a rancher without their elegant laser engraving on the rims;) It depends on the taste and artistic sense of the creator. The only problem with the absence of brands is that if you have hundreds of yo-yos and you don’t keep them in their corresponding boxes or bags or wherever they come from, it can be a problem to identify them … :grimacing:
I can’t imagine a world where all yo-yos have some kind of QR mark or with a barcode just so that someone can identify it in the future, or a world where all yo-y’s don’t have any kind of engraving or logo … it is impossible.
Having 500 yo-yos and 250 not having any brand is inevitable.
(But the confusion could have been avoided if good old Jeff had kept the bags, boxes, jars, socks or wherever the yo-yos came from, don’t give it any more thought: it’s Jeff’s fault !!! :joy:
Seriously, a good idea would be to put the name of the company and the yo-yo under the silicone rings, it would be a discreet and practical way.


Absolutely, please put an identifying mark somewhere on the yoyo. As a unrepentant collector with several hundred yoyos, many of which came to me with no boxes, I face this problem when digging through my own collection. One thing I do is try to take a photo of each yoyo as I get it, when I still know what it is, and label it, but even looking through those can be tedious… which non-descript black organic yoyo is this? I can’t always pick them out from a thumbnail. I’ve gotten to where I’m much more interested in a yoyo that is easily identifiable, and noticeably less interested in anything which at a glance falls into some category of typical $shape in common $color. Unless its the stuff I collect the most like ILYY, CLYW, G2, OD, early YYF, etc, then I’m looking for anything to distinguish the yoyo and why I might want to add it to my collection.

Anything unique about the yoyo GREATLY enhances its value to me, and from my experience on ebay and seeing which colorways and designs sell fastest here on YYE, I’d say it holds true among a lot of collectors. Montage 888 vs aqua 888, nats draupnir vs plain draupnir, 401k vs espionage 401k, G2 swirl vs plain G2, deadboat vs steamboat, the list is endless.

Those of you making yoyos now, ask yourself: in 5 or 10 years, do you want your yoyo sitting in a box with who knows how many others that can’t be easily distinguished? Nobody is going take the trouble to appreciate or sell the yoyos if they can’t easily google it and find out its something with some real value and not just an old toy. I think about this often, so many yoyos are sitting in somebody’s attic because the person who had them moved on in life, often leaving the household. Eventually those forgotten yoyos wind up at a yard sale or a thrift store or the trash bin. I know this for certain because I have so much stuff left here by my own children, which they don’t care about now and I’m trying to figure out what to do with. Pokemon cards? pfft in the trash… magic the gathering cards?? Who even cares, trash… I’ve gone through the estates of departed family, same situation.


Yes, ID envragings, please. They may be big, small, fairly hidden, or conspicuous. I don’t care. But I really think all yoyos should have some clear ID, somehere.


Your points bring me to another motivating factor behind engraving only a handful of the Project Y pieces. There will be features throughout - the piece itself, the package, the contents, the story, idea & contributors - that i would feel make Project Y recognizable through cross-reference, without being overbearing if you didn’t want it to be. Time will tell lol…


I’m down with no engravings. Super tiny etching/engraving? Sure, but I’d rather have a blank than a mowl. I keep the count low these days tho so sorting thru a box of stuff isn’t a problem for me. Aesthetic 100%

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I think that there should be some kind of form of engraving. It’s important for identifying marks to be placed on objects, especially something that may become collectible later on, that speaks to the legitimacy of the piece and helps with identification. Yoyos in particular are a unique case because they are such highly tactile objects that engravings actually can take away from the function and enjoyment of the object. As such, I think that, while there should be engravings, there should also be an industry standard “spot” that all yoyos are engraved at, that is unobtrusive and does not take away from their function. Maybe in a spot you’d have to take the yoyo apart to see, or even directly underneath the response pads? It doesn’t have to be in an easily visible location, but I do think they should be there.


Yes, project Y is quite distinctive, I’ll have no trouble knowing which one it is. I got mine engraved anyhow because its awesome.

Let’s do a quick poll!

  • Yes (even if it’s minimalistic)
  • No

0 voters