General Yo - from General to Captain?

A few years ago, it seemed General Yo was one of the very top yoyos made, and I agree, they were great.

I got out of yoing for a few years, and when I came back, it was clear that General Yo no longer seemed nearly as highly regarded/talked about as it was.

I’ve done some thinking/ideas about it. Was hoping some folks here would reply with their thinking (w/out yet posting my own - yet) to see if it matches my own. I’ll post my thoughts after a few replies, might be interesting to compare.

Full disclosure, I’ve not read or heard anything on this subject, yet.

Thanks in advance!

Funny, I was thiking about this yesterday.

General Yo still bring out some great yoyos, they just seem like they just aren’t as great as some of the releases from a few years ago and before.

I don’t know what others think, but to me, this was marked by the release of the Legato. The shape of it looked distinctly Gen-Yo, but something about the finish looked distinctly Chinese to me. Then I found out that distinct made in China look was indeed because it was made in China.

This does not mean necessarily that there is any significant drop in quality, but it was immediately obvious to me from looking at the yoyo. The surface had a shinier look rather than that lovely matte Gen-Yo finish. Also, something about the colours looked more like Chinese than USA made.

It’s hard to explain and could all just be purely my perception (apart from the fact it is indeed made in China).

This may be a reason why they could maybe not as highly regarded?

掷骰子 :-\

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Times change and industries evolve. General-Yo was known for making “smooth” yo-yo’s; back in the day when being “smooth” somehow equated to being “good”. Both the industry and consumers have moved forward.

The designs and machining that Ernie was known for became both immaterial to the consumer and a commodity. Look at the landscape today. I can get a butter-smooth, 7068 yo-yo for under $50. A bi-metal for $70. This means that General-Yo needs to compete primarily on design and outsource the production just to compete.

For an essentially one man show, I think he has done a remarkably good job evolving his products along with the industry. General-Yo makes single and bi-metal designs that can play with the best around. Not too bad for a company that has faced so much new competition, over so many years.


You don’t know Ernie. Don’t speak for him, you don’t have the right. But you love to come across as some freaking expert.
Shut up.

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Why the hostility here? It’s cool you’re friends with Ernie, but YoYoGeezer didn’t say one single negative thing about General Yo or Ernie, he even complimented his designs and how he’s evolved the business…

And honestly, his thoughts on the subject aren’t wrong. He made some good points. Relax.


3 of my 6 yo-yos are General Yo’s.
Didn’t want to part with them when I sold stuff off.

Would get a Legato, but have little $ now.

I think some of the things I was mulling over about GY weren’t exactly correct. I had some thoughts about the yoyo industry catching up with GY (and in some cases, passing them). While this may be true to some extent, but likely not as much as I had previously wondered.

GY’s output seems on the smaller side, and number of options providing good quality, innovation and cost is really growing, so they are not quite as unique in that regard as they once were (though still an excellent choice).

Personally, I love 'em.

Sorry if I offended somehow. I re-read my comment. Not sure where I “spoke” for General Yo. I have met Ernie in the past, so I know that he is the guy behind General-Yo. I think that gives me the right to use common-knowledge; like his name, in association with the company he runs. What possible offence have you taken?

I am also not sure what a “freaking expert” on this subject would be. I have been buying and selling yo-yo’s (lots of them General-Yo) for many years now. That is the basis of my comments; not some claim to inside knowledge or information.


Used to be All American Made. Changed to All American Design.

Doesn’t quite ring the same way.

Read the labels on most major brand items these days. Most are “Made under license…” and a lot are “Made in (somewhere other that the USA).” Very little made by the brand owner. Yes, quite disconcerting, as they say…

I love general yo regardless. Been one of my favorite companies for years. Own some older throws of his and some.of his newer ones. His designs are still great. I do miss the old finish. Felt like smooth sand on a grind. Still great yoyos though no matter where they’re made.


I really like Chinese food… And it’s not even made in China🤓

I didn’t see a single sentence in Yoyogeezers’ post that seemed out of line at all.

His statements sounded very logical and reasonable to me. And I have been around yo-yos for almost 20 years now.

And I have known Ernie from about the time his first yoyo came out.

I’m not even going to rehash anything any of you guys have been talking about…

But I will submit something very pertinent to the, ‘What happened to Ernie and his General Yo’ situation.

Ernie changed jobs awhile back. His current job duties take up a lot of his time and energy.

He is not Compelled to make yo-yos. Selling yo-yos is not necessary for him to afford to eat 3 times a day.

He has nothing to prove to anybody. We already know how much of a perfectionist he is; regardless of where his yo-yos are made.

Ernie spends many hours at his primary source of income ‘job’. And he likes to unwind after work: riding his Harley and playing his Many guitars.

He still loves yo-yos and designing yo-yos.

Because he has prioritized his focus and energy; he doesn’t get demoted from General to Captain.

He is the same man… he has just altered his plans somewhat.

Ive never met a nicer guy. And sharper than a razor blade.

And I wouldn’t care if my 3 Legatos would have been delivered in a bowl of chicken fried rice.

Ernie turns out first rate throws.



I disagree this his comments are a correct assessment of what has happened in the high-end yoyo segment over the last 10 years. It’s a few vague broad stroke sentences that don’t really mean anything. For example what does “smooth” mean? Why the quotes? And if “smooth” is no longer relevant to the consumer, why does he then note that you can get “butter-smooth” (no quotes) yoyos now? Is butter-smooth different from “smooth”? And as someone who works for YYE, you well know that smooth is still very important to yoyoers.

Perhaps the whole thing is a lot more nuanced and complicated than what can be described in a few sentences. I have a different perspective and experience, obviously, but I would write a much different story about what has happened.

I do like that we can have this conversation. It’s a good topic.

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Are we having a conversation? I hardly think so. Too many One Drop Bronies grinding their ax for that.

Besides, no one said my assessment was correct; just that some good points were made. Perhaps you missed that in your haste to attack me; apparently just for the sake of it.

Too bad the original topic is lost in all of this nonsense.

“One Drop Bronies”? I guess you couldn’t resist being negative after all.

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If he is not compelled to make yoyos, why bother making cheaper ones? The brand has prestige, and I feel like instead of churning out more yoyos, he should hone his craft on the finest yoyos possible. Im sure there is more reasoning to the story, but I wouldn’t just make the best thing I can make, and then make it cheaper because I have nothing to prove. I would hate for the next iPhone to be made out of plastic because they have nothing to prove.

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That is easily one of the worst full of holes responses I have ever read on this or any yoyo related Forum.

What you stated is so invalid that I read it about 3 or 4 times just to make sure I wasn’t missing some kinda cryptic meaning.

Why would you even bother to respond; when you obviously haven’t a clue relative to factuality?

And by the way; I really love your Apple analogy. It is perfectly misplaced and misused and misguided.

I’ll type my response slowly so you have a more reasonable chance of absorbing some of it🤓

… Ernie is not compelled to make yoyos because his primary source of income is more of the ‘center of his time and mental resources’.

Ernie owes nobody Continuous evidence of his ability to turn out Excellent yoyos. There is plenty of proof in yoyo bags all over the World.

Ernie has Never churned out yoyos. He has Always made small batches of yoyos and he hand tests every single one of them himself.

…Apple as a Company; is currently valued close to a Trillion dollars. Apple has made the major percentage of Company profit on the sales of IPhones and Apple care coverage. Apple, therefore, has something to continuously prove itself in order to insure future profitability and support its revenue stream.
IPhone sales are their Primary source of Money.

Unlike Apple; Designing, making, marketing and selling yoyos has Never been the Primary source of income or profit for General Yo. That is why your comparing Apple and Ernie is so absurd, hahaha.

Ernie is not ‘compelled’ simply because his financial game plan has been reoriented by priorities.

General Yo has never made a Cheap yoyo. Maybe a few batches of less expensive yoyos that were the result of Chinese manufacture. But the design and build quality is still excellent.

The ‘hone his craft’ statement that you made; has no substance or merit to even inspire any response other than the one preceding this period.

Is there really any use to all of the negativity and belittling going on here? Like, I get that it’s the internet, but c’mon guys, don’t just be jerks to each other.


This. These are toys. Yoyos. Everything is going to be ok.

On the positive side, who else has played the ministar 2? it’s by far the most maneuverable, comfortable mini have ever played. really enjoying it :slight_smile:

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