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.
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?
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 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.
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.
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.