How is Duncan these days

I think Duncan is the most well known name in yoyo’s but I don’t hear a lot of talk about their high end throws. The most advanced yoyo I’ve ever owned from them is the metal drifter, something I loved when transitioning from responsive to unresponsive play. It’s still very basic in comarison to most modern yoyos though.

It looks like they’ve got a few midrange mono metals like the grasshopper and some high end bimetals like the hay maker. How do these stack up against similarly priced yoyo’s?


whenever i think of duncan its usually how they display themselves on the larger market. yeah, they have their cheap butterflys and imperials pretty much everywhere, and they always sponsor contests a lot, but you rarely see any big duncan players. you dont see them consistently making yoyos that are reaching bigger audiences in the yoyo community. in my sight, theyre pretty much a b-brand compared to yyf, clyw, od, etc., mainly due to their lack of audience they try to reach; they dont have their players completely slaying competitions like the companies i just mentioned, and i dont see them actually try to sell themselves to the outside world (other than that partnership with disney).

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Their recent inexpensive metals have gotten pretty good, I’d say they have caught up with the market.


What about their high-end stuff?

Duncan has always been caught between its name/history in yoyoing and the fact that it has owners who don’t care about yoyoing except for the money it can bring in.

So its prominence in the “serious” yoyoing market has always risen and fallen with the larger popularity of yoyoing as a hobby along with the amount of enthusiasm and effort whoever is running Duncan can muster to fight with the owners for promotional/sponsorship/development money.

There have been (and continue to be) some really cool people connected with Duncan who I will always respect. But Flambeau and the Duncan ownership…meh.

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It just seems to me like they got their imperials and their butterfly’s in every toy store across the globe and then just stopped. I mean they have their logo on the stage of every tournament, but I rarely see anybody throwing their yoyo’s up there. Maybe it’s just my perception and they are selling a lot of unresponsive yoyos. I mean, how long can a company coast on a 6 decades old toy?

Anyway, my original question was just how good their unresponsive yoyos are. How do, say their $50ish yoyos compared to benchmark yoyos like the shutter and horizon? What about their bimetals? How do those stack up to something popular like the edge? I want to buy something from them but don’t want to waste money if they are subpar.

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Recent opinions I’ve read about the Haymaker X is that it is every bit as good as anything in its price range, though if you’re looking for balls-out performance and you like that shape, an extra $20-30 might be better invested in an Edge Beyond. But regardless, the Haymaker X sounds like no slouch to me.

Id like to keep it under $50 and the MKT looks pretty good. I think I’ll give that a go.

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I have loved every recent Duncan I’ve got.
Origami v1
Echo 2
Raptor v1
Grasshopper is easily in my top 5 faves.

But I did get the Roadrunner and it has scared me away from trying the Orbit and Counter Punch.

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This is kind of disappointing since I really, really like my Windrunner.

I heard that the Counter Punch was really good compared to the Roadrunner, though.

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The high-end stuff is solid, but I feel Duncan’s bread and butter is the value (metal) side of the line, which has gotten stronger recently. Haymaker X is probably the most interesting of their high end models. Mostly there are sooo many other high end yoyos to choose from…