ILOVEYOYO Liopleurodon 2012
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
May 20, 2012
I don’t know what it is, tinkering with well-established designs must be imprinted in German DNA… and this is not a bad thing at all. A perfect example is the Porsche 911 series. The 911 has kept the same visual look since it debuted back in the 1960s. Yes there has been a tweak here and there to the body but the major work is under the hood. ILOVEYOYO has been doing the same to their yo-yos, tweaking the body a little but doing all the major work under the hood so to speak, shifting weight here and there in order to bring about the absolute best performance. In my opinion some of their yo-yos play perfectly in the first design, the Liopleurodon (AKA the Lio) being on of them. Today I am reviewing the 2012 version of arguably ILYYs best full sized yo-yo. I am curious to see of the 1.3 gram reduction in weight from the original makes it a better player on the string.
• Diameter: 54.85mm
• Width: 41.50mm
• Weight: 66.70g
• Response: Hot Red SILYYcone
• Bearing: ILYY KMK 6x13x5mm
Visually, the 2012 Lio looks almost exactly like the original. The profile is still that extremely rounded butterfly shape with a slightly high walled gap. The gap area on the 2012 has been masked during the blasting process, reducing the string saw effect some experienced on the original. The cup shows off the rounded hub in the center and an IGR just under the rim. The only visual tweak I could see that gives away the fact that this is a 2012 is that the rim lip in front of the IGR is thinner than the previous model. One of the things I am very happy about is that the 2012 Lio is Candy Blasted. I know Frank at ILYY loves the Candodized finish more, but I think the Candy Blast finish just has the better feel in the hand and gives superior grinds. If you like the looks and feel in the hand of the original then you will love this one, they are almost indistinguishable.
The weight is where the 2012 Lio sets itself apart from the original. While on paper it only shed a meager 1.3 grams, in the hand it feels quite a bit different. The shifting of weight reduced the thunk you got when it hit the end of the string, making it play lighter while retaining the long spin times and stability. The overall feel is a zippier playing version of the original. Changes in direction felt faster and I felt that it spun longer on a throw.
Response and Bearing
The response is still ILYY’s SILYYcone response that breaks in great and lasts forever. I would love it if someone could take this stuff and turn it into a pad that easily fit other yo-yos.
ILOVEYOYO has stuck with their large metric KMK bearing that they have used in all their other yo-yos. One of the things I have always knocked this bearing on is how hard it is to get in the States if it dies. ILYY has taken it upon itself to fix this by packing a backup in with the 2012 Lio.
As I said above, the play feels new and fresh with the latest Lio. Now I should start out by saying I liked the play of the original but I felt it was a little heavy on the string. It felt like there was a minute hesitation when it tried to change direction. Other than that small issue, I felt everything else was spot on. The 2012 Lio fixes this issue, adding speed and precision. The moment of hesitation is gone but the spin and stability remains. The Lio was able to handle any and all tricks I threw at it. The masked gap allowed the loops to stay open enough for me to catch during suicide tricks. Grind tricks are perfectly executed thanks to the Candy Blast finish. Honestly, I can’t find anything bad to say about the play. About the only people who won’t like the 2012 Lio are those with small hands and those who like matador play.
ILOVEYOYO has done it again. They have taken one of their beloved, established designs and amped it up in the play department. The 2012 Lio is the definitive version of the line. There is only one thing I would have liked to see done with this release. I would have liked them to add some sort of visual cue; laser etch, different color combo… something that lets everyone know that this is a new version. Other than that, the 2012 Lio is an awesome rerelease.