ILOVEYOYO Noctu 2010
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
February 21, 2011
The Noctu has been around for quite some time. It was originally designed to be ILYY’s second release but the completely off the wall design required extra prototyping in order to fine tune the play. When the retail Noctu debuted several years back it was smaller, lighter, and Candy Blasted blue. I had an opportunity to own one of those initial Noctus and I will be honest, it scared the heck out of me. It was a fun yo-yo to play; there is no denying that, but the sharp edges and lightweight made the yo-yo feel like I was playing with a pair of saw blades that could smack me in the head at a moments notice. Ultimately I ended up trading it away after I dinged my shin pretty badly with a different but similarly sharp edged yo-yo. Moving forward to 2010 the guys at ILYY announced that he was dusting off the Noctu design. They decided to add three millimeters to the diameter, four and a half grams of weight, and refine the shape a little. I am looking forward to seeing what these refinements bring to one of the most unique looking yo-yos on the market today.
• Diameter: 55.10mm
• Width: 42.70mm
• Weight: 68.50g
• Response: Hot Red SILYYcone
• Bearing: ILYY KMK 6×13x5mm
As I said in the intro this yo-yo is “different”, it looks unlike anything else on the market today. From the very beginning, the shape of the Noctu has given it the unofficial moniker of being “Batman’s YoYo”. It has been called this so much that ILYY did a special “Batman Edition” for High Speed YoYo that was Candy Blasted and anodized half black, half yellow. Just think of it this way, the special edition is more of a Tim Burton Batman while the retail run is more of a Chris Nolan Batman. The retail run is Candodized and anodized in a dark titanium color that is just a couple shades lighter than black. Looking at the profile of the Noctu it can loosely be labeled as an H-Shaped yo-yo with serious enhancements. The rims flare upwards like the ears on the Dark Knight’s cowl, lending to the unofficial status that it enjoys. The catch zone is a concave curve to the low walled gap. The face of the yo-yo protrudes out a little from the rim giving a deep cup. The floor of the cup has a shallow spike in the center and a large IGR cut behind the rim. There is a trade off for having such an interesting shape, and that is the fact that this yo-yo is not the most comfortable yo-yo to hold or catch. The flared rims end in a point that do not sit well in the palm and can cause pain when the yo-yo returns from a throw. Overall the design is impressive giving huge rims and an unparalleled look. I will talk more in the “Playability” section on whether the discomfort affects my enjoyment of the yo-yo.
The added weight has made for a much more solid feel on the string. The previous Noctu was a little speed demon on the string, it sometimes felt like it could easily get out of control, ultimately damaging my person in the process. The added weight of the 2010 model slows the Noctu down a tad, giving it a much more manageable speed while also giving it a much more deliberate feel on the string. The Noctu is no longer a floaty yo-yo. It moves with purpose and spins for quite a long time. If I had to guess I would say the extra four and a half grams went straight to the rims.
Response and Bearing
The response is ILYY’s own Hot Red SILLYcone. Once the fresh install of sILLYcone has broken in you will be rewarded with some of the longest lasting flowable I have seen in a yo-yo. It is also dead unresponsive after break in. Before it breaks in it is a little grabby and the yo-yo can shoot back up to the hand. Normally it isn’t a problem, but in the case of the Noctu I would say pay extra attention. A sudden and unexpected crack to the knuckles from those rims will wake you up quickly.
The bearing is the standard KMK metric bearing found in all large bearing ILYY products. I would have to say it is one of the best metric bearings in play today. I have yet to have one fail and since they come deshielded by default it is extremely ease to perform routine maintenance.
Well, I have harped on the pain throughout the review but how does it play? In short… pretty darn good. Yes it hurt me while I played it, but it is a pain I can live with. It has a very solid and smooth feel on the string. There is little wall in the catch zone to close the loops during suicides. During the play test I worked on a new trick combo of my own that involves a version of the Pulled GT, a GT Suicide, and a Jade Whip that I think I will end up calling the Flying Graysons, comic geeks like myself will appreciate the oh so appropriate reference. The only weakness in play is in the grinds. Normally I don’t have a problem grinding with the Candodized finish, but with the design of this yo-yo there are certain grinds that fall short. Palm and thumb grinds are easy to pull off and work as they should. Arm grinds and finger grinds are a different matter entirely. The shape of the yo-yo allows for more skin contact, which causes the yo-yo to shoot off on these two types of grinds. If you are a grind fanatic then I recommend you track down one of the limited Batman Edition versions since they sport ILYY’s Candy Blast finish.
The best way to sum up this yo-yo is that it is like playing with a balisong. There is a sense of danger knowing that a wrong move will cause some damage but at the same time there is just a thrill while putting it through its paces. Would I recommend this yo-yo? Yes. It is such a unique shape that it just has to be played. At this point I would say that there is nothing else ILYY can do to this design, after almost three years I think they have finally perfected it.