John Ando (YYF) ProtoStar - First Impression Review

I just got my ProtoStar today in the mail.
Here’s a brief quick review on what it’s like straight out of the box.

Note that I am not a very advanced yo-yoer. This is a review based on the opinions and experiences of a lower level yo-yoer.

(I bought from YoYoExpert)

THE PROTOSTAR - $34.99 ($5 shipping)

In The Box …

  • the ProtoStar (of course)
  • a green string (not sure if it’s 50/50 or full Polyester. It seems 100% Polyester.)
  • a small trick list
  • a YoYoExpert check list for different yo-yo tricks
  • YoYoExpert sticker
  • two YoYoExpert trading cards of professional yo-yoers
  • bubble wrap!
  • receipt

Yo-Yo Specs

(from the YoYoExpert shop)
Diameter: 55.94 mm / 2.20 inches
Width: 43.15 mm / 1.69 inches
Gap Width: 4.43 mm / .17 inches
Response System: Standard Sized K-Pad
Weight: 67.0 grams
Bearing Size: Center Trac Bearing by CBC

First Throw

The ProtoStar feels great in the hand. It has a surprisingly wide gap, and even better, ARROWS on the side of the yo-yo to prevent overtightening! This was one of the best aspects of the yo-yo since I already broke two previous yo-yos from overtightening them.

I gave a weak throw to begin with. The results were surprising. The ProtoStar was VERY balanced and smooth. I literally jumped where I was standing. The center trac bearing worked very well in keeping the yo-yo together.

I have not yet timed how long a good sleeper on a ProtoStar is, but I have heard it has been around upwards 3 minutes of sleep time? (a straight sleeper, no tricks)


I’ve heard complaints about the sound of the ProtoStar because of its center trac bearing.
Bear with me here, since I’ve only had this yo-yo for a day. As of right now, the sound has not bothered me as much. The center trac bearing is easily heard spinning around but it is not a very piercing sound nor very loud. However, I do find that sometimes when I throw a hard sleeper it tends to get loud at times.

Anything weird about the ProtoStar yet?
One thing I’ve noticed as I played with my ProtoStar is that it pulsates … and with its red color I find this particularly enjoyable to watch. I have seen this happen when it sleeps. By pulsate, I mean that when it is in sleep, every second or so there is a vibration that makes it look like a pulse. Heck, I UFO’d to fix my string and it was interesting to see it pulsate in UFO mode. This may or may not affect some yo-yoers who are bothered by heavy vibrations in the string.

How’s the response system?
The ProtoStar is a fully UNRESPONSIVE yo-yo. I have not once had it return back to my hand by any other means besides binding. As a beginner yo-yo jumping from a simple Peter Fish Luminator to a ProtoStar, this was definitely a bit difficult to bind at some times. However, through problems and mistakes came improvement. Though frustrating at times, binding with the ProtoStar is quite a fun learning experience. However, it is definitely recommended to know how to bind quite well before getting a ProtoStar (unless you’re willing to learn form it).

How are the string tricks?
Bear with me once again, as I am not a very advanced yo-yoer (just yet?). In my previous yo-yo, string tricks were incredibly hard due to weight issues, even with a nice butterfly shape. The wide gap of the ProtoStar is VERY helpful. I’ve been landing my trapezes and mounts with much more success with the ProtoStar.

The Conclusion
I love my new ProtoStar. I have not put it down ever since I got it. This is a plastic yo-yo that definitely plays as well as a metal and really helps out in various string tricks.

I’ve noticed that many people have compared the ProtoStar with the Dark Magic.

Personally, I think the ProtoStar surpasses the Dark Magic on:

  • COST: The ProtoStar is $5 cheaper!
  • STRING TRICKS: The wider gap on the ProtoStar proves to be quite helpful
  • LOOKS: The Dark Magic looks alright when spinning (with caps on) but the ProtoStar’s built in logos on the sides look like blurry awesomeness when it’s sleeping.
  • BALANCE: I’ve had better balancing on the string with the ProtoStar. This may or may not be influenced by my improvement with trapezes from using the DM to the ProtoStar.
  • DURABILITY: With a Dark Magic, you’ll be worried about dinging the metal on the outside. The best part about the ProtoStar is that it’s PLASTIC! Though it’s possible to chip/crack the outside of the ProtoStar, it won’t affect you as much as the gritty, dinged metal outside of the Dark Magic.

However, I feel the Dark Magic surpasses the ProtoStar in:

  • BINDING: I don’t know if it’s just me, the ProtoStar’s center trac bearing, or the DM’s built in response system, but binding is just easier on the DM for me.
  • GRINDING: I’ve heard many things about how awesome grinding is on the Dark Magic due to its layered inside. The ProtoStar is capable of grinding, but definitely not as well.

Feel free to ask questions (though I probably will not be able to answer too many) or point out any mistakes/errors, as well as add your own experiences with the ProtoStar (such as grinds, advanced/master tricks, or more about the yo-yo itself). Each yo-yoer has a different experience with a yo-yo, so feel free to share your experiences!

Thanks for reading!

nice review.
i have a protostar, and it make loud noises now, but not affect play.
and about grinding, i think it’s only thing that this yoyo unable to do nicely.

I fully agree. The Protostar is my best yoyo.

needs pics

ugh my protostar comes in the mail today i cant wait to get home from school in like an hour and get it!

my protostar is awesome but very loud. I also think that this needs a 10 ball bearing.

I’ve really liked the protostars I’ve played. I like it better than the rally.

New Protostars are blasted and grind great!