Must have throws for collectors thread

I’m new to throwing and already have started collecting them. In the past few weeks of throwing I’ve bought 8 yoyos ranging from $3 to 200. I'm not that familiar with the history of how they have evolved over the years so would like to see what other collectors think are must haves for each style/evolvement of throws. These don't necessarily need to be high msrp but more of how that throw changed the way manufactures focused on the “next” product.

I’m thinking the list should have 4-5 throws but anyone feel free to correct/suggest modification.

Starting to edit from responses

  1. Classic fixed axle must have.
    Should today’s $3 Duncan imperial or butterfly belong here or was there a time that the design was changed to a similar model like either of them?

Should this be a Duncan? What model if so?

  1. Looping yoyo. I don’t know much about them at all so this one may not even need to be on here but just thought it could have been one that manufactures changed designs just for looping.

  2. String trick throw. I don’t have the knowledge to know what this type of throw was. A double axle I assume but need feedback for #3. I’m thinking along the lines of just where an 1A throw was developed. This one could even be #s 3 & 4 as far as I know.

Edit. Possibly Duncan Wheels or maybe it belongs in sleeper category

  1. Ball bearing yoyo.
    Edit from response. Playmaxx Cold Fusion
    After research SB-2 should belong here, correct?

  2. Unresponsive yoyo.

The next two may or may not need to be on the list.

Edit. Maybe these dont deserve a place in history but if someone can name the first yoyos of these genres that would be cool.

  1. Sleeper yoyo
    Edit. Possibly Duncan Wheels or may belong in string trick category.

  2. Brain yoyo

  3. Take apart yoyo.
    No Jive 3 in 1. Made this section just for it.

I’m in the process of putting together a display for all my throws but would like the “next level/game changers” to have their own special place that stands out so need to know how many should actually be on the list from more educated throwers of the importance in the history behind this little amazing toy.

I may have overlooked another important part of the evolution process. Yoyo material. Was there a hype from this design at some point? Like from wood to plastic, plastic to metal, or other materials I’m not thinking about?

Here are a few yoyos that have been very popular over the years and are “collectible.”

CLYW Peak, YYF Original 2007 888, YYF Catch 22, YYJ Original Hitman, Tom Kuhn No Jive 3 in 1, the list goes on.

Then you have your modern classics like the CLYW Chief, YYJ Dark Magic, YYF Supernova/Genesis.

Also, I find a problem with your list. There’s two major categories of yoyos: unresponsive and responsive. There are a few subcategories under responsive: looping, fixed axle, and regular responsive. I wouldn’t focus too much on categories of yoyos because honestly you’re limiting yourself. If you want to collect yoyos, just collect them instead of worrying about catagories because there’s only pretty much 2 anyways.


Basically all the Anti Yo’s, especially the OG Bapezilla. And like SR said, don’t limit t yourself to these categories. Many of them overlap. For example, most unresponsive yoyos are designed for “string tricks” and have ball bearings. I’m not totally sure what you mean by “sleeper yoyo”, but if you’re looking for a yoyo designed purely for long sleep times, the C3 BTH and YYF Buddha King are right up your alley.

Oh yeah, Peaks.

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First. Thank you.

Second. So other than responsive and unresponsive, there weren’t any throws during the evolvement of yoyos that pushed other manufactures to follow suit? That’s what I’m more interested in. Like I’m sure there was a throw that was designed to make string tricks possible or could put it another way and say a throw that slept longer allowing more string tricks. That throw could have been fixed, double axle, bearings, or something I don’t even have listed. I’m looking for “the product that made other manufactures follow suit”.

I’m not looking for any yoyo to throw really. I’m wanting to see the history of evolution but like y’all are saying it may not be that simple. I just figured there were mild stones in the evolvement to where we are now.

Like sleeper yoyo for example. Was there not a point in evolution where a company decided to produce a functional throw that slept a lot longer than their competition?

The throws what I listed are some of the few that were pretty big and after their release other companies followed it and it became the standard.

Maybe there aren’t any standout moments in the production of yoyos that brought them to where we are now but just figured like many other designs, yoyos had the same evolutionary items that changed the way manufactures and players looked at the “next” level.

I collect fishing tackle. Everything from reels, rods, and lures. And there are quite a few mild stone products that changed the way products were made. So figured like most everything there were the same with throws.


Aren’t most of the throws you mentioned unresponsive. I think the DM was adjustable but was it the first “really” successful adjustable? Yea things like that are what I’m wanting feedback on for sure. Like what was the first or one of the first successful unresponsive throws. I’m sure there had to be one that was first but maybe the second or third was the one that made it the one to have etc…

The same with looping. Was there a had to have looping throw?

And the brain. I remember getting a clear plastic yoyo for my birthday as a child and only know now that’s what it was because of today’s models that have similar mechanics inside of them. I didn’t even know what it was when was a child and prolly didnt use it more than handful of times before it got lost in the bottom of my toy box.

Like I said above, it may not be as easy as I thought but surely there is a history that goes along with successful models that were somewhat copied to allow the evolvement.

And what would have been the difference between fixed axle and default responsive at their place in time?

Definitely try and find a Freehand1. They defined an era, 10 years ago; everyone was throwing them. The FH Magnesium was also a pretty big step forward, since (I believe) before that, no one had made any titanium or magnesium yoyos. And of course a Sovereign belongs in that collection. I’d try and get the first releases of the major companies, like a CLYW Peak, an OD Project 1… whatever SPYY started with, whatever YYF started with, lol.

This is all assuming money is no object - a more realistic collection might just focus on game-changing modern yoyos like the Chief with its inner weight ring, the Hitman as someone said, the protostar (as a groundbreaking plastic w/ metal weightrings), the yeti (groundbreaking all-plastic)…

I work a bit different. I agree with all the categories except the “sleeper” category and “clutch” category.

I think having a “dedicated long sleeper” is rather odd to have unless that’s an area you want to mess around with, or just flat out want it. I don’t have a desire to have something like having a BTH. I feel having clutch yoyos to be not worth investing in unless you just want to have one(or two or three).

I’ve actually made efforts to ensure I have stuff in the other categories.

For now, I just get what I want and don’t worry about the rest. If I can afford it and it visually appeals to me, I’m almost guaranteed a successful choice.

The barebones definitely comes to mind and the pyro

What about the silver bullets? Weren’t they some of the first metal and ball bearing yoyos?

When I was a kid I would wax the string on my duncan butterfly for long sleep time. Get an old butterfly on eBay, put it on a pedestal and play the rest.

Different throws will be iconic to different people for different reasons. These are the yoyos that I think of when I think of yoyoing in relation to my life:

  1. Duncan Butterfly (first yoyo I remember playing with and I remember my dad teaching me how to make it go up and down and how to make sure I made the string the right length for me)

  2. Yomega Fireball (was on vacation with my parents when I was a kid and made them buy me one at Sharper Image cuz it was a “sleeper”. It was the first time I actually enjoyed playing with a yoyo. It eventually broke and is possibly in a pile of my old junk at my parents house)

  3. Turbo Bumble Bee (purchased in summer of 98 after graduating elementary school iirc, it slept a long time and I loved it and became one of the kids hanging out at the yoyo kiosk at the mall all the time. Learned how to do brain twister all the way through cold fusion and buddha’s revenge which were like the hardest tricks at the time, or at least the hardest ones anyone taught me lol. I think I still have it, quite possibly in the same pile as the Fireball)

  4. Turbo Bumble Bee GT (came out in 98 also I think? It made every trick I knew how to do easy mode and was my transition to a properly shaped string trick yoyo with a ball bearing. Still own many, all in nm/mint except my original one. Bearing/axle are super rusty but if I replaced them and put new pads in I’m sure it’d play fine despite being super beat)

  5. Freehand 1 (bought mine on Dave’s Skill Toys in 2001 iirc. I was in high school and didn’t yoyo much but it was well worth the $15 or whatever the retail on it was back then. I have no idea if people were starting to play unresponsive at this time but I liked to play mine with super worn down pads and would only replace the most worn out pad once it became too unresponsive for me. It was heavier and although I doubt I learned any new tricks between like 1999-2002 I do know that purchasing this FH is basically what kept my interest in yoyos alive until 2008 because I really loved how it played and it made me quite happy. I still have it and I still love it)

  6. 888 (purchased in Spring 2008 iirc, before finishing my last quarter in college and getting my degree. I had been doing better and better in work the past year to the point where it made the degree I was working on near worthless in comparison for the future and I started spending money on frivolous things. One of those frivolous things was an aqua 888 cuz when I googled yoyos I found YYN and everyone seemed to like the 888 and the Peak and 888s were in stock and Peaks were not plus I loved Playmaxx and YYF is run by some of the Playmaxx guys. I didn’t know what a bind was but I knew I needed to learn how do do one to make the thing come back to my hand and I knew that despite being metal and expensive that it was smaller than everything in my trusted Playmaxx collection and 1 Duncan yoyo and that intrigued me. I still own this 888 and play with it frequently.

Since purchasing that 888 I have come to own many more metals (and plastics) and at times enjoy some more than others but to be perfectly honest I would have a hard time saying that any individual one is strictly a “better” yoyo than the 888 I purchased back then and I would quite frankly be just fine owning only that 888 still. But I’m certainly thankful that I have the disposable income to purchase more yoyos as they make me quite happy to own and play with :slight_smile: I enjoy my numerous YYFs and CLYWs and my smaller assortment of ODs/SPYYs/General Yos/whatever else, and vividly remember what was happening in my life when I acquired each one (some of them very big life events) but I don’t associate with any of them nearly as strongly as I do with the idea of the 6 yoyos I listed above that were part of my life from ages 5-22. I guess that’s sort of odd as my life has wound up being an incredible roller coaster the past 5 years and I’ve certainly come to have a much better understanding of how the real world operates and what it really means to be an adult instead of a kid going to school on his parent’s dime while spending the majority of his time making more money for himself than he knows what to do with, all the while thinking that it’ll never stop flowing in. Maybe I just haven’t found the right one to identify with yet or maybe I just need to get a little more old and grey before I’m ready for my next life/yoyo evolution.

Yea. Like my original post suggested, I didn’t know if the brain or sleeper should be in there. Just thought if there was a specific yoyo that was known for starting the trend it might have a deserving spot.

Thanks for the comments

A yoyo that definitely deserves a place in history (in my humble opinion) - even if it’s underrated by most collectors because it’s still available - is the Duncan Wheels. This Yoyo was very important for the new Wave of Yoyoing in the early 1980ies and had a lot of influence to the developement of “better yoyos” and more complex string-tricks we know today.

I’m not worried about whether a certain throw was expensive or still available. I’m wanting to showcase the history of how throws evolved to where we are now. I know there are certain ones that will tell the story and maybe this one could fit that requirement.

Could you elaborate on it please? Searching for history of my subject didnt get me anywhere so only those who are willing to help fill this thread with their own knowledge will be the only way I’ll ever complete my goal in an accurate fashion.