I have been a fan of the General-yo brand since they first came on the scene back in the yoyonation hay days.
I was younger at that time with new born twins, so I had to window shop at the time outside of briefly having a 5 star and Hatrick. The little time I had with them was enough to spark my passion.
The kids are older and I’ve got the means now so I’m working on building up a collection and trying out everything I missed out on.
I’m going to document my collection one post at a time, I’m doing it for fun for myself and to have the documentation. If you enjoy it, fantastic.
I’ll be starting it off with the Essence. This is from the first run that was made in the USA. This specific one was referred to as the “Lost Essence.”. I believe that comes from Ernie finding a box of them in his closet that he had forgotten about. He had them done in this polished blue color.
It is dead smooth (general yo smooth). I have tried an original Essence in the past and one of the newer releases that are still in stock. It’s been a long time since I had tried the original; I really couldn’t remember how much I liked it. The newer version I tried didn’t blow me away. It was a great yoyo, dead smooth, but for some reason it just didn’t jive with me.
I just got the Lost Essence, and I assumed I’d feel the same way. It could either be the honeymoon phase, or a difference in the old American made model and the newer overseas model (different aluminum), or minor revisions to the design or temporary insanity on my end, but this old Lost Essence is rocking my world.
I highly recommend finding an old model Essence, especially if you like organics yoyos. If you can’t find an old one, try out the new one, it’s still an awesome yoyo, I just didn’t dig it as much as the old one (and that could very well just be in my head.)
I don’t even know where to begin on this second entry.
The original 5 star, in the production polished candy apple red and black. 5 stars engraved on the red half, and the 5 star logo on the black half.
This yoyo was my one yoyo to rule them all and took a long time to acquire. For some General yo afficinados it would be the OG Torrent, Magnum or USA Hatrick. Not me. I have wanted it since the release date well over ten years ago. Did it disappoint once I finally had it in hand?
Not in the slightest. The gap in the original is ever so slightly smaller, but have no fear, no snagging is caused. The feel in hand from the design, material used, expert machining, hand polishing, artful engraving, it just puts it in a whole other ball park for me.
I am known for not having an emotional attachment to yoyos as I’m constantly trading them. That’s fair to say, I do it because it affords me the luxury of getting to play more yoyos than your average bear for the cost of shipping. It also allows me to pinpoint exactly what I like.
Obviously it’s all personal preference, but after trying out hundreds of yoyos, I like the design and machine work from General yo the best. It is accentuated in this very yoyo, the 5 star. I may end up trading off some of my General-yo throws for other General yo throws I want more, but I can honestly say this won’t be one of them. I am most definitely emotionally attached.
The Hatrick here is from their second run. The Hatrick was my first taste of what they had to offer, and I was hooked immediately.
Do not let it’s 50mm size fool you, it can absolutely hang with the big boys. In some areas, namely grinding, it excels every yoyo I have ever played. The blast on these are just unparalleled. I don’t know what the recipe for this finish was, but @the_general really nailed it.
I only have one in my collection currently. I’ve almost traded out my entire collection for General yo throws. If I were to trade out any of my General yo collection, it would be to acquire another Hatrick. I would be very interested to get a ten year anniversary addition that was manufactured by Onedrop to see how they compare.
The Torrent is the first yoyo made by General yo. It defined smoothness for many. It is as extremely well received by the community and has become a thing if legend. A second release was done, The Torrent II, and that is what we have here. This one in general in a polished half gold, was not a production offering. I don’t have much back story but it did come from Ernie’s personal collection.
It is a joy to play with and definetly provides the old school feel, while steel being able to hold up to today’s tricks. I wouldn’t say it performs as good as a Hatrick or 5 star, but it’s very close in my opinion.
I love the color in this, while it’s half raw aluminum and half polished gold, it gives it a look of silver and gold which really is pleasing.
The Aman KLR. This was from the second run of KLR. The half black, half Aman isn’t listed as an official production so this is either a b grade or prototype. The slight vibe leans to me thinking it is a b grade even though it isn’t marked.
The anodizing by Aman is beautiful. I love when yoyo makers go to boutique artists to have unique work done.
This was the first competition oriented model from General-yo, as evident by the shape being more on the side of a V than anything else.
Does it play like a competition throw? Yes, it definetly does, but somehow it keeps that fun laid back factor that General-yo hung their hat on. If you feel the need to own one and cannot find one in the BST, do not reach out to me, lol. Get a Royal 1, they are very similar and priced very reasonably.
I have a similar half swap but mine is green instead of black on the opposite side!
How much do those hatricks run for?
I bet that is beautiful. Is it the same color polished green from the first run KLR?
@CaptainFoxxButt You can get a Hatrick for between $90 and $130 depending on condition and colorway. They are tough to find from my experience as they sell quick, but with them being rereleased a few years ago, it’s not impossible. Now the USA Hatrick that Vendetta anodized, no telling what that thing is worth nowadays.
I believe YoyoBrothers listed a USA Hatrick about a year ago for $325 when he sold off some throws. It sold almost instantly, definitely could’ve gone for higher. I got a $500 offer on one of mine shortly after that. The OG Torrent, USA Hatrick, and perhaps Magnum still seem to hold that same cult status they did years ago.
And that’s why I didn’t start off targeting those three, lol. I’m just thanking my lucky stars I found what all I did, especially the OG 5 star.
Congrats on having one of the very few USA Hatricks, for real.
Aside from my first run green KLR, all of my General-yo throws are from more recent batches. My favorite of the bunch is also the 5 Star (one of my favorite yoyos period), and you are really tempting me to get my hands on an OG run version.
Very nice collection
I have an original 5 Star plus a number of old General-yos, including Torrents, and most of the others you mentioned. They are for sale, but I don’t know how you guys do the sales process. Let me know. I have a lot of yo-yos to sell.
Next we have the ten year anniversary rerelease of the 5 star. He had Onedrop machine it, from the looks of it, seems to be an exact copy of the 5 star V2 (the original had a slightly smaller gap.). It still uses .555 pads. Looks like they swapped over to a dif-e-yo bearing, it suits the yoyo very nicely.
It doesn’t grind as well as the famous blasting on the V2, but it grinds very good (infinitely better than the polished OG obviously.)
The colors are gorgeous in my opinion. Whomever did the work on the ten year anniversary Hatrick and 5 star really outdid themselves. I would love to see new designs machined at Onedrop and anodized through whomever did this work. The blasting in these, while not being able to grind as good as the V2, will prevent scratches and feels more premium in the hand.
Of my entire collection, I grab for it more than most. If you are looking for a nice introduction, you’d be hard pressed to look elsewhere. They show up in occasion in the BST, thus cost me $95. They retailed for $125, and the high cost will likely prevent future designs to be manufactured and anodized in this fashion, but that is just an assumption on my end, I very much hope I am wrong.
Here we have a yoyo that I have very little info on. If a fellow General yo fan can chime in, I’d love to learn.
This is a KLR 2. It has some tweaks to the original KLR design, just enough to be able to successfully call it a KLR 2 in my opinion. The General yo webpage has no mention of it which leads me to believe it was a very small run for team members or was dismissed after the prototyping phase.this specific one is hard coated. I was told that the hardcoat caused a pretty severe vibe.
I can confirm the vibe. It’s still playable, but would be best described as C grade. Makes for a perfect EDC with the Hardcoat and it’s not like a ding is going to induce anymore vibe.
I don’t have scales, I stopped that life years ago, but I find it to be lighter than the original. Hard to say if one plays better than the other, would be easier to do if they were both A grade. If I had to though, I’d honestly give the slightest of edges to the KLR 2. Mostly on account of it being a little lighter. They are both fantastic though so it’s really just splitting hairs.
Thought you might appreciate this. Aman who did some of the ano for generalyo would do a couple 1 offs as well.
Here’s a digital one I got from him some time back. I believe I sold it to yoyobrothers but not sure.
That is gorgeous, Aman needs to get back into the yoyo anodizing scene if he enjoys it, because he does some beautiful work. Thank you for sharing!
I’ve tried getting yoyo brothers to sell some General yo, they aren’t budging, and I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t either, money can be replaced, these cannot.
My understanding was that there were too many B grades when Aman was anodizing so they ended up stopping.
I do have a b grade so that makes sense, lol