Opinions on the Blizzard

So my Mother-in-law found out that I was looking at getting into throw tops (I’m a yoyo guy) and is sending me a spintastics Blizzard for my birthday. I haven’t been able to find much written about the top and wanted to hear your impressions and opinions on it.

free tops are the best tops ever.
blizzards are okay, all the lower cost tops have the same kinds of issues.
play it and get hooked, then try out some others. in the same price range, i like the size and feel of the duncans lots more than the spintastics.
if you are used to yo-yo prices, you can get lots of tops before you cut too far into your yo-yo fund.

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The Blizzard is Spintastics’ small bearing top. In the past the bearing assembly has had some performance issues. They have changed the design several times so it might be better now? I hope it spins great for you, but if it does not, you can always order a plastic or metal fixed tip from Spintastics and convert it - it is the same body as the Sidewinder

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what would you guys of recommended for a beginner’s top?

check out the vid’s that yophosis made, and just start trying to get it wound up right. after you learn how to throw a spinner and a boomerang, you can start working your way up the trick list. the kind of top you start with doesn’t make a lot of difference.
once you start working into the different tricks you can try some other tops and see what you like. since you are getting a bearing tip, you might try a fixed tip Duncan ripcord. there are also larger inexpensive tops available you might like the feel of. it’s kind of like yo-yos, certain tops are better for certain types of tricks.

I think the Spintastics sidewinder/blizzard is a great size for beginners. For fixed tip get the gladiator version, which is a sidewinder with metal tip that works much better than the plastic tip.

If you get the Duncan tops, make sure the string is long enough. They usually come with strings that are too short. When you wrap it around the body it should reach almost to the end of the rough section of plastic (you will need to look at one closely to understand this).

The nice thing about Spintastics compared to Duncan is that you can upgrade to higher performance tops as you get better. Duncan has nothing better.

Yes, if you get better than Takeshi and Mark Hayward and all the others that struggle by with Duncan tops, you can upgrade to a Trompo Grande or something :wink:
The videos and forums are probably more important for getting started on the right track than the brand of your top. When the top starts holding you back from the trick you are trying to do, you will know it, and you can move on and up from there…

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I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t getting a lemon.

You don’t have to stick with either brand as you get better.

Takeshi and Mark are sponsored players, so their choice doesn’t count. Gus won worlds with a $1.50 (in Mexico) Cometa top, but given a choice he would have used a bigger and heavier top.

Of course you can change brands as you improve. But I am guessing you are little less likely to upgrade tops if you need to change brands.

I am probably biased on this because I don’t feel any love coming from Duncan towards the top community. The tops they sell are models first produced in 2000. Except they have changed to an inferior plastic. They have known for a decade that the easy winding slot on the crown is defective but they have not fixed it. The string has been consistently short, consistently frustrating generations of players. Last year Duncan posted 100 yo-yo freestyles from worlds but erased the spintop freestyles (even though Mark was third!) They showed an aluminum 1-way bearing BK 5 years ago, but we are still waiting. I am sorry for the rant. I am always hoping Duncan gets back on track with tops.

Really?? You probably know more tops spinners than anybody, but seriously, can you name one that doesn’t enjoy collecting and playing a variety of different brands of tops? I can’t.

No, they are sponsored players, so their vote counts twice! It’s not like they were drafted, they chose to go w/Duncan.

Let me help you feel the love;
There would be no North American spin top community without Duncan.
They so loved the spin top community they brought you Steve Brown, Chris Neff, Takeshi, Mark Hayward, Drew Tetz … The list goes on and on of great spin top players helping to bring about interest with the young ones.
They produced an amazing spin top video, How To Be a Player, which influenced tons of folks.
They have a huge youtube source of great yo-yo and top vids, and they back it up with world-wide tours throwing yo-yos and tops.
They sponsor contests all over the world that promote top throwing.

Just because Duncan won’t change their manufacturing process to your specifications doesn’t mean they don’t love you! It’s probably just a form of tough love.

C’mon Ta0, open your heart, feel the love.


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The Duncan Spin Top product and the Duncan Crew are two completely different topics that should not be mixed in my opinion, however it is difficult to talk about either without mentioning Duncan as whole.

When talking about the products that are available to us, it is important to expose the problems that come with them. These barriers repel would-be top spinners.

Somebody should start writing some comprehensive reviews of the spin tops that are out there these days so that people know what to expect GAH! more homework.

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I haven’t been super impressed with the duncan products I have purchased/played with in the past. They have felt cheap and soulless. I want to like them, being responsible for the whole yoyo thing, but I just can’t.

Well, if you want to talk about product and not product support/promotion, my opinion is that if you have 10 or 12 bucks to spend on a top in North America and you have no idea how to throw it or where to get help, you will probably be disappointed. Who has a great entry level top with decent instructions on how to throw it?
As a consumer, I feel like the Duncan crew is part of the value of the
Duncan product, tops are the perfect example, had I not seen the
videos and promotions, I wouldn’t have any interest in the spin tops.
There is a little bit of onus on the purchaser to work around the problems that come with the low end products, like getting the right string. Strings are expendables, they aren’t really part of the top. I’m going to go out on a limb and say if the string being too short keeps you from learning to throw tops, it probably wasn’t meant to be.


It’s how I feel about it. I haven’t been happy with any of my Duncan yoyo’s yet. I won’t say that they make bad products or anything, just that I don’t like what I have tried so far.

Not sure at what price range the soul comes with the top, but i’m pretty sure you have to supply it yourself.
Here is an example of the cheapest of spintops, plus a little beer and a lot of soul:


Actually both Spintastics and Duncan come with some sort of instruction paper folded up in the package, it has been so long since I’ve looked at them I am interested to see which one is more helpful. The $6 Spintastic Sidewinder is a great beginner top. The $5 Duncan Imperial is absolutely awful.

Quick review on Spintastics vs. Duncan (even though no one is really asking):

Spintastics makes much better fixed tip tops. Generally they spin smoother, are much better balanced and heavier. They also have an option for a metal tip which may not be great for mom’s floor, but an awesome improvement for fixed tip play. The Quick Silver Hybrid and now the Hornet are both amazing regen tops, Duncan does not have anything close. The Duncan Rip Cord has all the problems the Bearing King has, and the Imperial went to a new mold a few years ago, and it looks better but now the cap fits loosely, and the last thing you want on your top is something that moves. They are un-balance-able and very hard to mod. Hands down Spintastics for fixed tip.

I would buy a Bearing King before I bought any Spintastics bearing tops. Even though it has major, major issues right out of the box, the bearing assembly, even though it is plastic and the mechanism seems kind of half baked, it holds up better than the Spintastics bearing tops. The Spintastics spin wonderfully out of the package but why have a bearing top if it locks up with the first hit? BK’s can get locked up too, but not near as bad. I mod Bearing Kings, and time and time again I see people pull out my old mods saying something like, “this is the only top I have that still works.” The mods I do are simple, it would not take much to create a better starter top.

I’d day you’ve left the limb, the whole tree, and the forest :stuck_out_tongue: It’s one thing to get a yo-yo with a junky string - it still works, and replacement string is not hard to find. A BK out of the package is not even fit for use. It needs to be taped or it will break, and it is impossible to throw it the normal way, or even a reasonably modified way. None of this is evident in the packaging. The odds are stacked against the emerging top spinner if the pour soul starts out with a BK and no direction. It is quite possible the BK discourages more would be players than it creates. That sucks.

Duncan would not have the respect it has today if it had not started major product improvements back in 1999. You can’t support a legacy with garbage. It’s great to pay homage to the folks that got you started, but it doesn’t mean you have a contract with them and it certainly does not mean you have to accept inadequate products. Duncan has come so far with yo-yo’s in the last 14 years. C’mon Duncan, open your heart!

And nothing gets me more riled up than the Imperial Challenge. Wrong message to Duncan. “Keep making garbage please.”

ouch! i was going to suggest it for an ‘inspirational video’.

anyways, this explains lots of my top issues, i guess starting out with the imperial is equivalent to being dropped on your head as a child…
anyways, i turned out alright, didn’t i??

The message is not to Duncan, it’s to all you top players,
keep drinking beer and having fun!