Short Review of the new Duncan Bumblebee Bi-metal

Hi all,
Today I received my bimetal Duncan bumblebee. was quite excited to check this baby out.

I just wanted to give a brief overview of my initial impression after tinkering with it and throwing it for the last few hours. KEEP IN MIND- I am an old school 90s guy who just got back into throwing like 2 months ago, and still have not really warmed up to the feeling of modern unresponsive yo so some of my opinions here might be null and void for a lot of people or may not accurately reflect what others would expect out of this throw.

Okay so- without the extra friction stickers, given how wide the gap is, Id say it is a real stretch to call it “semi-responsive”. the only way I could possibly get a return was with a bind. even tried double looping the string on the bearing and still needed to bind. this may not be true of everyones experience but it is for me.

So- I tried the friction stickers. they are a little awkward to put on, because they sort of get a little bubbly, and go over the existing silicone rings. it just seems a little awkward.
so anyway- with the friction stickers, yes, I could get a very loose sloppy tug return maybe 30% of the time. really it still just feels like an unresponsive throw to me even with those stickers.

So what I ended up doing was removing the stickers, applied some minimal petroleum jelly into the bearing seats, double looped the string around the bearing, and now I have what I would call a truly “semi-responsive” yoyo, but definitely leaning more towards the responsive side.

The design itself is nice. well balanced, pretty, and feels good in the hand. but I think its a bit misleading to claim that applying the friction stickers give you a “completely responsive throw”. that has just not been my experience in the last few hours.

Given the design call-back to the Cold Fusion, I really wish this thing had a smaller gap width. I’m finding that id rather pick up my YYF Confusion than this thing if I want a semi-responsive throw with strong vibes of a 90’s slimline pocket yoyo.

Im not disappointed, its a nice addition to my new growing collection, and I think that for most of you new modern players who are used to the feel of unresponsive throws, you will probably get a lot more enjoyment out of it than me. I just wish that darn gap wasn’t so wide…

What throws me off a bit is that in the description I read from Duncan on their instagram, they reference the “Forward Pass”. well good luck doing a forward pass with this thing unless you grease up that bearing and double loop the string…


Thank you for sharing. Not knocking Duncan, but I think I’ll hold until someone finds a trick to make this consistently responsive.


Ill also add something here in the discussion that maybe is just a reflection of my lack of experience with these modern large gap widths; I get frustrated that I can’t ever really seem to get this yoyo(or any unresponsive yoyo like my Shutter) to wind up tightly. whether it be from a bind return, hand winding it, etc. its like, since these modern huge gaps don’t “grab the string” as soon as it starts to wind, I end up with looseness in the string when I go to throw a sleeper again and its frustrating. cuts way down on that great feeling of sharp speed I am used to with old school slim gaps… maybe I am missing something and need to just “learn the way”.

Does anybody relate to this struggle of mine or have any advice?



if the gap width could be reduced by like 33% I think I would love it. im not a “mod” kind of guy though and have no idea how to do that. I know I could probably find a bearing that is less wide but then id have to get a shorter axle to accommodate that im guessing…


Yeah, when you’re rolling up the yoyo, do it as tight as possible using the trick with wrapping it around the top of your finger a few times (watch YouTube.)

Then, keep practicing your bind, it’ll reach a point to where you bind and it’s wound extremely tight.


I was wanting a lot more response as well, and it’s a bit on the heavy side for my taste. I love the look, shape, and feel in the hand. I’ll get rid of it and try something else I think


okay thanks for the tip. ill work on getting more tight with it. maybe part of this also is that im not used to the “stretchy” feel of this modern thick polyester string. I just have this muscle memory of how you throw a nice hard sleeper on a 90s yoyo with cotton string and it just does not seem to translate to this modern stuff.


One more comment I’ll add here: on the original Bumblebee announcement thread, I mentioned how giant the string gap was, and the general consensus I got from the community was that, if they really stuck towards the dimensions of the old 90s design, with an actual slim gap width, it would not have broad enough appeal in todays yoyo market.

I disagree with that. I think that the majority of people that would be most interested in this throw are “old-heads” like myself from the 90’s who are craving a nice modern recreation of the Playmaxx stuff. I mean, YYF did a great job with the Confusion, but for some reason they only went with the “GT” butterfly design. I think that making the gap width on this new bumble bee similar to the width of the Confusion would fill the hole that YYF left in the market.

just my two cents…

I think as a compromise, if anyone from Duncan is listening- maybe consider offering a little “customization” pack you can buy with a bearing that is not as wide, and a shorter axle to accommodate. then you will be making more people smile.

it just seems misleading to go full on into the retro bumblebee/cold fusion aesthetics, and market this as a responsive yoyo, when it just isn’t.


Maybe try flowable silicone in the response groove or yoyofactory thick pads from the confusion.


Size A bearings are 5x10x4 mm bearings (MR105 common part number). There are 5x10x3 mm bearings readily available (MR105W3 common part number). The latter bearing would deliver a 2.75mm gap. Getting one with rubber shields would keep the lube inside, keeping it responsive for long periods of time.


do you think the length of the axle would still be compatable with a shorter bearing like that? im not great with the “mechanics of things”…

1 Like

The axle and bearing posts determine whether its possible, not just the axle.

If you were to try it, just dont screw it hard at all and if it stops before its sealed its clearly not going to work. Worst case youre out $15, best case you’ve got a way better performing yoyo.


Just found this photo, bearing posts look kinda tall. I’d be careful but hopefully it works!!


Thanks for the take. It’s interesting. I haven’t touched the yoyo, but it figures that the vague description in advertising might not align with expectations. It is at least intriguing.


I guess I’ll throw in my two cents being a 90s player and a current player. The response could defiantly be improved with thick grease or A thinner bearing. However I don’t think that was the goal here it comes semi responsive leaning way towards unresponsive. It makes a fun slimline and it’s super stable for how thin it is. Like a lot of Duncan products you have a lot of options here you could even throw in a concave bearing and add your own flowable pads and make this completely unresponsive. The build quality on mine looks great and it’s a fun homage to the old playmaxx stuff, I’m happy with my purchase but to be honest this won’t get much play I wanted to give my cold fusion a friend. If they come out with a plastic version with similar weight I’d be super interested.


Myself, I got my Cold Fusion/Bumblebee fix a couple years ago with a YYF Cold Fusion, closely resembles the shape of the Cold Fusion GT. I even went as far as buying a gold one and a black one so I can half swap them.


Yeah the confusion is a great yo-yo! I bought one about a month ago. I love it but I really wish YYF would have also made a version that mimics the original slim modified body shape instead of just doing the cold fusion GT shape. but definitely it is a wonderful yoyo.

however, that being said, since getting a Red Blood Cell, I havnt touched my confusion in like 2 weeks lol. the RBC is just a game changer.

1 Like

I thought they did make one. I’m pretty sure I have it.
Oh, I see what you mean. It has a little flared out gap.

1 Like

your review, to me at least, is spot on and exactly what i found as well.

the gap is simply too large and the recessed, tiny response pads are not up to the task of making the throw responsive. i had the same reaction to the included pads, they were clumsy, did not sit flat and did not make the throw reliably responsive.

i greased the bearing and used a fat string. better, but still not the “completely responsive” throw they advertise.

regarding the narrow bearing. don’t bother. the axle bosses (threaded stub that the axle screws into) are too long to accept a narrow bearing. when you screw the halves together with the narrow bearing, the threaded bosses bottom out on each other and leave a gap between the bearing and the seat on the yoyo.

in the end, i have accepted that this is an unresponsive slim line throw. which is fine, it’s well made, balanced and looks nice. i put a clean bearing in there with a touch of the monkey finger lube and i throw it as the unresponsive throw that it wants to be. i would just say that the advertisement for this throw was WAY off. definitely not a “completely responsive” throw, or even a decent semi-responsive for that matter. it should be noted though that YYE has it listed under “unresponsive” which is in direct opposition to the description provided by Duncan.

I’m pretty sure my experiments are in the “What Did You Get In The Mail 2022” thread. Pics are there too.



here’s the last post i made about it with a picture of the axle bosses bottomed out.