Team losi the company that corporate killed.

Another installment of companies that made something else and then got into the 90s yoyo craze. Team Losi made(and still do) very good R/C cars and parts. Their yoyos can still be had today on the secondary market, the Grim Sleeper, Cherry Bomb and the DA Bomb. Unopened packaging still comes up for sale once in a while. There were some special runs in low numbers as well. From Yoyo Wiki " All of the Team Losi yo-yos were also offered in collectable black versions, short-packed one per case to limit availability. The Silver Series featured short-packed Gold versions." While my collection is nowhere near complete it is solid. First we have the Da Bomb . Pictured here is a standard Yellow, along with two A-line editions, one Blue and one green. I have also seen a White one. Notice the different packaging(on A-lines) and the A in the circle on the yoyo. It looks like all A lines came with two “Power rings” in the back of the packaging. Yellow dated 1998 other two 1999.
• Shape - Imperial
• Response - Starburst
• Bearing - size E; classic Yomega setup
• Features - Adjustable String Gap, Weight-ring additions

Next we have the Cherry Bomb. 1 in the most common color Red and one A line in Green. The plastic was very soft on these and did not wear well. Note different styles of packaging. Red dated 1998, Green 1999.
• Shape - Butterfly
• Response - Starburst
• Bearing - size E; classic Yomega setup
• Features - Adjustable String Gap, Weight-ring additions

Next we have the Grim sleeper, which is nothing more than a Purple edition of the Da Bomb. Both here are Purple but with different styles of packaging The Grim Sleeper features the same design as Da Bomb, but with different colors and a new logo. There was also a Da Bomb featured black versions, short-packed one per case as a collectible item. Black package dated 1998 other one 1999.
• Shape: modified
• Material: plastic
• Bearing: Ball bearing
• Response System: Starburst
• Color: Purple

Next is a Team Losi Silver series Cherry Bomb new in the box. It has a “Special Pre-Release Model” sticker on it. Very detailed instruction sheet(2 sided) and Power rings. Dated 1998.

Next is one more Silver series in a Da Bomb version. Also new in the box. This is the only one in a box that is factory sealed. Notice the tape on the top and bottom of the box. Both pieces of tape are on the same side of the box. Dated 1999. Priced 31.49

Last one is a Silver series Gold plated in the box Cherry Bomb. All three Silver series have " Tru-Chrome plated" listed on them. This one was advertized as new in the box and unopened when I bought it. While putting this post together and noticing the differance between it and the only truly factory sealed Silver series I have. this one is also missing the instruction sheet and power rings. You can also see some damage in the plating. Note sure if it is a factory defect or has come about because of play.

Also pictured is a factory replacement bearing and an rebuild kit. tim


Intresting Steve Brown interview about Team Losi:
“Company Profile - Team Losi
This history was given by Steve Brown, I would like to thank him for his input and help on the history of Team Losi as pertaining to yoyo’s
Why they got into yo-yos? I have no idea. They had already made the Da Bomb when I started with them. My guess would be the same reason that lots of other people got into it…they saw that it was selling hard and fast.
Team Losi was started in the late 70s, early 80s, manufacturing RC Cars. Really, really nice ones. They have led the industry pretty much since day one.
I don’t know anything about how they designed the Da Bomb, only that when I came on board I changed the axles from two nuts and an axle screw, to a nut and bolt.
The Cherry Bomb was designed when I told them that I needed a concave yo-yo. I gave them a list of features, and they brought me CAD drawings for approval to the 98 Worlds. This was the first time i’d met any of them…they flew me out to compete with the Da Bomb, which I did, and I took 4th in Single A. I approved the drawings, and had protos in my hand within a couple weeks. There were 3 generations before they were released to the public, but the changes from proto to production were very minor. I think I have one or two of the proto halves…sadly, I did not think to keep most of my TL stuff. This was before I considered modern yo-yos to be really collectible, and I deeply regret some of the things that I traded or gave away.
Anyway, after the Cherry Bomb was released, problems began with the starburst wearing out. Lots of people really liked the weight of the ABS, but it wasn’t tough enough. I began working on a design for a combination bearing spacer/metal starburst, but they didn’t like it. Never got to the prototype stage. No idea why. Would have been great. Anyway, my insistence that they make the plastic stronger led to the A-Line. One of the hobby stores that carried the line sent them a couple of Da Bombs that had been painted chrome with model paint, and we began working on the Silver Series. This presented a ton of problems…the chrome platters had never had to maintain balance on an object they were plating, and we had some really bad parts. This led to me hand testing the entire first batch as they came off the assembly line. No kidding. I sat in a warehouse in Chino, CA and hand-tested about 3,000 yo-yos. It was the most boring thing i’ve ever done. But I insisted…I didn’t want bad ones to get through. The platters spent some time and managed to solve the problem on their end, which freed me up for a lot.
Mid-99 I was offered to Variflex to promote the yo-yos that Losi was making for them, and to do an instructional video for them. I had all kinds of grand plans for this video, all of which were shot down. It was shot in the TL warehouse, and everything was done on the first or second take. I was never paid for it, and nearly lost my job in the process of trying to be. Variflex is a bunch of suits, and I was just glad to never have to deal with them again. As a side note, Peter Wagonhurst, and Marketing Director for Variflex, never even bothered to show up for the video shoot. He was supposed to bring me a VFX shirt to wear, and never came. So we ran out to Old Navy, and bought me a red sweatshirt. We used the vinyl cutting machine and an image off the prototype yo- yo packaging to make a white vinyl sticker, which is what we put on my shirt. Ghetto fabulous.
With the Silver Series, A-Line, and Regular Line out, sales weren’t bad. We shipped a lot of stuff. I developed the Hybrid Bomb shape, and they handed it off to VFX to use for their X-Games yo-yo. I was mercilessly pissed about that one. VFX even got the proto before I did. This was about the point where my relationship with TL deteriorated. Not because of anything on TL’s end, but because I kept getting saddled with Variflex, and those guys were a bunch of soulless corporate monkeys. We made two protos of the Hybrid shape with a black chrome coating, and it was going to be my signature model, the Black Magic. It never happened, and I never even got a proto to keep. While I was on Warped Tour 99, Duncan offered me a job once my Losi contract was up, and I took it mainly because I knew it would mean i’d never have to deal with VFX again. That, and the additional money, were my main motivations. I thought Duncan’s yo- yos needed some work, but figured it would be a fun job nonetheless. Heck, i’ll try anything twice. :wink:
Gil Losi Sr. sold the company to Horizon Hobbies, their largest distributor, sometime in 2001. Horizon has decided to discontinue the yo-yo line indefinitely. Damn shame. With a little work, the TL line could easily snake back in and compete with anyone else’s product. Looks like that’s never going to happen.”

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I absolutely adore these history lessons.

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Didn’t know Losi made yoyos. Neat!

Nice post! Finally found one that is longer than Studio’s mini-novels! :slight_smile:


I’m a fan of vintage Losi cars and trucks, but haven’t been able to secure a Cherry Bomb or any other for that reason. Any chance you guys think I can get one modded? I want to get one with an A sized bearing and maybe silicone stickers or floatable silicone.

i have a silver series cherry bomb, it’s missing a spacer but it’s still one of my favorite yoyos. wish i could get my hands on the parts to replace so that i could properly enjoy mine

I was always a big fan of the Cherry Bomb… I picked up a case of the original run in original packaging a while back.

Mr. YoYo Trader… if you’re looking for any of the Black versions of those yo-yos, I believe I have them all… I know I found a black grim sleeper the other day, I’m pretty sure I have the rest somewhere as well if you’re interested. I worked with a yo-yo retailer at the time when those were big and managed to put together some sets of them.


The Cherry Bomb comes up on Ebay a lot. tim

That was probably one of the most enjoyable reads i have ever had on a yoyo message board. I love how passionate you are and how extensive your collection is!


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I just realized something. The cherry bomb had an inner lip similar to the chief/AC way earlier then clyw…

Losi was quite awesome, In my opinion…I would love to own one, just for nostalgia sake. Like My 1999 Nationals Projam, and My yoyojam Hurricane…They are just fun to have and play.

So can they be easily converted to A-sized bearings? I think Yomega and Duncan spacers are the same size do I wonder of it will work. I might just end up getting a cherry bomb recessed and add an A sized center track.

Yeah the lip on the cherrybombs was for weight rings. Nothing new with yoyo design, same with that stepped g5 design. also had been done tons of years before by henrys.
I had a black grim sleeper back in the day it is now in a lake. :frowning: I loved that yoyo. also had a red cherry bomb that is in the very same lake. :frowning: I learned to change my string and not around the world at the lake after that.

Losi makes amazing nitro trucks. Expensive, but well worth it for the quality

To the OP that made this thread: This was a well worthy read. I always love reading up on yoyo history on past things that happened to companies, or moments.

I hope you do more on these, perhaps the early rise of Yoyojam. Or the Rise and ultimate downfall of Playmaxx.


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