Curious if it’s primarily a collector thing or if there is a genuine benefit to seeking out the OG ones. I just want to try one and and play around with it so, although they are freakin sweet looking, I don’t exactly need an awesome $100+ mandala engraved version.
When I was learning how to do string tricks, the No-Jive was the best yo-yo I could find. Other folks might tell you different, but I can’t feel the difference in the play of regular 3 in 1 N-J’s. Some of my older ones seem to have a darker finish, but play the same.
That being said, all wooden yo-yos have a unique feel because all the wood is slightly different. The etching, butterfly editions, paint, all that kind of stuff makes a difference to me. The original 3-in-1 seems pretty consistent though.
The folks that know could tell you if there is actually a difference, but if you put aside the collectibility factor and limit it to just the basic, natural finish, 3-in-1 model, I would say you are going to get a similar experience from any one you can find. And you should go find one, because they are great yo-yos.
They are different and were made in different factories with different tooling. Some players sware by the Green Box versions. I perfer the brown patent pending version. You can’t go wrong with any era of No Jive however. They were made for around 30 years, so thats why there are subtle differences and why they are collectable.