Whatever happened to... (the other yoyo stores/forums)


#1

Rather than derail the original topic, I think this is a discussion worthy of it’s own space.

I enjoyed those bygone forums and was bummed when the went down.

Regarding TheYo.com, that’s putting it mildly. Mike’s relatives didn’t realize the time and effort Mike put into TheYo.com, that he had a presence on the forum and that he cultivated relationships with vendors as well as member/customers. They thought he just had this website store and he just sat back and watched the money pour in. They didn’t understand that Mike was part of what attracted people to come there.


#2

A little off topic but I read an article not that long ago about Pat being a big shot millionaire restaurant investor in the Philippines. Life is weird.


#3

Me too, here it is:


#4

That’s interesting about Pat. Thanks for the link.


#5

That’s the article I read. It’s interesting the extent to which the interview is about the experience of yoyos in his life while eliding any of the gory details.

The thing that strikes me about these companies that came and went for all their various reasons, is that they all more or less collapsed prior to the market trends we see today. The collection of major stores currently operating that I can think of have remained remarkably stable (on the surface at least) despite reddit/FB taking eyes away from store forums and yoyo companies being much more likely these days to sell a good portion of what they produce direct to buyers on their own sites. JD sort of discusses this in a short segment in the most recent Doc Popcast, explaining that creating his own line of yoyos has picked up some of the slack left behind by these market forces. Not to go off topic from the off topic thread, but I’d love to see YYE brand yoyos sometime in the future.


#6

I think that’s relevant to the current topic. All of the previous stores/forums were riding high at one time. What lead to their demise and what the current crop are doing or can do to survive is totally on topic.


(ed) #7

When I started following yoyoing on the internets, there were the 4 main forums.
yoyoing.com/news (Infinite Illusions) was the big one, had the richest history, a hilariously crappy video upload system, and a legendary chat. To me that was THE yoyo board, and when it became totally searchable and archived, I think I read the whole thing back to 1997 lol.
Dave’s Skill Toys was almost as robust and had an awesome picture gallery along with the embedded “Museum of YoYo History” site. Higby’s Corner was there and the Team Duncan guys posted on it a bunch.
theYo was in some ways comparable to Dave’s. I was a member there, but not really a frequent poster. Guys/girls who came up in theYo vs ii or Dave’s had their own tight-knit thing and a lot of them are still throwing hard.
Extreme Spin was nowhere near the size of the others, but just so cool. That forum was really like hanging out with friends until it was no longer profitable for Rich to keep the store open and support the team he’d built. The board stayed open for a few years (now with 100% less STORE!) but it went the way too, in the end.

Later on, Pat launched YoYoNation, which was super small at first but exploded as Dave’s, ES, and ii all sputtered. Pat felt like he had the monopoly on both boutique yoyo sales and yoyo talk until he literally skipped the country leaving his partners holding the bag (meaning a bunch of debt) while he became CEO of Groupon in the Philippines. It was a majorly dickish thing to do.

And then obv Andre/YYE picked up the mantle. The internet yo-yo scene is not at all the same as it was 15 years ago. The store forums have mainly been replaced by FB, reddit, Instagram, etc. You don’t have to hunt for content like you did once. It’s been interesting to watch as the yoyo’s and technology has also become more streamlined, with the vast majority of throws conforming to a set of “best practices”. Less “mod-based”, less experimental… certainly still cool, but it no longer feels like yoyoing is “finding itself”. Natural for sure, but that time when it was feels pretty special now!


(InvaderDust) #8

I happy to be a part of this. I came in really early when the internet was barely a thing, and left yoyo for a long time. Came back several years ago and man, ive missed so much.

Im glad there are those that were there the whole time and hel fill me in on what I missed. This is a good thread! Thanks for sharing.
:slight_smile:


#9

I think it’s harder to imagine today than ever before a new online store catering to the US opening and becoming a major player on the scene. These days it seems more and more like a new store wouldn’t even be able to stock its shop, certainly not with the big name companies at least. YYE in seeming to have a good relationship with all the big companies and stocking a wide variety of product is the exception. The last good forum that I know of as well, even with the number of new posts having slowed.

The quality of the conversation on reddit is disappointing to me. It’s all inch deep. With virtually all yoyos coming out being ready to play perfectly right out of the box, almost all of the modding conversations have died out. I find it unfortunate that those conversations have been replaced by "Here’s a picture of yoyo X or “I really want yoyo Y” instead of more of a focus on tricks, making your own yoyos and/or string, etc. I don’t do FB so I’m not sure what the conversation is like there. They could be analyzing yoyoing through the prism of Neoplationism for all I know. I think finding a way to elevate the ongoing conversation within the hobby could be a good thing. Is the YYE forum the last vestige of a disappearing era?

It would be great if YYE decided to release some yoyos themselves. It wouldn’t have to be many, maybe just three. The community could potentially even be involved in designing them. A $20-25 beginner or gateway yoyo like the Legacy that could come with two bearings for responsive or unresponsive play. A $40 or $50 intermediate yoyo, something like a plastic with metal weight rings and an updated DM2 shape. Then an advanced or expert $100-110 metal machined by OD if possible. The store sold a million DM2s with the YYE #1 choice label on it, they should revive that label and slap it on their own yoyos.

Just let’s not ever have to add YYE to this list of stores that disappeared.


(DOGS) #10

Man, I feel like I joined the scene right on the edge of when this snowballed (late 2000s). It’s really sad.


#11

What ever happened to… Fiend Magazine. And a shout out to Warp Tour 1999.