Why dont they make more yoyos?

Ok, this might be a dumb question… Why are so many high quality yoyos made in such small batches. If you look around the internet you cant find some yoyos anywhere. I was looking around for a wooly marmot and there arent any new ones anywhere. And thats just ONE example. I dont know that much about the yoyo industry so maybe you all can help me out. If a yoyo isnt a limited edition or special color, why wouldnt they make more? Is there a certain time of the year that re-stocks happen?


It’s usually not a primary product for the parent company that makes them, that’s why.

The cost/profit ratio isn’t all that great all the time either, and with the high price tag, you know they aren’t making them by the ocean cargo container type quantities.

Do you think smaller companies like CLYW, One Drop and General Yo have parent companies? I figured them more like mom and pop yoyo shops…

I think they are “side jobs” of a larger entity, so my opinion is that they are small divisions/departments of a larger company. The equipment investments are too high and even with outsourcing, you still have to have a lot of knowledge to make it right and know what to do when things are wrong.

I could be wrong. But I think even if they are small companies, that might be why the prices stay high. But they both make fantastic products. I don’t have any General Yo yet. Got lots of CLYW and want some more.

They’re limiting their exposure to poor sales while hoping to recover their costs on the ones they sell. Not every new release is a hit.

I also think the R&D portion is expensive, especially doing machined one-offs. That can’t be cheap. At least it can be melted down and recycled, but you don’t get free machine time!

There are very few yoyo companies that make mass quantities. YYF, Duncan and Yomega are the only ones I can actually think of that do. The reason is that is all they do. They make yoyos and spin tops and that sort of thing. Other companies, like string theory for example, May just make yoyo’s as a side project. They may do very well but they more than likely have another job as well.

Even One Drop makes small batches due to their machine shop running High dollar parts for their main income.

Staying on topic:

It appears that YYF is a division of another company, apparently Rapid Plastics, Inc., and Arizona Corporation, based on the boxes many of the yoyos come in. But it would appear based on numbers and models that unlike some of the other companies, a large amount of effort is put into YYF.

Duncan, although a name brand we’ve all known for years, is actually owned by a company called Flambeau Plastics, which apparently happened in the 1960’s, which is most likely before the time of nearly everyone on this forum. But even Flambeau is a company under the Nordic Group of Companies, Ltd. I mention this because that despite the fact that you can see Duncan yoyos from brick and mortar stores hanging on pegs to online yoyo stores such as YYE and in great quantities, it’s not one of their biggest divisions. What’s interesting is that I have several plastic storage boxes, and they are all made by Flambeau.

I don’t think there’s enough money to just go off and do it stand-alone on large scale for now. I think the risk it too great. It makes more sense to control it by being under someone else’s “umbrella” and then the amount of accepted risk can be distributed across the entire company.

I’d have to agree with Icthus, mainly because he knows more than I do based on his background. Companies go where the dollars are, that’s just plain good business. They’ll make their high dollar parts and “bread and butter” items to meet and barely exceed demand(it doesn’t always make sense to have giant amounts of over-runs these days) since that’s what keeps the business running. They’ll use down time or short windows to make stuff like yoyos.

Taking it a step further:
There are companies such as Orange County Choppers(yes, from American Chopper), who, instead of buying certain parts, chose to invest in equipment and machinery to make their own parts, mostly so they would have a side business at first of making motorcycle(or other vehicle) equipment parts, but later on, to save costs on their production bikes. How well this has worked for them I do not know since I see them still using someone else’s “off the shelf parts” to build their bikes. If you can press out 20 fenders in an hour(is that even realistic?) or tank halves and then sell them, that tends to be easy money. Similarly, there was a lot of commotion on the American Chopper show about them buying their own frame jig so they could make their own frames. However, after a few shows, I’ve yet to see them use it and all I see are frames being shipped in all the time. I guess it was cheaper just to buy them than to train people to make then AND have the people to make them.

I’d be interested to see the price break-down and logic behind why a yoyo costs so much though, mostly out of curiosity. I mean, at the upper end, we’re talking 69 grams of metal. How much can that cost? But similarly, I know there are different aluminum alloys(is that the correct term?) and that can effect price as well. Metal and machining aren’t my areas of expertise. I’m just nosy.

YoYoFactory is a privately owned company. We make yo-yo’s. We started making yoyos on a coffee table about 7 years ago. We worked hard and did a good job at it. Most of our ‘premium’ metal production still comes from the same vendors. Our batch sizes have actually decreased due to the variety of models we produce. The owner does not assemble those yoyos any more (he hired his mother to do that, and she does it well too).

Occasionally we make some Spin Tops too.

The YoYo Market is interesting. The first color to sell out is the one that there is the least of. The question asked often is ‘how rare is this’ or ‘How many of these were made’. Customers want to feel special and like they have bought something limited. Looking around in my office at some of the junk I bought from plastic figures to even the gum Im chewing I want that too. It explains a lot of why smaller runs are produced.

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I was confusing trademark holders with the ownership. Oops.

Like, on my Dienasty box, it says YoYoFactory, Die-Nasty, Center-Trak, and Evolution are trademarks of Rapid Plastics Inc, and Arizona Corporation.

I should have a few more YYF models in my hands by the end of the year. I don’t want the owner’s mother getting bored!

Yo-yo companies don’t make more yo-yos because they can’t sell more yo-yos. With something like 10% of mortgages in default in the U.S. - how many people will drop $100 on a toy that is mostly sold for $3 at the drug store or 50 cents at a garage sale?

OneDrop is privately owned. It’s just 2 guys and a machine shop in Oregon. CLYW is 1 guy in Canada, and the yo-yos are actually machined by the One Drop guys. SPYY is one machinist out of Canada, probably making the yo-yos in his free time. General Yo is 1 guy making yo-yos after he gets off from his machining. These are all very small operations, and the hourly pay comes out to be really low, especially when you account for the monthly payments on the $100,000 CNC machines. If you want to get rich, do finance, not yo-yos.

I agree with YYF Ben - everybody wants a special yo-yo. If you make a large batch, the inventory will just sit around, and your money will be tied up in a metal object on a shelf. You can’t make too much of any one color or model. A person might have three different one drop yoyo models, but they usually don’t have three of the same model.

Some company backgrounds real quick…

YYF - well, just read what Ben said really.

Duncan - While owned by Flambeau (Nordic Group is just a tax thing as far as I know, it’s a grouping of several businesses that operate separately) operates ‘mostly’ on its own, with some oversight. Flambeau is a very large plastics company making all sorts of things… from duck decoys to tackle boxes and various other containers. A large part of their sales come from cheap butterly/imperial sales, though the mid-range of their product lines has grown over the last several years. All their plastic stuff is made over seas (china), their cheap metals are made in china, their higher end metals are made in the USA.

Yomega - owned by 3 (I think it’s three, somebody correct me otherwise) siblings… run by Alan Amaral (though rumor is currently that he’s been bumped aside). They are a yo-yo company as a primary business. They make their money in the cheaper plastics. As far as I know, all their yoyos are made overseas (china).

SuperYo - the one everybody forgets about. Run by Arnie Dixon. They still make a lot of yo-yos… they have a very, very active school program across the country with traveling demo guys who as best I can tell, do a horrible job of promoting yo-yo in a meaningful way. As far as I know, all their yoyos are made overseas.

YYJ - Run by Dale Bell. The company is a side project he started because 1) he liked yoyos, 2) he happend to already own a plastics company called Advanced Air (they make fan blades and such), 3) he wanted to give his kids something to do… his daughter Val manages the business, and his son Todd works for them as well. Their runs are relatively small (compared to the big guys like Duncan), but they can make a large variety of models because they do the work in-house. 100% made in the USA.

Dif-e-yo - Run by Frank Difeo. Another side project he started because he was a collector and wanted to make some yo-yos. He happened to be a master machinist who learned a lot about yo-yos, so he did very well at it :slight_smile: Owns his own equipment so he can do whatever he wants on-demand… this allows him to keep product lines along far longer than most other independent manufacturers.

OneDrop - Run by Shawn (sp?) and David. Machinists that happened to start making yoyos, then turned it into their main business… simple enough.

SPYY - Run by Steve [insert last name I always forget here]. He works for a large machine shop with super awesome equipment that he gets to use when he has the time.

there are more obviously, but I’m tired of typing at the moment :slight_smile:


Wait, what?!? I’m not sure which OneDrop you’re talking about here, but the one that Da5id and I own makes yoyos, only yoyos, and nothing but yoyos. Spreading gross misinformation is not a good look for an admin. We’re pretty open about our operation and because of this it’d be better for you just to ask us. Use the PM button, it’s your friend. High dollar parts?!? - Are you talking about those uber-profitable SideEffects <–that thar is sarcasm.

The misinformation/understanding in this thread is baffling. :o

I lol’d, literally.

Cause people hate yoyos.

You do too!!! OMG OMG OMG!!! WE ARE LIKE TOTALLY THE SAME :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: