Why the loss of interest in responsive Yo-Yos?

I just kind of wanted to start a general discussion about why it seems there is very little interest in modern responsive play. I’ve been off the scene for like 20+ years, so I’ve missed a lot. Back when I was throwing in the late 90s, I don’t think there was anything but responsive. Now I see that like 98% of all new yo-yo models being produced are unresponsive.

Why has the appreciation for responsive yo-yos vanished? For me, as a kid, and even now as an adult, one of the appeals of a yo-yo is that you can m carry it with you in your pocket, and whip it out anywhere. The pictures of the new unresponsive yo-yos I see are so huge and wide. Where is all the love for responsive play?

Also- does anybody have any recommendations for nice, affordable modern responsive yo-yos?

I am kind of a dinosaur and out of the loop(no pun intended) so I just kind of wanted to hear some perspective to get me up to speed on what I’m missing out on here lol.


The thread right below this one has 2000 responses so far, the love for responsive and fixed axle play is still there.



Welcome back! There are a bunch of us that still primarily play responsive.

There is a lot of info here. New Freehand 1 release tomorrow also. My personal favorite responsive yo-yos are the CoreCo AlleyCat and the yo-yos Spencer Berry has released, I also just got a Daytripper by Zipline Strings that I’m really liking. Unfortunately these are only found in the BST’s right now. The thread has a list of newer responsive yo-yos, although I think I’m behind in updating the list.


This is the yoyo you want right now

This will be the yoyo you’ll want next month , basically an heirloom Titanium Cold Fusion


Oh wow I like the sound of that!!! I think your suggestion is right on. I REALLY wanted a cold fusion back in the day. This looks to be pretty similar. More like a slight butterfly but that’s probably better anyway

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Its a modernized version of the old Playmaxx Cold Fusion GT. Long story short the Playmaxx crew sold their brand to Duncan after the boom and started another company called YoYo Factory. About 20 years later they created the Confusion series.


If anything, responsive has had a little bit of a resurgence. Also going to vouch for those confusions. I bought both a black and a gold one so I can half swap them, looking nearly dead on like the confusion GT I wanted back in the 90s.

I paired up my Confusion and Dragonfly (rebranded Turbo Bumble Bee GT) and profile is near identical.

I have a few responsive throws in my arsenal including a Custom Reactor, Axl Elite, DocPop weekender, Day Tripper, CoreCo Alley Cat, and the Confusion.


Something else to consider.

Of all the people that visit this board regularly or ‘not’ regularly, probably less than 25 percent post up anything.

They just visit/watch/read the daily information.

If my guess is even close, that means that we honestly don’t know what 75 percent of the yo-yo community thinks about responsive play?

Since Makers have been putting out some pretty fine examples of responsive yo-yos at various price points……. And they are selling reasonably well, somebody must be ‘supporting’ responsive play. Because if responsive yo-yos were fading out, there certainly wouldn’t be enthusiasm to continue producing them.

My theory anyways…


Thanks for the suggestion and the background info. Definitely ordering one. Reasonable price it seems.

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The people that suggested the Duncan Freehand 1and the Confusion are doing you a service.

I too miss the days of spending hours learning how to split the atom and do roller coaster on a Duncan butterfly, lol. Then when the Tigersharks and saber raider came out it felt like an act of God. The Pinnacle for me was the turbo bumblebee GT.

I dropped out for a minute, and came back when yoyojam was on top. Very much recommend trying to get your hands on some used yoyojam.

Keep your eyes peeled for 2022, docpop will be dropping a revamped plastic Bolt. It should be a nostalgia throw that you can push to the limits if I had to guess.


To add a little to the discussion, I’d say that the seemingly overwhelming popularity of unresponsive yoyos is due simply to the range of tricks that can be done with unresponsive vs. responsive.

Or at least the range of tricks that can be done without having to worry about getting rapped in the knuckles or noggin when the throw surprise-returns.

I grab my responsive Whip from time to time and throw it for a bit, but by far the unresponsive play gives me the most enjoyment.

Another factor might be psychological damage. When I was a kid, if I could get my throw to sleep long enough to rock the baby three times and still return it was the pinnacle of success. With modern unresponsive throws, sleep time is pretty much an unlimited resource by comparison and I’m not sure my mind has been able to fully comprehend and adjust to that yet. It’s sorta like a person who was raised in squalor gluttonizing on rich food after they win the lottery.



Awesome to see another responsive fan in the community!

Its funny I’m kinda in a similar situation as you been out of yoyoing for almost 20 years before coming back into it last year. Unresponsive was niche at best back then and I still thought strings were made of cotton so needless to say I also had of catching up to do lol. I quickly realised within the first month of playing again fixed axle and responsive play still appealed to me more. I dabble in unresponsive now and then and its fine but traditional yoyoing is so engrained in my mindset that a bind I think honestly will always feel kinda weird to me. Theres something comfortable to me with simply tugging the yoyo back to your hand. So I probably will focus the majority of my time on responsive play because that’s what I like. Anyway sorry for the long ramble lol excited to see another old school thrower diving back into it. Not to fanboy out too hard but if you’re curious @edhaponik is more of less the figurehead of the fixed/responsive movement these days so definitely check out his content on YT and IG for inspiration. Happy throwing!


As has been echoed, responsive throwing is alive and thriving right now, probably more in the past few years than for a while. Im split even on the fence of 0A and 1A for the most part, but “modern responsive” is a real thing and a lot of new yoyos have been released that build on the old while offering playability. ATM I think the Daytripper is the best of the metals (some new releases might challenge this for me), but wood and old school yoyos are great too. Fixed axle play has seen a resurgance and I am a big fan of it.

Unresponsive play is a blast too. Practice those binds until they feel natural. It’s an entirely new world to explore. Both styles are great imo.


I was gone for fifty years and didn’t even know yoyos had ball bearings until two months ago. I’ve landed on modern responsive play also. When I checked a minute ago there were still three pink Zero Gravity Return Tops El Mijos available. It is beautiful YoYo and ticks all your boxes. It would be nice if responsive yoyos weren’t referred to as “beginner” yoyos. A lot of those are great at any skill level.


I’ve been getting into responsive more and more as well. Still lots of great yoyos out there that play responsive - wood, plastics, even high-end metals.


Couldn’t agree more on the Daytripper imho its the current benchmark for a modern responsive. Also welcome back @TommyBwell! You’re in a great community thats for sure


So excited for the RBC! You and Glen looked to have done some amazing work. Setting an alarm so hopfully I can snag one lol


Another thing to keep in mind is that any yoyo can be made responsive with a bit of lube or, in some cases, a nice fat string.

Think of what you could do with a responsive Horizon! :smiley:


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Hey Tommy very cool your stepping back into it after 50 years that is awesome. ill check out the Zero Gravity model you mentioned.

I just love the feeling of a good smooth responsive yoyo


For the same reason that most people do not use a slide-rule anymore. While their may be some eccentric individuals who still enjoy deriving a solution from using a slide-rule; most of us have moved on.

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