Yoyofactory Atom Smasher: a worthy successor to the Protostar?

When I saw the Atom Smashers description “This is a yoyo finally worthy of replacing the all-time classic ProtoStar we have missed so much in the YoYoFactory lineup!” I was intrigued. No mention of the Protostar in a long time, but now it was finally being replaced? I had to see for myself what made Yoyofactory consider marketing the Atom Smasher in this way. This is a review, and a vs, to see if the Atom Smasher truly measures up to its ancestor, the mighty Protostar.

What makes a yoyo great? Is it winning in competition, popularity in the community, big sales, groundbreaking design? Obviously, all of these things play a role in making a yoyo great. The Protostar has always stuck out to me among Yoyofactories plastic releases. It has winning DNA, being the signature yoyo of John Ando, who used it in competition, and Jensen Kimmitt using it to win contests, who also used the similar Northstar in his winning 2010 worlds freestyle. I’d say the Replay Pro is the only plastic yoyo from Yoyofactory that has come close to the type of pedigree the Protostar possesses. The Replay is a great yoyo, used to win the 2016 national yoyo contest. It is cheap, performs incredibly well for an incredibly low price, and overall is a fantastic design. It isn’t perfect though. It is very heavy, and you feel those 69 grams on the string. The design is powerful, but the shape is sometimes confining, not the best for horizontal. It feels like a plastic yoyo, which isn’t a bad thing, but contrasts with what the Protostar is.

The Protostar feels like a metal yoyo on the string. There, I said it. No plastic yoyo I’ve thrown has the same effect. It spins for a long time, the shape could have come out yesterday even though it is 12 years old, and it is great for pretty much every type of trick apart from grinds and fingerspins. I have three of them, I have never deliberately bought seconds of any other yoyo. I like it that much. The real question is, can a 20 dollar polycarbonate throw come close to what the Protostar has to offer? Yes.

The Atom Smasher surprised me. I was expecting something fairly lightweight and perhaps lacking in power, but no, it feels hefty and has a presence on the string, much like the Protostar. It spins powerfully and stays on plane during long combos very well, much like the Protostar. For a 65 gram yoyo, it sure doesn’t feel light. This is a good thing, because the Atom Smasher never feels “lost” during tricks and is practically impossible to lose control of. This trait maybe isn’t for everyone, but is exactly what a Protostar sequel should play like. The Atom Smasher inspires confidence. I found myself attempting difficult tricks almost as soon as I started throwing it, and it never punishes you for mistakes. Forgiving, much like the Protostar.

The profile is very similar to the Protostar, just rounded off, with the big rims a bit narrower. And yes, it fingerspins very well. Frankly Yoyofactory has so many great fingerspin yoyos I find it an unnecessary addition at this point, but I don’t think it compromises performance or anything so it really isn’t a bad feature. Grinds are possible but fairly short, the textured finish is superior to the glossy Protostar but inferior to a blasted finish found in some other plastic throws. My one gripe is that I do wish some solid colors were available, they really make a plastic yoyo look more premium and bring out the lines better.

Overall, the Atom Smasher is a worthy successor to the Protostar. Not only does it feel similar on the string, it succeeds in everything the Protostar was good at, while adding a few extra features, mainly grinds and fingerspins. It is a great pick for an edc or beater yoyo, and choosing it really won’t make you wish you had picked up a metal throw, because the performance really is that good. If you love the Protostar, you’ll love the Atom Smasher, and you’ll find me with one in my hand for a long time.


I appreciate your efforts. I’ve had one in my cart for about a week and haven’t pulled the trigger. Time to try it out.

1 Like

You won’t be disappointed. For the price and how great it performs I have 5.


I’m just waiting for them to release some better colors. @yyfben2 WE WANT PINK! WE WANT PINK!

I’m waiting for my Atom Smasher I bought. Sadly I did not win the coin toss to get the free one.

I’m really liking the look of it.

I’m curious how the Atom Smasher compares to the Speedaholic XX? Anybody own both?