If I forgot anything memorable to you, please add it!
2008 in Review
As the Calendar ticked over 2008 YoYoFactory celebrated with the addition of 2 new players to its Contest Team, Miguel Correa and Kentaro Kimurra. The year didn’t get off to the greatest start product wise. The long- awaited 401sd; the precision metal dial yo-yo which was to replace the 401k was an outright flop. It played BEAUTIFULLY, was given great respect and credit by some top players (John Ando was set to use it at worlds until he got SuperStars) but 1 run and it was done.
January is a slow month in the Yo-Yo world. In 2008 it was punctuated by Jason Lees’ appearance at the So/Cal contest at Palm Dessert and the release of the Jason Lee 888.
It was also a very exciting time with the launch of the eight8eight offshoot named the ‘Skyline’. As a store exclusive this was a big risk for everyone but it soon became a hit with players and collectors. The initial 4 editions were joined by 3 more lately in the year. The Skyline also marked the debut of lazer textured grind surface, A 1st for YoYoFactory and any yo-yo.
With the ongoing success of G5, 888 and now Skyline, a new goal was made. YoYoFactory had retail entry level covered with the F.A.S.T. 201 but it also wanted the yo-yo players recommend to beginners. In the Velocity it was achieved. The range of adjustability and performance has seen the Velocity grow in popularity and is now a star performer in the YoYoFactory product line.
The focus on high end performance wasn’t forgotten. Bead blasted 888 appeared early in the year and logos and art changed up. The 09 888s appeared pretty early in 2008. We felt like a change and ran with it The GM2 got lazered, better bearings all round and went from an under-selling metal to a premium item (Shoutout to Miggy, Yuuki and John/Win By Default)) plus John Ando’s EJ regional win and the JOHN Ando 2 signature edition. The California came out in a period of little promotion and received a little bit of interest, but not quite enough to keep it alive into 2009. The VK, the California’s’ small bearing cousin, became our first physically different signature model (not just colors and art). It too was 1-run and done and wont be back in 09. Despite a long and slow birth the Superstar has risen up the ranks and is now one of the most popular metal yo-yos in our line. With its 100 limit to each color/style expect more new variations in 2009.
Meanwhile the eight8eight just kept on selling. A Japanese store produced a very graphics intensive version for Japan Nationals and a UK based store supplied art for THREE very unique and lazer rich designs which have been heralded by collectors as some of the best produced. There was a 2nd Mr Yodel 888 and even the G5 got some special edition love with the ‘prison break’ design and the five5five designs. As expected the 08/08/08 anniversary was marked with a special eight8eight honoring ALL the special editions done before it with a little of all their art on display. The National Yo-Yo Contest raised ire with its nationals edition (apparently offending past champions by naming them?) but still produced a great historical 888 none-the-less.
2008 wasn’t a year just for metal yo-yos and special editions. After years of development the LOOP720 finally hit shelves with its unique string on string ‘S-O-S’ response and this was followed up by 2008s ONLY Project Red Alert release, and final one at that, the GRIND MACHINE. YoYoFactory had now brought all its innovations from metal to plastic putting the power in the hands of the player at a fraction of the price (just in time for the economy to hit the skids).
Speaking of Project Red Alert, the wrapping up of this 4 year project was overdue. The original goal of creating a yo-yo capable of beating the best was achieved in 07 and new projects needed to be pursued, and were falling outside the realm of its manifesto. The three most significant special projects of 2008 were: Buddha King,
Catch 22 and Mighty Flea (AKA Longest spinning yo-yo ever, Most Expensive ever and smallest functional ever).
In contests the year started out well. John Ando was an unexpected asset in single A winning his regional event in Japan with Shinya Kido winning his region on an 888. Yuuki walked over BAC with his traditional flair. Augie Fash picked up PNWR and SoCal regional wins. Internationally the successes continued. Paul Kerbel became Mexican national Champion and Vashek took his tally of 3x Czech Nationals victories to 3. When it got to the big time the best rose to the top. Despite only competing in a single A contest for the second time in his life JOHN ANDO became world champion. Miggy went 2x and Yuuki got a DQ at nationals. You win some, you loose some . The performance of junior Team member John Chow also is worth noting as he raised himself from video stud to serious contender.
2008 will also be remembered as the year of the B-grade with hundred of players picking up a deal on less than perfect product sold at events across the world. From BAC to EYYM to the world contest, IYYO and even Czech nationals, players got a YoYoFactory experience without emptying their wallets fully.
YoYoFactory also covered some territory internationally. Jason Lee was a guest at Italian Nationals, Augie Fash attended Mexican nationals and Yuuki Spencer attended Czech Nationals. Kentaro made the trip to Singapore for AP and Yuuki and Vashek attended Yoyo Fest in Moscow. Look for more trips to exciting venues in 2009!
Sponsorship wise, YoYoFactory supported all the biggest events, BAC, Japan Nationals US nationals, Czech nationals, AP, the World yo-yo contest and the International yo-yo Open.
In the media, Harrods of London declared the F.A.S.T. 201 a design icon, Luke Roberts was told by Simon Cowell he was the other issue but appealed to the ladies. But face it, the biggest media star with his cover of the Chico Enterprise record was Ben McPhee ;)
While its fun to look back 2009 is shaping up to be an amazing year so without further wasted words…..
Firedog NEW (1st ¼ 09), SpinStar, 201, Offstring, SpeedDial
Evolution (NEW LINE)
Grind Machine, Velocity, LOOP720, G5, Dv888 NEW (1st ¼ 09)
888, Superstar, Skyline, Adjust-O-Matic NEW (1st ¼ 09)
Mighty Flea, BK2 NEW (2nd ¼ 09), Catch 22(2009) NEW (3rd ¼ 09), As yet to be named Spin Top NEW (1st ¼ 09)
Yuuki Spencer (USA), John Ando (JAPAN/USA), Augie Fash (USA), Kentaro Kimurra (JAPAN), Miguel Correa (USA), Sterling Quinn (USA), Victor Gravitsky (RUSSIA), Ryan Lai (USA), Vashek Kroutil (Czech Republic)
Demik (RUSSIA), Mr Cherry (RUSSIA), Jason Lee (Italy)
Denis Semushkin(Russia), Luke Roberts (UK), Mateusz Ganc (Poland) (Applications accepted MARCH 2009),
To be announced shortly
John Chow (USA), David Ung (USA), Paul Kerbel (MEXICO), Mikhail Shakirov(RUSSIA), (Applications accepted MARCH 2009)
Upcoming International Appearances:
John Ando (China National Contest 2009)
Kentaro Kimurra (China National Contest 2009)
Miguel Correa (Mexican National Contest 2009)
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Did Sterling Quinn switch from YYJ?
Sounds like an exciting year Ben.
01-01-2009 01:04 AM
Adjust-O-Matic? I'm curious!
and a spintop!
Bring on '09... =]
01-01-2009 03:18 AM
David Ung also had a good showing at BLC, finishing second to Augie and winning the seed to Nationals for top regional score.
I have wanted a 401SD since they came out, but never had the money to spare. I feel bad now knowing they didn't sell well enough to warrant another run. I still need to pick one up sooner or later.
Great year for YYF, both in the industry and in competition (not to mention several of the best videos of the year). Good luck on another successful year in 2009.
01-01-2009 09:03 AM
I think HSpin had the first lazer textured grind surface, with the Pyro.Team Weenieyo
01-01-2009 09:29 AM
YoyoFactory wins, no exceptions. You guys should come out with a line of YYF Skateboard decks. With team member themes or something. Because that...would...be...AWESOME!!!
Stop worrying about what yoyo you should be playing, and just play yoyo. (pssst I am not Landon)
01-01-2009 01:42 PM
I think by laser-textured, he means the entire finish is lasered, sort of like an alternative to beadblasting, and then anodized on top of that finish, not just laser engravings in a grindable area. So while the Pyro did take advantage of a lasered grinding surface in a different way on a small part of the yoyo, the Skyline was still the first yoyo to utilize this process to make it work for the whole yoyo and still allow colour on top of it.
01-01-2009 02:08 PM
plz dont leave out the GM2 that yoyo is one of my all time favoritesMeeting People Is Easy
01-01-2009 03:16 PM
I <3 Yoyofactory.
01-01-2009 09:44 PM
Adjust-O-Matic = great yoyo name
And I could have sworn the 555s came out in 07.WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.
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