29 Aug 2012

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Our last demo for this leg of the YoYoFactory West Coast Tour (don’t worry, there will be more!) we head to Napa for Blues, Brews and BBQ. A huge street festival that Toy B Ville has invited us too. On the left is Darren, the owner of Toy B Ville and a really rad guy (more on that later). On the right is John, he started the local scene here and heads the Yo-Yo club at Toy B Ville. It’s always so amazing to see passionate, dedicated young people take charge and create something awesome for their community.



All day we had patrons visiting our booth. Learning, watching and having a good time. We never grow tired of people saying, “Wow! These are so much better then the old yo-yos I used to have when I was a kid. I can actually DO tricks!”.


But yo-yoing wasn’t the only thing happening…



… Darren was defending his title as Rib Eating Champion. Last year he came in as a rookie and destroyed the competition with 27 ribs in 10 minutes.



And within a few minutes, it was apparent how hungry he was for another title. Taking down 12 ribs before most others were even close to double digits.



Chowing down on another 12, and he was well ahead of the pack. 3 away from his previous record.



As he sets his 33rd rib in the bowl there was a little less then a minute to go, and 5 ribs ahead of the closest competitor.



Your 2012 Champion, Darren!


Now, back to yo-yoing…




We had a full day at the festival. Everyone who stopped by was excited to learn yo-yo. We had first timers and old hands alike take YoYoFactory yo-yos for a spin.




Ann and Augie also wow’ed the crowd with demos. Showing what Modern Performance Yo-Yos were all about.


Thanks to Darren, John and the whole crew at Toy B Ville for a great event.



27 Aug 2012

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It’s been a while since we’ve posted something new from John Ando, but this was WELL worth the wait. The master of tricks and movement shows off at the 800 YoYo Class Freestyle contest, and takes home first! Will this mark a return of Ando to the contest stage?


24 Aug 2012

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After a great week on the road, we’re taking a day off to visit San Francisco. We got into town just in time for lunch. Big Lantern was the spot today. One of the best Chinese joints in the Mission.



San Francisco wasn’t designed for our Tour Van, so we parked it and took the bus out for a day of shopping.



A must on any trip to the Bay is Amoeba Records. With one of the largest selections in the country, it’s a mecca for music lovers. We found some great, hard to find records during this visit.



Haight and Ashbury was a haven for hippies in the 60′s but now it’s home to some great shopping. Stussy, Super 7, Kid Robot and True just to name a few.



Next it was off to visit one of our favorite stores in the city, Fatlace. YoYoFactory has worked with this great boutique on several projects including the BAC Friday Night Party where we released the Avant Garde 2.



You know you’re in the right spot when there’s Yo-Yo string holding the door open for you.




Inside the clean, minimalist interior of Fatlace you’ll find top tier Nike, The North Face, G Shock, their in-house label Illest….



… and YoYoFactory. Fatlace has been one of our premiere retailers in the Bay Area for years.



If you visit Fatlace, chances are the person behind the counter yo-yos. Daniel and Tim were holding down the shop today. Thanks to the Fatlace/Illest family for hanging out and hooking us up with some sweet gear!


23 Aug 2012

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We rolled into Chico this afternoon, just in time to pick up Gentry from school. If there’s one thing that turns more heads them Gentry’s shoe game, it’s the YoYoFactory van.



Once we got Gentry we headed over to the National YoYo Museum in downtown Chico. The Museum is full of awesome displays that chronicle the timeline of Yo-Yo.




YoYoFactory is honored to have multiple displays in the Museum showing our growth and progression in the past 10 years. The Museum also has many of our players signature models, personally signed for the Museum.



The walls of the Museum are literally covered in history. Old. New. Championship winning. Prototypes. Even quirky promotional yo-yos are on display. And they all tell a story.



The National YoYo Museum also plays host to the National Yoyo Contest. Every year honors are given out at the contest. Ann has received “Female Player of the Year” awards quite a few times.



The man responsible for it all, Bob Malowney. Bob is the godfather of it all. He was instrumental in bringing the yo-yo back into popularity in the 80′s. Creating and curating the National YoYo Museum in the 90′s. And bringing us the modern yo-yo contest through his efforts in the National YoYo League and National YoYo Contest.



What started out as a passion for Bob has grown into the thriving, vibrant yo-yo culture we have today. Yo-Yo has come a long way since Bob started, but without him a lot of what we take for granted today wouldn’t have happened.



As Bob gave us a tour of the Museum you couldn’t help but be in awe of what he has worked to achieve. In the early 90′s the main means of promoting the National YoYo Contest was word of mouth. Every time someone would write for information on Nationals Bob would be sure to send extra fliers back to give out to others who might be interested. Now, almost two decades later, Nationals is one of the most prestigious contest in the world. Bringing in an international audience and competitors from every corner of the country.




A lot of passion and hard work has gone into developing Yo-Yo into what is is today. Bob is a testament to hark work and following your passions.




After the Museum tour, we went out front and set up for the local street festival. Bird in hand, Bob’s store that houses the National YoYo Museum, has a strong club, and many of them came out.



It was perfect weather and a grew crowd. We were honored to be able to work with such an institution and were proud to fly our flag next to Bird in Hand.



The next generation of yo-yo is alive and well in Chico.


Thank you again Bob, Thad, and everyone at Bird in Hand and the National YoYo Museum. We had a great time in Chico!


22 Aug 2012

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We can’t help but love Learning Express Roseville. In 3 short years they have built a talented, vibrant yo-yo club.



And it’s all thanks to Colleen and her dedicated family and staff. They love yo-yos and it shows in their efforts to promote the sport. They hold clubs, contests and even go into the community to perform.



We not only got to come for a great demo, it was also a farewell party for Colleen’s son Cory, who is the head teacher at the club. But no worries, he’s actually going off to college a few hours away, in Chico.



For the event there was a big taco spread. And awesome baked goods by RedHen.




We had a lot of fun hanging out and showing off new tricks and product to the club and customers.







We closed out the day with a stellar demo from Ann and Augie. Thank you Roseville for having us and showing us such a great time! We’ll be back soon!


21 Aug 2012

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YoYoFactory finds its way back to Reno for another round of demos at the local Learning Express’. We had a good crowd of locals at our first stop.




Lots of teaching and trading tricks. It’s always a blast to meet new players from a new area and see the talent that’s springing up thanks to the hard work of Chuck and Learning Express.




We wrapped up our first appearance with a demo by Ann and Augie. For some of these players this was their first time seeing such a high level of modern yo-yoing.




We quickly transitioned to the next Learning Express in Reno and got right to teaching the crowd some new tricks.





Like last time, we finished with a great demo by Augie and Ann that the crowd loved! Thanks so much for having us out again, Learning Express. Special thanks to Chuck and all the club members that came out. We had a blast!


20 Aug 2012

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Fresh off his stellar performance at Worlds, Paolo Bueno took the stage in the final round against Ernest. Check out the trick battle bellow:



17 Aug 2012

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Over the past week YoYoFactory was given the opportunity to stop in Portland for a week to hold a YoYo Summer Camp during our West Coast Tour. Thanks to YoYoUniversity, Portland has a thriving young yo-yo scene full of amazing talent.



As part of YoYoUniversity’s program, they teach many building blocks, and test the campers on their proficiency. As they work their way around the “U” they achieve higher, more exclusive, levels in the program.



The ages and skill range was great. We had kids who had just picked up a yo-yo, to players who had been in the YoYoU program for over 2 years and were placing well at regional contest.



Along with all the yo-yo activities, there were outdoor breaks. Who could turn down the chance to go up again a Yo-Yo Champ in a game of ball?



Another feature of each day at YoYo Camp was time meeting and learning from the Pros on hand. Each of the Pros has very interesting insights into yo-yoing and the campers were eager to hear and full of questions.



Speaking of our Pros for the week, here’s a nice group shot. From Left to Right: Ibrahim Rahman, Luke and Jack Finnel, Augie Fash and always camera aware Ann Connolly.



The campers were so stoked to have some of the best Pros in the country on hand to teach them tips and tricks.




For the last day, the Camp had a big head to head team battle. Augie’s team huddled up to plan their epic team routine. With the veteran performing experience of Augie, they were sure to have a good routine.



Teams assemble and get ready to face off.




Both teams had great ideas and really entertaining routines. Augie’s team came out victorious with their amazing team jump trick and solid performance.



Thank you to everyone who came out to YoYo Summer Camp. Special thanks to the parents and campers for making this such a fun, successful event. Special thanks to Colin and Greg of YoYoU and Ibs, Jack, Luke, Seth, Ann, Augie and Gentry for coming out. We can’t wait for next year!



13 Aug 2012

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As part of the YoYoFactory West Coast Tour, we find ourselves in Portland, OR again. After a quick break, and a trip to the World YoYo Contest, we’re back on the road. This leg of the tour we have Ann Connolly, Augie Fash, Gentry Stein and Seth Peterson.



We started our first day in Portland on Alberta Street. The neighborhood is full of great food, coffee and shops. We had a chance to stop into the Antler Gallery and hang out with a new friend, artist Neil M. Perry.



After Alberta St. we met up with some friends for dinner. Here is the YoYoFactory team, bookended by YoYoUniversiy.





At dinner we were also joined by our buddy, and Protegé, Ibrahim. He’s always full of stories and good times.



Then, off for desert. If you’re in Portland, it’s a must to stop at VooDoo Doughnut. Racks on racks on racks of delicious, sugary goodness waiting to be devoured.





No matter what time of day, you’ll find a line at VooDoo. Luckily we brought our yo-yos.



VooDoo is known for their crazy toppings and themes. Among the group there was oreos, cereal, frosting and bacon! It was a great end to a fun first day in Portland. Tomorrow we start YoYo Summer Camp.


12 Aug 2012

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While we were all enjoying Shu’s amazing 2A freestyle smashing any previous freestyle ever presented by any human being in the history of yoyo play at this year’s  world based yoyo contest little did we know that a greater battle was unfolding in outer space.  Yesterday a video hit YouTube showing astronaut Don Pettit demonstrating a modern performance yoyo aboard the international space station. “Nothing special to report here” I’m sure you are saying, “this was done years ago on a shuttle mission.” “We all learned about it in elementary science classes ever since. Old news”.


But wait. There’s always something that, as a yoyo player, has always bothered me about that original outer space yoyo experiment. I’m not saying it kept me awake at night STEWING in the thoughts, just whenever the subject was presented I felt the data was flawed.


Here’s the problem: in 1985 astronaut David Griggs was put to the task of using a yoyo in space and researching the effect of zero gravity on the toy. I assume he had some training on the basics or maybe had some residual childhood technique which elevated him to the position of In-House YoYo Expert.  Here, you can watch the result of his off-world yoyo experience:



(YoYo magic happens at  2minutes 40seconds if you don’t have the patience to watch the other fascinating toy experiments.)


The reported results were that Dave Griggs couldn’t get the yoyo to “sleep” due to the lack of gravity.  Then all the data was compiled into a science program called Toys In Space and made available to educators around the country. The data claimed “The yo-yo will not sleep in space because there is no force to keep the yo-yo from moving back up the string.”


I always imagined teachers explaining this across the nation and the students accepting this fact based on the authority of the experiment and the credentials of the educator. Then in my mind’s eye I imagined that one precocious 6th grader in the back of the classroom who considered himself a bit of an expert on the playground with the yoyo thinking to himself “I could get it to sleep, send me up and I’ll prove it. That guy just had bad equipment and his skill was questionable”.


So I did a little googling and found I wasn’t alone. Here a English major ponders the same quandary.


So yesterday when my email started blowing up at the end of the day with friends reporting the new yoyo video posted on YouTube showing Don Pettit taking a break from rescuing a satellite and goofing around with his yoyo my emotional state hit an all-time high as I watched him demonstrating not only a YoYoFactory® DNA™, but also putting the yoyo through numerous “sleeping” based maneuvers in zero gravity.





Did Don Pettit know that he was taking the first step in space at calling out his predecessor, an outer-space challenge, the first Galactic Smackdown? Does he know the damage he has done to the teachers guides and all of the re-writing that will need to be done? Is this a quantum shift in science? The last one, probably not. But for the 6th grader inside me who just knew that with a little practice and the right equipment the challenge could be beaten… I feel vindicated, smug even. I want to thank Don Pettit for taking the challenge and showing that science is more than just one experiment, more than just one anecdotal experience. Also want to thank him for taking his break from his extraordinary day that allowed me to take a break from my very ordinary day and write this comment.


Hans VanDanElzen
Guinness Record Holder
YoYo Enthusiast