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Day 2: Yomega’s Zero-G

The Zero-G was a highly anticipated offstring yo-yo that never actually hit the market. It was one of Yomega’s first attempts at creating a rubber shelled yo-yo, a effort that would again appear in their Xodus, Crossfire, and Lancer.

Friction stickers and rubber shells seemed to be the two patented items that everyone wanted. Just as companies were trying to work their way around the friction brake pad patent, many were also trying to get around Henry’s patented removable rubber shells patent.

Yomega’s idea was simple, don’t make the shells removable. Which also solved the problem of how to work with soft rubber without it flying off of a high spinning yo-yo. the Zero-G’s plastic shells are assembled over the rubber shells, locking the shells in to place and making removal of the shells impossible without dis-assembling the plastic body.

Those who are familiar with the new “soft-core” process that Yomega are doing with yo-yos like the Crossfire, you may notice similarities between the assembly of the Zero-G and that of the Crossfire.

The biggest technical flaw with the Zero-G would have to be it’s trans-axle system. Yomega decided to use a trans-axle system similar to the Fireball (probably to save money), but the Zero-G’s trans-axle was much narrower. Meaning you couldn’t exchange it’s parts with a fireball or any of their ball bearing yo-yos. Around this time, Yomega really seemed to be into making all their systems incompatible. They didn’t want you to be able to buy a fireball, through in some bearings, and make your own Raider. The parts were all propietary, so that Yomega had full control of their yo-yos. Ultimately, Yomega released that making all their parts inter-changable would only help their sales (open source yo-yos), but not in time for the Zero-G

This one is on eBay right now.

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Day 1: The Philip Travelant MiniJam

In 2001, yo-yo companies were clammering for novel new ideas for a yo-yo. A few companies decided to try to out-do each other by creating the smallest playing yo-yo that they could. The first miniature transaxle yo-yo would undoubtedly have been the Mini Screwball, a Japanese yo-yo that was a narrow body design and just a little larger than a quarter. About a year later, YoYoJam, ProYo, and Tom Kuhn would all have their own entries in the mini market.

YoYoJam’s model, the MiniJam, was in my opinion the best playing of all the other models. It has a plastic hub and aluminum weight rings (as opposed to ProYo’s and Tom Kuhn’s all metal minis) and pointless rubber rings that seemed to be the hallmark of YoYoJam in those days.

The MiniJam was equiped with their “B” size bearing and negative starbursts.

It was one of YoYojam’s earliest signature series, brandished with Philip Travelant’s name on the side and the phrase “Mini Yo World Champion” underneath it. I believe that title refers to a contest that either WindWizards or YoYoJam ran were competitors entered using only miniature yo-yos.

This MiniJam is up for eBay auction here.

My buddy Shawn has posted videos of young Philip here.

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After 28 Days of talking about it…

With the newest batch of my yo-yos on eBay, I’ve decided to finally start my 28 Days of Yo project that I’ve been talking about on YoYoWiki Radio for some time now.

The basic goal of the project is simply to post some cool pictures of a bunch of yo-yos in my collection and share some history or personal stories related to those pieces.

In case anyone is wondering why Doc is suddenly selling off all of his most prized yo-yos, the answer is simple…. My laptop is dying/dead. So I’m doing the unthinkable (selling prototypes, etc…) to raise money for a new laptop. What type of laptop really just depends on how much I make off the auctions.

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The Hesitator

Josh from recently wrote a blog about The Hesitator yo-yo.

The Hesitator was a very limited run of Spinatstics Eclipses that I hand painted and assembled. Less than 40 where made. Actually I made about 55, but trashed 15 pairs that I didn’t feel looked up to standard.

The name of the yo-yo came from the constant number of kids that would come in to my store looking for hesitator yo-yos.

“You know, the kind that hesitate.”

I would try to explain to them that all of our yo-yos slept, but they would only look for yo-yos that hesitate.

I don’t have any Hesitator’s left.

Josh has three.

Life can be cruel sometimes.

He has some fantastic pictures of them on his flickr page.

The pog art features my art as well. One side has a version of me scaling a giant yo-yo and spray tagging it. The other pog is a pair of hands with a floating “H” above them.

Painting the Hesitators was a total nightmare. Nail polish, blue ink, 3 colors of spray paint, sharpies, black paint, glitter and the lids off of McDonald’s McFlurries were all used to get the desired effect. Each half was numbered, signed, and had a cool flame effect. On one half of each yo-yo the flames would spell out HESITATOR. Since all the work was done on the inside of the yo-yo, all spelling had to be done backwards. I even had to learn how to sign my name backwards. Once, after completing 20 Hesitators, I wrote an entire sentence backwards on a post it note to a friend before I realized I was not writing normally. That could have also been a result of being subjected to many hours of breathing aerosol and nail polish fumes.

For the record, it is widely believed that John(bot) Russeth has the best Hesitator made.

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After the Master of Champions

Augie, Paul, and myself are all back in the Bay Area now after a week of rehearsing and filming a yo-yo routine for ABC’s new prime time TV show Master Of Champions. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but the show should air on June 29th right before an NBA game.

The idea of the show is that they find people who are in the very top of their field and they have them compete against another act, then all of the finalists come back at the end of the show and a group of celebrity judges choose the “Master of Champions“. The show is an hour long, and our show features a pimped out car, b-boy, karate expert, and card thrower.

The other act they matched us up against was Dave Bazan’s Texas Crew (w/ Jesse Garcia, Miguel Correa). Incidentally, our crew was called The College For the Easily Amused.

The show was crazy, hectic, and stressful. I’m not gonna lie, it was 4 days of mis-communications, hotel problems, waiting in hot trailers, and production problems that had us all stressed out. Both teams were jerked around, with last minute extra challenges and changes to the show. I was way out of the loop on so many things, even all they way up to when they were interviewing us for the show, I know I said some stupid stuff about hoping to come back or something, because they said something about some guests having a chance to come back later. So I’ll probably look pretty silly. The week was a rollercoaster to say the least. Speaking of which, Augie and I met up with my girlfriend Shannon in LA and took a train ride back.