Greetings From Ed
Hello, internet! (Actually, I’ve been on you for awhile now, but not in this specific capacity.)
As you may have read elsewhere – or on the post directly preceding this one – I HAVE OFFICIALLY JOINED FORCES WITH TOM KUHN CUSTOM YO-YO’S. As evidenced by my reckless use of caps, I’m pretty amped up about this. I’ll be using this blog to highlight certain products from time to time, or to offer random/rambling musings, as is my wont. I’ll also be active on our Facebook page and our new Instagram account (@tomkuhnyoyos), both of which you should follow, and helping out with demonstrating, testing, and giving input on new products. Folks who know anything about me tend to have a sense for my well-documented love of the TK brand, and for the No Jive 3-in-1 Yo-Yo, specifically. I got my first No Jive in 2005, and while I grew up playing fixed axle yo-yo’s (or as we called them at the time: “yo-yo’s”), the No Jive I received from Dave’s Skill Toys caused me to reevaluate my perspective on “modern”, “progressive”, and even “good” yo-yoing.
For years, I played that yo-yo religiously – some would say literally – and it pushed my play in a direction from which I’ve never really deviated. My appreciation for Tom Kuhn, however, transcended its seminal model. Playing a lot of fixed axle helped me to appreciate the few yo-yo brands which have a HISTORY. Our current market densely populated with folks who fire off a yo-yo design, slap a sweet anodized bead-blast on it, and come up with a catchy company name, but the yo-yo manufacturers who have hung around for decades can be counted on one hand. Don’t get me wrong: these boutique start-ups are exciting and agile, and they have helped usher yo-yoing into a spectacular new realm of playability, but they also mainly offer one thing. That one kind of yo-yo is pretty radical and incredibly consistent, but it’s worth considering how an older company like TK fits into the modern picture.
Tom Kuhn came up with the take-apart yo-yo (No Jive). He came up with the metal ball bearing transaxle yo-yo (SB-2). He came up with adjustable gaps (SB-2, Roller Woody, Sleep Machine), replaceable fiber response stickers (Turbo Discs), and splash anodized yo-yo’s (SB-2, Tom Cat)… Signing on with TK, for me, wasn’t just about getting to throw No Jives. It was about being part of a legacy of innovation that has helped make the landscape of modern yo-yoing accessible.
Over the years, I’ve kind of become a student or connoisseur (or ok, nerd, if you prefer) regarding the TK brand. Going through the old promotional material or hand-written pamphlets from Tom, I’m reminded that all of our products are about primarily having fun and using yo-yoing to more deeply enjoy this amazing life and world. Since coming aboard, a few people have hit me up to say “I’m excited to see Tom Kuhn Yo-Yo’s becoming RELEVANT again”. I understand their meaning. We’ve just released the SB-4, which can keep pace with any modern contest-shredding model. We’ve just partnered with YoYoExpert.com which has supported the community so much in recent years. And with fixed axle yo-yoing gaining some real traction lately, our classic No Jives are once again gaining appropriate recognition. That said, I think from day 1, Tom Kuhn has been about playing yo-yo as a means toward feeling happy, engaged, and fulfilled. That has always been RELEVANT, regardless of whether you play wood or metal, responsive or unresponsive, up on a stage or out in the woods. The Art of Play has always been relevant. The State of Yo has always been relevant.
I mentioned wanting to be part of a legacy of innovation, but honestly, a legacy of joy is even better.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to be beginning this adventure. Thanks to everybody who has expressed their support these past few weeks.