[Note from JT: this is a slightly updated repost of the Toxic Strings BG1 Yellow Jackets review by yo-yo community member Dust, published originally on the YoyoExpert forums. Dust was kind enough to let me repost the review here on his behalf. Enjoy!]
Let’s talk about yo-yo string. As we all know, string is more than just string. It is the Silver Cord that keeps your physical you connected to your ethereal you (your yo-yo) and not just any tether will do. Its got to transmit back to you as you transmit out to it. There has to be communication and clear channel flow. As you send your energy out to the yo-yo, it needs to respond. When your yo-yo has something going on, it needs to let you know what’s up. The string is a two way conduit and, strangely enough, not all strings can accommodate this. In fact, most fall short in some way or another in being able to withstand, stay cooperative, and keep your yo-yo in check while it is out exploring. I’ll climb out of the rabbit hole now, but there is something to be said about that “special something” that we all know about but cannot describe.
So having said that, Toxic Strings really knocks it out of the park with their stunning BG1 Yellow Jackets. They are a real masterpiece of tech, love, and quality. What can be said about a simple yo-yo string? Well, as it turns out, quite a lot. First off, this is THIS IS A PREMIUM STRING. If you want a cheap bulk string this is NOT it. After shipping it often comes out to be around a dollar a string. Some may feel this is outrageous, outlandish, or even absurd. I do not think this way. I would actually be happy to pay more (that is how much I favor this string) but I’m glad that I don’t need to pay more.
If you are reading this then I assume you know that a string can make all the difference in the world. This is a string that I am sure that you have heard about, read about, seen, or even had a chance to try. If you have used one then chances are you liked it too. I know that nothing is best for everyone, and I know that my styles and preferences will differ from yours, but for me they might as well be named SOLID GOLD. But I digress..
Here is the description from YYE’s storefront:
The signature string of Brett Grimes is here. Toxic String BG1 Yellow Jackets have a soft broken in feel, they are thicker then standard string as Brett likes the string to be visible in his videos.
A word from Brett Grimes:
Most string makers, or shall I say a large amount of them wind their strings way to tight, and you got to force it to open. I have always hated this, you don’t have to wind them that tight…
The other things I wanted in my string was the brightest yellow Evan could find and I love the string is a tad bit thicker then whats out there. I do a lot of filming and I need that string to be seen combine the little extra thickness with the neon yellow and its filming paradise.
These strings hold great slack, and just feel comfortable from day one.
OK! Now that we are done with the formalities let us move on towards the real meat and potatoes (or rice and potatoes if your vegetarian) of why we are here, and that is to gain insight and look at pretty pictures!
Here is the string in direct sunlight. It looks almost self-illuminating, taking on a glow that seems otherworldly. It is bright enough in normal indirect lighting conditions, and in direct sunlight it will cast a yellow glow on things around it! The dye used in these strings is unreal, potent, eye catching, and like nothing else I have seen. In the picture shown below the string looks “fuzzier” than it seems in real life. This string shown in the picture is new with only an hour or two of play on it.
The picture below is of a brand new, freshly snipped string. The Yellow Jackets don’t explode when you cut them. Some strings that I’ve used unwind fiercely and with vigor when cut. These strings are gentle and relaxed. I like that. The color has an excellent longevity over time as well. It is always noticeable brighter than any other yellow strings I’ve tried. Whether brand new or ten hours deep, the Yellow Jackets are always brighter, phatter, and smoother than anything out else there. It is very easy open up to put on a bearing, unlike most all of other strings I have tried and that usually give me a small hassle.
They say that its made from 100% Polyester. I call BS. There may be 90% poly, but there is at least 10% magic in there somewhere. There is some kind of juju that is always evident with every throw. Some other throwers have commented that they are too fat for their liking, but I find them to be perfect. The amount of energy needed to toss a slack is laughable as the string seems to carry that loop for days! The tiniest flick and off it goes. The Yellow Jackets make it almost too easy. Other types and brands of strings, even ones I used to like, now seem like a joke by comparison. These strings are in a class of their own. Past top shelf, beyond master class, these are downright Magic-Class. I have to hurl, chuck, and throw other strings to get them to go, whereas when I just flick my finger with the BG1s it seems like I often nearly overshoot my mark! It’s really amazing and it’s one of many things that I truly LOVE about the Yellow Jackets.
11 out of 10 stars.
- Stunning yellow.
- Fat, but not obese.
- Soft, but not fluffy.
- Breaks in swiftly and the sweet spot lasts for a long time.
- Tight binds, and seemingly longer spins.
- Looser tension results in a relaxed feel.
- Top contender for whips and slacks.
- Does not lose its composure over time. Some of the stings I’ve used start to “freak out” after too many hours. I’ve not hit that point yet with these which is excellent!
- Easy to see in most any lighting condition.
- Extra dose of magical juju for your throwing pleasure.
- Nice packaging that blocks UV light.
- Slick and resists tight knots.
- Minimal friction and thermal buildup during speedy slides.
- Long lifetime.
- Props to Evan just for being so awesome and accessible.
- Finding them to buy can be a challenge.
- Some may argue cost, I defend the price tag. High quality like this, don’t forget they are HAND made. I find the value-to-cost ratio more than acceptable.
- May slip around your finger. An easy fix is to use a knot at the top of the loop: http://tinyurl.com/oenhals
So how to they compare with other strings? It is more that the other strings can’t compare to them. But I will indulge the curious minds out there with the picture below.
TOP to BOTTOM: (in no particular order of preference)
Toxic Strings BG1 Yellow Jackets
Kitty String Poly Fat
Kitty String Poly Regular
Toxic Strings Markmont Dragons
Happy Mountain Yellow Snow
YYSL Type X
YoYo Tricks High End
Happy Mountain Yeti Fur
Happy Mountain Pink Lemonade