Well, we have finally come down to it. We have now reached the review of the remaining MonkeyfingeR yo-yo, the Gelada 2.1. Mind you, this will be a short lived victory because I happen to know from PNWR that there are a couple of new MonkeyfingeR throws coming down the pipeline (you can check out the 3D mock up of one in the pictures below). But we will cross those bridges when we come to them. For now, let’s celebrate me finally getting around to reviewing the MonkeyfingeR Gelada 2.1. Huzzah!
Actually, I am not flying solo on this review. Jordan Blofeld of YoChaos fame was kind enough to chip in on the reviewing workload this time around. Jordan has the advantage over me in reviewing the Gelada 2.1 in that he has also tried the previous iteration of the Gelada series. He and I both thought it would be nice to supplement my usual reviewing format with a comparison of the Gelada 2 and 2.1 throws, and you will find that section later on in this review. As such, I will keep my usual lengthy narrative to a minimum so you can all breathe a sign of relief.
Let’s get on with it!
Here is the TL;DR summary for those that want it: The MonkeyfingeR Gelada 2.1 represents the gentler side of the MonkeyfingeR spectrum. Its modern O-type shape gives it a decently comfortable feel and chilled out pace, although it can still step up the pace a bit if needed. The design provides good stability and is more forgiving than the other MonkeyfingeR yo-yos. As such, it is a wonderful starting point for newer players looking to start down the MonkeyfingeR path or a great all round throw for more advanced players looking for a just-for-fun yo-yo to relax with while still providing good performance.
The MonkeyfingeR Gelada 2.1
While it might not be immediately obvious from the name, the Gelada 2.1 is the third in the Gelada series. As you can very well guess, the jump from the Gelada 2 to 2.1 was not as great as the jump from the original Gelada to the Gelada 2. Since I came in late to the MonkeyfingeR Gelada party I have only tried this latest version and can’t give you any first person account of the changes or progression. However, here is the official Gelada history lesson directly from MonkeyfingeR Ray:
“The original Gelada was really just an attempt to branch out into unknown territory for MonkeyfingeR and to create an organic shaped yo-yo after the release of the Evil Yo. We learned a lot of lessons from that design, and when we revisited the Gelada to create the sequel our goal was to improve upon the spin time and make it feel lighter on the string. We succeeded in making it more floaty by pushing some of the mass outwards. With the Gelada 2.1 we didn’t want to change much other than to give it some new aesthetics and a minor tweak to make the design as forgiving as possible during play.”
With the history and vision behind the Gelada 2.1 out of the way we can now break things down.
Gelada 2.1 Specs
- Diameter: 57 mm
- Width: 44 mm
- Weight: 66 grams
- Bearing: Size C Tasmanian Tornado 10-ball centering
- Response: MonkeyfingeR Monkey Snot
The Gelada 2.1 comes standard using 6061 aluminum. There is a 7075 version available (which I also happen to own) that adds a couple of grams to the mass. I plan on writing up a separate article regarding the 7075 versions of the Gelada 2.1 and Tri-B, so this review will deal solely with the 6061 version.
Size and Shape
In terms of size, the Gelada 2.1 is the big brother in the MonkeyfingeR lineup. Moving from Gelada 2.1 to the Tri-B to the 2Evil corresponds with a decrease in size and weight (although the Tri-B and 2Evil weights are pretty much the same), and that decrease is inversely proportional to the target skill level of the throws. That isn’t to say that newer players wouldn’t and couldn’t enjoy the Tri-B and 2Evil, but neither of those can match the Gelada 2.1 for being “noob friendly” and that is in no small part due to the size and weight. Having 66 grams of mass spread over a a diameter of 57 mm and width of 44 mm gives the Gelada 2.1 a nice light feel, or what is often referred to as “floatiness” by throwers. Add this to the nicely rounded O-type (organic) shape and you have a yo-yo with a great presence in the hand and on the string.
Speaking of the shape, I should mention the more modern elements of the design. There is a small step next to the response groove that helps give the string a bit more wiggle room without contacting the play side walls. The Gelada 2.1 also uses subtle angle cuts to give it the rounded O-type shape. This is the primary difference to the Gelada 2 that uses a completely smooth organic shape. I don’t know if this change translates into differences during play, but it does help to give the Gelada 2.1 a more edgy look to it (and I mean that literally).
Oh come on, this is MonkeyfingeR we are talking about so the surface finish will always be amazing. Like all MonkeyfingeR throws, you can opt to have a completely custom colourway whipped up for you (for a price) or opt to buy one of the crazy colour creations that MonkeyfingeR Ray comes up with. Either way you won’t be disappointed.
Bearing and Response
Since I am trying to keep this shorter, I will simply say that the Gelada 2.1 uses the now standard Tasmanian Tornado 10-ball ceramic hybrid bearing, and you can read about that elsewhere on this site. The response system use the typical Monkey Snot flowable silicone that is poured in such a way as to be recessed into the groove. This recessing is my favourite response configuration and I wish more yo-yo makers would adopt this. There when you need it. Out of the way when you don’t.
Because I want to crack along to Jordan’s section, I will keep this brief. The Gelada 2.1 is a comfortable yo-yo which feels very smooth during play, due to both the design and the Tornado bearing. Spreading the mass out over a larger volume gives the Gelada 2.1 a deceptively lighter feel. For example, when I throw the Gelada 2.1 and Tri-B one after the other, I would swear that the Tri-B is the heavier throw even though it is a couple of grams lighter. The more compact nature of the Tri-B pushes its mass more towards the string, giving it a more impactful and deliberate feel during play.
The Gelada 2.1 on the other hand just seems to merrily glide around with a relaxed ease. In my mind this is great for newer players since they are generally using a slower pace as they learn. The Gelada 2.1 has good stability and spins times, and the recessed response means that incidental spin loss due to friction during string wraps is minimized, all of which are good characteristics for newer players. Having said that, I think throwers of any level would have a hard time not enjoying the Gelada 2.1 unless they dislike O-type throws to begin with (and such throwers do exist). Personally I think its combination of shape, size, and weight give it a really nice balance in terms of performance, comfort, and fun. I also like the fact that I can push the speed with it when I want to. It doesn’t keep up with throws that are designed for speed but it can hold its own for the most part.
OK, that is enough from me, so on to Jordan’s thoughts. Oh, and for the record, I wrote my part of the review before I read his.
Gelada 2 versus 2.1 (courtesy of Jordan Blofeld)
Despite them sharing the same name, the Gelada 2 and Gelada 2.1 are pretty different. The cups are almost the same, but the real difference is in the profile. The older (but still great) Gelada 2 has a smooth, organic profile which is very comfortable to play with and hold. The Gelada 2.1 has a stepped shape that isn’t as comfortable but is a lot more satisfying to rub your fingers across (You know those satisfying GIFs on imgur? Yea, just like that!). They both ship with the same Snot response and those neat hybrid ceramic bearings.
On the string, they’re both fairly deceptive. Faster than they look, they’re pretty light for a shape that is generally considered to be more relaxed with plenty of performance.
The Gelada 2.1 has the edge on spin time and stability but it plays noticeably heavier and is a lot more docile. Maybe it comes from the stepped profile or a new weight distribution but I find it spins longer and is more forgiving to play. Usually, on a day I want to pick up an MFD, I’ll pick this one when I’m ready for something that performs well so I can learn something new or try something I’ve never tried before.
The Gelada 2 on the other hand plays faster and lighter but is a tad less forgiving. I use it a lot, but only for tricks I’m already very comfortable with and confident that I can land them smoothly. Considering how light and fast it is, it can be hard to keep up, which seems completely odd to say for this type of yo-yo. It just has a great sense of energy that’s hard to keep pace with, which is why I love it – It pushes me hard.
I couldn’t pick just one, which is why I own both! They’re different enough to justify owning both, even if you’re like me and only really like owning one of a thing. Those who know me, know I’m almost brutally honest about my opinions of yo-yos, but I really cannot praise MonkeyfingeR enough for what they’ve made with the Gelada series.
Time now to wrap this up. In terms of the MonkeyfingeR lineup I think that the Gelada 2.1 would find itself at the “easier” side of the spectrum, followed by the Tri-B somewhere in the middle and the 2Evil more towards the advanced end of things. A better way to put it would be to say that the Gelada 2.1 has a lower threshold of skill required to really make full use of it. That isn’t to say that more advanced throwers wouldn’t enjoy it because I personally think the Gelada 2.1 is a great addition to anyone’s library.
Fans of O-type throws should find plenty to love in the Gelada 2.1, and it is likely that its modernized approach to the O-type shape will make it distinct within one’s collection. For those that aren’t into O-types but are still thinking about getting one or two for the collection just to have something different, the Gelada 2.1 is worth considering since it has the shape but still manages to give enough performance that you won’t feel held back. Overall, the MonkeyfingeR Gelada 2.1 is one of the most fun O-type yo-yos that I have tried thus far.
And a big thanks to Jordan for contributing to this review. As always, enjoy your throwing!