General Yo Mini Star 2
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
July 10, 2017


It is hard to believe that it has been seven full years since I reviewed the first Mini Star. The first Mini Star holds a special place in my heart, it was the first yo-yo to feature my wife’s artwork. Even if my wife had not done the artwork, the Mini Star has still been one of my favorite pocket throws, I still have a Purple Heart Edition in my collection. When it comes to this new version, I was completely caught off guard with the announcement of the Mini Star 2. Ernie is one that keeps things close to the vest, without even giving a sneak preview most of the time. When he did announce that he had a new pocket yo-yo coming AND that it was going to be a bimetal, my curiosity was definitely piqued. Now that I have it in my hands, it is time to see if this new model lives up to the first iteration’s name.


• Diameter: 48.7mm
• Width: 36.45mm
• Gap: 4.2mm
• Weight: 60.5 grams
• Bearing: General Yo Large AIGR Bearing
• Response: Gen19 Slim Pads


I will say this right off the bat, the Mini Star 2 is far from being just the Mini Star design with some steel rings inserted into the cups. The profile of the newer design shows off a much more angular catch zone. Instead of being rounded organic walls leading down to the cup, you now have these comfortably rounded rims that meet a modestly V-Shaped, wide open catch zone that travels down to the gap. Right before the gap there is a slight flair out that mimics the properties of the step out you see in most other yo-yo designs. This still allows the yo-yo to keep the string off the wall and reduce friction. Turning our attention to the cup. The newer, angular design comes through again. Gone are the curved inner walls, large hub, and IGR. They have been replaced with straight inner walls, a smaller version of the original Mini Star hub, and a set of press fit, steel rings. The rings are slightly recessed into the cup instead of sitting flush with the outer edge. As with any product from Ernie, the Mini Star 2 would not be complete without that signature General Yo blast. This is the one hold over from the original Mini Star… and I could not be happier. The finish is soft to the touch, adding a nice bonus to an already comfortable design. The only thing that would have made the design better for me would have been if it had come in a Purple Heart variant. That is not a gripe, I just would have personally liked one to go along with the original that I have in my case.


The Mini Star 2 is about 2 full grams lighter than the original. Even with that weight reduction, the newer design’s weight feels so much better during play. It has a more fleshed out feel, giving the player the impression of playing with a full-sized throw. The Mini Star 2 hits with more authority and the weight is dialed in for some serious spin times.

Response and Bearing

The response used in the Mini Star 2 is General Yo’s newer Gen 19 Slim pad that debuted in their other bimetal, the Legato. It is General Yo’s take on the 19mm pads that are becoming more and more standard in the latest yo-yos to hit the market. These pads give the same stellar performance that the larger Hat Pads gave with the extra added bonus of fitting most of your favorite new yo-yos that are hitting the market.

The bearing is also the newer string centering that came with the Legato. While I am beginning to warm up to the change in bearings, I do miss the AIGR bearing. They were smooth and built like a tank. Plus, it was cool being able to say that the bearing in my yo-yo was also used in aircraft instruments.


I touched on it a bit in the weight section, this yo-yo plays like a full-sized yo-yo. It is quick and agile on the string while remaining rock solid stable during tricks. The wider gap means that even though it is small, it is not a hard target to hit during whips and hops. The steel rings give it great spin times, giving you plenty of time to practice your favorite routines and combos. I am quite impressed with the overall feel of this yo-yo during my play session with it. The Mini Star 2 is an improvement on pretty much every level when compared to the older model, about the only part where is falls short is thumb grinds. The Mini Star 2 ditched the IGR from the original and replaced it with the steel rings. I know that I am in the minority when it comes to thumb grinds and I will be the first to admit that the performance boost that the rings give this new bimetal Mini Star more than makes up for the loss of this one feature.

Final Thoughts

After playing the new Mini Star 2 I can honestly say my original is going to be sitting it out in my case quite a bit more often. As I said above, this is pretty much an improvement in every way when compared to the original’s seven-year-old design and has me excited to see what Ernie will do when he finally gets around to making the long awaited 5-Star version 3.