One Drop Marquis
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
September 5, 2016
Yo-Yo unboxing is not a glamourous thing; in fact it is pretty monotonous as far as our hobby is concerned. We already know what we purchased or traded for when we decide to pick up our model of choice. The closest thing to a WOW! moment is when you get to see the splash for the first time, and even most times the splash is revealed before opening the box thanks to the manufacturers putting cut outs on their boxes that show off the yo-yo inside. One Drop is looking to add some spice to the whole unboxing process with their latest yo-yo, the Marquis. With the Marquis there are 14 different variants, seven solid color variants, four splash variants, one nickel plated variant, and one variant machined out of titanium. Each variant comprises a fraction of that 400 total Marquis run (e.g. there are only five titanium Marquis in the entire run). Here is the kicker, the buyer does not get to choose what they purchased. Instead they purchase a blind, sealed box and hope for the best. To keep everyone, including the retailers, honest there is a second layer to the blind strategy. Each yo-yo is heat sealed in an opaque, foil bag before going in the box. I will admit, when I got my Marquis in for review I was excited to tear into the box and see what I got. While the box opening thrill is extremely cool, it is fleeting and will not mean much if the yo-yo itself is horrible. With that being said, it is time to turn our attentions from the foil bag to the contents within.
SIDE NOTE: This review is based on the anodized aluminum version of the Marquis.
• Diameter: 53.11 mm
• Width: 38.9 mm
• Gap: 4.6 mm
• Weight: 65.5 grams
• Response: One Drop Flow Groove
• Bearing: One Drop 10 Ball
The Marquis is an homage to the Halifax prototype from back in the day. For those not up on your One Drop history, the Halifax is what eventually became Daniel Dietz’ signature One Drop yo-yo, simply called the Dietz. Being an homage means that the Marquis takes some liberties with the design. First and foremost, the Dietz was 3 mm smaller in diameter and used the Side Effect axle system while the Marquis is using a tapped axle. The Marquis shares a similar angular profile with the Dietz that I still think looks like what would happen if you beamed a yo-yo into the 1982 Tron universe. Where they differ significantly is that the Dietz was very much an H-Shape design while the Marquis is a wing shape design. The catch zone is wide open with a small step out at the gap before the response. The cup is a quite a bit more minimalist in design when compared to the Dietz, extremely wide open with a tiny hub in the middle that takes up far less space than the Side Effect axle system. The finish is the Pyramatte tumble finish that has been paired with all but the titanium Marquis, which is just raw metal. Overall, the Marquis design could be considered not so much an homage to the Dietz but a much more comfortable evolution of the Dietz design.
The Marquis tips the scales at 65.5 grams, making it a speedy little thing on the string. Even though it is a pocket sized yo-yo the weighting and control felt like that of a much larger throw.
Response and Bearing
This section is simple. The Marquis uses Flow Groove Pads and a 10-Ball bearing. My go to setup for tight binds, long spin times, and quiet play.
As I said, this yo-yo is zippy on the string and plays larger than its pocket friendly frame looks. It does fly from string to string with a quickness to it but plays without feeling like you have to catch up with it, something I look for when buying a yo-yo. I am at my best when playing relaxed. The Marquis does a great job at playing horizontal as well as vertical and I did not have too hard of a time with finger spins. Grinds are your normal Pyramatte affair, decently long with a good amount of control while on your hand, finger, or arm. I was able to pull off the arm grind to green triangle trick that Jacob Gross showed me many moons back with no issues at all. Thumb grinds are not as easy as with the Dietz, but the Marquis does not have an IGR like its predecessor so I was not expecting it to pull off that trick as easily. At the end of the day, the Marquis’ play is similar to its design, an evolutionary step up from the Dietz that it pays tribute to.
I know some will think the blind box is an unnecessary gimmick. I don’t agree, but I can see their thinking. They would rather just buy what they want and move on. I like the extra added anticipation that the Marquis’ sales model brings to the table. It takes me back to Junior High when I collected Marvel trading cards. That little extra rush of hoping that there was a hologram card in the pack was intoxicating and kept me coming back for more until I completed my collection. At $49, I can see people buying a couple in hopes of getting the one they desire. I can also see some Reddit and YoYoExpert forum posts cropping up dealing with trading so that players can get a complete set. Luckily, those like myself who just want one to play are also in luck. As I said above, the rush of box opening excitement is fleeting, especially since we all know color does not impact performance. Luckily the Marquis’ play is top notch, making it an excellent everyday carry that fits in with the rest of One Drop’s sub $50 line of high performance metals.
Here is a fun little Google Form I put together so we can see what Marquis are popping up where. Take a second to click the link below and answer the questions, I will post results once they start coming in.