Punch Line by SPYY
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
With Guest Reviewer Adam Hunter
February 9, 2010
What do George Carlin, Robin Williams, and my five-year-old son all have in common? No, not their love of children’s television, but I will give bonus points if you can name the kid’s show Carlin narrated. What they all have in common is that each, to a varying degree, can deliver a joke with a successful punch line. The thing is that where there’s a punch line, there should be a corresponding joke. In my opinion naming a product punch line is rather dangerous. You run the risk of people considering your company a joke if your product is subpar.
That being said, today we have the release of the latest entry in the SPYY family, the Punch Line. The name comes from a tattoo on Guy Wright’s arm that states, “I told myself a joke and didn’t remember the punchline”. Lets see if this is a misnamed serious product or if it is just a bad joke.
- Diameter: 52.5mm
- Width: 43mm
- Gap Width: 4mm
- Weight: 65 grams
- Bearing: C-Sized Bearing
- Response: Recessed YoYoGuy O-Stickers (can accept flowable)
The Punch Line is a strikingly rounded yo-yo with bulbous, beefy rims and classic, rounded inner walls. The profile gives an interesting juxtaposition between the inner walls and the rims with a serious step bringing the rims front and center. You can tell that they were one of the main focuses when designing the Punch Line. The Punch Line, like all other SPYY yo-yos, has their trademark spikes that are not for show; they can be used for ripcord starts and matador tricks. Another stand out feature of the Punch Line is the IGR’s inset into the cups of the yo-yo. There are extra cuts into the IGR in order to make them more usable to the player. I am not surprised that so much detail was put into the IGR’s of the Punch Line, grinds of all kinds are just part of Guy Wright’s style. And speaking of grinds, the pre-release and production runs of the Punch Line come with the amazing SPYY bead blast finish. You will hear me talk about the various versions of the Punch Line in this review. The reason for this is that there are three versions of the Punch Line, a raw PPR or Polished Pre Release version, the pre-release version that is solid red with a splat of clear in the cup (with or without engraving), and the production run that comes in black with a copper splash or bluish silver with a yellowish splash. No SPYY yo-yo is complete without a laser engraving; player and artists, Paul Escolar, designed the beautiful engraving on the production run Punch Line. As beautiful as the production run is, I can honestly say I am not a fan of the look. I might have been if that had been the only release, but the pre-release red version has such a unique look to it.
The rims give the Punch Line a deceptively heavy look to it. In reality the 65 gram Punch Line is rather floaty on the string. Far from the boat anchor I was expecting when I first saw those rims. The weight is distributed evenly across the yo-yo giving it a very stable feel on the string. Even with the more center focused weighting of the Punch Line, it still has some rather impressive spin times.
Response and Bearing
The Punch Line comes stock with a set of YoYoGuy silicone stickers installed that give it decent binds. One flaw I have noticed with them is that if I hold the yo-yo in my hand with the string wound around the axel and then pull, the string will unwind. This is usually an indication that the binds are not as tight as they could be. Luckily the Punch Line will easily accept flowable silicone, which will resolve this problem quickly and allow the player to dial in the response that they like.
SPYY ships all of their yo-yos with a dry, C-Size bearing. While it is slightly loud, the stock bearing gives incredible spin times. C-Size bearings are rather new for SPYY, who is known for using D-Size bearings. While I applaud their shift to what is becoming the standard size bearing, I am a big fan of the D-Size bearing and wonder how the Punch Line would have played with one.
On the first throw you can tell that there is something special about this yo-yo. It hits the end of the string with a gentle but solid thump. Once you get it up onto the string for some 1A play you begin to notice the float of the yo-yo as you pop it into the air. It just hangs there in the air. It is not a fast yo-yo, but then again I was not expecting it to be. It was designed for Guy Wright’s slower, more expressive type of play. While it may not be fast, it is far from sluggish. It reacts quickly to direction changes. As I said above, the spikes are quite usable. I can throw a front sleeper and easily pop it into the air and catch the yo-yo by the spikes. I have also ripcord started the yo-yo with the spikes. It does not give me the same amount of spin as a ripcord start on a hubstacked yo-yo but I had enough spin to trapeze the yo-yo and then bind it.
Now I do have to make one little confession in this review. The red, blue, and clear anodized Punch Line that you are seeing in the pictures was originally a raw polished pre-release that I had a friend soda blast and then sent it off to Justin LoTiempo’s company Not Fail Anodizing. That being said, mine looks and plays a little bit different than the production run Punchline. Because I didn’t want to give a false impression of the Punch Line so I have brought in guest reviewer Adam Hunter in to talk about the play. Adam is an Evil Dead loving Canadian player and one of the founders of YORAD, a yo-yo club with chapters in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta Canada. Without further ado, here is Adam’s unique take on the Punch Line.
After playing my pre-release, red Punchline for 2 weeks, I have made a decision.
And that decision is this:
You’ll have to pry this sucker out of my cold dead hands.
Too much? I say Nay.
For I would kick, punch and bite my way through an auditorium of feral, genetically mutated donkeys to keep it. I would lead a misfit group on a treasure hunt fraught by an angry mob-themed family. And if I had to lop my own hand off at the wrist with a chainsaw… and then somehow affix that chainsaw to the suppurating stump to fight off an army of Deadites… I would learn to throw left handed to keep the SPYY Punchline a part of my life.
So. I like it. Here’s why.
Before I ever saw it, a friend with a proto said it reminded him of the Michelin Man. I see what he meant… and would take one step nerdier and say it’s more akin to the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. The rims hit my ring and index fingers solidly, leaving my middle finger to bask comfortably in the smooth inner wall glory. And talk about a string hitter! I just set my (non Big-yo assisted) Eli hop record! And yet… it’s not clunky. It zips in and out of new tricks and rips it’s way through old favorites. And the grinds? I love grinds. Yeah, I’m one of those grinders. There isn’t a grind it struggles with. My one, and only complaint isn’t a complaint at all, it’s a preference and I’ve already taken care of it. The response stickers are meh. That’s all, just a flumpy “meh”. Took ‘em out, replaced with flowable silicone and smoothed out that issue.
It is my opinion that Guy Wright (personal hero) and Steve Buffel have literally made the best Saturn Precision Yoyo of all time. It’s just terrific, and I have yet to meet someone who didn’t have a blast throwing it.
Adam pretty much sums it up. This is one of the best SPYY yo-yos on the market. It plays incredibly and it fits my style like a glove. I don’t know if I can call it the best SPYY of all time (I am a huge Flying V fan) but it is darn close. It is rare when the only issues I can find with a yo-yo are the pads and the look of the ano. That is a testament to how much I truly do like this yo-yo. I can honestly see this selling out quickly and becoming a fan favorite in the community. I have had mine for almost a month and I find it just as impressive now as I did when I first threw it. Normally I don’t post videos in a review but I think this one has to be seen. I am ending this review with Guy Wright putting the Punch Line through its paces, enjoy.