The Yeti is a return top that was first released in 2013 by CLYW. It was their very first plastic model.
The Yeti project first began in October 2012, when CLYW's Chief became one of their most successful return tops, allowing them the resources for a plastic injection mold. It was an ambition of CLYW co-founder Chris Mikulin to make an injection-molded plastic part. With this, they were able to develop the production molding for the Yeti, but had run into another hurdle; finding the right type of plastic for it. While most companies, such as Duncan Toys, went for yo-yos with weight rings or side caps for increasing the rim weight, Mikulin wanted a simplified approach; to eliminate the need for any extraneous parts. It made things a bit more difficult since it involved a non-uniform wall thickness at the rims. This is usually frowned upon in the injection-molding community, as this would cause distortion or sink issues. During testing, some of the materials had proven to be too soft or too light while others would have sink issues or severe wobbling problems. However, they soon found a glass-infused plastic that is stronger than ABS or polycarbonate, thus this was implemented in the final product of the Yeti.
Based on the profile of the Chief, the Yeti has a slightly larger diameter to add more weight to the rims and keep less material at the center. The plastic also featured a blasted-like surface, reducing sleep loss and making the return top comfortable to hold in the hand. It also boasts silicone Snow Tire response and a 10-ball CTX (Center Trac X) bearing from YoYoFactory.
However, there were two issues with the first run. The first design flaw involved the bearing spacers, whose grip were so tight on the bearing that it would be difficult to remove them without damaging them or the bearing. The second problem lies in the finish, which was coarse enough to cause the string to snap when enough friction is built up. In the subsequent runs, these issues had since been remedied. The return top was eventually discontinued in 2015 after one last production run.
Because of the aforementioned design flaws and difficulties in quality control, each color that the Yeti came in had very limited numbers of stable units produced for it. As a result, it became a highly sought-after collector's item, that some examples are being sold on eBay for up to at least $100.
In March 2016, photos were leaked of an upcoming, redesigned version of the Yeti, which would be made of polycarbonate plastic with an integral bearing seat (similar to the that of the Recess First Base), a matte-finished string gap and a larger diameter than the original. It also comes included with a pick axe sticker sheet for customization. The return top is also manufactured in China, which would make it more readily available compared to the original.
In June 2016, the new Yeti 2.0 was made available for pre-order exclusively on the CLYW website. All pre-orders had shipped in early/mid July 2016, with the final retail release having hit store shelves in late July.
- The Yeti gets its name from a famous cryptid native to the Himalayan regions. The Yeti (the creature, not the return top) is also known as the Abominable Snowman.
- On February 18th, 2016, CLYW released their second plastic return top, the Big Dipper.
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