Steve Brown is a prominent figure in modern yo-yoing, inventor of 5A/Counterweight play (for which he holds a patent), performer, judge, artist, and designer of several significant yo-yos. Steve is known for his numerous tattoos, history of hairstyles, and overreaching efforts to improve the cultural status of yo-yoing. In the 2001 film Zoolander, Brown performed the yo-yoing stunts on behalf of Owen Wilson.
Steve was the Marketing & Promotions Coordinator at Duncan from September 1st, 1999 until his resignation on April 13th, 2006. His grass-roots, punk-influenced style and quick wit allowed him to gain popularity through connecting with a younger generation of yo-yo players and customers. Steve introduced new product designs, tested new products, guided the development process, wrote all packaging and marketing copy, press releases, online content, and instructional information, managed the Duncan Crew World-Wide demonstration team, art direction, and managed Duncan Toys' image in all communications, media, licensed products, and events. He left Duncan on April 28th, 2006 over a salary dispute to pursue a performing career along with freelance marketing and product development work within the toy industry.
In October 2007, Steve opened Shoparooni, a retail store in Cleveland, Ohio with his now ex-wife. In April 2009, Steve was removed from the business as a result of the divorce. He is currently active as an administrative member of the Cleveland Yo-Yo Club, and the Marketing & Promotions Manager for the Triple Crown of YoYo . Steve also sells art and artist edition yo-yos through Steve Brown Gallery, an online art gallery, and is co-founder of Shinbone Creative, a digital illustration and toy production studio.
Steve Brown is also famous for 365yoyotricks.com, a Tumblr blog where he created, filmed, and uploaded one yo-yo trick per day for an entire year. In the early days of the blog, Steve used it as an opportunity to film older tricks he'd created that were never widely distributed, but in recent months all tricks have been created fresh each day. In later years other throwers were brought on board to share a variety of different tricks and ideas.
Steve's most current project is YoYoNews.com, a comprehensive blog of yo-yo related subjects, sharing videos, product announcements and reviews, contest coverage, and original articles and interviews focused on the yo-yo community. Additonally, in 2014, Steve Brown and Andre Boulay announced plans to reorganize the National Yo-Yo League in order to further legitimize yo-yoing as a sport.
Shortly after leaving Duncan, Steve embarked on a month-long promotion in Singapore to promote YoYoFactory yo-yos. In addition to yo-yo industry work, he has also performed with the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, Lucky Stiff Sideshow, and the Brothers Grim Sideshow.
After leaving Duncan, Steve was sponsored by YoYoFactory, who released four signature models for him. The first was a limited edition YoYoFactory eight8eight, the second is the YoYoFactory Die-Nasty, and the third was an edition of 50 YoYoFactory Severes bearing the inscription "In Steve We Trust". The most recent is an edition of 32 pieces of a silver / blue splash Avant Garde, available only direct from Steve's store.
Previous companies that Steve has worked for include Duncan, Team Losi, who briefly manufactured a line of yo-yos in the late 1990s, and Infinite Illusions, where Steve got his start as a demonstrator.
Steve is currently the Marketing Director at CLYW.
For the 2013 film, The Lone Ranger, Steve was hired as the technical advisor for the "pocketwatch stunt" performed by Tom Wilkinson and Johnny Depp. During his time on set in the desert for 6 weeks, Steve discovered that lead actor Armie Hammer is into object manipulation, and in addition to daily yo-yoing sessions, he got to film a yo-yo trick from Armie for 365yoyotricks.com.
In early August 2016, Steve participated in the World Yo-Yo Contest in the Over 40 Division, taking 2nd place. This marked the first time that he had competed in years.
Steve has helped create many yo-yo designs. He was the creator of the original Freehand, Freehand 2, FH Zero, Flying Panda, Mosquito, Flying Squirrel, and Metal Zero yo-yos, as well as the Freehand Mg, at $400, one of the most expensive production yo-yos ever produced. Before this, he helped design several other yo-yos, including the Team Losi Cherry Bomb, which he used to invent the 5A style.
Steve was granted United States Patent #6,371,824 for a yo-yo with a fixed or sliding counterweight. This patent is assigned to Duncan Toys, who is the only US manufacturer of counterweight yo-yos.
Although he is now retired as a contestant, Steve serves as a judge at many large yo-yo contests around the world. Steve Brown won the Bay Area Classic in 2001 blindfolded using his "signature" yo-yo, the Freehand 1.
- World Yo-Yo Contest - 4th Place
- World Yo-Yo Contest - Single A - 4th Place
- World Yo-Yo Contest - Single A Freestyle - 3rd Place
- World Yo-Yo Contest - Single A Freestyle - 4th Place
- Bay Area Classic Invitational - Freestyle - 1st Place
- Bay Area Classic Invitational - Freestyle - 1st Place (while blindfolded)
- National Yo-Yo Master Award Recipient
- World Yo-Yo Contest - Over 40 Division - 2nd Place