This history was given by Steve Brown, I would like to thank him for his input
and help on the history of Team Losi as pertaining to yoyo's
Why they got into yo-yos? I have no idea. They had already made the Da Bomb
when I started with them. My guess would be the same reason that lots of other
people got into it...they saw that it was selling hard and fast.
Team Losi was started in the late 70s, early 80s, manufacturing RC Cars.
Really, really nice ones. They have led the industry pretty much since day one.
I don't know anything about how they designed the Da Bomb, only that when I
came on board I changed the axles from two nuts and an axle screw, to a nut and
The Cherry Bomb was designed when I told them that I needed a concave yo-yo.
I gave them a list of features, and they brought me CAD drawings for approval
to the 98 Worlds. This was the first time i'd met any of them...they flew me
out to compete with the Da Bomb, which I did, and I took 4th in Single A. I
approved the drawings, and had protos in my hand within a couple weeks. There
were 3 generations before they were released to the public, but the changes
from proto to production were very minor. I think I have one or two of the
proto halves...sadly, I did not think to keep most of my TL stuff. This was
before I considered modern yo-yos to be really collectible, and I deeply regret
some of the things that I traded or gave away.
Anyway, after the Cherry Bomb was released, problems began with the starburst
wearing out. Lots of people really liked the weight of the ABS, but it wasn't
tough enough. I began working on a design for a combination bearing
spacer/metal starburst, but they didn't like it. Never got to the prototype
stage. No idea why. Would have been great. Anyway, my insistence that they make
the plastic stronger led to the A-Line. One of the hobby stores that carried
the line sent them a couple of Da Bombs that had been painted chrome with model
paint, and we began working on the Silver Series. This presented a ton of
problems...the chrome platers had never had to maintain balance on an object
they were plating, and we had some really bad parts. This led to me hand
testing the entire first batch as they came off the assembly line. No kidding.
I sat in a warehouse in Chino, CA and hand-tested about 3,000 yo-yos. It was
the most boring thing i've ever done. But I insisted...I didn't want bad ones
to get through. The platers spent some time and managed to solve the problem on
their end, which freed me up for alot.
Mid-99 I was offered to Variflex to promote the yo-yos that Losi was making for
them, and to do an instructional video for them. I had all kinds of grand plans
for this video, all of which were shot down. It was shot in the TL warehouse,
and everything was done on the first or second take. I was never paid for it,
and nearly lost my job in the process of trying to be. Variflex is a bunch of
suits, and I was just glad to never have to deal with them again. As a side
note, Peter Wagonhurst, and Marketing Director for Variflex, never even
bothered to show up for the video shoot. He was supposed to bring me a VFX
shirt to wear, and never came. So we ran out to Old Navy, and bought me a red
sweatshirt. We used the vinyl cutting machine and an image off the prototype yo-
yo packaging to make a white vinyl sticker, which is what we put on my shirt.
With the Silver Series, A-Line, and Regular Line out, sales weren't bad. We
shipped a lot of stuff. I developed the Hybrid Bomb shape, and they handed it
off to VFX to use for their X-Games yo-yo. I was mercilessly pissed about that
one. VFX even got the proto before I did. This was about the point where my
relationship with TL deteriorated. Not because of anything on TL's end, but
because I kept getting saddled with Variflex, and those guys were a bunch of
soulless corporate monkeys. We made two protos of the Hybrid shape with a black
chrome coating, and it was going to be my signature model, the Black Magic. It
never happened, and I never even got a proto to keep. While I was on Warped
Tour 99, Duncan offered me a job once my Losi contract was up, and I took it
mainly because I knew it would mean i'd never have to deal with VFX again.
That, and the additional money, were my main motivations. I thought Duncan's yo-
yos needed some work, but figured it would be a fun job nonetheless. Heck, i'll
try anything twice. ;)
Gil Losi Sr. sold the company to Horizon Hobbies, their largest distributor,
sometime in 2001. Horizon has decided to discontinue the yo-yo line
indefinately. Damn shame. With a little work, the TL line could easily snake
back in and compete with anyone else's product. Looks like that's never going