Posted in reflections on November 6th, 2009 by Jack Ringca

Spreading the joy in Memphis is awesome. We did a demo at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. It was great to see so many young people so interested in what we are doing and so many of the staff excited just to have us there. A huge thank you goes out to the hospital administration. I know that it’s difficult to clear groups of visitors and we are ultimately grateful for the opportunity to perform for the patients and their families. We can’t offer enough appreciation for the chance. We definitely got a lot out of this and we really hope we can make it back to see you all again. A double thank you goes to Kaci Richardson for being our guide and handler. It really was the best. Everyone keep your chin up and practice hard. Our thoughts and support are always with you.

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The outer border of falling in love

Posted in Daily Post, Events, Players, Update on November 2nd, 2009 by Jack Ringca

Parting is such sweet sorrow. This morning, we had to see Hank off back to Mantua, OH. He’ll be miss like crazy but, Seth and I will carry on and make him proud. He definitely made a lot of things happen out here.
Shifting gears, the next gig was on Halloween! Fancy fun times! We found ourselves in San Marcos, TX at the super good time factory known as Paper Bear. I knew Carol and Kathy(who run the place) were super fun people as soon as we rolled up. They had their costumes on and were already getting the party started. Thanking them in words doesn’t begin to express the gratitude they deserve for what they do in that community. They make it happen and it’s the coolest.
We had the demo up and running and before you knew it, things got REAL! Kyle Weems showed up and did some diaboloing, talked yoyo engineering and yoyoing along with us. The crowd grew. A young player named Sam MArtin shows up and blows the doors off the place with some high level play. The crowd grows more. Tom Cunningham shows up with quite possibly the best quality vintage duncan collection I have seen in years.(outside of lucky’s guiness record collection and the national yoyo museum). The crowd grows and gets ten times cooler. And then it all breaks loose when World Fixed Tip Spin Top Champion: Jorge Alcoz shows up. Nothing is bigger.
These guys really made the demo one of the most educational experiences any of us had seen. We traded ideas. We got to throw tangible history. We saw the work of masters and masters at work. It is the kind of thing that makes even the best/most accomplished players humbled.
After we wrapped the demo, we took as many as people as would come with us to lunch. We kept up with the sharing of tricks, tips and ideas and then we were joined by Austin/San Marcos, TX player Travis Owens. Another next level player that really should be respected by many if not all. It was just cool to be in that environment. I have to imagine that this is what it was like to be an artist during the golden age of paris or a psychedelic rocker during the high times at haight ashbury. I hope everyone everywhere is making the most of the yoyo scene that is bubbling under the surface. It’s way too fantastic not to.

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you guys wanna see a trick?

Posted in Adventures, Daily Post, Events, Media, Update, Yo-yos, crew on October 29th, 2009 by Jack Ringca

VIVA AUSTIN! Every place on the planet earth should be this cool(to be fair, some of them are). We started out our first full day here with a morning show appearance on KTBC channel 7. Of course, being on TV is always pretty cool but, this one had a little extra cool to it. When we got there, the first thing that hit me was that they have a really interesting green room. The entire room was set up with Japanese horror movie posters and post cards. I super love Japanese horror films and so, it was more like what I want my bedroom to look like than being in a green room for a TV studio. As for on air, the post shows all the details. Definitely check it out. Joe and Katherine were awesome.

After that, me and the boys went over to Toy Joy and it is everything I imagine a toy store is as an adult child. This is a must see place here in Austin. The outside of the store alone, is a sight to behold. The place is covered in really cool paint and murals and has a stock of some of the quirkiest import toys from around the world. They also have a fantastic staff and a sull service vegan ice cream and soda shop. So hip it hurts and it hurts SO GOOD! Some great kids and adults alike, came out to see the demo and learn a few tricks. On top of all of that Seth fell in love and I got a new best friend. Unfortunately, we had to hustle on out of there to the next demo. I would have liked to spend more time with the staff and store. I intend to make it out there again just to hang out.
Then it was off to a suburb of Austin with perhaps the coolest name I have ever heard: Bee Cave, Texas. The name alone makes me want to move there. It sounds so fancy and dangerous. Holy cow! I had no idea that there were this many kids around that are committed to the idea of learning to play yoyo. The demo was super crowded and we had so many players that wanted to learn that we were short a few yoyos. A big thanks goes out to everyone that had the patience to share and learn together. This is definitely what the spirit of yoyo play is all about and what we want to see in a community. What a successful demo and what an inspiring crowd of young kids. So much fun to be had. It really was over too soon. Thanks goes to Mike and Lisa Schlageter.

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privacy locks are a must and more life lessons

Posted in Daily Post, Events, Players, Yo-yos, crew on October 25th, 2009 by Jack Ringca

There is nothing like cramming a tons of really fun experiences into a single day. Today started out with a good breakfast and heading out to Toy Maven here in Dallas. The crew at Toy Maven is one of the most giving groups of people i have run into anywhere. The demo was well attended, well organized and straight up cool. All of the kids in attendance were super excited about learning more about yoyos and it seemed that the time just flew by. We even spent a little time after the demo to have a little lunch with the staff at Toy Maven. A very special word of thanks goes out to them and our new best friend, Harrison. He has only been playing for a little over a year but, he has come a seriously long way and will be a force to reckon with in the future yoyo scene.
Later this afternoon, we went on over to the Learning Express(Dallas) and that was a demonstration full of one exciting moment after another. At first, we were slightly overwhelmed with how well attended it was. So many people stopped by and learned from us, it was hard to take it all in. It was definitely great to see so many people from so many walks of life coming to a show and getting involved. Men and women, boys and girls from all ages, there were there and they were hyped up on yoyos. And just when you think things had hit a  fever pitch, the current USA National FH Yoyo champion shows up and lends a hand. Miguel Correa is one of the coolest guys around and it was cool to see him interacting with yoyo fans at our demo. He was definitely an inspiration to a lot of the youngsters who came out.
With so much momentum built up around us, we couldn’t end our day just because we had finished up our demos. We had a quick snack and Miguel showed us some of the sights of Dallas. As it turns out, I have a fascination with records and CDs so, Miguel took us to his favourite record store, Good Records, and I found some things I had been on the lookout for. Of course, we cause a bit of a ruckus everywhere we go so, the trip to the record store becomes a mini in store appearance. Then, on our way out, we meet up with some artists who just happen to be painting a mural across the street(stainless studios). They fell in love with the art that Whip! did on the van and so, we filled them in on everything there was to know about his art and the tour and yoyos in general. Naturally, this also becomes a impromptu demo and it’s just fun. From there, we decided to do a little clothing shopping at the local Buffalo Exchange before dinner. Yet again, we cause a ruckus just by being us and the staff at the exchange has us doing yet another impromptu demo. They ended up taking our picture for the store and telling us that us being there was heaps cooler than any of the “rockstar visits” they’d had. It feels pretty good to be told that you are ten times cooler than the killers. After all of that, we head off for dinner.

What better way to cap off the day than to add yet another yoyo champion to the mix. We met up with Yuuki Spencer(3 time USA national Champ/2 time World champ 1A) and have a pleasant evening of dinner, trading tricks and conversations about the history of yoyo. Did you know that the yoyo that Yuuki used to win the world yoyo contest in 2002 was a 1st generation bionic Freehand? That made me even more excited to have special edition bionic Freehand Zeros available on this tour. What a cool way to give a nod to the history that we’re all a part of. With 5 taste makers of the world yoyo scene sitting around a dinner table discussing what we’re all a part of, not only do we stand on the shoulders of a strong history, it seems that we are still in the process of writing it.

On days like these, it is very clear that we are nothing but lucky for being ourselves.

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I’ll miss you Duncan Crew!

Posted in Adventures, Clubs, Players, crew on September 30th, 2009 by JenKouri

Hello everyone!  This is Jen Kouri, and now that I’m a bit recovered from the Duncan Crew’s crazy schedule, I am happy to share with you the fun time Colorado had with Nate, Seth, and Emil visiting!   

 First of all, the van is amazing!  I couldn’t stop staring at it, and made everyone take pictures of me in front of it, so it will be forever engrained in my memory.  It made an awesome backdrop for the demos that the crew did while in Colorado. 

 There were seven demos in total in Colorado, four of which I was able to help out with.  The first demo I attended was at the Fort Carson Army post on Saturday.  Jon Gates met up with us (my yo-yo mentor!), and it was awesome to have a bunch of people to help teach kids!  So many kids and parents were excited to learn how to yo-yo, and it was great to see big smiles on their faces.  We sold out all of the yo-yos that Ft Carson had!

 We then quickly drove over to Manitou Springs where all five of us were to demo at a local yo-yo store, Yoyoloco/Plinkity Plink.  The owner of the store, Mark, was great in really promoting the crew’s demo and we had a wonderful crowd for our show.  There are so many great players who attend the Yoyoloco club, and I am so thankful for everyone who came to support us!  It was also great to see Fee-Fee’s parents and sister, who I haven’t seen in a couple years!     

 Sunday morning was our third demo at Toys ‘R Us in Westminster Colorado.  Two people who have been inspirational to me in the yo-yo Colorado world showed up, Jimmy Peng of Team Yoyojam and Leo Lohman.  Leo is local in Denver and makes amazing wooden yo-yos.  When I first began yo-yoing, Leo had made me a couple sets of beautiful wooden yo-yos, which always remind me when I throw them that Wood is Good!  Several groups of kids also showed up who were already into yo-yoing and wanted to learn more tricks.  One kid was getting ready to have a yo-yo themed birthday, which sounds so awesome!

 At this point in the tour, I was getting sad because the crew had one more demo before they had to immediately leave for a 5 a.m. news taping in Utah.  The Wizard’s Chest was our final demo, and I had a great time!  So many club members made it out, and thanks to everyone for your support!  My favorite part of the demo was the Mongu army (I love my new Mongu hoodie!)  We had a bunch of us walking down the middle of the street running into things.  I hope Emil posts some video.  I also loved Seth’s cool string trick that he performed at the end…which I won’t describe.

 I am going to miss everyone, but have been greatly inspired by everyone!  Emil’s juggling is amazing, and he has awesome showmanship and knows how to perform.  Nate’s freehand is stunning, and I feel honored to have seen his National’s freehand routine.  He’s a wonderful teacher and taught me some great tricks.  Seth’s style is so unique and completely mesmerizing to watch.  I had the best time reminiscing about the yo-yo past with him!

 I feel so honored to have the Duncan crew visit Colorado, and wish them safe travels!  Have fun at Nats!         


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Sunshine and lollypops!

Posted in Adventures, Clubs, Events, Yo-yos on September 17th, 2009 by Seth Peterson

Seth here!

I have had the great fortune of being a part of the Duncan Fall Tour for the past few days, and many more to come. Nate and Emil have been great to work with and have made the demos even better.

Tuesday we had a split shift in the morning. Emil and I had a news spot lined up for 6:45am, but had also booked a meet and greet at the Dallas Center-Grimes Middle School at 7am. So Nate had to take the first part of the school gig while Emil and I did the news cast. The TV spot went well, and thankfully NO yo-yo puns where thrown around! After the TV spot we headed over to DCG to hang out with the crew of locals. The middle school has a really cool club of yo-yoers and they are all so freakin’ good! Special thanks to Hunter, Jack and Tristan for heading the club up.

After a busy morning we headed back to Mars Cafe to catch up on work. Nate and I finished up our duties and headed out to visit some local thrift stores. We found some great stuff, pictures of that to come…

At 4 we had a show at Games and More, an independent toystore in Valley West mall. The staff was really helpful and a lot of fun to hang out with. The show had a great crowd thanks to the TV spot and the local players repping it to their friends. At one point a lady came up and started talking to us about how she drove 100 miles to see us! She yo-yoed when she was younger and always wondered if Duncan Pros still traveled the country and demonstrated. As it turns out, we sure do! 

The next day Nate woke up feeling pretty under the weather, but thanks to Dr. Emil’s Juice diet he got back up and running in no time. Wednesday we had 2 demos: a Toys ‘R Us and a Teen Home where my friend Stacey works at. Toys ‘R Us set us up in a great spot and we had a steady stream of traffic for the entire demo. More local players showed up and hung out. After TRU we went to the Teen Home. I didn’t really know what to expect. We had been told that the group might be pretty small, but boy were they wrong! We got to hang out with 20+ of the guys and threw for a few hours. I’ve never done a demo where the crowd picked up SO FAST! At least 1/2 of them where rocking the baby before the time was up!

Phew, with just 2 days under my belt and this much epicness already happening I can’t wait for the rest! We’ve heard Jen has been doing a lot of promotion in Colorado, and Monday we have another news spot on WDAF-TV 4 Fox in Kansas City so keep an eye out for further exciting updates.

That’s all for now, hope to see you guys on the road!

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Day 19 – Last day in Minneanapolis

Posted in Clubs, Daily Post, Players, Yo-yos, crew on September 14th, 2009 by Emil Lamprecht

Phew, today was fast and furious. We basically ran everywhere and things went by so fast that when we ended gigs around 5:30 we couldn’t believe the whole day had disappeared!

Our first gig was at a Toys’R'Us.  They were very laid back and willing to work with us however, and when we arrived they had already cleared an area for us to be (near the yo-yo end cap), so we set up and got to throwin’. After our second hour we actually got a good group of kids circulating, trying our yo-yos, learning tricks, etc. In the end it wasn’t a bad demo at all.

Our second gig was a short sprint at Air Traffic, another branch of the same store that hosted us a day or two ago. 3A Alex as well as Sean and Dan from String Burn Live! were all waiting for us already and though we barely had enough time to set up, get settled and then break down, we did manage to hold the best competition ever: Number of claps under an Eli Hop. Sean and I went head to hate with a world class introduction, commentary and reffing by Nathan Sutter. Check it out:

Eli Hop Competition from Emil Lamprecht on Vimeo.

After that hilariousness, we finished off our day at a Hub Hobby of which there are two of in this area. The manager and staff were very cool people and in the end we set up a station both inside the store and outside with the van. As always hungry to be outdoors I opted to bake in the sun while attempting yo-yo tricks in the humid breezy weather and had a blast playing music and making faces for passing cars; while Nate and James met the in-store crowds and taught some kids how to throw. Our local buddy Jack showed up again which was cool thought its too bad he couldn’t hang out longer, and an old school player who had been out of the loop but was a really awesome dude.

Gigs done, and everyone exhausted we went and got the car cleaned and vacuumed as we did inventory before dinner and retiring to the room for laundry, email catch up, etc etc. I must say Minneanapolis has treated us really well, and I want to throw yet another shout out to players who made this leg of the trip so awesome and fun. Thanks guys, can’t wait to run into you again in the future.

P.S. Not a lot of pictures today because we mostly took video.

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Day 16 – Madison, WI Rocked My World

Posted in Clubs, Daily Post, Players, Update, Yo-yos, crew, juggling on September 12th, 2009 by Emil Lamprecht

Talk about an incredible story. Ok first of all, day 16 of this tour (the 10th) was my Birthday. I turned 22 years old and while I’m not much of a birthday celebrator I managed to have an awesome day on tour with my friends and people we met along the way. Once we started the day we headed into downtown Madison to check it out and drive the van around, play yo-yo etc. We ended up walking down State St. which is the big avenue with stores and restaurants that is basically the village for UWI which is a truly humongous university. Anyway, we got ourselves some squeaky cheese, which we had been waiting for since Takeshi told us about it (you bite it, and it squeaks, its pretty hilarious), some Jamba Juice (one of my personal favorites) and wandered down towards campus in the beautiful weather.

So check this out, we’re walking onto the actual campus, we’re about 10 yards in and walking straight at me is Elliot! Elliot is a juggler who I met at the European Juggling Convention (EJC) in Spain a couple months ago. Though we ended the convention super friendly, he and I haven’t talked since and I completely forgot that he was a grad student at UWI; and there he was!! At a school of tens of thousands it was so incredible to run into the one person I knew. Not only that, but the juggling club was later that evening and our gig for the day ended with perfect time for us to come join it.

So we went and did lunch, I did some accounting, etc. We packed up and headed off to our gig and at first we were a little skeptical because even though the store was really nice and there seemed to be nice people working there and signs about our coming… the mall was deeaaaaad. For the first 15 minutes or so Nate and I kept meeting eyes worriedly, but low and behold after that things picked up quiet a bit! Not only did after school foot traffic pick up but suddenly a whole bunch of players appeared on the scene. Not only that, but the guy who does all the international ordering for Duncan at the Bariboo, WI Flambeau offices stopped by! Super super nice dude who I chatted with for probably 10+ minutes straight.

I’ll now relate to you another coincidence. The night before this gig when we were checking into the hotel the clerk at the Best Western spotted what Nate’s shirt said (Duncan, duh) and was like “No Way!”. It turns out Zach had just started playing yo-yo himself and was planning on coming by the next day to join us, which he did! So we had Zach, and then a total of 3-4 more players that showed and a few people who had planned to come watch. It was great. To top it off nicely I did some juggling to warm up for the club later and came up with some more new crazy tricks I hadn’t done. I’m having a really good time juggling and learning new yo-yo tricks at the moment, its fantastic.

Ok, Ok (as if this post isn’t long enough!) so we left the gig pretty pleased and headed straight to the juggling club. We were a bit early so we did some pics and video stuff but then people trickled in. It turned out to be a ton of fun, and even Jame and Nate really enjoyed it though they don’t juggle much. We showed off yo-yo, Nate and James learned a lot of juggling stuff, I TOTALLY geeked out for a couple hours. I even got to meet Luke Emery (a legendary club passer) who I had never had the pleasure of throwing things with. We did a bunch of cool brain-pain patterns and I learned some group pattern stuff which is not something I’ve done much of. By the end of the night I was back to trying just the craziest most random 1-3 club tricks I could think of and had an AWESOME time.

We ended the night with one more coincidence. We left the club finally to go to dinner before starting the drive north and ended up in a little Italian restaurant up the street. About 5 minutes after we sit down our waitress looks at me and says “are you a professional yo-yo player?”. Keep in mind that for once we hadn’t brought out yo-yos since entering the establishment, so we were a little surprised that my Duncan shirt triggered this question. Of course we responded yes, and it turns out that she was the girlfriend of one of the players that hung out with us at the gig! Not only that, but that same guy is now equipped with a brand new shiny MayheM! It was just too funny.

To finish the night we got on the road to Minnesota, but it got dangerous because we were so tired and just booked what ever we could find about half way through the drive. We slept about 4-5 hours before jumping out of bed, back on the road and heading out to the Mall of America, which is where our next post will take us.

Admittedly, we’ve been so busy and active that taking pictures sometimes isn’t priority so there aren’t as many of them as usual, but some cool ones none the less. Check it out!

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Day 15 – Chicago, Goodbye and Thank You

Posted in Daily Post, Players, Yo-yos, crew on September 9th, 2009 by Emil Lamprecht

Oh today what a day. Nate and I set off from the hotel this morning to see the city and in particular to walk through some of the more touristy spots in hope of good video, pictures and of course attention! Now that we are post Labor Day, schools are in session and everyone is back at work its pretty quiet during the middle of the day, but we roamed through some nice areas and visited Navy Pier for an hour or so. While the pier was unfortunately subject to an awful Duncan Disaster (stay tuned for hilarious and sad details!) we did find the occasionally interested individual and entertained any kids we did end up finding.

We then departed from Chicago headed south west to our gig today at Meijer’s. Sadly, I didn’t get a picture of me jumping under the back to school sign this time, but that’s because they let us set up outside! I personally prefer to be outside when ever possible, so despite the heat and Nate having some sun burn trouble it was great. We gathered a small crowd during out short demo, and accumulated enough players between Brett, Adam, and two friends of James’ that it was quiet a show for everyone.

From Meijer’s we headed north and I now write to you from Madison, WI. Tomorrow we have a few hours to see Madison (and find ourselves some squeaky cheese!) before headed to our gig at a Toy Store called Playthings. If you’re anywhere near this area you should totally stop by. All the smaller toy stores we’ve done have been a BLAST and the more players and audience the better!

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Some New Presents

Posted in Adventures, Cameras, Events, Yo-yos, crew, juggling on September 8th, 2009 by Emil Lamprecht

Jason Lavengood sent along a second batch of edited photos from our shoot in Indiana today! Check them out, and let me know which ones you like!

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