Dear Yo-Yo players and enthusiasts,
This page is dedicated to introducing myself and the company.
About the company…
Efreet YoYo Company is named after our first project, namely the creation of the “first” fire yoyo. By “first” I mean one which is not responsive, is very stable, has a long sleep time and one that you can do all your tricks as you would normally do and play without gloves, while on fire (although for a short time).
Our goal is to bring innovations to the yoyo market – the fire yoyo is not the only idea I have in mind and if successful (business-wise) you will get to see other new prototypes of “interesting” (in some sense) models.
It was never my intention to make “regular” yoyos. There are a ton of companies out there which are making amazing yoyos and I didn’t think for a second that I can compete with them. It was all about the innovation and bringing something new to the community.
Then the first prototypes of the fire yoyo came out and when I tried them I was left speechless. The quality, smoothness, spin times, overall shape weight and feel really amazed me. Let me say, I have been playing with yoyos for 10 years. I have a massive collection of all kinds of high-end yoyos from all kinds of companies. Still, my favourite player is the Efreet 64. It is all I ever wanted from a yoyo. It was just… perfect… to me.
I was still not willing to invest in “regular” yoyos, not until I heard the manufacturing price. We are talking about 7075 aluminum yoyos, acid washed, perfectly smooth, 10-ball concave bearing with a handmade wooden box for under 100$ RRP. After just buying 1000$ worth of high-end yoyos, I found myself in a situation where I liked my 40-60$ cheaper yoyos more… a lot more.
Our goal when it comes to regular yoyos, is to bring the highest possible quality and playability. This always comes first. The affordable and inexpensive price is just a bonus, due to the fact that manufacturing in Bulgaria is a lot less expensive than in other countries.
About me and how did I end up here…
My name is Martin Antonov. I am 23 years old (in 2014), currently living in Sofia, Bulgaria. I have graduated from the University of Warwick, UK with Mathematics.
I started playing with yoyos when I was in the 8th grade – that should be almost 10 years now. Back then yoyos were not at all popular in Europe, let alone Bulgaria. I bought my first yoyo (yellow DragonFly) from a skate shop which had decided to import some Duncans. No one there knew anything about yoyos and I was pretty much on my own learning new tricks, setting up my yoyos and you know… all that other yoyo stuff.
One beautiful day I saw the Operation Dark Magic video by André Boulay. It really amazed me how HIS yoyo could do so much more than my Duncans. Then I made my first order from the US – extremespin to be more precise. I got a green DM, some NICE strings and some parts. I loved that yoyo so much and I started playing non-stop with it. In fact, I played with it so much that after a year and a half it literary crumbled in my hands after a solid sleeper (without hitting it on the ground). Anyways… this is a bit off-topic.
In the summer between 10th and 11th grade I found a job as a tennis instructor/entertainer at a hotel near my city. Once a week in the evenings I was performing some 4A and 1A which gave me a very solid stage experience. You can see a video below. Please bear in mind that it was a long time ago…
Anyways. The whole purpose of my summer job was to start a yoyo company in Bulgaria. The logic was simple. If I like SO MUCH, then other people must like it as well. Thus in October same year YoYoBulgaria was born. You can check the website here: www.yoyobulgaria.com . I started getting yoyos from YoYoNation, Pat was so very kind to offer me a good discount, even though they are not a manufacturer. I still have a picture of my first order:
To popularize yoyoing I participated in the first Talent show in Bulgaria – Candidates for Glory. There were 4-5 rounds and in the end I got to the finals and was placed 13th out of 4000 people. Here are 2 videos: the first is my application for the competition and the second is probably my best performance in one of the rounds. Very proud of my first one (the application for the contest).
Then everything shoot off. I had more orders than I had yoyos. I remember the night after one of my performances on TV, I went back home and my skype had 40+ messages from kids wanting yoyos. Then I invited Stenly to join YoYoBulgaria and to take over sales in Sofia. He is now one of my best friends, a great person and I can honestly say that everything that followed for the yoyo community in Bulgaria is because of him. Thanks buddy
I am very proud to say that the first YoYo competition in Bulgaria was held before the first European YoYo Contest. That was in 2008, I believe. It did cost a fortune to make but it was the beginning of a great tradition. Now we held the BYYC every year around September. You can find videos of the competitions online but there is one I am very very proud of. I put my soul into this video and I do hope you enjoy it (tricks and quality are a lot better than the previous videos… trust me and just watch it):
Then after my second year at university (2011 I believe) Stenly and I decided to make our own yoyo/skill toy shop. Before that it was all done online and this was a huge investment and step forward. I loved that place. It had so much soul and passion in it. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about the days decorating it, spent there and finally closing it down on January 2nd 2014. Stenly and I introduced this beautiful sport and hobby to Bulgaria. We have organized 10+ events and competitions throughout and we got thousands of kids into yoyoing. Now everyone in Bulgaria knows the yoyo as a sport and a serious toy and not a 2$ glow toy that you just throw up and down.
You can see a couple of pictures of the shop below.
The company was sold in January 2014. Both Stenly and I decided it is time to let go and pursue new adventures. For me one of them is the fire yoyo. The idea was born in my final year at university and you can read all about it in the development page.