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Yoyo Articles, by The Yoyologist Crew members
South African Yo-yo Players

Radiyoactive, South Africa's first manufacturer of modern, professional yo-yos

Radiyoactive was founded in Johannesburg in 2005 by Jaco, a talented counterweight (5A) yo-yoer who just happened to have a thing for designing world class, groundbreaking yo-yos... Jaco's intention was to produce high-end yoyos in South Africa at an affordable price for the local market.

Radiyoactive's first release, the Fission, came out in South Africa in November 2005 and was later released internationally early in 2006.

The Fission was groundbreaking in many ways. It was the first yo-yo worldwide to be released stock with a recessed silicone response, allowing for super smooth and unresponsive play straight out of the packaging. The Fission also had a huge gap, something which only gained massive popularity a couple of years later. The Fission featured a textured surface which allowed for long grinds. Although incredibly light, the Fission was a stable and long spinning yoyo due to its superior design.

Pictured below is the initial Fission release in South Africa, along with the collectors tin Radiyoactive received a great deal of attention for. South Africa was the only country where the white models were released. The pogs were designed by Oke Rosgana from Indonesia, and were available in three colours, orange, blue and hot pink:

radiyoactive yoyo and tin   radiyoactive fission profile   radiyoactive fission yoyo response


Following a moderately successful local release, the Fission was introduced to the international market with its trademark, textured matte black finish. After receiving positive feedback in the international yo-yo World, Radiyoactive responded by sponsoring the Florida State and Maryland State yoyo contests in the USA, and produced limited edition Fissions for the contests which featured a custom laser-engraved pog design.

Pictured below is the international release of the Fission in the three colours. The collectors tin also received updated graphics for the international release.


radiyoactive collectors tin   radiyoactive yoyos   radiyoactive fission yoyos


Following this success, Radiyoactive produced the Fusion which was only available at the 2006 Yoyo World Contest. The Fusion was the same size and shape as the Fission, but was tweaked slightly to add more rim weight. It was also made from a denser, transparent plastic which added to the overall weight and stability.

The Fusion also featured a textured "sand blast" finish which improved grindability. The images below are of a rare Fusion with a misprint (Fission) on the side pogs. With the pog removed, you can see the "nut & bolt" type assembly featured on both the Fission and Fusion, and more commonly seen on yoyos made by Duncan.

radiyoactive fusion yoyo   radiyoactive fusion yoyo   radiyoactive fusion proto


Following this was the release of the Cyclotron, Radiyoactive's first high-end aluminium yo-yo. Only 250 were produced, and each yo-yo featured an individual serial number laser engraved into the burnt copper anodize. The Cyclotron featured an organic shape and was widely lauded for its retro, classic styling.

radiyoactive cyclotron yoyo   radiyoactive cyclotron in action   radiyoactive cyclotron yoyo


Jaco, the founder and designer of Radiyoactive went on to design a number of groundbreaking yoyos (mainly for the Alchemy brand), such as the CU and Nimbus.

The CU was the World's first micro yo-yo capable of handling advanced, modern yo-yo tricks and was the first modern, playable yoyo manufactured from stainless steel. Later, a larger aluminium version (CU Later) was released which many regard as being almost identical to the 888 made by YoyoFactory. As the CU was released before the 888, the fact that the fuller size version was almost identical was mere coincidence.

In the picture on the right you can see a South African R5 coin to give you an idea of scale:

alchemy cu yoyo   alchemy cu yoyo   alchemy cu yoyo


The Nimbus was made with a dark sky blue anodize and was packaged in a blue cardboard box. It was one of the World's first yo-yos to feature extreme rim-weight with an almost "H-shape" or "V-shape" profile, along with the G5 (YYF) and Envy (Hspin). Although not as popular as the G5, it was a truly groundbreaking design.

According to Jaco, he got the idea for the design by wondering what would happen if he took an old Russell Super and turned it inside out. A few tweaks later to get the weight just right - and BAM - a truly groundbreaking yoyo design. With 65% of the total weight located on the outer rim, the Nimbus is an incredibly long spinning and stable yoyo that changed the face of modern yo-yo design.

alchemy nimbus yoyo box   alchemy nimbus yoyo   alchemy nimbus yoyo


Radiyoactive: a true South African yo-yo legend!

radiyoactive yoyos

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