This is Jeffrey Pang writing. If you are reading this, you are probably one of the many that are either confused or curious about this brand. Most people know me from Luftverk which in the past 8 years has grown significantly so it came as a surprised when I launched this 6061 aluminum focused sub-brand. But to understand Polyform and the brand concept, we need to rewind the clock a bit.
In 2015 I was living in Prague, CZ. It was the first time where I felt a community of yoyoers that was different than anywhere else in the world. For the first time in my life, it didn't feel like an individual solo thing you did in your bedroom. Players were identified not just through just yoyoing, but their style in other interests like music, fashion, art and culture. It didn't feel like a nerdy hobby, but more of a social event with friends. There was something inherently cool and welcoming that felt so inspiring. I was flying to over 10 events around the world that year and there was something unique about what was going on in Prague at the time.
I didn't feel that feeling until 7 years later - and in a very profound way. I moved back to Canada from Europe and Covid obviously decimated any public events. When things started getting back to normal I reached out to the long dead Toronto yoyo Facebook group to see if anyone was interested in meeting up. I didn't even know if people would show up since there was a lack of interest for the past 4 years for yoyo meetups even before Covid. Surprisingly, people starting coming out and as I met more people I started recognizing a dynamic I haven't seen in yo-yoing since Prague. This was the rebirth of Yoyo Toronto - a group of passionate people who meet up and share our interests both in and outside of yoyoing. Coincidentally many were Asian American - much like myself.
For those who don't know, Toronto has a rich history of Asian American culture - and in the last 5 years it has exploded. Even my friends from California are perplexed at the amount of Asian culture in Toronto. This new group of yoyoers were all part of this wave - and watching this grow was so fascinating to see. Talking to this new group of players felt special. I was inspired, and daydreamed about running events inspired by legendary Japanese events like 44Clash - not competition related but just for a good time. I wanted to create media that told this unique story of what is happening in Toronto. I was approached by a few players in the community and we began brainstorming ideas for a platform to tell this story through not just media but fun new products as well - this was the start of Polyform.
We worked on ideas for over 6 months before we launched our first yoyo the A4. I wanted this to be a branding exercise that displayed who we are as a company. It would be completely different than Luftverk - in both style and product class. We agreed that it would be more viable to focus on 6061 monometal and bimetal yoyos. Things started picking up, but one month after the launch of the A4 I found out I was going to leave Toronto - unexpectedly, my visa to live in Japan for a year was approved. This threw a wrench into things since it was the last year I could get this visa - it was a now or never kind of thing. When all the dots started connecting in Toronto, I had to make a decision to give it all up for the dream to live in Japan for a year. That included leaving the yoyo community that I had spent 7 years looking for.
I am now writing this in Osaka, Japan and for the next 12 months I'll be living here. I am excited to return to my community in Toronto in mid 2024, but I know Japan will be a wealth of creative inspiration. Its kind of uncertain of what will happen with everything, but with this context I can maybe help people understand what Polyform is in relation to Luftverk.
Luftverk focuses heavily on experimental manufacturing, engineering and exotic materials. The Polyform brand concept goes in a different direction taking the manufacturing knowledge I have learned through Luftverk and focuses on story telling through more affordable aluminum monometals and bimetals as a base construction. The branding celebrates our small creative yoyo community in Toronto. Yoyos are developed by myself - but for the first time also with input from a team so it varies quite differently from Luftverk. They bring new ideas to my designs based on their different experiences, interests and yoyoing skill level. This is incorporated in everything from the graphics, packaging, social media, yoyo feedback - and hopefully events we will hold in the future.
As of now I run the brand remotely in Osaka, Japan with our current sponsored players Evan, Jacky and Yejune holding the ground in Toronto, Canada until my return. Going forward I will write more every month on what is going on with Polyform team, and where we are at with new releases. I hope these post will help clarify our brand concept, And I hope you will consider supporting our insanely creative team - with growth I hope to give back and expand this new venture.