Saturday, June 5, 2021

Reviewing Yo-Yo Day



National Yo-Yo Day is celebrated each year on June 6.


History of the Yo-Yo


Image Source: PIxabay
The yo-yo came to the United States with Pedro Flores, a young immigrant from the Philippines. Pedro remembered playing with a toy called a bandalore and it inspired him to create the toy he called the Flores Yo-yo. “Yo-yo" means “come-come” in the Philippine language. 


Flores manufactured his Yo-yo between 1928 and 1932 in Santa Barbara, California. He realized that people had to be shown how to use the yo-yo before they would buy it. He hired a team of yo-yo masters to demonstrate all the tricks you can do with it. 


When Donald F. Duncan, Sr., a Chicago businessman, inventor and toy manufacturer, spotted this toy while on a business trip to California, he realized its potential as a popular new toy. Duncan eventually purchased Flores' company and the 'Yo-Yo trademark. Subsequently, this wooden toy became known as the Duncan Yo-Yo


Original Wooden Yo-Yo to Today's Plastic Yo-Yo
Both Styles Still Available here on Amazon

Duncan was the country's leading yo-yo producer until after the trademark expired in 1965, when competing plastic yo-yos began outselling the old-fashioned wooden Duncan Yo-Yo. 

Today you can still get the wooden style yo-yo, along with a wide variety of plastic Yo-yos in many colors and styles. 


National Yo-Yo Day


This fun holiday began in 1990 when it was founded by Daniel Volk. June 6th is the date of Donald F. Duncan's birth in 1892. 


Daniel Volk once worked for the Duncan Toy Company as a yo-yo demonstrator. He toured the country from 1976 to 1978. At one point he met two brothers (The Smothers Brothers) who had a music and comedy act and taught them how to Yo-Yo. This led to the creation by Tommy Smothers of the Yo-Yo Man, a mostly non-speaking character who was a comedic performer of tricks using a  yo-yo. The term "Yo-Yo Man" is registered in his name. 




Later, the Smothers Brothers produced the Yo-Yo Man Instructional Video featuring the two comedians along with Mr. Volk. In conjunction with National Yo-Yo Day, the Hummingbird Toy Company produced the first of several Smothers Brothers brand yo-yos. 


Summary


As you can see, from it's humble beginnings as a simple toy from the Philippines, the Yo-Yo became a very popular American toy. So, on June 6th, it is only fitting to celebrate the Yo-yo's history by picking up a new yo-yo and testing your yo-yoing skills by trying as many tricks as possible. Do you know how to do the pinwheel or walk the dog? 


National Yo-Yo Day is reviewed by

~Wednesday Elf





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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15 comments:

  1. My grandson got a Yo-yo for his birthday and I think his father used it more than he did. These were great toys for my kids in the 70's and 80's and it's high time for a Yo-yo revival. I'll have to send my grandson a reminder to get his out today and keep trying to do those tricks.

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    Replies
    1. What fun that this article reminded you of Yo-Yo time with your kids and now with your grandson. Thanks for your visit, Olivia.

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  2. Fun facts about the YoYo! Thanks Pat and Happy Yo Yo Day!!

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    1. Thanks, Mary Beth. Glad you enjoyed these interesting facts about Yo-Yos.

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  3. As always very interesting facts and history. I was never any good with a yo-yo and probably never will be. Not that I haven't tried because I did have yo-yo's but very poor skills. What a perfect gift idea for for anybody who has those skills. Thanks Pat.

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    1. I was never very good at the Yo-Yo either, Sam. I could make it go up and down, but couldn't do any tricks with it. Thanks for visiting my Yo-Yo story.

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  4. Interesting and fun facts about the Yo Yo. I had a Yo Yo toy as a child and really enjoyed it. Happy Yo Yo Day!!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed my article. :) Happy Yo-Yo Day back to you. :)

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  5. There is definitely something mesmerizing about the rhythmic throw-and-return of this simple but endlessly entertaining gizmo. Thank you for sharing the history of this beloved, iconic toy.

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    1. I agree, Margaret. The Yo-Yo is an interesting and entertaining gizmo.

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  6. A fabulous example of the "American Dream"! How awesome that Duncan actually bought Flores toy instead of stealing the idea. I think every child has had at least one yo yo and many of us had several, although I never mastered the tricks. Happy to celebrate Yo Yo day, & creators.

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    1. Goes to show you that if you play fair, you end up being rewarded in the long run. Duncan made a fortune off his investment into Flores toy. Clever that he had the forethought that this would become a popular item.

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  7. Mr. Duncan sure knew a good thing when he saw it! Purchasing the Flores' trademark and the company proved to be a very wise decision. Awe, love the Smothers Brothers too.

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    1. Me too, Barbara. The Smothers Brothers were an outstanding comedy team and excellent musical performers. Hubby & I were huge fans of the early 60s Folk Music era and the Smothers Brothers were right up there with our very favorite "The Kingston Trio" (among many others). We last saw both the Kingston Trio and the Smothers Brothers at a concert in Wash DC in 2002 at Wolftrap. Marvelous evening. Wonderful memories.

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  8. I never knew the history. But I know I've known some kids that are very talented with yo-yos. Fun article.

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