Yo-Yo Buying Tips for first time buyers
Even 70 years after its introduction to the United States, the yo-yo is as popular as ever. Over $1 billion worth of yo-yos were sold in 1998 and 1999 the last big craze, but these yo-yos are not the yo-yos grandpa knows. Picking a yo-yo for a gift can be a daunting task when faced with racks of different yo-yos ranging in price from $2.00 to over $150.00
CHOOSING A YO-YO
Pick a model based on the skill level of the player. Stick with American name brands, the market is being flooded with cheap foreign imports and nothing turns a child of faster than a poorly performing yo-yo. The following companies produce yo-yos of excellent quality, look for their company names when buying a yo-yo: Aerobie, BC, Black Mamba, Custom, Doble, Duncan, Henrys, Perkins ProYo, Russell, Spintastics, SuperYo, Team Losi, Tom Kuhn, Yo-YoJam, Yomega.
KNOW YOUR YO-YO
Three main innovations have dramatically changed the yo-yos of the past.
First, Take apart designs- allows for easy release of string tangles and are essential time savers for mom and dad. Second, Auto-return mechanisms- tightens on the string as the yo-yo slows its spin returning the yo-yo to the hand before momentum is lost. Third, Trans axles – The string does not touch the axle but wraps around a moveable sleeve on the axle. This decrease in friction increases the spin time dramatically up to four fold. The ultimate trans axles have ball bearings and are called Ball Bearing Trans axles. The ball bearing trans axles have ultra long spin times as well as sometimes ultra high prices.
SELECTING FOR A BEGINNER
A standard fixed axle yo-yo with a take apart design is a good start but one with an auto-return mechanism speeds the learning curve. For the new player always include a trick book and/or even better a teaching video.
Remember to buy spare strings when you purchase the yo-yo. Nothing fouls up play more than a worn string. String length should be between the belt line and the navel with the yo-yo resting on the floor.
Once you know the basics move quickly to a trans axle. Longer spin times make learning tricks easier. When you know you’ve got the skills, check out the high-end ball bearing trans axle models and be the envy of the gang. Tom Kuhn Silver Bullet 2 - $90.00, Custom Golden Eye - $80.00, Playmaxx Cold Fusion - $150.00, Yomega Metallic Missile - $90.00, Came-yo Mondial - $120.00.
Lucky J. Meisenheimer, M.D. is considered the World’s Authority on Collecting Yo-Yos. A board member of the AYYA he has over 5,000 yo-yos in his personal collection and is the author of “Lucky’s Collectors Guide to 20th Century Yo-Yos”. Ordering information: 1.877.969.6728