The yo-yo has been a popular toy all over the world for an incredibly long period of time. Still, many may be surprised to learn just how long this particular plaything has actually been around.
The belief held by many is that the yo-yo came from China, but the first actual mention of it was found in ancient Greece back in 500 B.C.
Since then, the yo-yo has popped up in different corners of the globe. Mentions of the early variants of the yo-yo were seen in countries like the Philippines, India, France, and Scotland.
Eventually, the toy made its way to the United States as well. Filipino immigrant Pedro Flores is credited with mass-producing the yo-yo while he was residing in California. A man named Donald Duncan then bought the rights of the toy from Flores and he helped make the yo-yo immensely popular.
It’s been a long road for the yo-yo, and even in the age of video games and apps, it still remains as an iconic toy.
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Yoyo King Green Merlin – Best Beginner YoYo
If you’re still checking to see if your kid will take a liking to play with a yo-yo, it can be hard to convince yourself to take the plunge and actually purchase one. Granted, most yo-yos are inexpensive, but you can still end up feeling like you wasted money if your kid doesn’t even pick the toy up.
In order to prevent the onset of buyer’s remorse and to make sure that you’re still getting a quality toy for your child, you may want to look into getting the Green Merlin Yoyo from Yoyo King.
It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where you will truly regret putting the money down for this toy. From the standpoint of value alone, you’re already making a good purchase.
It’s on the lighter side for a yo-yo, but that only works to make it easier to manipulate for younger kids. Your kid will still be able to get those long spins as well because of the way the item itself has been designed.
From a design standpoint, the Green Merlin Yoyo is nothing special, and while the plastic is sturdy, it’s still lagging behind other materials typically used to make yo-yos in terms of durability.
Still, for the price you’ll be paying for it, the Green Merlin Yoyo will have little trouble giving you a great return on your investment.
Sidekick Yoyo Pro – Best Professional YoYo
Many people who played with yo-yos as kids didn’t take that hobby with them into adulthood, but there are also those who fell in love with the toy right away and continue to have fun with it to this day.
Those who have spent countless hours, days, and even years with yo-yos need something that can challenge them and bring out the best in their abilities, and that’s exactly what the Sidekick Yoyo Pro aims to do.
First off, it’s an unresponsive yo-yo, so you will need to bust out those binding maneuvers often in order to use it properly.
Sidekick Yoyo’s offering is also on the heavier side for this type of toy, and once again, that will force the spinner to spend more energy getting the toy under control, or it could also cause them to come up with their own ways to manipulate it in the way they want.
It was smart on the part of Sidekick Yoyo to use durable aluminum for this particular item because you want it to be able to withstand the many falls that will occur when you’re still getting used to it.
YoyoFactory Velocity Yoyo – A Yo-Yo Suited for Players of All Skill Levels
It’s usually an either or proposition when it comes to yo-yos. Either they are ideally suited for players who are new to the hobby, or they are recommended for those who have spent years mastering the toy and can pull off all kinds of tricks on command.
Rarely will you ever find one that is easy enough to use for newbies, while also challenging enough to entertain the pros, and that’s exactly why the Velocity Yoyo from Yoyo Factory is quite remarkable.
If you want your kid to have fun with it, then you can turn the dials in one direction to make it responsive. If you’re an experienced player that wants some practice, then the dials can be turned in another direction to make it unresponsive. It’s also worth noting that you can make smaller adjustments to the dials to hit that sweet spot of usability for you or your kid.
Because of that adjustable difficulty feature, you can use this yo-yo for a very long time. Just make sure that you care for this toy properly because the mechanism for adjusting the difficulty can get worn down after a while.
You’ll also find yourself wishing that the manufacturers used a more durable material for the body of the yo-yo itself, but again, extra care should extend the life of this item.
It’s a yo-yo that will require more attention from you, but given its unique feature and affordable price, it can still be a good addition to any pro’s collection, or a smart gift for a young kid.
3 Pack Yomega Urban Graffiti Set – Best YoYo for Beginners Serious about This Hobby
The next item to be reviewed is actually a collection of three yo-yos from Yomega. There are three different models included in the set and they are named Nebula, Fireball, and Crossfire.
What you really need to know about those three yo-yos is that they are all suited for novices, but they’re progressively more challenging to use. That makes them ideal for learning about the mechanics of the toy itself.
- The Nebula is what you’ll want to use the most if you have little or even zero experience with this hobby.
- Once you’ve mastered that, you can try your hand at the Fireball and see if you will have similar success trying to gain control over it.
- The Crossfire is the toughest one to control in the set, but if you put in the training with the first two, you should get the hang of using this yo-yo soon enough.
Visually, the yo-yos can be hit or miss. The abstract design used for the Crossfire is attractive, but the concepts for the Nebula and Fireball could have been better, although these are obviously just preferences.
Durability may be an issue as well, but you’re still getting great value for your purchase here.
Yoyo King Custom Classic Wooden Yo-Yo – The Ideal Choice as a Gift
In contrast to the Yomega yo-yos that feature bold designs inspired by urban graffiti, this item from Yoyo King is going with something more traditional.
Their Classic Wooden Yo-Yo is an example of exceptional craftsmanship. It’s reminiscent of the yo-yos that were popular decades ago. Honestly, looking at this yo-yo, it’s difficult to comprehend why many yo-yo manufacturers have moved away from using wood given just how gorgeous it is.
In terms of performance, the Classic Wooden Yo-Yo does fine. It’s one that will work well for beginners, though more seasoned players may get bored with it pretty quickly.
The beech hardwood used for the yo-yo is solid and durable. The wood’s probably more durable than some of the materials that are being used for the construction of some newer yo-yos.
While this yo-yo is certainly one that you can play around with for a long time, that’s not really its selling point. This is a yo-yo that’s better suited to be displayed or kept as a memento.
If you’re looking for a yo-yo that provides exceptional performance though, you may be better served to look elsewhere.
Yomega Maverick – Best Responsive YoYo
There’s something mesmerizing about watching a yo-yo dance around in the hands of a pro. The way they seemingly make the yo-yos move by sheer force of will is something else, and if you’ve never had the opportunity to see that for yourself, then there are some videos online you need to check out.
If you’ve ever gotten the urge to do those same tricks yourself, then you’ll need the right yo-yo for the job, and the Yomega Maverick may be exactly what you should be looking for.
Many of the design elements and features included in the Yomega Maverick are there for the purposes of helping improve its performance.
They also took the extra step of using silicone for the return pads. The presence of the silicone results in less friction being produced. Higher-velocity spinning is made possible because of the reduced friction.
The Maverick is also remarkably light. That also contributes to the yo-yo being able to spin freely and quickly.
MAGICYOYO Yostyle – Best Unresponsive YoYo
Professional yo-yo players don’t become experts overnight. They pour years into perfecting their chosen hobby and they train so much that performing even the most complicated tricks is just second nature to them.
Of course, dedication alone won’t turn you into a pro. It’s also important to have the right yo-yo in your possession for training. With that in mind, you may want to take a closer look at the Yostyle M002 April from MAGICYOYO.
The designers have put great thought into turning the aforementioned yo-yo into one ideally suited for use in training.
The center track bearing is great for extending spin times. Use that added time to experiment with your tricks and come up with new combinations as well.
The Yostyle M002 April is also one of the more durable options available currently. Being durable is always a plus, but even more so for a yo-yo that will be used primarily for training.
It’s a bit pricey compared to other unresponsive yo-yos, but the extra cost is worth it because you’re getting a very durable item.
Yoyo King Splash Watcher – Built for Long-Term Use
Because playing with a yo-yo involves dropping it a lot and scraping it across the ground intentionally, it’s a toy that is not really expected to last for a long time.
But that’s precisely why the Volcano Splash Watcher stands out.
Clearly, the manufacturers designed this yo-yo with durability in mind.
You can see that in its material composition. The designers went with aluminum here, and that allows the yo-yo to remain durable while still being fast. They also used anodized aluminum because they wanted the yo-yo to be extra strong and resistant to corrosion.
The size of the yo-yo gives it additional durability. It’s not something that will fall to the ground and crack on contact.
All the durability-focused features make the Volcano Splash Watcher appealing enough, but those are not the only reasons why it can remain in use for a long time.
Included with the Volcano Splash Watcher are two different kinds of bearings.
Those interchangeable bearings will allow you to keep on playing with this yo-yo even if you have graduated from being a newbie to someone who is more adept at pulling off tricks.
As long as you take care of it well, you should be able to get tons of playing time out of this yo-yo.
P.Lotor V1 Yo-Yo – Best YoYo for Tricks
Yo-yos have been around for such a long time that it’s difficult to come up with tricks that have never been seen before. Still, that’s not going to keep the professionals from trying new things.
However, no matter how skilled a yo-yo user may be, they still need the right tool in hand if they want to be as creative and inventive as they want to be.
The V1 Yo-Yo from P.Lotor has been designed in a way that players should be able to pull off all kinds of tricks with it.
Also added to the yo-yo for the purposes of making it better suited for executing tricks is the C KK bearing. With this part included, the yo-yo is able to remain stable even as it moves around at high speeds.
It may take you some time to get used to the way that C KK bearing reacts to your motions, however. Because that is a part rarely seen in other yo-yos, you may have to spend some time familiarizing yourself with it first.
The colors chosen for the V1 Yo-Yo pop, especially when it’s moving around quickly.
Over time, the bearing will become prone to rusting, but you should have gotten tons of playtime with this yo-yo before then.
MAGICYOYO N11 Yo-Yo – A Well-Balanced Option for the Pros
Last up on our list of yo-yos is the N11 from MAGICYOYO.
Similar to other items reviewed above, the N11 Yo-Yo is an unresponsive yo-yo, and that translates to it being better suited for the pros.
The N11 is what you will likely expect from a modern yo-yo. It’s got a good bit of weight to it because of its material makeup, but the designers didn’t overdo it so it still moves around freely.
You can get good spin time with this yo-yo, and you can use that for experimentation or just modifying the tricks already in your repertoire.
You won’t really have much to complain about when it comes to the performance of this yo-yo, but there are other issues that still pop up.
It’s a shame because that lack of attention to detail costs the yo-yo significantly in the durability department.
This is still a professional yo-yo you will like playing around with, but it’s hard to shake the thought that it could have been better if some tweaks were made.
Best Yo-Yo Buyer’s Guide
If you are interested in getting a yo-yo for yourself or your child, you should take the time to take a few important things into consideration, or else you may just end up wasting money. Listed below are some of the important factors to keep in mind while you’re shopping for a new yo-yo.
What’s the Difference between a Responsive and Unresponsive Yo-Yo?
When shopping for a yo-yo online, it won’t take long before you inevitably run into the terms “responsive” and “unresponsive.” They may sound like useless buzzwords at first, but they actually say a lot about what kind of yo-yo you’re looking at.
So, what do those terms mean?
If a yo-yo is described as responsive, that means that it is a yo-yo that functions similarly to the older variants of this toy. A responsive yo-yo will return to the palm of your hand with just a simple pull.
Conversely, an unresponsive yo-yo is one that you will not be able to call back to your hand using a simple pull of the string. Instead, you will need to perform a trick known as a bind to do so.
For more information on how to perform binding with a yo-yo, you can check out this video:
Which Type of Yo-Yo Should I get if I’m a Beginner?
With the abundance of yo-yos available today, even just selecting one to buy is already a challenging task. The selection process can be even more intimidating for a beginner.
After getting plenty of practice with a responsive yo-yo, you should be able to make the transition to using an unresponsive yo-yo easily enough.
Which Material Composition Is Best for a Yo-Yo?
Different kinds of materials have been used for making yo-yos. Some of the earlier yo-yos were made out of wood, while others were fashioned out of terra cotta. Newer materials have been used for the construction of yo-yos recently, but is anyone material composition better than the others?
There’s a reason why aluminum has become the material of choice among yo-yo makers, and that’s because it features remarkable durability and stability, while still remaining aerodynamic.
The yo-yo is the rare type of toy that has managed to maintain a reasonable amount of popularity throughout decades and even centuries. Once you get your hands on, you’ll quickly figure out why that’s the case.
Hopefully, the buyer’s guide and reviews above will be able to help you find which yo-yo will fit best in the palm of your hand.