NO, NO, NO!!
For the sake of preventing ER visits and shattering lamps and glassware, a THOUSAND TIMES NO!! Do not put a metal in a super young kid’s hands!
I stick behind my recommendation for the Duncan Butterfly, as it hurts LESS than an Imperial(the two impacts vs the rather combined halves of the Imperial). As a general rule, plastic hurts less than metal. A logical upgrade might be a Duncan Reflex because it costs less than a Yomega Brain, but that will be short lived at best. I say short lived because either A: She loves yoyo and wants better(in which case get her a YYF ONE in her favorite color) or B: she gets bored and she’s done. I’m hoping for A, but B is more likely. Still, hang onto it, whatever you get. She may just change her mind and want back into it later on. Don’t close the door!
If you’re gonna go in the $20 range, a Yomega Exodus II is right in there, it’s over-sized because it’s meant to also be used for 4A, and the rubber rim offers some degree of protection.
Short of that, dollar store throw. Hurts just as bad, but hurts less than a $5 yoyo going to waste/destruction than a $20 or $40 yoyo and can cause pretty much equal injury and/or damage in roughly the same amount of time.
ALSO, finally. Don’t give a 5 year old a non-responsive yoyo. That’s just begging them to quit before they get started. Clutch yoyos give instant gratification for MOST people.(wow, it comes back). Then the can throw it harder to disengage the clutch and enjoy SLEEPING yoyos, and then it comes back. Then they can throw hard to disengage the clutch and pull it back if they want to. Even so, a Duncan Butterfly is super responsive and a tiny bit cooler than the Imperial, and the same price.
All kidding aside about damage and injury, you have to think about what the costs of learning should be. This is what I did, and I’m almost 40!
I got a Reflex and an Imperial at the same time. I used the Reflex to get started and learn the super SUPER basics. Then I moved onto the Imperial just to test/reinforce. Seeing success, I knew for me that it was time to move on and within 2 weeks, I was here on YYE and ordered a Dark Magic II. But, I made up my mind I wanted to learn this stuff, so it’s a bit different. I’ve since bought other stuff as well just to have handy and because it’s fun.
So, start inexpensive. At 5, she ain’t got enough arm to disengage the clutch. So why bother? She’ll definitely be able to throw it down and have it come back up though. Open up some options, save $3 and go with a Butterfly. If she’s showing real interest and moving through some stuff, then get her something better and responsive. I would recommend a YYF ONE because they are inexpensive and a bit undersized, way fun and way light, perfect for a starter and ship unresponsive. Get the one with the spare bearing so she can progress to unresponsive play when she’s ready. I have a ONE, and I like it and intend to keep it responsive for now. When she’s into unresponsive play, at that point she’s hooked, so let her progress and then surprise her with a nicer yoyo. I’m starting to learn binding now, so my DM2 is set unresponsive now.
Or, if you want to skip the intro phase , just get a ONE in the color she likes best of what they have available.
Key thing besides keeping costs down: You want to encourage success and want to tip the scales in that direction as much as possible. When I was 7, I got a Duncan Imperial. Nobody showed me how to use it but I really wanted to use it. After several months, the string finally wore itself out and broke, which didn’t help matters much, considering I never got to back into my hand after doing improper throws. Not that I really ever gave up, but that initial discouragement never sat well with me. I decided “hey, I’m gonna learn this stuff now, who cares what my age is”, and here I am now.
My kids started with Yomega Brains because they didn’t like the color for the Duncan Reflex. Once they showed me they could do Gravity Pull, I ordered them YYF ONE’s. If they show they are really into it, they may eventually get what they think is the ultimate yoyo, the Dark Magic II, but they gotta earn it first.