[Beginner Question] Is yoyo getting more popular?

I had a Speed Beetle in middle school and used to love doing loops and around the world. I recently rediscovered yoyo after buying a Duncan ‘Wheels’ at AutoZone on a whim… which sucked… but it made me remember. I dug through the old toy bin back home to find my old yoyo, and figured I’d relearn some of those old tricks.

When I searched for yoyo tricks on the internet of 2021, I was very at what I found. Unresponsive was just gaining traction when I was a kid, but I had still never heard of it before. I was also astounded by the variety of yoyos available and the huge range of materials and prices. (I immediately picked up a Recess First Base and Snack, and have been tearing through the first 50 tricks.)

From the perspective of a newcomer, the popularity of yoyo appears to be growing fast, given the saturation of the market and the occasional viral tiktok (:unamused:). However, it also seems very niche, considering non-thowers are still amazed by even the simplest modern tricks. It’s also surprising that some of the best yoyo channels on YT have less than 10k subscribers.

So, to finally get to my question, is yoyo actually becoming more popular in the mainstream? or is it pretty stagnant and just getting a little attention here and there? Is it more or less popular than 5 years ago? 10 years ago? Did it just get a bit of a resurgence due to the recent quarantine? What do you think the future of yoyo looks like?

Sorry for the long (first :slightly_smiling_face:) post, but after seeing so many yoyos that I want sell out so quickly and new ones announced so frequently, I wanted to have a discussion about the size of the hobby and it’s direction going forward. I’m really excited to be a part of such a supportive community, thank you for reading.

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Hi. I’m recently acquainted with unresponsive play after a long time away from yo-yo as well and have wondered the same thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if instagram, this forum, tiktok and quarantine have all had an impact on yoyo sales. I’ve been giving yo-yos to a lot of my friends who seem like they might enjoy it, since my kids are too young to do it yet (we don’t have a kid like Evan Nagao in my house). I’m sure yoyoexpert.com and all the manufacturers could tell you if interest is growing. Most of the companies seem to have a lot of “sold out” and “out of stock” items so that could be a clue. Although it seems like products across all industries are seeing delays and shortages since 2020, presumably either because of covid or because of the increased demand for “stuff” since people haven’t been able to go out for entertainment as much or at all for a while.

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Welcome back the hobby! If you stick around for awhile you will see that forum members’ age - even those relatively new to Yoyo vary drastically which is great. It shows it’s not just a bunch of tweens jumping on a fad they will abandon in a few months. I doubt Yoyo will ever become a national fad again but I think the interest in and relatively quiet participation in the hobby will keep Yoyo strong. As people bow out, new people join in.

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I just got an itch a few weeks ago to play again for no real reason whatsoever. My last yo-yo was a Variflex with a “high-tech ball bearing” and adjustable string gap, before that it was a Duncan “Ballistic” that had the positionable weights.

Anyway I found this site, ordered a throw and I’m back in the game! So from my own perspective (test sample quantity of ONE, LOL) the sport/hobby/whatever has grown by one member!

Ivan

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Yeah, it seems there’s more sold out than in stock most places, although most production runs are apparently relatively small, which might make yoyos seem more in demand than they actually are. On one hand I’m glad smaller companies aren’t left with dead stock, but on the other there are so many yoyos that are unavailable. I also never see the ones I missed on any BSTs either :confused:

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One of the things I love most about yoyo is that as many kids and teens posting videos of their tricks on social media there are, there are the same number of grown adults still playing with a toy from their own childhood. It truly is for everyone.

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I picked up yoyoing when I was around 8 years old, and now I’m 16. I have been really in and off about the whole thing so I usually tell people I’ve been yoyoing for around 2-3 years (which is pretty believable for non-throwers). When I was around the age of ten, I never really met people that were getting into yoyoing except the people who got interested because of me showing off to them lol. But like you said, recently I have seen lots of viral videos on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. So I guess in a way it’s getting more popular, but it’s more that people know about it than people are getting into it and sticking to it.

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Ever since I started throwing again a few months ago, whenever I hang out with a friend I haven’t seen in a while the first thing I say is “whatcha know about yoyos?”… but the answer is always “nothing”. I just wish my ensuing tedtalk would spark more interest, but none of them seem eager to learn more or try it themselves. I still feel like a lot of older throwers have previous experience from their childhood that lets them justify the hobby as a nostalgia trip to outsiders. At least that’s what I do when someone questions why I spend so much time playing with toys…

So even if viral videos are raising overall awareness or exposure, I don’t think it’s enough to convince adults (or older kids who think they’re too cool) that it’s worth trying, especially if they’ve never touched a yoyo before.

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The person who seems uninterested today may be really into it 5 years from now and some people who have achieved a lot of skill just up and quit and move on.

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There really isn’t enough monetary value in yoyo to really spark the interest of most people.

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I don’t think anyone who gets into yoyos to learn tricks or even to start a yoyo company really does it for the purpose of making money. There’s some money to be made for sure and those who do make some money are not living a very glitzy life and most likely have what we would call “real jobs” for long-term financial security.

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I always tell people that I’ve completely lost interest in video games since getting back into yo-yo which is the truth. If it doesn’t get kids interested, it sure seems to get their parents interested in getting the kids interested!

Last night I was on break between sets (I play keys for a local pop cover band) and was impressing a small group of children with my four crappy tricks I’ve learned. I heard one of the boys ask his mother if he could get a “trick yo-yo” which warmed my heart. He told me he had a yo-yo and was learning to play it but would probably never be able to do tricks like the thumb grind. I assured him that if I could learn it then he could, and that it was much easier than it looked.

I’m still just starting back out with throwing and I feel like a salesman of the sport already! Old people see it and reminisce about the Duncan they had, young people see it and want to get one.

Ivan

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