Is the vintage yo-yo market dead?


I recently stumbled across an excel spreadsheet that recording prices of hundreds of yoyos sold on eBay between 2001 and 2002. It consisted mainly of what would have been considered, at the time, to be collectible. There were numerous Duncans, Goodys, Cheerios, and Tom Kuhns, all listed with condition and price sold. Some of them sold for absolutely insane prices.

A few examples:

  1. Goody 7 Jewel Rainbow Filipino Twirler: $568.50
  2. Duncan Tournament Jumbo Award 77: $535.00
  3. Duncan Dart Board: $566.27
  4. Duncan Jumbo: $1,045.00
  5. Goody Atomic: $1,225.00

These were just a few. Today, the only vintage yo-yos that seem to fetch anything close to these numbers are Duncan Litenings, and Flores models. Some of the above listed yo-yos have sold for a percentage of that price in the recent years. Go on eBay today, and you’ll see every vintage Goody, Cheerio, and Duncan for under $100. There is an occasional gem that reaches high prices. For example, a pair of Litenings sold a few months back for just under $700, and a Turbo-Yo sold for $1500 last summer. That being said, as a whole, the vintage market has collapsed.


I believe that 15-20 years back, there was much less to choose from in the current (at the time) market. There were infrequent releases, in contrast to the daily releases seen today. Also, what collectors wanted, they got, and left once there was nothing left that interested them.

What do you all think?


No, the market isn’t dead. Market prices for collectables ebb and flow. They go high for awhile then subside periodically. Supply and demand dictates the prices.

(Steve Brown) #3

It’s been pretty well dead for a while now. If it’s going to pick back up, I don’t see it happening any time soon.


It’s up and down, and depends on what you have. I sold a rare 1940’s Sputnik for $650 in 2014.


It won’t pick back up until we get a new wave of old guys with the cash to spend and the interest in the history required to spend it.

I suspect that will happen eventually, but it may be a long time. The prices we saw at the peak were the result of a relative handful of big collectors fighting over things that they didn’t have… now they have them and many have moved on to other interests.



I think that the collectors today are more interested in the expensive “new” stuff, than expensive “older” stuff. That could be a positive thing, if it means that the new yo-yos being released are so interesting, that getting your hands on older stuff can wait. I agree that there are so many yo-yo companies, and so many yo-yos on the market now, that you can barely keep up with today, so it’s easy to forget about the older stuff out there. I think that as you see younger people collecting these, their focus will be more on today’s yo-yos that they are more familiar with. I think that’s to be expected. In light of that, the demand for the older stuff might decrease as the people collecting yo-yos get younger and younger. It’s not that people don’t want older yo-yos, but they might be willing to pay less for those items. If the people holding onto the older stuff are unwilling to sell to a younger audience at a lower price, or at a significant loss, it makes sense that you don’t see as much activity. Also, I noticed that a lot of the “new” collectors seem to focus more on design, colorway, some artistic value, or their favorite throws to play, rather than their collection reflecting the history of yo-yo in some way that they feel they need older vintage stuff.

I looked at the prices listed in the OP’s original post. And, I’d rather have a few of today’s titaniums than anything on the list (at that price). In light of that, Steve Brown hit the nail on the head.


I consider it a "buyers market. Which works for me. :slight_smile:

(Steve Brown) #8

I got a 1959 Duncan Playground trophy for $15. I’m totally fine with current prices. :wink:


Based on what those ProYos just ended for on eBay I’m gonna go with no, it’s not dead. :slight_smile:


Dude that Crow’d Fusion went for over $1500. Wowza!!!


Yeah, that’s one of the all time Playmaxx rares, I’ve heard from numerous sources 10-15. I had no expectation of those prices, in general, with each of the isotopes pulling at least $335. It was great to see, and a super rare opportunity to obtain. As far as I know, there has never been a Crow’d Fusion sold publicly. The few I know of were all gotten direct from Playmaxx back in the day or purchased privately.

(Steve Brown) #12

Yeah…is Playmaxx what you would consider “vintage” at this point? Seems to still be a healthy aftermarket for anything from the 90s on, but when you say “vintage” I assume “older than me”. :wink:


I suppose “vintage” doesn’t really apply. I was actually really just pointing out that those things went for crazy $. :slight_smile:


They are modern classic yoyo’s by now. Maybe not vintage but collectable as heck lol.


The astronomical crow’d fusion price is probably the result of multiple people setting “screw it” bids that were just intended to top whatever the high price was. I was expecting that auction to end around 500-600 or so… comparable to what other equally rare proyo items have sold for.

In any case, ebay bidding bots run amuck on those proyo auctions… all bids beyond like 150 were in the last half second or so on all the big auctions.


(ed) #16

hate to break it to you, dude. you’re totally vintage.
(like a fine wine… or… really gross cheese…)