Toy vs. Tool


The funny thing is that a lot of “adult toys” (not the intimate kind) are basically just the type of things you played with as a kid, but scaled up and more expensive. Little RC cars eventually get gas motors, paper airplanes and gliders become drones, big-wheels become bikes or motorcycles/ATVs/snowmobiles, juice boxes become beer cans, etc. Video games and board games “grow up” in similar ways. Some toys like yoyos are for people of all ages because they are skill toys. Im not exactly sure where the “kid” stigma got attached to yoyos, but didn’t to things like juggling. Id say that yoyo is a similar hobby in many ways to thinks like juggling, cardistry, and magic/sleight of hand, and nobody considers them to be primarily kid hobbies. Paddle-ball on the other hand is child’s play.


Because they don’t understand the creative potential.
Up and down is the limit to the understanding.

(Ethan Phelps) #23

Ya, I get what you mean but I was talking about like little stuff and non-yoyoers (most people) think it’s just a little kids thing or something to mess around with and is associated with for the most part only the Duncan butterfly


All my yo-yos are toys, but now that I think of it my Navigator has opened a few bottles for me… So I guess they can be tools sometimes.

(ClockMonsterLA) #25

You are missing the linguistic subtleties here. The objection isn’t towards calling them toys. The objection is towards the marginalization that goes with calling them “just toys”, a phrasing which goes out of its way to deny yoyos any degree of significance beyond the trivial play of children.


Juice boxes become beer cans :joy: I’m weak


Maybe I’m just a (hopefully not) grumpy old man (hopefully not grumpy, the old part is indisputable). I associate toys with play and pure fun. Tools are for work. I’m not saying that work can’t be fun, or that I don’t enjoy using ‘tools’, but, for me, playing yoyo is all for fun. When play becomes ‘work’, then it is time to re-evaluate play.

Now that I’ve said that, yes, when I’m learning a trick or practicing a freestyle, I am working on it. But, at the same time, I’m playing. :wink:

(Mk1 Yoyos) #28

Yoyos are toys - however, it’s ok for adults to play with toys :slight_smile: it’s fun & relaxing if you’d like it to be, like climbing a tree, or it can be skillful and challenging, like climbing a mountain.


Ya’ll are a bunch of yo-yos

(Jim Honaker) #30

There are alot of great responses here. My opinion is that it is both a toy (fundamentally) and a tool (in practice). It is certainly a toy, and is meant to be played with as such. But once this becomes a hobby, and for some competing and making a living using it (or for artistic expression), it becomes a tool.

My wife talks about my cameras and skateboards, I ha e too many of both. The skateboards are toys for me. In the past they were a tool for my transportation and at times for my artistic expression. Now just toys. For Rodney Mullen a tool, Daewon Song a tool, Mime Vallely a tool. My cameras when I was a kid were toys, I used them for fun. They gradually became tools that I used professionally. Every piece of equipment became a tool to serve a purpose.

For pro yoyoers I would for sure call thier yoyo a tool. Gentry uses one yoyo, has stated that his yoyo meets all of his needs and knowing it so intimately allows him to explore his tricks further than ever. Sounds like a true tool, no pun there. Like a hammer to a smith. It is the one tool he knows better than any other, allowing him to hone his craft.

Anyway, I love my toys, all of them. If I start to think of them of tools, that love may wear a bit and it feel like work. I don’t want that to happen for me.

(Choncworth) #31

Skill toy, Allday, for me.


To me yoyos are toys and not tools in the same way that comics are comics and not graphic novels. There should be no shame involved with toys and comics!

(Cruz Quintana ) #33

Tamales? TaMOLEs?