How much do you know about the Yo-Yo?
Take our brief Trivia Quiz below and find out! Take note of the various yo-yo's... how many of them do you remember?
(To find the answers, hover your mouse over the yo-yo following each question.
Answers also appear at the end of the quiz,
just in case someone ran off with all the toys!)
For past Trivia pages, be sure to visit our Trivia Vault!
1. The traditional Yo-Yo is believed to be the ________ toy in known history.
b) second oldest
c) third oldest
d) fourth oldest
2. Some historians believe the yo-yo was originally used as a
c) piece of art
3. How long have yo-yo's been around?
a) over 5000 years
b) over 100 years
c) over 2000 years
d) over 500 years
4. What does the word "yo-yo" mean?
a) up and down
c) toy on a string
5. When was the first ever world yo-yo competition held?
6. Who is the father of the modern yo-yo?
a) Donald Duncan
b) Yo-Yo Ma
c) Tom Smothers
d) Pedro Flores
7. Prior to starting his yo-yo business, Donald F. Duncan, Sr. was a(n)
a) hot dog vendor
8. The yo-yo has been known by many other different names down through history, including all but
9. Where is The National Yo-Yo Museum located in the U.S.?
a) Luck, Wisconsin
b) Silverton, Oregon
c) Fall River, Massachusetts
d) Chico, California
10. On April 12th, 1985 the Yo-Yo was first taken into space by NASA as part of the Toys in Space project. It was taken aboard a U.S. space shuttle, which shuttle was it?
11. As of May of 2004, what was the highest price ever paid for a yo-yo?
12. Three presidents publicly displayed their skill with the yo-yo while in office. They were all but one of the following:
13. The biggest yo-yo boom in history hit in
14. Since Donald F. Duncan was assigned a trademark for the word “yo-yo”, his competitors were forced to use other terms for their versions of the toy, including
b) “returning top”
a) sloppy bookkeeping
b) lagging sales due to the arrive of Nerf toys
c) the death of Mr. Duncan
d) a costly lawsuit
16. The genuine Duncan yo-yo is a classic toy that has endured for 70 years, selling more than
a) 600 million
b) 100 million
c) 800 billion
d) 300 trillion
17. What city is known as the “Yo-Yo Capital of the World”?
a) New York, New York
b) Sandusky, Ohio
c) Luck, Wisconsin
d) Anaheim, California
18. Trivia enthusiasts will enjoy noting that in 1968, Abbie Hoffman was cited for contempt of Congress for
a) throwing yo-yo’s at his Congressman
b) calling the Congressmen “yo-yo’s”
c) rolling a yo-yo across the floor
d) “walking the dog”
19. Richard Nixon made headlines when he
a) yo-yoed on stage
b) became a yo-yo
c) left his yo-yo at Watergate
d) didn’t know what a yo-yo was
20. The first patent for a bandalore (yo-yo) in the United States was filed in
21. The yo-yo was sold as a souvenir at
a) the 1930 World Series
b) the 1998 Mardi Gras
c) the 1904 World’s Fair
d) inauguration of Richard Nixon
22. In the 1930s Duncan convinced William Randolph Hearst to use his newspapers to promote yo-yo contests. In exchange Duncan required contestants to
a) buy only Hearst’s newspapers
b) allow their photographs to be printed in the newspaper
c) sell 3 subscriptions to the newspaper for entry in the contest
d) deliver newspapers for 3 weeks
23. In the early 1940s yo-yo production almost stopped from the lack of
a) interest in the toy
b) financial losses
d) material and manpower
24. Duncan released its first light up yo-yo in 1950 called the
a) Electric Lighted yo-yo
25. Duncan did not own the yo-yo trademark in Canada. In the U.S. during the 50s this company marketed its yo-yos as
26. Yomega released the first yo-yo with an auto return mechanism in 1984. It was called
a) “Yo-Return, Fast Comeback”
b) “Yo-Back, Returning Disk”
c) “Yomega, the Yo-Yo with a Brain”
d) “Comeback, Self-Returning Yo-Yo”
27. In 1986 Tommy Smothers made his “YoYo Man” debut on
a) “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson
b) “The Smothers Brothers Reunion Show”
c) the David Letterman Show
d) the Gong Show
28. In 1990 “Fast Eddy” McDonald set a world record for yo-yo loops doing _____ in one hour.
29. Why is the yo-yo referred to as one of the immortal toys?
a) it can’t be killed
b) it has never lost popularity
c) it has been around for so long
d) it is unbreakable
30. What material are yo-yo strings made out of?
31. What does the gauge of yo-yo string refer to?
a) the number of strands in the string
b) the string’s circumference
c) its weight
d) its length
32. Which of the following is not a yo-yo manufacturer?
33. Which of these tricks involves catching the yo-yo on the string?
a) rock the cradle
b) milk the cow
d) around the world
34. Yo-yo’s are made of all the following, except
35. What company manufactured the you-yo’s that were recently packaged with McDonalds Happy Meals?
36. Yo-yos generally spin less time if they are
37. Who set the longest sleep time record with the Pro-Yo Cold Fusion?
a) David Capurro
c) Arnold Schwarzenegger
d) Tom Smothers
38. The force that causes a bushing transaxle to return to your hand is called
b) centrifugal force
39. A side of a yo-yo could be described as a(n)
a) obtuse prismatic cylinder
c) right circular cylinder
d) flat plate
40. By the 1990s, transaxle yo-yos were available with
a) replaceable axles
b) ball-bearing axles
c) aluminum axles
d) replaceable discs
1. b) second oldest – the doll is the oldest.
2. a) weapon - In the Philippines around 1500, the Yo-Yo was a weapon. It consisted of a four pound stone attached to a rope about 20 feet long. Tribesmen used it in two ways. When hunting, they stood off to one side, held one end of the rope and threw the rock towards the legs of an animal. The rope became tangled around the animals legs, and with a tug, the hunter brought the animal down. Against enemies, the stones would be dropped on their heads. The tribesmen would quickly recover the stones, ready for a second blow if necessary. This gave rise to the widespread idea that the practice was the true forerunner of the yo-yo, but this is a stretch of imagination and has no real basis in fact.
3. c) over 2000 years - It's origin is hard to factually prove. Many believe that the Yo-Yo (made of ivory) originated in China as early as 500-1000 B.C. However, 3,000 year old yo-yos have been found in Greece, based on archeological digs. (There is also evidence of yo-yo's in ancient Egypt.) In ancient Greece, the toy was made of wood, metal, and terra cotta with the two halves of the yo-yo decorated with pictures of gods. As a rite of passage into adulthood, Greek children often gave up their toys and placed them on an altar to pay homage to their gods. Around 1800, the yo-yo made its way to Europe from the Orient. From Greece the yo-yo has been found in Aztec and Mayan civilizations, throughout Europe and well, lets just say, ALL OVER THER WORLD! In Europe the yo-yo showed up in the hands of Napoleon and King Louis. Although these toys weren't like the modern day toy, they have a lot of similarities. Over the centuries the Yo-Yo has had it's ups and downs (tee,hee).
4. b) come-come - It is 'Tagalog' (the Philippine native language). The name yo-yo has been used in the Philippines for hundreds of years to describe the toy.
5. d) 1932 - The first world yo-yo competition was held in London, England in 1932. 13 year-old Harvey Lowe was the winner.
6. d) Pedro Flores - In 1928 Pedro Flores a Filipino immigrant was the first to market the toy by the name of yo-yo in the United States, starting the Flores Yo-Yo Company. He ran the first yo-yo contest in Santa Barbara, CA in 1928, which started the first yo-yo craze. In 1929, he sold both the toy as well as the magic name “yo-yo” to Donald F. Duncan, Sr., and the rest is history. About this same time, Duncan introduced the looped slip-string, which allows the yo-yo to sleep - a necessity for advanced tricks. During the 1950s, Duncan introduced the first plastic yo-yos and the Butterfly® shaped yo-yo, which is much easier to land on the string for complex tricks. Duncan has become a household name and the yo-yo, the toy of the century.
7. b) entrepreneur - he had already introduced the Eskimo Pie, Good Humor Ice Cream, was co-patent holder of a four-wheel hydraulic automobile brake, and would later popularize the parking meter as well as spin tops.
8. a) whirlygig – known as "bandalore" and "quiz" in Great Britain, "incroyable", "l'emigrette" and "coblentz" in France, and "disc" in Greece. Also, prior to 1928 yo-yos were called bandalores in the United States. By the way, the yo-yo had nothing to do with the invention of the guillotine, but many French nobles that played the toy, which was very fashionable at the time, did lose their heads. J
9. d) Chico, California - It houses the world's largest public display of yo-yo's including the world’s largest working wooden yo-yo. Known as “Big-Yo”, it was designed by Tom Kuhn. It weighs in at 256 pounds, is 50 inches in diameter. In 1979 “Big-Yo” was played using a 100-foot crane, and the “string” used to play the yo-yo was a ¾ inch Dacron rope.
10. b) Discovery – While in space, a basic spinning yo-yo was used to see what effect microgravity would have on it. What they discovered was that a yo-yo could be released at slow speeds and gracefully move along the string and rebound back. However, the yo-yo refused to “sleep.” Without the downward force of gravity, the yo-yo could not spin against the loop at the end of the string and so, rebounded up the string. It was also found that the yo-yo must be thrown, not dropped, as there was no gravity to pull it down. And on July 31, 1992, the yo-yo again made its way into space, on the Space Shuttle Atlantis, this time for an educational video including slow-motion yo-yo-ing.
11. c) $16,029.00 - It was a yo-yo signed by former president Richard M. Nixon. He presented to Roy Acuff at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville,Tennessee in 1974. It would later sell for $16,029.00 at an Acuff estate auction.
12. a) Eisenhower
13. c) 1962 - following Duncan's innovative use of TV advertising. Prior to 1965 Duncan was responsible for 85 percent of all yo-yos purchased in the United States.
14. all of the above
16. a) 600 million - The press likened the late 1920s yo-yo fad to a case of measles. They said the yo-yo craze would run it course in a few weeks never to be seen again. Fortunately we have never mounted immunity to the toy and 70 years later millions of yo-yos continue to be sold each year. It is probably the most popular toy in history, and was recently inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. The British Association of Toy Retailers voted the Yo-Yo the "Craze of the Century" for the 20th century.
17. c) Luck, Wisconsin – to where the Duncan Company moved in 1946, and where the company produced 3,600 yo-yos per hour. They produced the original maple wooden yo-yos using 1,000,000 board feet per year. In 1960, plastic yo-yos that we still see today began to be manufactured. Sales grew and grew. By 1962, the Duncan Company alone sold a record 45 million yo-yos in a country with only 40 million kids, and still could not keep up with the demand.
18. d) “walking the dog” - in an effort to entertain the House Subcommittee on Un-American Activities that was investigating him
19. a) yo-yoed on stage - at the opening of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville with country music legend Roy Acuff in 1974, shortly before his resignation. Twenty years later the Nixon autographed yo-yo sold at auction for $16,029.00.
20. b) 1866
21. c) the 1904 world’s fair
22. c) sell 3 subscriptions to the newspaper for entry in the contest - The first contest promoted in this fashion resulted in 50,000 new subscribers for one newspaper in just 8 weeks.
23. d) material and manpower - due to World War II.
24. a) Electric Lighted yo-yo – The Dyna-Glo was the first plastic glow yo-yo, produced in the middle 1950s.
25. b) “Cheerios” – named for the company, which was named Cheerio.
26. c) “Yomega, the Yo-Yo with a Brain” - In 1980, Michael Caffrey patented “The yo-yo with a Brain.” In addition to a free-spinning sleeve bearing for long spin times, “The Brain” has a centrifugal spring loaded clutch mechanism that causes an automatic return of the yo-yo to the hand when the rotational spin slows to a pre-determined rate.
27. a) “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson
28. d) 8437
29. b) it has never lost popularity
30. a) cotton
31. a) the number of strands in the string
32. d) Sony
33. c) trapeze
34. b) magnesium
35. a) Yomega
36. c) center-weighted - Beginning in the 1970s, yo-yo manufacturers, seeing the benefit of periphery weight distribution, began rim-weighting their products for a longer spin.
37. b) Yohans
38. d) cohesion
39. a) obtuse prismatic cylinder
40. b) ball-bearing axles – this increased spin times once again.