Magazine article USA TODAY

Still a Good Challenge Even after 2,500 Years

Magazine article USA TODAY

Still a Good Challenge Even after 2,500 Years

Article excerpt

It's been about 80 years since the yo-yo first became popular in this country (although the oldest known yo-yo dates back to around 500 B.C.) and, still, it holds an appeal for both children and adults. There must be some reason that a product that really is little more than a string tied around a spool could have endured for no less than two-and-a-half millennia. Our guess: it's addictive and it's fun!

Yo-yos can be relaxing--just hypnotically throw them down and catch them again, develop a nice rhythm and accomplish a simple goal--but with the addition of a couple basic tricks, it's game on. Yomega, Fall River, Mass., revolutionized yo-yo play with its introduction of the Brain in the 1980s. As a beginner yo-yo with an auto-return clutch mechanism, it took the difficulty out of the play and allowed beginners to learn tricks and advance more quickly. The clutch lets it return to the player's hand automatically, so a novice could instantly do the Sleeper, the building block of practically every yo-yo trick. Yomega's vast line includes yo-yos for beginners, intermediates, and advanced players.

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Newbies definitely should start with one of the Brains, such as the Brain Classic with its centrifugal clutch system that opens to allow super long spins and then closes to force the return. The Gamma Brain Wing is designed for beginners looking to advance. It employs triple transaxle technology and has a "smart switch" to allow the option of auto-return or to change to ball bearing mode for more advanced speeds and tricks. It is wing-shaped, with a clear body and colored clutch. The Power Brain offers prolonged spin time and super-smooth automatic returns. It has a piston-like four-way synchronized clutch system to allow it to spin much longer. The Power Brain XP and XP Wing also have the smart switch that turns the clutch system on for auto-return features and off for manual return for longer spin times and string tricks. The X-Brain, with its four-way independent clutch system, provides high performance and smooth automatic returns, and long spin times. The Saber Brain has the same centrifugal clutch system as the Brain Classic but with a unique flared wing design that lets the spinning yo-yo easily catch the string to perform smooth string tricks. …

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