500 BC
  • A Prehistoric toy!
    The oldest surviving yo-yos have been tracked to this date. The yo-yos were terra cotta disks, decorated with paintings of mythological figures. Archeologists theorize that Ancient Greek kids gave these yo-yos as offerings at the appropriate temple, as part of a coming-of-age ceremony. A Greek vase from this period is painted with the image of a boy playing yo-yo.
    A Prehistoric toy!
1780
  • Lafayette & Mirabeau Play with a yo-yo
    Cartoons appear in French publications of General Lafayette and Mirabeau playing with yo-yos.
    Lafayette & Mirabeau Play with a yo-yo
1789
  • Prince Of Wales
    The Prince of Wales, later George IV of England, is portrayed playing with a quiz. Painting of French Prince Louis XVII playing yo-yo. "Quizzes" listed for sale at Peckam Fair in England.
    Prince Of Wales
1792
  • Fanciful Tales
    Edition of Baron Munchausen's Fanciful Tales published that contains story of a two-handed quiz playing young maiden.
    Fanciful Tales
1824
  • Badalore as a bygone toy
    Novelist Mary Russell Mitford makes reference to the bandalore as a bygone toy.
    Badalore as a bygone toy
1833
  • More makes bandalore reference
    Moore makes reference to a fashionable toy called bandalore in French and quiz in English.
    More makes bandalore reference
1852
  • Jou Jou
    Preller refers to the toy as a Jou Jou.
    Jou Jou
1860
  • First recorded use of word "yo-yo"
    First recorded use of word "yo-yo" in a dictionary of Filipino words.
    First recorded use of word "yo-yo"
1861
  • Published in Punch
    Cartoon of two quiz-playing boys published in Punch.
    Published in Punch
1866
  • United States Patent awarded
    United States Patent for "improved bandalore" awarded to Haven and Hettrick.
    United States Patent awarded
1891
  • Boys Modern Playmate
    Boy's Modern Playmate, a British magazine, makes reference to bandalores being called quizzes in 1800.
    Boys Modern Playmate
1904
  • St. Louis World's Fair
    Souvenir iron bandalore sold at St. Louis World's Fair.
    St. Louis World's Fair
1916
  • Scientific American Magazine
    Scientific American magazine publishes "Filipino Toys" article that describes and names the yo-yo.
    Scientific American Magazine
1923
  • Pedro Flores makes a yo-yo
    Pedro Flores makes a yo-yo in the U.S. in the tradition of his Filipino forefathers.
    Pedro Flores makes a yo-yo
1928
  • Yo-Yo Craze Begins
    Pedro Flores opens his first yo-yo factory in Santa Barbara, California. First yo-yo craze begins, fueled by Flores contest promotions. Donald F. Duncan sees his first yo-yo.
    Yo-Yo Craze Begins
1929
  • Popular Mechanics article
    Popular Mechanics magazine publishes "Make a Filipino Yo-Yo" article in July 29 issue.
    Popular Mechanics article
1930
  • Donald F. Duncan buys Flores Yo-Yo Company
    Donald F. Duncan buys out Flores, who goes to work for Duncan running promotions. The wooden yo-yo manufacturing shifts to Baurle Brothers in Chicago.
    Donald F. Duncan buys Flores Yo-Yo Company
  • Hearst Newspapers
    Duncan teams up with Hearst newspapers to promote yo-yo contests. The newspaper advertises the contest, while players must sell three newspaper subscriptions to compete. A single promotion in Philadelphia sells 3 million yo-yos in 30 days.
    Hearst Newspapers
1932
  • First Ever World Yo-Yo Competition
    First ever World Yo-Yo Competition held in London, England. Harvey Lowe, age 13, is the winner.
    First Ever World Yo-Yo Competition
1946
  • Duncan builds in Luck, Wisconsin
    Duncan builds new yo-yo factory in Luck, Wisconsin, an area rich in hard maple.
    Duncan builds in Luck, Wisconsin
1955
  • Duncan contracts with Flambeau Products Corp.
    Duncan contracts with Flambeau Products Corporation to make plastic yo-yos.
    Duncan contracts with Flambeau Products Corp.
1957
  • Donald F. Duncan Retires
    Donald F. Duncan retires and hands control of the company to his sons Jack and Don, Jr.
    Donald F. Duncan Retires
1959
  • Duncan Tries TV Advertising
    Duncan tries TV advertising in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sales increase from $20,000 to $100,000 in the Philadelphia area due to the campaign.
    Duncan Tries TV Advertising
1962
  • Tv Advertising Drives Sales
    Blockbuster yo-yo year. TV advertising drives sales from $2 million to $7 million a year. Continued demand exceeds production, creating additional costs as Duncan struggles to fill record-breaking orders.
    Tv Advertising Drives Sales
1965
  • Duncan Loses trademark court battle
    Yo-yo market drops after huge fad. Duncan loses landmark court battle with Royal Tops Company over Duncan's trademark on the word "Yo-Yo." Name is ruled a generic term. Legal costs force both companies into bankruptcy.
    Duncan Loses trademark court battle
1967
  • Fred Strombeck buys yo-yo lathes
    Fred Strombeck buys Duncan's yo-yo turning lathes and starts marketing the "Medalist" yo-yo. Production ends with Strombeck's death in 1972. These are the last Duncan-shaped wooden yo-yos for 24 years.
    Fred Strombeck buys yo-yo lathes
1968
  • Flambeau Purchases Duncan Toys
    Flambeau Products Corporation, who had been making plastic yo-yos for Duncan and has the molds and equipment to continue production, buys the "Duncan" name and goodwill.
    Flambeau Purchases Duncan Toys
1985
  • Duncan begins cable TV advertising
    Duncan began cable TV advertising. This continued through 1992.
    Duncan begins cable TV advertising
1987
  • Tom Smothers first Yo-Yo Man routine
    Tom Smothers' "Yo-Yo Man" routine first appears on the Smothers Brothers' weekly TV show.
    Tom Smothers first Yo-Yo Man routine
1990
  • First international yo-yo convention
    First international yo-yo convention held in conjunction with annual International Juggler's Association convention in Los Angeles. The contest held at this convention will develop into the modern World's Championships. "Return of the Yo-Yo" exhibition begins touring shopping malls around the country. The exhibit includes the Duncan Family Collection and several "opening day" demonstrations are held at the various malls, giving a new generation a taste of top-level yo-yo performance. The exhibit collection later forms the core of the National Yo-Yo Museum in Chico, California.
    First international yo-yo convention
1993
  • First modern National Yo-Yo Contest
    First modern National Yo-Yo Contest held in Chico, California. American Yo-Yo Association founded.
    First modern National Yo-Yo Contest
1995
  • Duncan returns to TV advertising
    Duncan returns to TV advertising with the "Video Boy" commercial which airs nationwide. Commercial positions yo-yos as the more exciting alternative to video games. Duncan commissions Dr. James Watson of Ball State University, to develop the "Teaching Science with the Yo-YoÆ" lesson program. The five-day science planner gives educators an interactive, hands-on way to teach science theories to their students through classroom based yo-yo lessons.
    Duncan returns to TV advertising
1996
  • Yo-Yo Madness
    "Yo-yo madness" sweeps the globe. Australia, Britain, and Japan become yo-yo hotspots. Duncan reintroduces the wooden Duncan Super Tournament yo-yo. A faithful reproduction of the 1955 model Super Tournament, the re-issue comes in five classic colors packaged with the original "1955 Yo-Yo Trick BookÆ."
    Yo-Yo Madness
1997
  • Duncan & Coca-Cola
    Duncan enters into a licensing agreement with Coca-ColaÆ, producing 18 different designs.
    Duncan & Coca-Cola
1999
  • Infamous "Finger Commercial"
    A big year for Duncan. The Duncan Hardcore Yo-Yo Line is released, as is the Storm Series of spin tops. Also released is the infamous "Finger Commercial" depicting a number of people holding out their yo-yo fingers towards the camera. Outrage from a number of family groups pours in, yet sales increase.Duncan Yo-Yos are featured on Bravo, MTV, Cartoon Network, and are named the # 1 Toy of All Time by A & E. Duncan Demonstrators, Steve Brown and Chris Neff tour the US for three and a half months in RVs to promote the Duncan Hardcore line. They both run out of propane in Chicago and nearly froze.
    Infamous "Finger Commercial"
2000
  • 2000 World Yo-Yo Contest & National Yo-Yo Contest
    Duncan is the major sponsor for both the 2000 World and 2000 National Yo-Yo Championships.
    2000 World Yo-Yo Contest & National Yo-Yo Contest
2001
  • Duncan Introduces Freehand Yo-Yo
    Duncan introduces the Freehandô yo-yo. The first yo-yo ever manufactured that is designed to be used without being tied to your hand, the Freehand quickly becomes the Number One yo-yo of choice for high-level players and competitors worldwide. Steve Brown, inventor of freehand-style play, wins the Bay Area Classic by doing his entire 3-minute freehand routine blindfolded. Steve is the first person known to have accomplished this feat. In October, Steve is awarded the title of U.S. National Yo-Yo Master. Only eight people have ever been given this title. Steve is the second youngest of the eight.
    Duncan Introduces Freehand Yo-Yo
2002
  • Duncan acquires Playmaxx Inc
    Duncan Toys purchases the assets of Playmaxx Inc, officially securing Duncan's position as the #1 Yo-Yo Manufacturer in the world. Among the models added to the Duncan line are the ProYo, Bumble Bee, and Cold Fusion yo-yos. With the purchase, Duncan also acquires a number of patents, including four patents covering "Brake Pad Technology", a form of response system for yo-yos. Players everywhere rejoice.
    Duncan acquires Playmaxx Inc
2003
  • Duncan releases new models
    Duncan Toys releases the Speed Beetle, Flying Panda, and Throwmonkey yo-yos. The international player community declares them to be the finest competition yo-yos released by Duncan to date.
    Duncan releases new models
2004
  • Duncan turns 75 years old
    Duncan Toys celebrates its 75th Anniversary with a 25' yo-yo shaped balloon, a full line of Juggling products, special edition Vintage yo-yos, a new line of gyroscopes, a series of instructional CD-ROMS, and the release of the FH Zero. The FH Zero becomes the new standard for competition yo-yos. Also released is the Freehand MG, the most expensive mass-produced yo-yo ever sold. Retail price is $400.
    Duncan turns 75 years old
2005
  • Duncan reproduces vintage models
    Duncan Toys releases the wooden Satellite yo-yo, a reproduction of one of its most recognizable models from the 1960s. Also released are the Philippine National Yo-Yo Contest DVD, and the Yo-Yo Viking Tour DVD. The Viking Tour DVD is the first ever tour DVD from a yo-yo company, and is immediately recognized as the most entertaining yo-yo video ever released for sale.
    Duncan reproduces vintage models
2006
  • New line of footbags.
    Duncan Toys introduces a new line of footbags; Daredevil, Spider, and Roadrunner. TV commercials featuring footbags, juggling, and yo-yos are aired in conjunction with ESPN sponsored World Juggling Federation's National Juggling Competition.
    New line of footbags.
500 BC
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