(Branson, MO) — Masters known for their up-and-down careers, let go in the Ozarks.
Duncan Yo-Yo sent three current and fomer champions to Branson this weekend.
Duncan Yo-Yo champs impressed people with the latest tricks.
Yo-Yo champions says the tricks continue to get more complicated.
Technology allows them to push the envelope.
“A lot of the Yo-Yo’s these days have a bearing in the center which allows them to spin for minutes at a time instead of seconds like the old style,” said Drew Tetz, a Yo-Yo master.
Dick’s 5 and 10 brought in the Yo-Yo team as part of the store’s continuing 50th anniversary celebration.
Yo-yo experts from Hawaii, Ohio, Missouri and Maryland dropped by The Toy Store on Saturday afternoon to give a short performance and help adults and children brush up on yo-yo skills.
“We travel around the world and demonstrate how awesome the yo-yo is,” said Takeshi Kamisato, of Hawaii. “I started playing with the yo-yo 10 years ago, and I became a professional seven years ago.”
Kamisato was one of four members of the Duncan Crew USA who spent three hours at The Toy Store, 5300 S.W. 21st, showing a small gathering how to perform tricks. The crew demonstrated five techniques: string tricks, classic, string tricks with two yo-yos, off-string and counterweight.
There are 60 Duncan professionals worldwide who tour.
Hank Freeman, the current world champion, and Chris Neff, the current spin top world champion, were part of the crew who visited Topeka.
Freeman is the 2011 World Yo-Yo champion, and he also was the 2009 and 2010 USA National Yo-Yo champion.
Topekan Jacob Deffenbaugh, also known as “The Yo-Yo Man,” talked with Duncan Crew members and showed off some of his own skills. Deffenbaugh began yo-yoing in 1999.
“I didn’t have a lot of friends in school,” he said. “This was a solitary activity. Now, it’s a friend-making icebreaker.”
Duncan Toys, which was founded by Donald F. Duncan, has sold billions of yo-yos and spin tops worldwide since its inception in 1929. Duncan has been a division of Flambeau since 1967.
Anthony S. Bush can be reached at (785) 295-1196 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It was sad to bid farewell to Kansas, but we quickly discovered that Missouri had plenty of fun in store for us. One of the coolest surprises was the store that we were demoing at, Dick’s 5 & 10 – trust me, you have to see this place to believe it. It was packed wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with pretty much everything you can think of, a sensory overload in the best sense of the world.
Though we could have spent the day just marveling at the store, we were there to yo-yo, and yo-yo we did. Hank gathered quite a crowd in front of the store while Takeshi & I talked tricks with people inside, many of whom were delighted to see yo-yos for the first time in years. A sudden heavy rainstorm (how heavy? Check out the picture of our van!) brought waves of traffic into the store hoping to dry off, and we were very happy to entertain them. It was also cool to see two separate local news stations send out cameramen to check us out and film some tricks.
Branson was a super cool stop overall, and huge thanks to Dick’s 5 & 10 for having us. From there, we rolled into Springfield to do a morning news spot with KOLR 10, which was also a fun time. We’d like to give a special shout-out to The Hub Coffee & Bicycles for hangin’ out with us and being way cool – if you’re ever in Springfield, definitely go see them.
It’s been an awesome week, and we’re super appreciative to all the stores that had us, all the yo-yoers that came to hang out, and all of the people who watched us, said hi, or learned a trick. Much love… we miss you already!
We knew it was going to be a good day when we pulled up to < ahref="http://www.thetoystoreonline.com/">The Toy Store and their first words to us were “Do you want tacos?”
As awesome as free tacos are, things only got cooler from there. We had stopped at the Lawrence location of The Toy Store on the Heritage Tour and remembered it fondly, and were excited to return. There was a great turnout from both local players and uninitiated spectators, and a good time was definitely had by all. Some highlights included Connor learning to throw a top for the first time and Robbie showing off his mad 3A skillz. We taught and talked tricks ’til 1 and then booked it out to Topeka for the next demo.
If the Toy Store in Lawrence is impressive, the Toy Store in Topeka is jaw-dropping. One of the largest independent toy stores in the world, it offered an awesome space to show off yo-yo tricks and hang out. We were able to see some old friends that weren’t able to make it to the other demos (hi, Alex, James, & Jacob!) and had some awesome trick brainstorming sessions… and were also to put on a few great shows and make some new friends. Definitely a rewarding day: tons of smiles, lots of kids learning to yo-yo, and we picked up plenty of tricks ourselves.
Super big thanks to all of our new friends at The Toy Store for hosting us, you are beyond awesome. Big thanks, also, to all our yo-yo friends in the area who came out and said “hey” – you are all awesome.
Duncan Crew had the pleasure of stopping by Moon Marble last fall, and it was unquestionably one of the highlights of the whole Heritage Tour. Needless to say, we were excited to come back, and it was an excellent return. The staff, the local yo-yoers, the audience, and the ‘Moon itself had us smiling non-stop.
The demo was a fairly even mix of showing off our mad skillz and hangin’ out – so pretty much non-stop fun. We were joined today by our good friend Chris Neff (the World Spintop Champion!), and he did not hesitate to blow any mind within a two mile radius. Add in some visits from Kansas City Yo-yo Club members, some creative costume changes, and a bit of marble making madness, and you’ve got yourself a great afternoon.
Big thanks to Bruce and Moon Marble for having us, and for everybody who came out to support us! We hope we made you smile. Special shout-outs to Justin for his impromptu 4A demo, to Sammy for being such an inspirational young player (boomerang on a top at 6 years old?!), and to Petra, Greg, Blake, and all the other players that came out and said hi. We hope to visit the Moon again soon!
We’re glad to see you again! The scene here is amazingly welcoming, something we were reminded of at the pizza dinner after yo-yo/juggling club. We found ourselves sharing tricks and laughter with some of KC’s finest before we even set foot in a toy store, which set a great tone that will carry on for the rest of tour.
Our first demo was at U.S. Toy – we had stopped there on the Heritage Tour and were excited to return, and as it turns out, the staff was pretty excited to see us as well. To make things even cooler, there were plenty of kids at the morning demo who were stoked to see yo-yo tricks (and learn some for themselves!). Good friends Justin & Blake also made it out and joined us for a delicious BBQ lunch.
The morning demo was great, but the afternoon demo was AWESOME! We had a great turnout of both seasoned players and excited spectators, and it was a wonderful time getting to share tricks with all of them. I’m positive that some of the kids that walked out with yo-yos will stick with it and become assets to the Kansas yo-yo community. Big thanks, also, to both the Kansas City yo-yo club and the Spring Hill High School yo-yo club for coming out and showing their support – the demo ended up turning into a miniature club meet of its own, and we had such a good time that we spent an extra hour and a half just hangin’ out. Definitely a sign of good things to come!