Ask anyone you know to name a brand of yo-yos and chances are that the brand they will come up with is Duncan. And for good reason. Duncan has been the biggest name in yoyos since the 1930s. These days, Duncan has an extensive line of yoyos that cover almost every type of yoyoing. With the huge number of different yoyos to choose from, it can be tough to know which yoyo to buy. This guide is intended to help you out. This buyer's guide is for Duncan yoyos only. If you want to see our guide for all brands, check this page.
If you’re looking for a Duncan yoyo that is like the old Duncan yoyos from the 1950s and beyond, then you’re in luck, because Duncan still makes a lot of reproductions that are just like the old models from this era. The Duncan Retro Tournament Wooden yoyo is a reproduction 1955 wooden yoyo that comes in a plastic display case and even includes a reprint of the trick book from 1955. Other reproduction wooden yoyos include the Duncan Retro Wooden Butterfly yoyo, the Retro Jeweled Wooden yoyo, the Retro 1950s Imperial Plastic yoyo, and the same old plastic Butterfly and plastic Imperial yoyos that you have seen everywhere since the 1970s or so. All of these yo-yos have a fixed axle, and can perform all your basic yoyo tricks like Walk the Dog, Around the World and
You can do all your basic yoyo tricks with an old fashioned yoyo, but if you’re ready to take it a little bit further, then consider some of these high performance yoyo models that are suitable for anyone from a beginner who is still learning to an intermediate to advanced yoyo player who can do extremely complex yoyo tricks. The Pro Fly and the Pro Yo are high performance plastic yoyos with a fixed wooden axle. Basically, they take old fashioned yo-yoing and make it better and easier. These are fun and inexpensive yoyos that you can carry around all the time. But if you want to take it a little further, then you need to consider a yoyo with a ball bearing axle. The ball bearing axle allows the yoyo to sleep for a much, much longer time, which allows you to complete more complex and difficult yoyo tricks. The Bumble Bee and the Dragon Fly are the two most popular ball bearing plastic yoyos from Duncan. They are similar yoyos with different shapes at a very reasonable price, so you should buy one of each. The Duncan Pulse is another popular ball bearing yoyo, because it also lights up when it spins. The Duncan Metal Drifter is also an extremely popular metal ball bearing yoyo that we explain in greater detail in the Freehand section of the guide.
Duncan invented the entire category of yoyoing with a counterweight with the introduction of the Duncan Freehand yoyo. They still have a patent on it! Learning to yoyo with a counterweight is a challenge, but the great thing about counterweight yoyos is that you can use them as a regular yoyo too -- it is not required that you attach the counterweight to the string, and most people don’t. The Freehand Zero is a great yoyo to start with the 5A category, and is a very popular model that’s always a top seller. It also comes in a light up version. And if you want to go with something a little bit nicer, the Metal Drifter is also very popular. It is very inexpensive for a metal yoyo, at under $30.
Non-responsive yoyos are as advanced as you can get, and Duncan has plenty of yoyos in this category. “Non-responsive” or “unresponsive” means that a yoyo will not wake up when you tug on the string when it is sleeping. You have to learn how to do a “bind” trick that forces the yoyo to return to your hand. This allows you to do really complex tricks that aren’t possible with a regular yoyo. It’s worth the hassle to learn how to bind! Consider the Duncan Barracuda, the Magnetude, the Echo, the Strix or the MomentuM in the advanced category. These are all very popular, pro level yoyos that have often been used to win major contests.
Whether you are buying a Duncan yoyo or any other brand, you’ll want to make sure that you buy extra yoyo strings, and probably a trick book or trick DVD so that you can keep learning new tricks and advancing your skills. See our full line of strings, trick books, DVDs and other accessories. Strings wear out quickly, so make sure you have at least a few extras!