Competitors soon began to appear, and on July 22, he trademarked the name "Flores Yo-Yo," a fact which was highlighted in the company's slogan, "If it isn't a Flores, it isn't a yo-yo.
Duncan Butterfly Yo-Yo
One of Flores' keenest competitors was Donald F. Duncan, an entrepreneur who had already found success with the Good Humor ice cream bar, and who had formed his own yo-yo company in He would also later start a firm that manufactured most of the parking meters sold in the U. Duncan Yo-Yo Company began selling Flores yo-yos along with its own models. Pedro Flores was hired to promote the firm by sponsoring yo-yo contests around the country, which now featured many new competitive categories.
Donald Duncan was as good, if not better than Flores at marketing, and his promotional acumen helped boost the sales of yo-yos even further. A cross-promotion with the Hearst newspaper chain would prove to be particularly successful. Duncan arranged to get free advertisements from Hearst to promote the firm's yo-yo contests in exchange for limiting participation to players who had sold three subscriptions to a Hearst paper.
In one such promotion in Philadelphia, Duncan reportedly sold 3 million yo-yos in 30 days. The company also had a group of expert yo-yo players who traveled the country and gave demonstrations at places like candy stores to stimulate sales. The men, typically Filipinos, played up the "exotic" origin of the toy by telling stories of the yo-yos supposed use as a weapon in the Philippines, as well as carving pictures of birds and palm trees on the sides of the wooden yo-yos children bought. Other publicity was achieved through the use of paid celebrities like the children of the "Our Gang" movie shorts in ads, as well by the media's publication of photographs that caught stars like Mary Pickford, Bing Crosby, and Lou Gehrig playing with yo-yos.
During the s, Duncan offered a variety of different yo-yo designs, including the fixed string "O-Boy" beginners model, the tournament Gold Seal version, and even a tin whistling yo-yo. Distribution was expanded internationally during the decade, helped by events like the World Yo-Yo Competition, which was held for the first time in London in The s were a golden era for the toy, although sales fell off during World War II.
In , Duncan built a new yo-yo factory in the small town of Luck, Wisconsin, where there was a large supply of hard maple, the main ingredient in the firm's product. In , the company introduced a new model, the plastic Electric Yo-Yo, which lit up courtesy of a battery-powered light inside. It was only briefly produced, but in Duncan began making a regular production plastic model, the junior-sized Pony Boy. This yo-yo was made of polystyrene and had a BB inside that rattled. A short time later, the firm introduced the Imperial, made of tennite plastic, which duplicated the dimensions of the classic wood Model 77 that had been in production since The Imperial would go on to become the world's best-selling yo-yo.
Several years later Duncan also introduced the wooden Butterfly model, which was a standard yo-yo turned inside out, giving the player a wider slot to catch the string in. The company was now also marketing wooden spin tops. In , Donald F. Duncan retired and gave control of the company to his sons Donald, Jr.
He would sell a sister firm, Duncan Parking Meter Corporation, in By this time, Duncan completely dominated the yo-yo market, producing an estimated 85 percent of the toys made. In , Duncan began running its first television commercials, which debuted in Philadelphia.
A number of different designs were introduced during this period, including versions shaped like sports balls and a planet as well as multicolor plastic models with embedded glitter. The latter series, known as Mardi Gras, was intended to appeal to girls, who were under-represented in the ranks of yo-yo aficionados. In , the company sold a record 33 million yo-yos. Duncan's competition was heating up, however, and the firm became embroiled in a protracted court battle with the Royal Tops Manufacturing Co.
Duncan sued Royal over the latter's use of the name "yo-yo," asserting that it was an exclusive trademark. In , Royal won the case, but neither company benefited from the victory as legal costs forced both into bankruptcy. The most recent yo-yo craze had faded by the time the suit was settled, helping to seal Duncan's fate. In , the company's yo-yo turning lathes were sold to Fred Strombeck, who used them to manufacture the "Medalist" brand wooden yo-yo, and in Flambeau Products Corporation bought the Duncan name and good will. Flambeau had made plastic yo-yos for the firm since and had retained the company's molds.
The reconstituted Duncan soon began to introduce new models, including the Jewel, the butterfly-style light-up Satellite, the fuzz-covered Velvet, the slimline Professional, and later the Wheels series, designed to look like various muscle-car wheels.
The early s saw sales begin to take off once again, and Duncan revived the practice of hiring demonstrators to travel the country performing yo-yo tricks. The technical side of yo-yo design saw a number of new developments during the s and s, though most of the ideas came from outside of Duncan. In , inventor Michael Caffrey patented an internal clutch mechanism, and in a Swedish firm introduced a yo-yo with a ball bearing transaxle that would later revolutionize yo-yo play. Duncan itself brought out the World Class model, a butterfly-shaped yo-yo which had metal weight rings and a teflon-coated axle for longer sleep times, but did not keep it in production.
Despite these improvements, yo-yo sales were in decline, with just , sold industry-wide in Very good condition with minor storage wear. GREAT addition for any collection! Has 2 flags on front. Light green with white stripe in center. It is in very good condition has some wear on paint from use as shown. Let pictures be description Any questions please ask! This must have a BB inside because it sounds like it. This is a old wooden Duncan genuine beginners yo-yo. There is some wear and fading of the paint, but in good shape.
Looks like it is black on one side and red on the other side. This is a from my own collection of Yo-Yos, these two Duncan glow imperial pre-owned yo-yos are Rice Krispies promotional toys and are in excellent condition including thee strings. This is an advertising Yo-Yo, would fit in either your yo yo or in your cereal collection.
Duncan Imperial | YoYo Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia
All are in great used condition with good paint color. See pictures for more details.
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They could be Duncan but I see no markings to safely say they are. I am not a collector or expert so you will need to rely on the pictures. The top is unused but shows some light wear. The price reflects this.
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A picture of the original packaging will be in the listing but not included in the sale. Hard to find one of these 's yo yo's in decent shape. Put this one into google and see how many you find! This is from the Second series of Duncans Whistling Yo yo's. The other 2 in the series were the Dart Board and the Propeller.
Item has some general mild wear and age, ships for free first class mail in padded air jacket envelope with tracking.
Payment is due within days. A great yo to help novice players learn new tricks! And at a great price for the quality and features! Rocket Control Panel Yo-Yo set! These were part of the rewards from last years Kickstarter! Brand new Duncan logo vinyl stickers, they measure 5. Since , the Duncan Butterfly's wide string gap has made it much easier to land the Yo-Yo back on the string.
This model is best for learning string tr Vintage Ducan Imperial Yoyo up for auction. Mint in original packaging, unopened, unused. Please view pictures before you place your bid. Item is being sold as is.