They say everything comes back around and in the late 90s the yoyo did return to the playgrounds of Britain, but unlike when my mum and dad’s generation were fascinated by them going up and down a piece of string, we took it to the next level.
Our technologically advanced toys could do allsorts of wonderful things, and with the addition of ball-bearings (don’t ask me how) they could spin longer, meaning that everyone had a yoyo trick up their sleeve.
Walking The Dog, Cat’s Cradle and Around The World were all popular moves in my school and I was even given a video by my grandad teaching me all these amazing and wonderful skills. But I had trouble myself just getting the spool back up the string again, let alone anything a bit more impressive.
I practiced in my bedroom alone at night, getting more and more frustrated at my inability to perform even the most basic of tricks. I would wake up and fret about the fact that I would be shown up by much younger kids in the playground and that my Sleeper would fail just like Chelsea’s attempts to win the Champions League.
And then there were the yoyos themselves. Whilst mine had cost a couple of quid at my local market and looked cool as it has little LED lights in it, my mates were investing in Proyos, something my weekly £1.50 pocket money just couldn’t stretch to.
Proyos were the royalty of the yo-yoing community and its king was a man who legally changed his name to Yo-Hans. This guy was a god to some of my friends for the outrageous things he could do with his particular equipment but to me he was just an idiot who spent too much time playing with kid’s toys, a bit like Tony Hawk.
Maybe I was jealous as my yoyo spent more time on the floor than Didier Drogba, and I soon gave up yo-yoing and left the others to it. Thankfully they died out after about a year and no-one has ever picked one up since, well apart from Yo-Hans.
I heard a rumour that they are on their way back in the very near future and if so I am staying well away from this craze again. Just like juggling, badminton or anything else that needs co-ordination, yo-yoing just isn’t for me.