Monday, December 22, 2003

ABCs of X-Mas Special

Y is for yo-yo

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Does the kid have every new gadget known to toydom? Is Grandpa's drawer already filled with socks and T-shirts? Does Aunty's taste run beyond the realm of your pocketbook?

Then try for simple fun -- with a yo-yo. The yo-yo is Everyman's toy. It's for all ages: "Parents shouldn't say their child is too young," says Donna Borge, of High Performance Kites, where yo-yos abound. "One boy was only 1 1/2 years old when he started, and now, at 6, he's a champion."

Yo-yos are convenient. "Just stick it in your pocket, and you can play any time, anywhere," Borge says.

A Stealth Brain yo-yo sold at High Performance Kites is a beginner-friendly yo-yo that returns automatically to the player's hand.

The classic toy is also versatile, with yo-yos tailor-made for the beginner, intermediate and advanced player. In fact, skill level is the most important factor to consider when purchasing a gift, Borge says.

"For the beginner, there's a yo-yo with a brain. It has a clutch in it that makes it return up automatically. It is forgiving," she says.

At the other end of the spectrum, advanced yo-yos have roller bearings, which, when the yo-yo is thrown very hard, keep it spinning longer before it returns, good for doing tricks.

Yo-yo newbies can work their way up the skill ladder at free classes held at Ward Warehouse, Windward Mall and Pearlridge Center.

Convinced? Find yo-yos at High Performance Kites, Toys 'N Joys and Special Dreams. Another bonus for the yo-yo gift giver: It fits every budget. Prices range from $1.99 to $150.

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