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Tom Kuhn Champion - Golden Gate Bridge
Exhibit #4033
TypeSpecial Release
ShapeConcave )-(
AxleFixed
ColorMatte maple
PackagingNone
ConstructionThree piece wood
ResponseNone
GapFixed
Condition9
Date1977
To1978
OwnerRick Brough
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A beautiful, hard-to-find early Tom Kuhn yo-yo, likely from around 1977-78. Unlike his No Jive Flying Camels – Models C and F, and his Mandala 1, 2, and 3 yo-yos that were laser-engraved during this time period – his remaining designs were pressed or stamped into the maple wood. The Champion yo-yo was one such release. Interestingly, Tom referred to the shape of the Champion yo-yo as a "flying camel"; not a butterfly, wing, or bowtie. An oft overlooked characterisation by many yo-yo collectors and players.

The yo-yo was assembled, intentionally or not, with the Champion design on side A, and the Golden Gate Bridge on side B. Some Champion yo-yos were made with only side A and a blank side B. This yo-yo came from a former Tom Kuhn employee. The individual told me that back then, they occasionally took liberties as to what halves were used to assembled the yo-yos. The model in this exhibit was one such example, with both sides having a design. It is a rather unique yo-yo, although other Champion versions with different side B San Francisco scenes (such as the San Francisco cable car, or Fisherman's Wharf, or Cliff House - Seal Rocks) likely exist out in the wild. Notice that one halve was not quite seated all the way onto the wooden axle, hence the overall condition rating of 9; the halves, however, are mint.

Three piece maple yo-yo with matte finish. The design/scene on side A is reminiscent of some Duncan wooden yo-yos that were hand-carved with a tropical scene by Filipino yo-yo demonstrators in the 1950s.

Original retail price: $15 US.
Other Views
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Side A, angled, large
Side A, close-up of stamp
Side A and B

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