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National Yo-Yo Museum
Chico CA

Tomy Pocketmate Yo-Yo - No. D-51
Exhibit #3039
PackagingDisplay Boxed
ConstructionMulti-piece plastic
Diameter56 mm
Weight34 gm
ConditionMint in Package
OwnerRick Brough

In the mid 1970s and into the early 80s--long before Nintendo Gameboy--Tomy of Japan released a series of ingenious plastic, rectangular handheld mechanical games under the brand Pocketmate. The games were originally sold in Japan and then later branded for markets in North America and Europe. The vast product line included pocket-sized games such as golf, soccer, basketball, baseball, bowling, tank combat, horse racing, tic tac toe, slot machine, spinning tops, Sumo wrestling, Shogi, Pachinko, pinball, motocross, mouse catch, marble puzzle, marble catch, car racing, target range, secret passage game, Pacman, wrestling, dodge ball, and many others.

Among the many different games that Tomy released was a very innovative (for the time) modular yo-yo with the unusual design of having the end of the yo-yo string tied through a hole in the axle (see picture "Package back, large") for a play experience in which the yo-yo went up and down only. Or, you were directed to look at Figure 2 of the assembly drawing inside the box for directions on tying the string around the axle to allow for more advanced play (that is, allow the yo-yo to sleep). After tying the string to the axle, you then assembled the various parts and screwed the body halves together to create the yo-yo itself. It even included a miniature screwdriver. Each body halve consisted of two parts: a chrome-plated, plastic outer halve (what you seen in the picture), and a black, plastic inner halve that fit inside the outer halve. Came with two cotton strings. The packaging identifies a Japanese patent pending status for the yo-yo design.

The model D-51 yo-yo seen in this exhibit was the first Tomy Pocketmate yo-yo model. Tomy later released the D-51 Racing Yo-Yo. Both halves had the appearance of a racing car wheel with the "rubber tire" portion painted black and printed with "Dunlop" in white. The Pocketmate Racing Yo-Yo is harder to find.

This yo-yo design is reminiscent of The Card yo-yo made by Shinobu Konmoto more than 30 years later.

Collected November 6, 2017.
Other Views
Package front, large
Package back, large

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