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Duncan Life Saver
Exhibit #3326
TypeSpecial Release
ConstructionOne piece wood
Diameter51 mm
Width35 mm
Weight44 gm
OwnerRick Brough

A wooden, fixed axle Duncan yo-yo return top shaped like a Life Saver candy. These were released in the early 1960s and came in the five colors you see in this exhibit (despite the television commercial saying it came in only white, red, and green).

The Life Saver yo-yo does not have Duncan printed anywhere on the yo-yo. These special Live Saver yo-yos were licensed by Beech-Nut and came free inside one "Life Saver yo-yo bag of fun."

A black and white television commercial for the candy and yo-yo first aired in 1962. The commercial was filmed in New York City and featured Raymond A. Wesolowski, a young boy who went on to win the New York State Yo-Yo Championship at Freedom Land Amusement Park that same year. For winning the contest, he was also awarded a Schwinn Traveler 3-Speed bike. In 1963, Raymond won the New York State Spinning Top Championship at the Bandshell in Central Park and a trip to Disneyland the following summer. Raymond went on to compete in the Nationals and came in 4th or 5th place. He was also a Duncan Instructor while still in high school in Massapequa, New York. He made about 5 or 6 television commercials and appeared on numerous TV shows, including the December 11, 1963 episode of "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson", "Wonderama", and "The Chuck McCann Show".

Watch the original 1962 television commercial featuring Raymond Wesolowski using the Duncan Life Saver yo-yo.

Transcript of the television commercial:

Kids! What's the newest kind of Duncan yo-yo top?
A new Life Saver Duncan yo-yo top!
Where can you get your Life Saver yo-yo?
Right in one Life Saver yo-yo bag of fun!
Inside the yo-yo bag of fun, lots and lots of lucious candy Life Savers, a fistful of Beech-Nut Fruit Stripe gum and, one Life Saver yo-yo: White, Red, or Green!
Now, you can Rock the Cradle or, go Around the World while enjoying Beech-Nut Fruit Stripe gum. Yipes! Stripes!
Or, enjoy the flavor of real Life Savers while Walking the Dog! Woof! With a Life Saver yo-yo!
Now, lots of fun for everyone!
Get your Life Saver yo-yo bag of fun! Mm-mmm!
Don't forget: Tell mom right now to get your Life Saver yo-yo bag of fun the very next time she goes shopping!

Cost for the bag of candy that contained the yo-yo was 69 cents.
Because the yo-yo itself was not individually packaged inside the bag of candy, finding mint condition Life Saver yo-yos is challenging, but not impossible. The yo-yo would get jostled around inside the candy bag which often resulted in scratches, scrapes, and maybe even the flaking off of small chips of paint. An unsually-shaped Duncan yo-yo.
Other Views
Side, angled, large
Side, face, large

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