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Tomy Pocketmate Yo-Yo - No. 20
Exhibit #3680
TypeProduction
ShapeSpecialty
AxleFixed
ColorBlack/chrome
PackagingDisplay Boxed
ConstructionMulti-piece plastic
ResponseNone
Diameter56 mm
GapFixed
Weight34 gm
ConditionMint in Package
Date1975
To1976
OwnerRick Brough
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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 (believe it or not).

Among the variety of 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 100% cotton yo-yo string tied through a hole in the axle 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 number 20 yo-yo seen in this exhibit was the second Tomy Pocketmate yo-yo model (Pocketmate Yo-Yo, number 19 was the first). Both halves of number 20 had the appearance of a racing car wheel with the "rubber tire" portion painted black and printed with Dunlop" in white. The Pocketmate Racing Tire Yo-Yo is harder to find–especially new–but not impossible. I managed to track one down in Japan 44 years later. The number 19 and 20 were sold only in Japan.

This yo-yo design is somewhat reminiscent of The Card yo-yo made by Shinobu Konmoto of Japan more than 35 years later.

For some reason, Dunlop Tires and yo-yos have combined forces over the years in Japan. See Bandai's Dunlop Dragon Cluster yo-yo from 2011.

Original retail price: 400¥
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Package back, large

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