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Duncan Champion of the Yo-Yo Top Tournaments trophy
Exhibit #3980
Size241 mm tall
Width152 mm
OwnerRick Brough

Duncan Yo-Yo Top Tournaments Champion Awarded to trophy. These 1950s era Duncan trophies are hard to find, especially without a name engraved on the metal plaque. This trophy came from Detroit, Michigan.

It is not clear how these trophy's were awarded. The use of the term Tournaments (plural) on the engraved plaque suggests that the trophy may have been awarded to a player who successfully won consecutive yo-yo contests up to the regional level or possibly the national level. I have also learned that such a grand trophy was awarded to a yo-yo competitor for coming in second place at a Duncan contest in Tacoma, Washington in 1954.

The maker of the trophy was Dodge, Inc. Dodge -- one of the world's largest manufacturers of trophys at the time -- began in Chicago, Illinois in the mid 1920s by Ray E. Dodge. Ray was a former middle-distance runner in the 1924 Olympics and the 1925 Pan American Games. In 1930 he moved the company from Chicago to Los Angeles to begin making Hollywood's Academy Award "Oscars" in association with the Southern California Trophy Company. In 1949, the company began manufacturing "Emmys" for the television industry. They also manufactured Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl trophies. A 1948 catalog for Dodge, Inc. of Los Angeles, California, Newark, New Jersey, and Miami, Florida, advertised "the master-line of gifts for the discriminating buyer". The company used five different finishes for its various cast metal pieces used on trophy's. For the Duncan Mr. Yo-Yo statuette, a gold finish was applied to the cast metal. In 2007, Ray E. Dodge passed away March 31, 1985 at the age of 84. He had been a resident of the Miami area since 1950.

Today, finding a vintage Duncan award trophy in this condition and without the engraved name of a yo-yo champion is challenging. Interestingly, the ivory-colored base of the trophy is more common and fairly easy to replace if it becomes chipped or cracked. Dodge made other themed trophies that used the same base and plaque metal as the trophy in this exhibit. What would be difficult to replace is the engraved plaque and the Duncan Mr. Yo-Yo statuette with the yo-yo "string" going from Mr. Yo-Yo's hand to the tiny yo-yo, in Walk the Dog fashion. In later years (1960s and on), the metal wire simulating the yo-yo string and the tiny yo-yo were both incorporated into a single statuette design as seen here.

Of historical interest...
See a photograph of the Duncan New York Toy Fair 1952 showing, among other things, the same trophy seen in this exhibit.
Other Views
Front, angled, large
Close-up of statuette and plaque
Front and back
Sides and base, underside

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