|Tom Kuhn No Jive 3 in 1
|Three piece wood
|An early, made in San Francisco, Tom Kuhn No Jive 3 in 1 maple yo-yo. Came in a Tom Kuhn-branded, three-toned brown display box. Note the "PATENT PENDING" text on the box front, directly below the No Jive text. The box design and box color was the first packaging from Tom Kuhn Custom Yo-Yos. Box design and coloring dates back to 1978 and was used by Tom until the mid 90s. The year of manufacture of the No Jive in this exhibit is unknown. However, based on the box packaging, the yo-yo's patina, the aged booklet, the spool's end sticker design, and the non-mechanical method in which the string was wound around the spool, I estimate that it is from the early 1980s.
The design of the No Jive 3 in 1 was years ahead of its time when it first released in 1978. One of the most frustrating things that yo-yo playing kids had to deal with for nearly 50 years was trying to untangle the inevitable knots that would occur between the inner yo-yo halves. Usually it was the result of a string trick gone wrong or an inexperienced player. Evidence of this past issue still exists today. I have bought numerous vintage Duncan yo-yos (and other brands) from the 50s and 60s, and even earlier, that still had their original (and dirty) string on them, albeit with miserable twists of knots near the axle. Knots on these vintage yo-yos are the tell-tale sign that the child simply gave up because the knot was practically inaccessible to fix.
Inaccessible, that is, until Tom Kuhn—not Duncan, ironically enough—readily solved the knot issue with his "[d]ismantlable tethered top with reversible halves" design that was granted US patent 4,207,701 on June 17, 1980. The design was released to market as the now famous No Jive 3 in 1. Today, we take the design for granted and think nothing of it. But back then, it was a significant improvement in yo-yo design and yo-yo play enjoyment. (In fact, it was a No Jive 3 in 1, Mandala 1 that got me back into yo-yo play, competitions, and eventually into yo-yo collecting.) Not long after Tom's patent was granted, other yo-yo makers began creating take-apart designs such as the Yomega Brain and Fireball, and the Playmaxx ProYo.
Each Tom Kuhn No Jive 3 in 1 yo-yo came with the following:
â€¢ 1x - Spool of "Genuine Tom Kuhn Custom Yo Yo String" to make your own.
â€¢ 2x - Wood (birch) axle sleeves.
â€¢ 1x - Instruction booklet with a cartoon caricature drawing of Tom Kuhn on the back cover.
Axle: Birch axle sleeve
Body: Kiln-dried eastern hard rock maple
Original retail price: $18 US.