Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Toy patented by 2 Cincinnatians

Cincinnati toy inventor Mike Hoeting, 37, has always had a yo-yo - it's a staple of anyone's toy collection, he says.

"They're always hot. They never really go away," Hoeting says. "I remember everyone had them on the playground in grade school, and if you didn't have a yo-yo, then something was wrong with you."

There's nothing wrong with Cincinnati yo-yo fans - especially since the toy was patented in 1866 by two Cincinnatians, James L. Haven and Charles Hettrick. They may not have invented it, but they were smart enough to patent it.

Miles Altman, owner of King Arthur's Court Toys, says yo-yos range in price from $1.99 to $50, depending on the axle and auto return mechanism. Altman remembers a few years back when yo-yo's popularity was soaring. He was selling yo-yo repair kits, videos, replacement string and yo-yo holsters - you know, for those hard-core yo-yoers who might need to bust out their yo-yo in a street challenge.

Playing with yo-yos is contagious, says Harvey Meier, director of marketing for Johnny's Toys. "It's a great time-waster, like a rocking chair. It gets you nowhere, but it's a great thing to do."

Gina Daugherty

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