The commentary for the Simpsons episode about yo-yos mentioned that apparently Duncan, being aware of the faddish nature of the yo-yo’s appeal, promotes their product in multi-year cycles. The problem of course is that the classic Duncan yo-yo is a piece of crap. Someone on The Dope mentioned years ago that they were still using molds that had long since warped. But Duncan bought out Pro-Yo, so now it’s the Duncan name on a lot of those nice rim-weighted ball-bearing transaxle yo-yos.
These days, there is an active mod community for yo-yos, and there are sites that specialize in selling the parts to customize your yo-yo. If you look on YouTube you’ll see that there are young people out there who are fantastic with the things, though most of them seem to be from Japan. Japan out-nerds the U.S. in so many obsessive hobbies.
They may not enjoy the popularity or mindspace that they once did, but if you are into yo-yos, it’s an exciting time to be alive.