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Thursday, February 18, 2010

   Largest Yo-Yo collection - world record set by Dr. John Meisenheimer

 ORLANDO, Fla., USA -- Dr. John Meisenheimer, 51, owns over 6,000 yo-yos , setting the world record for the Largest Yo-Yo collection .

   Photo: Dr. John Meisenheimer is seen with part of his museum-quality display of thousands of yo-yos in Orlando, Fla.
   (enlarge photo)

   Some of his yo-yos are antiques, including a circa 1790s brass toy from England; a few are rare, like a wooden prototype—one of only six known to exist—made around 1955 by the Duncan Toy Co. for Coca-Cola; and others are quirky, like the ones that blow bubbles, generate sparks or emit scents.

    One of Meisenheimer's most unusual finds—and definitely his largest—is a 6-foot-tall, 820-pound yo-yo made in 1990 by a woodworking class at Shakamak High School in Jasonville, Ind. (pop. 2,448). When he spotted the super-sized toy on eBay, it was being stored at a Florida fairground.

"I was the only person to bid on it," says Meisenheimer, who keeps the wooden giant in a backyard shed. "You can imagine the logistics; we had to get a flatbed truck and a forklift to move it," he recalls. "It is operational, and I keep threatening to get a crane and launch it."

 He also created the parody poster “Lucky’s Periodic Table of Yo-Yos” and Mr. Bandalore - a statue made of 603 different yo-yos.

    His world's Largest Yo-Yo collection also features the world’s largest wooden yo-yo, the Shakamak Yo-Yo which is 6 feet tall and weighs 820 pounds.

    Lucky is best known for his book “Lucky’s Collectors Guide to 20th Century Yo-Yos”. He's now the chairman of the history and collecting committee of the American Yo-Yo Association.

   Meisenheimer's fascination began while attending the University of Kentucky in Lexington in the early 1980s. Rather than standing around doing nothing in between classes, he bought a yo-yo and practiced tricks.
    As his skills improved, so did his interest. Soon he was scouting antique malls and flea markets, buying armloads of vintage yo-yos and learning everything he could about them.

   "It is the history that fuels my passion," he says. "Finding an unusual yo-yo is like finding a new piece of history."

    Part of his house has been turned into a museum quality display of roughly 3 thousand yo's yos. There are more in the attic...the total may be 10 thousand. He's lost count.

    It's not unusual for John "Doc Lucky" Meisenheimer, 51, to pull a yo-yo from his pocket and perform a trick or two while standing in the supermarket checkout line or mingling with guests at a party. Sometimes the Orlando, Fla., dermatologist even yo-yos while conferring with patients.

    His wife, Jacquie, 47, takes her husband's antics in stride. Before the couple married 14 years ago, many dates were spent shopping for yo-yos. "I sort of knew what I was getting into," she says, laughing.

   Bob Malowney, director of the National Yo-Yo Museum in Chico, Calif., calls Meisenheimer the dean of yo-yo collectors. "He has dug deeper into the history of the yo-yo than anyone," he says. "He shares his knowledge unselfishly, and his world's Largest Yo-Yo collection is a cause of admiration."

   Meisenheimer's impressive collection continues to grow. He buys and trades yo-yos online; patients bring him yo-yos from around the world; and, any time he unwraps a gift—well, he's pretty sure what's inside. "It's usually a yo-yo that's kind of neat, or maybe one I don't have, and that's perfect," he says.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

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