Says every parent of every yoyo kid ever.
Short answer, no.
You also don't need to buy him the new video game system/running shoes/sport equipment/microscope/Lego...whatever it is.
Yo-yoing is a hobby like any other, once you get into it, you want ALL THE THINGS. Should you have everything? Probably not. But if buying him/her the $100 yoyo is going to keep them off the computer games for a month, its money well spent.
"But what about a yoyo from the dollar store??
Most of the time, they are garbage. A sure way to get your child to quit playing with the yoyo, and go back to the computer games.
You can generally get pretty far into the skill on a $10 yoyo, 20-40 if you want metal. They can be bought at any of the online yoyo stores.
Enter the Dollar Tree. This crazy dollar store actually managed to get the sweat shops to produce a decent beginner yoyo. Which has obsessed the yoyo world. I know I've been highly amused by this new "fad", people across North America, hunting their local areas for these yoyos, buying them by the dozen, 'modding' the heck out of them and generally having fun with yo-yoing.
Why has this happened?
I was at yoyo meet this week and the topic came up of how yo-yoing has gotten 'stale'. Yo-yoing has always gone in cycles, so this isn't a surprise. I've noticed a few things.
1. New manufacturers. In a niche market, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. In the last 3-4 years, we've gone from a handful of North American companies, to over a dozen. Heck, we had 5 in Canada alone for a while, and our National championship usually draws less than 50 competitors.
2. Everything is the same. The answer to the question "I'm new, what should I buy" is "it doesn’t' matter, they are all good". There are differences in styles, and occasionally a company comes out with something novel, but the quality is pretty consistent across the board. Heck, you can get a $15 metal yoyo out of china that (If you don't mind a bit of vibe) plays as well as a $150 yoyo.
3. The elite have gotten eliter. When I started yo-yoing (a whole 4 years ago) Hiroyuki Suzuki’s 2005 World Championship video was still hot stuff. Now that wouldn’t even get him past prelims. The best have gotten better, as well they should but it seems to me that the elite are now so far beyond the beginner, that it’s hard to relate. I know I watch the top players and, well, get bored. So fast, so technical, I just have no hope of keeping up, and often can’t even follow what they are doing. Videos tend to be the same thing. Here I am doing my tricks, ho hum.
Again, what’s new? Not much
So I think it’s been great seeing this whole dollar tree yoyo thing explode. It’s been something new and shiny, that anyone who wants to can get involved in for a mere dollar and change, and it’s been about people having fun, trying new things, and being a community. Which, it turns out, is what yo-yoing is all about.