He”s a man who truly took to heart the adage, “work a job you like, and you”ll never work a day in your life.” But he didn#t take up an ordinary job like banking or retail; he took up the second oldest toy in the world, the yo-yo, and made it his life.
Mr. Yo-Yo, or as he”s known otherwise, Bob Rule, began his yo-yo career in the late 1940s and soon became an employee of Duncan”s, the leading yo-yo company since 1929. Hired by Barney Akers, a Duncan pro for more than 50 years and the namer of most of the classic tricks like “walk the dog”, Akers would pay Rule a dollar or two to stand on a crate and do two-handed tricks during Akers” promotions.
After becoming a full-time demonstrator for Duncan, Rule worked in his hometown of Detroit while in high school. Then in early 1956, Rules traveled the roads with his yo-yo expertise. After a short time away from Duncan, Rule re-joined the team and hit the road running.
During the next six years, Rule got married, traveled throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, worked with famous yo-yo players and became the last paid player of the original Duncan company. In 1965, he left Duncan and settled down in Gwinnett to start a family.
But accustomed to always having something to play with, Rule couldn”t leave the toy business. That same year, he got into slot car racing, operating his own track and then working for Champion Slot Racing Products. Yo-yos were never far from his mind though # in 1970 he was granted a trademark for the name “Mr. Yo-Yo” that he still holds today.
From slot car racing, Rule went to remote-controlled (RC) cars. The founder of BoLink R/C Cars, Inc, a name known all over the U.S. among RC enthusiasts, Rule”s son Steve now owns BoLink and its sister company, RACEtech Motorsports, both operating out of Lawrenceville.
Recently nominated for the Yo-Yo Hall of Fame, Rule was also awarded the “Harvey Lowe Lifetime Achievement Award” (Harvey was the first World”s Champion in 1932). “Now retired and spending my days racing buggies, playing yo-yo”s, cataloging my yo-yo and memorabilia collection and sometimes driving my wife out of her mind, it”s my honest claim that “I have never held an honest job in my life”,” says Rule. Not a bad way to spend a lifetime.
For more information on Mr. Yo-Yo, visit www.mryoyo.com.