Alex Skelly knows the yoyo started as a hunting tool in the Phillipines.
But the soon to turn 11-year-old Walnut Grove boy has found that today, it has a disarming power as people watch his feats with the round devices.
As one of the 10 finalists in the recent Langley Has Talent contest, he astounded audiences with his skill.
Taking the sting out of not making it farther in the talent contest is the attention it's garnered him from several media outlets interested in showing his eyepopping yoyo abilities.
Alex received a yoyo as a gift when he was six but he's not part of a yoyo dynasty. Sure, mom Michelle and dad Kevin played with yoyos as kids, but interest wanes for most childhood pursuits, and focus changes.
"We're all skiers," Michelle said. Still Alex remains intrigued with the device, even in this day and age of video games and other pursuits that entice most kids.
So what's the fascination?
"'Cuz it's fun," Alex summed up.
That's not to say his whole life is yoyo. He's a member of Flip City gymnastics, skis with his family, has a hip hop dance group with friends at school, and has played soccer.
He has a yoyo on the go around the house (surprisingly, he hasn't broken anything) and when he's allowed to use it at school.
"I would yoyo before the bell," said the James Kennedy Elementary student. "I'll yoyo at recess."
It can add up to about two to three hours per day, which means mom and dad have created rules: not in the mornings, because it's too rushed; not in public places where people could be impacted; not at the dinner table or near anything that could be struck; and homework comes first.
Alex didn't just practise with his yoyo. He went online to find out what is possible with the toy, and where he can buy them.
"That's all he wanted for Christmas was yoyos," his mom said.
His least expensive is one found at a dollar store, while his priciest model runs around $200.
There's a lot of Christmas and birthday money tied up in his approximately 100 yoyos, including specialty models that have ball bearings, and off-string models.
With that many to choose from, he's always got some on him, which means he has hours of entertainment when he is away from home. Other pursuits aren't quite so portable. It's not really practical to pull out an X-Box on a ski hill or at a park.
"It's good," Alex said. "You can carry it in your pocket."
His younger brother Adam, seven, enjoys trying out tricks but hasn't developed the same quiet passion for the devices as Alex.
Alex can't foresee a time when he doesn't enjoy playing with yoyos.
After all, he has seen what's possible. He's been to a few competitions, and saw an elderly man who was still going strong.
What would Alex like to do for a profession? "Make yoyos."