The yo-yo’s commonly recounted “Philippine weapon and hunting tool” origin story is based on myth and misinformation, likely a result of overenthusiastic marketing (the toy’s actually a few millennia old). This is clear, however: The modern yo-yo, as we know and call it today, did indeed come from the Philippines!
Pedro Flores, a Filipino immigrant in the USA, created the first modern commercial yo-yo!
Although patents for similar toys existed, Pedro Flores got a U.S. patent for the design that featured the Philippine innovation of using a looped slip-string around the axle (allowing for tricks) that he played with in his youth. He called it the yo-yo, and started the Yo-yo Manufacturing Company in 1928.
Made of wood, the yo-yos were a success. He sold the company, patent and trademark rights to Donald F. Duncan, Sr., creating the famous Duncan Toy Company, the transfer finalized in 1932.