Back in 1974, MIT Professor James Williams led students in creating the world's largest yo-yo. From the MIT Black History site:
When the 35-pound contraption, made of two bicycle wheels, was ready, Williams took it to the roof of a 21-story building at MIT. He anchored the cord to an I beam, hooked up a motor which jerked the line rhythmically like a finger and let the yo-yo drop. The wheels, revolving up to 1,000 times a minute, reached a speed of more than 80 miles an hour. Then, the yo-yo climbed more than two-thirds of the way back up the 400-pound-test-weight nylon cord...
Williams was offered $5,000 for the yo-yo by a Las Vegas casino (“I feel sensitive about selling it”), and laughed off suggestions that he drop it from Canada’s tallest structure, Toronto’s 1,800-foot Canadian National Tower. “There were all sorts of radio and TV offers,” he says wearily.
Arizona Daily Star - Feb 5, 1974
The record no longer stands. According to Guinness
, the current record holder is Beth Johnson who, in 2012, successfully tested a yo-yo measuring 11 ft 10.75 in diameter and weighing 4,620 lb.