We all know about some of the more famous “collabo” yoyos from recent years. While rare and usually quite expensive to acquire, the mix of qualities from various manufacturers sometimes allows these throws to reach a level of play few others can match.
But, what you might not have known is that for every Galactic Goose and Wooly Markmont, there are just as many designs that didn’t make the cut. Maybe they were too far ahead of their time, or production cost was just too high…whatever the reason, they remain some of our favorite manufacturer’s greatest secrets. Luckily, I’ve dedicated the last few months to tracking down and reviewing some of these lost creations. Who knows, enough positive feedback and we might persuade a full on production run. On to the throws…
One Drop/CLYW “Wooly Dietz”
I suppose the success of the Wooly Markmont may have spurred these Oregon and Canadian natives to give it another shot. And on the face of it, things look good. Take two fast and light throws, but incorporate the Dietz’s rim weight with the Wooly’s floaty speed and you should have a winner. Unfortunately, after my short time with this throw it seems that maybe this design was a little too ambitious. The yoyo has some playable vibe, but often falls towards the Dietz’s heavy rim on improper string hits. The bearing is also not without issue. It’s actually a 9 ball, but because no current bearing manufacturer was willing to do this asymmetric design, it’s an 8 ball bearing that comes with a ninth ball in a Ziploc baggie. I didn’t feel like this improved performance at all and I think that a traditional 8 ball would have sufficed.
YYF/OD “Steve Brown Project”
This is just mind boggling. Early last year Tyler Severence overheard Paul Dang’s idea to incorporate the beloved Project into a larger throw with bigger rims, and expressed to Ben that YYF might also benefit from this combination of attributes. The resulting Steve Brown Project was completed before One Drop’s Dang released, but neither Tyler nor Paul preferred it to what would later become Paul’s signature throw. I can totally see why. This is almost unplayable and it’s as if no effort was put into the design at all. I’m tempted to say OD and YYF just screwed two vastly different yoyos together. At any rate, there was a short campaign by both companies supporting the creation of a 0a division to best accommodate this throw, but the idea of a string-less class never wholly caught on with World’s sanctioning bodies and the Steve Brown Project remains an obscure historical footnote.
Turning Point/X3 “Posigoutte”
I can’t think of many historical instances in which Japan and France have teamed up to create anything truly great, and this won’t be the first. This throw vibes terribly, even for a prototype, and I’m just not sure what they were thinking. Rumor has it that Marcus Koh felt the Positron could have been slightly lighter and faster to match his 2011 World’s performance, but this just seems like a sloppy solution. Good on Marcus for making do with the Positron. About the only positive thing I can say is that this throw grinds quite well, but only if your arm happens to be disfigured in such a way to accommodate the tilt of the throw. So, while this yoyo may never reach production, it is the first instance of handicap accessible yoyo design.
I don’t know, this one seemed destined for greatness. Nice rim weight all around, cool colorways, and although they’d have only made a profit on half of it, you can’t beat this throw’s DNA. This concept began when Heath contacted the CLYW boys in an effort to get a larger diameter Skywalker on the market. The results are a mixed bag. The silicone and snow tire response actually works very well and provides a nice, unresponsive feel with tight binds. On the other hand, Heath’s insistence on using a short axle means that it cannot cover the gap and requires the Chiefwalker be held together with duct tape during play. Heath was ultimately dissatisfied and decided to focus future efforts on the Flying Hut.
VSNYYC/CLYW “Bear Vs. Newton”
This happens to be my favorite of the protos I was able to get my hands on. The logic is simple. If aluminum is good, and 7075 aluminum is better, then both must be outstanding. A fast and hard hitting design, the BvN is one of those throws that makes you feel like a better player. It’s hard to explain, but you’re strangely energized and inspired by its capability. Your mind runs wild with new trick variations and you just can’t put it down, not even to sleep. I was fully prepared to sell everything I own to acquire more BvN’s, but luckily, it was later explained to me that during my time with this design I’d been smoking meth for 3 days and hadn’t actually thrown a yoyo.