I wish there was a YYE equivalent of giving someone Reddit gold. This is a such a cool interview a piece of insight into the man himself! I originally thought the Pop-a-Dert was a play on being a father since he has the Eli and KC Derts, but I guess opening bottles is arguably a cooler story for the name It’s nice to see that he still makes a yoyo every now and then (as I think these were made late 2017 or early 2018… and only 8 of them!)
As for the chronology though, there were two models that predated the “original” Dert. There was a responsive wing shaped yoyo that he gave to his groomsmen and the Fatlip. I’m not sure when he got married, but the Wedding Dert (as it was referred to in a few old posts on YYN) was first. I guess if he never intended for the yoyo community to see those it makes sense he wouldn’t count it. The Fatlip, however, was sold at the 2006 Indiana State contest which is why most of the MoYo regulars never saw one (much to my chagrin as I was trying to find one).
It’s a shame Russ isn’t active outside of an occasional contest cameo. He posted from time to time on YYN but hasn’t been active online in over a decade at this point.
Derts will always be the ultimate homebrew