Yes, Tom is still very much alive. He no longer makes the actual yo-yo’s which bear his name, but many of them are still made using his original designs. He was not the first person to use a ball bearing in a yo-yo (that was a Swedish company called SKF), but his SB-2 was the first metal ball bearing yo-yo and was one of the yo-yo’s which really helped bearings gain popularity.
I assume you’re talking about either the Wood Rocks yo-yo or the Lightning (both $10). If so, the WR a pretty good player. It’s really good for stall tricks and plays a lot like a Duncan ProFly. The Lightning is imperial shaped and an old BC (Brad Countryman) model. I find that it’s a bit heavy as a looper.
Best Tom Kuhn model (imo) is the No Jive, hands down. Unfortunately they’re pretty hard to find and you find A LOT of variation between the different versions that have been produced over the years.
edit: Ninja’d by Giroux.