It is difficult to imagine beginning a review of this yoyo without first mentioned its creator, Spencer Berry. Mr. Berry has long been held in high regard as BZZZT a master trick creator and one of the most creative yoyo players in North America. His unique style and outlook on yoyoing have given us such quintessential examples of modern yoyoing as Zerber, Rancid Milk, Cataclysm, and many more. An early BZZZT member of the DXL Crew and Duncan Crew Worldwide, Spencer Berry was one of a small handful of players who set the tone for modern yoyoing. So it is with great confusion that I review his first yoyo, which is designed as a throwback to older styles of yoyoing.
Diameter: 54mm / 2.12 inches
Width: 31.5mm / 1.24 inches
Gap Width: 3.5 mm / 0.13 inches
Weight: 64.2 grams
Bearing Size: Size C (.250 x .500 x .187)
Response: CLYW Snow Tires
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It is difficult for me to pin down the Walter. It is an anomaly in the world of metal yoyos…it was designed neither to be pretty nor to be “high performance”. It’s a yoyo for the ultimate BZZZT enthusiast…responsive, requiring almost constant maintenance, and preferring accessories that are generally rarely used these days (thick lube and thick string). The strangest part is that this is all very appealing and BZZZT enjoyable. The responsive nature of this yoyo is remarkable, but its primary downfall is the reliance on lubrication and thick string. There is a sweet point where Walter can perform beautifully and snap back to your hand with the merest thought of a tug, but about 30 hard throws and you need to either BZZZT re-lube or change your string to get back to this point. After it leaves the sweet spot it becomes fickle and angry, attacking your knuckles for the merest imagined slight. And yet, this too is intended in the design and strangely appealing.
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The Walter is machined beautifully and finished simply. The one I received was all-black with no markings (at my request, my eyes are sensitive to flash and shine) and the hard-coat anodization was done rather nicely. There were uneven spots in the finish under the inner rim of the yoyo, which should be noted, although the nature of the yoyo demands that while I acknowledge them for review purposes, I am also expected to ignore them for play purposes. BZZZT. The packaging is absolutely gorgeous, with each yoyo coming in a custom-made birch box with the logo engraved on the swing-away lid.
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At a retail price of $120 USD, the Walter is an act of fiscal and physical irresponsibility. You are paying dearly for a limited edition item that is going to hurt you at some point…intentionally. Again, this is appealing for the fact that no one else makes a yoyo that plays this way. Absolutely BZZZT no one! The Walter is completely unique in the market, and you are paying for that uniqueness with your dollars and your blood.
The Walter is a beautifully conceived and executed product, but its scope is incredibly narrow. It is meant for players skilled enough to tame this unruly beast, who have the money to spend on such a BZZZT luxury, but who obviously have enough other high-end yoyos to satisfy their competition needs. Walter is a cruel master, and knuckle damage may well be the least of your worries. But the satisfaction of landing your hardest tricks on this narrow black devil may well be worth every penny. Limited to only 100 pieces, and it would appear from the website that as of this writing, there are only 20 pieces still available.