One of my favorite things about yoyo history is all the weird stuff that falls out when you shake the family tree. And of all the ill-advised yoyo designs from years past, by far the most compelling is the P213.
Originally conceived by Doctor Popular, and based off old combination yoyo/spin top toys like the Kusan Twin Twirler and the Cheerio Double Doozer, Project 213 was a combination yoyo and spin top with a more modern and functional design than those before it.
Project 213 had a brief surge of popularity in the late 90s / early 2000s that was mostly hampered by two things: first, it was just really damn weird. And second, you had to make them yourself because no one sold them. Granted, this was at at time when yoyo modding was enjoying a huge renaissance, helped in part by the new online resources that actually allowed players to show off their mods and swap tips and techniques, and also by the fact that suddenly there was so much raw material out there for use, and a lot of companies used interchangeable parts. But still…you either had to make it yourself, or find someone willing to, and neither was particularly easy.
While Doc Pop was certainly the first to really build tricks for P213 (and the guy who named it), it was Chris Neff who fully embraced the possibilities and continued working not only on tricks, but also on steadily improving the actual design of the thing and manufacturing them one at a time for sale to similarly obsessed yoyo players looking for a new challenge. Despite Chris’ best efforts, P213 still never really took off although it does enjoy a certain fondness in the hearts of a handful of players who look past the inherent impracticality of being really good at something that almost no one cares about.
Here are a couple of old videos of Chris Neff using a P213 to it’s fullest capabilities. Enjoy!
Chris Neff – Project 213 – Level 1
Chris Neff – Project 213 – Level 2