Showing posts with label Crystal puzzles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crystal puzzles. Show all posts

Saturday, November 14, 2020


 I've backed many kickstarter projects over the years.  My most recent one that was completed was from Two Brass Monkeys.  But I'll not discuss that one for a month or two yet...

I've just found these two and thought why not.  The first, A-Puzzle-A-Day reminds me of the Philos birthday puzzle although, it doesn't come with the 3 1/2 inch floppy disk.  The man obviously bought a laser cutter and wants to use it.  Should I tell him tape will stop the burning of the edges of the wood?


The second Neuschwanstein Castle is dear to me.  I love the crystal puzzles and would really like to see this one come to be produced. I've assembled 380 of these since moving to Florida in August of 2018 ( I left a collection of well over 200 assembled puzzles in Hong Kong when I left but that's a story that won't be told here) and really would love to put this one together as well.  Sadly, with 16 days left, I don't think it will make the funding goal.  The price is in Hong Kong dollars which probably put most people off.  The HK$ is pegged to the US$ and the exchange rate is 7.8:1.  The puzzles are not as expensive as they look.  I ordered the early bird tier iv because I realized this drops the price of each puzzle to under US$15.  I can't buy them at that price here in the US.  I believe I even paid more for the larger ones when I bought them direct.  Even the castle by itself is well priced at US$31.  Add to that the option of getting a blue duck and a yellow apple on the higher tiers and I'm sold!  

The other problem with this kickstarter that I see as being a non-issue is completion once the funding period is over.  Lately there have been a lot of Hong Kong based Kick starters that have not been completed once the money has been handed over.  I don't see this as a problem at all.  First, Jeruel is a well established company.  They started out making kinatos in around 2002.  The company has really come along since then.  Now they make smart eggs as well as the crystal puzzles.  If this kickstarter is to be completed, I know they will produce this.  I think this is all part of the new bandwagon I see with other manufacturers.  I guess it helps with the initial molding costs.  Speaking from experience with my own puzzle, the amount they are looking for sounds about right.  

For those who don't know, Jeruel makes the crystal puzzles that are sold in the US branded as BePuzzled.  They have licensed their products to University Games.  In Asia you can find the under the Beverly brand name.  Along with Hanayama, they are the premier producer of these three-dimensional jigsaws. 

Add to that the fact that I count Lawrence Lau among my friends and I can guarantee he will follow through if the kickstarter goal amount is reached.  He is a kind and honest soul.  I feel honored to have met him so many years ago at the HKTGF.  

I really hope this one goes off. It would be even better if I could get an advanced copy to trial.  I can't wait to see what he has in store for next year.  I'm still pushing for a Santa Claus and his sleigh.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sick day puzzling

I've been having one of those holidays. You know the kind-four days off and all of them sick.  This horrid bug was brought home by my bug and by Sunday evening I was ready to kill her.  I had a weekend full of puzzling planned and instead, all I got to do was put together some crystal puzzles.  My poor body and brain would take no more than that.

Some of them are from Hanayama:

Some of them are from Beverly:
but most of them are from China:

 All of them are dead simple to put together.  They each have between 36-42 pieces so it's not even a big jig-saw puzzle we're talking about. Bug lives these things, and as they come out, I get them for her. The Hanayama are fantastic because the pieces are numbered and she just needs to follow them.  The Beverly are great because the paper that comes with the puzzle tells you how to put it together.  The China made ones?  They are a pain in the bum!  That upside-down octopus is so badly made its legs don't lay flat so the base is opened.  Nice thought though.

My only complaint?  I'm missing a couple of dwarfs!  Now I ask you, what is Snow White going to do with only 5 dwarfs???


Friday, December 30, 2011

On the Sixth Day of Christmas

My true love gave to me
Six Stars-a-shining

Five Puzzle Rings
Four Revo Mazes
Three Diamond Puzzles
Two Crystal Dolphins
And a Santa on a tree.

A tree is not a tree unless it has an angel on the top. But in this day and age, even a blog with signs of religion in it would be bashed so a star will have to do...But then I could argue that there was a star guiding a certain my house on Christmas Eve.  And that is why he sits on the bottom of the tree :-)

In this photo there are three Crystal puzzles and three 3^3 stars.  The yellow and blue crystal puzzles are once again made by Beverley and the other four are made once again by Yong Jin.  You see, that copy company can make puzzles that are different, innovative, all their own.  They just choose not to. Lazy people that they are.  I guess it is easier to make a mold from a mold.  But that doesn't explain the smaller sized puzzles.  Well, easy enough to do.  There is this machine that takes a 3D photo of something.  After that, it turns it into computer language and the operator simply inputs a number and a new size is born.  OK, maybe not that easy, but essentially that's it.

Back to YJ.  They made these stars.  Earlier they made a set of hearts that were released for Valentines day.  That same heart was later copied by Dian Sheng.  Do we see a pattern here?

Bram's puzzle rings from yesterday.  Wow!  They are not the easiest of puzzles to solve that's for sure.  I now have 3 of them and one of these years I'll get around to grabbing up the others.  I have sixth sense, weave five, and Take five. They don't solve at all in the same way a traditional puzzle ring does.  Bram talks a bit about it here.  And no, I still haven't taken it apart fully!

Monday, December 26, 2011

On the Second Day of Christmas

My true love gave to me
Two Crystal Dolphins
And a Santa on a cube tree.

There are two different dolphins on this tree.  Both are crystal puzzles.  The pink one is made by Beverley toys company out of Japan.  The blue one is made by Yong Jin from China.  The Beverley toys crystal puzzles are very nicely done.  They are already popped out of the mold frame and have very little flash left on them.  Perfect puzzles for children to play with and put together.  Bug and I have done the entire set now.  There are probably 50 different puzzles in the range.  (Many of which were gifted or sold to me at a very low cost-the office is just along my running route.)  A bit of interesting trivia.  The Disney Crystal puzzles are made in the same place, but sold by Hanayama.  The two companies owners are friends with each other and have a gentleman's agreement.  Hanayama sells the licensed products: Disney, Rody, Hello Kitty, and Sesame Street; while Beverley sells the rest.  The Crystal puzzles are made by Jeruel Industrial Company right here in HK-also known for Kinato puzzles.

Yong Jin is not a gentleman.  They make and sell copies of anything that sells.  If there is money in it, they will attempt to make it.  And by money I don't mean dollars, I mean a few cents.  They make so many copies at a time that they can afford to sell them very cheaply.  This is the company (or one of the companies) that makes puzzles for 3rd world countries, the same company that makes them for the market in China. The same company that makes them for places like Big Lots and Family Dollar and your local flea market.  So what is the quality like?  Well, most of their puzzles come with the mold frame still attached-think model cars.  You need to remove the frames then remove the flash.  When compared to Beverly or Hanayama, these are a poor second choice.  They also have gotten around direct copying of the former by making their puzzles just a bit smaller.  Those two dolphins?  The blue is 3/4 the size of the pink.  Oh yes, and most of the Yong Jin now come with a battery powered lcd light that flashes.  But be warned, turn it on and you can't turn it off.  So not a problem, just let the battery die.  Not so.  The batteries don't die gracefully-they die leaky.  Yuck!

And as I sit and find links, I see that Hanayama now has Tinker Bell! So guess who's going to go puzzle shopping tomorrow!

To answer your questions of yesterday Kevin, I can solve most of them.  The 11^11 was purchased at the HKTGF the first year it came out.  Along with 2 others.  One went to the lawyers, and one was shipped off to Greece (Rox the puzzle spy).  This one violates the Verdes patent and is only legally for sale in China.  So yes technically I can have it.  The helicopter cubes I have managed to memorize the solution while explaining it to a kid.  It has lost its magic and now sits on a shelf collecting dust.  See, for me once I can solve it again and again without longer fun.  The skewbs and the square 1's and 2's take a while for me to solve.  The rest are just 3^3 or 4^4 or 5^5.  And yes, they become tedious after a while so like many others they all just sit on the shelves.  The only one I haven't managed to solve is the 2x2x3 that is at the very top of the tree.  That is an odd puzzle that Oskar made a while ago.  I purchased it from his Shapeways shop.