Sunday, August 2, 2020
When I was in Hong Kong, I used to attend the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair every year. While there, I got to know the HK representatives of Jeruel (Beverly). Through them, I acquired many different puzzles. They made Kinato puzzles to begin with, and although these didn't sell well, I did get a few variations of them to be posted on at a later date. For this blog post though, I will only be discussing their Crystal Puzzles.
Jeruel (Beverly) is not the only company to make Crystal Puzzles. Artbox also makes Crystal Puzzles, as does Bandai, Disney, Hanayama, Happywell, Huaxinda, Junghwan, Ling Zhi Crystal Blocks, Magnif, Megahouse, Mini (cooper), Takara Tony, Yanoman, and Yong Jun Toys. The two most prolific designers are of coarse Jeruel and Hanayama.
A bit of trivia regarding these two companies is the gentleman's agreement on what types of puzzles they make. Hanayama makes Disney, Jeruel makes all the rest. Sounds like a fair deal to me. Yanoman made small keychain sized puzzles, Disney of course makes Disney characters-thus far only BB8 and R2D2. Bandai makes Gundam and Hello Kitty Crystal puzzle type characters. Happywell makes Marvel comics, Miffy, and a variety of vehicles. Yong Jun Toys makes a lot of copies, but they have begun to branch out and make a new range of puzzles that have not been seen before.
Our collection to date has 309 puzzles with another 16 on order and 12 more that I am hunting down. As I am typing this, two more puzzles came in to assemble.
These puzzles are not for the average puzzler. They are more of a 3D jigsaw puzzle. I started on them when my daughter was young as a way to get her involved in puzzling. Since then I've managed to collect all that have been designed by the major companies and am now in a state of simply adding more as they come out. For the longest time I would assemble 2-4 puzzles over lunch. When this pandemic hit and we decided to stay at home, I realized this would be a good time to complete the rest of the puzzles that were not finished. The majority of them took around 30 minutes to assemble. Some of the larger puzzles took the better part of the day.
These puzzles range in size from 9 to 104 pieces. I would have to say Zodiac puzzles were the poorest quality. There are two that I had to purchase again because the pieces didn't fit and broke the first time. The worst to assemble was the guitar, the easiest I suppose is the heart or diamond as they are mirror image sides. The Beverley 'horses' on the top shelf look very pretty, but are rather poor quality in my opinion. The wings are fiddly to attach and don't really stay on well. The Yanoman keychains are quite difficult as the pieces are so tiny.
The earliest puzzles to come out were the Magnif puzzles in 1977. They produced the apple (red and white versions), an egg, and the 'love heart' which was a heart inside a cube. These can still be found on eBay or other sites. Jeruel began producing crystal puzzles in 2004 and Hanayama began in 2010. Almost immediately the Chinese companies began to make copies of these.
And if anyone knows where to get the Hello Kitty keychain, I'd love one.
The display case we have these in is backlit with Hue light strips plus. There is one base pack and 8 extensions in the cabinet. I love that I can change the color of them with my mood. White light dimmed to 50% works best though. The cabinet came mirrored to begin with as did the rest of the house. This particular cabinet is above the bedroom wet bar. We decided it would be better to have the crystal puzzles here than bar glasses. Just a warning, the rest of this post is very photo heavy. Enjoy.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
One of the highlights of my year is the GZ meet in October. It usually happens over one of the weekends of the national day holiday. Mainly I guess because everyone can get there and we have time to spend together. This year there is no GZ meet. Instead, friends have come to HK for the Asian championships. Now I'm not a competitor or a speed cyber at all. But if my friends are there I'll go.
I've been busy working but last Sunday I managed lunch with Otis. Always a pleasure. Yesterday after work I ran to the venue and met Michael, Otis, DaYan, and a lad from Shenzhen whose name escapes me. We all had a nice hot pot dinner and some great puzzle and non puzzle chat. During dinner some great (non puzzle) news was delivered and I discovered DaYan and family were off to Disney on Saturday so I was volunteered to be the tour guide. We rode a few rides (Da Yan Managed to solve a puzzle while riding on Autopia!) and then headed for lunch at the Hollywood Hotel. I was disappointed because there were no characters there. But the food was good and the kids played a bit in the game room. Then it was back to the park for a few more hours of play. Four rides and DaYan and his family went off to play some more. Bug and Miss N. went their separate way and I headed off to the competition to meet Uwe.
Now I'm going to be honest here and say that I find competitions incredibly boring. I enjoy the company and the cubers though so I go along. And even thought I say that, I found this year to be quite interesting as I met a bunch of people from different countries along the way. I walked around, snapped a few photos, chatted with Jing and Ulrich for a while and then we went to dinner. I guess they were so far behind schedule that our disappearing for an hour or two didn't much matter. We returned to the venue around 8:30 and waited some more....this is the way of competitions, lots and lots of waiting.
Uwe did a little thing with his ball cubes and the treasure chests. The players were happy, they got free cubes.
Which brings me to question, what about the helpers. I know they get the t-shirt and a pin, but does anyone ever think to give them cubes? ha! I just did! Lucky draw I guess. This could be interesting. :) I'm feeling devilish!
Today is the finals and the presenting of awards and such. The end of the competition and the end of the exhibition. Time to bring my toys back home where they belong. It was great to see others enjoy them, but it will be nice to see them back on their shelves.
Ok, me? I'm off to go pick up a few toys for Otis and then head over to bore myself to tears yet again.....