Ecorider

Showing posts with label Jeruel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeruel. Show all posts

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Kickstarter

 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.  



Sunday, August 2, 2020

Crystal puzzles

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.  



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving

You know, one puzzle I don't have is a Turkey.  I guess I will have to rectify that problem.  Maybe I can go get a puzzle and glue some feathers and a waddle to it.  Now there's an idea, DIY turkey.  Come to think of it, I don't have a cornucopia or any of the other Thanksgiving fixings.

But I do have A LOT to be thankful for this year.  I still have Mr. Man and he's still putting up with my collecting obsession.  Bug is still not into puzzles, but always helps with the crystal puzzle assembly.

I've got some amazing friends who I adore. I get to see SmaZ and his new creations on a regular basis, I meet Uwe for dinner once a fortnight at least.

I get to go on around 5 or 6 puzzle trips a year.  I love IPP and the Guangzhou parties are just a blast.

I get to travel quite a bit for work and I usually manage to make a few puzzle purchases and a side trip to meet a fellow puzzler or two.

I accomplished a dream by mass producing my own puzzle.  (and if my luck holds, it will be at a local attraction in the spring.)

I get to read Allard's and Kevin's and Gabriel's and Jerry's and Brian's  and Neil's and Oli's blogs.  That keeps me looking for puzzles to purchase, and others to drool over.  All of them write so much better than I do, so if you haven't read their posts yet, go do so today!

Oh yes, and I got a few new puzzles this year....a few hundred that is!

Yep.  Life is good.  I have a lot to be thankful for.  I hope you take the time to sit back and think over your puzzle blessings.

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 thinking...no 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.