Ecorider

Showing posts with label Mefferts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mefferts. Show all posts

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.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Just another Sunday.

Today was a late breakfast meeting with Kim (WCA rep), Calvin (HK Nowstore), Uwe (Meffert's), and yours truly. We got to see a few up and coming puzzles from Meffert's (hint: one is an older idea finally come to life. I've lusted after it since I saw the first photo of it. And like Schultz, "I know nuting")

After a bit of play we started to talk business. Boring stuff really. Who is judging what competition, who is giving out what prize, where everyone sits, t shirt sizes, puzzle displays. Boring stuff.

Kim went off for an interview, Calvin and his wife went off for work and Uwe, Katherine, and I went for lunch and a bit of shopping.

At two I had an interview with a local paper and drug Uwe along. I mean why not? He's given me so many of the puzzles in my collection over the years it would have been rude not to. I talked for the better part of an hour and then handed the reporter over to Uwe. He explained the pillowing of his new pyramid (because I just told the reporter that the pyramid is one of my favorites-it really is) and then went on to talk about why HK and when he started. That sort of thing. While all that was going on Kim was working on solving my exchange puzzle!

We parted company around 3:30. Uwe went to get his hair tamed and Kim and I talked security for the exhibition.

Once again I leave you with photos of the day.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Skewb transformations

Over on TP a young lad made a puzzle out of cardboard and good for him!  What a creative idea.  Seriously, I love what he did.

The photos that he posted got me thinking because I remember doing something similar ages ago.  After a bit of discussion, the puzzles needed for the transformation were found and sods law, I couldn't find what I was looking for!  But that has never stopped me!  I made the puzzle any way.  So today, you get photos of Rox "building a puzzle". (actually it's two puzzles, but whose counting?)

To begin with you need two different puzzles-a skewb diamond, and a skewb cube.  Preferably the Meffert's brand rather than the Mozhi but hey, I'm not going to tell you what to buy.  Be warned though, the Mozhi breaks easily.

Now this is so typical.  I couldn't find a tiled skewb even though I have a few.  All I could find was a holy Skewb so there you have it.  Complain all you want about this not being the 'original' but hey, we make due.

So the first step is to tear those puzzles apart. Skewbs are easy that way.  You just twist a bit and stick a flat head screwdriver edge in there and off you go. Pieces every where!

Next step, choose your core!  To make the cubeoctahedron version, you need the core from the diamond.  To make a star (of sorts) you need the core from the skewb.  Yes, they really are different.

Step 3 is to choose your bits.  In the case of the cubeoctahedron, you need to take the centers from both cubes and combine them.  All left over pieces-the corners-go into the star version.

Step 4: put the bits back into the cores!  Easy as pie.

Repeat the entire process for the next puzzle.  Done!

And now you have two new puzzles to play with.
Ok, so if you really want it to look nice, you need to take the stickers/tiles off and completely redo them.  Which leads me to my next idea...I'm off to email Uwe and ask for a few more puzzles.

Solving?  There is none with what I have made here.  maybe the star shaped one could be solved-I vaguely remembered it as being the case from when I really thought about it ages ago.  But the other-not at all unless the stickers are fixed.

Two new puzzles out of two old puzzles.  An easy transformation that even Rox can make!  (did you see that I made it easy for you Kevin by adding the links to purchase these?)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Soduko ball and gem 4

Yet again Chinese new year holiday has come and gone.  From an outsider looking in, the holiday is similar to Christmas in the States.  Displaced/relocated families that need to travel sometimes great distances to visit family.  too many kids, in-laws you would rather do with out...too much food.  I guess the one major difference is this thought that only men drink alcohol and then, that it is only the 'mature' men. My holiday scene includes tv's blaring because one cannot hear it over the mahjong tiles rattling, which leads to shouting because you can't hear the person next to yup because of all the other noise in the small 300' living room filled with a family of 30 or so. 

So what's a girl to do then?  Why pull out a puzzle, pop in the earbuds, crank up the tunes and puzzle the night away (until the good brother-in-law realizes that you have yet to ave a drink 3 hours into the night).  And before you go getting bad ideas about me, no I'm not an alcoholic, I really don't drink at home, but alcohol sure helps when you really don't speak the local lingo. 

My puzzles of choice this year? Meffert's new soduko ball cube and a Da Yan gem.

The Soduko ball is quite the challenge and I'm embarrassed to say I still have not solved it.  The object like any soduko is to have 9 different colors on each of the six faces with no two colors being the same.  This was made with a bit of help from Geert Hellings.  There is a nice little write up over on Twisty Puzzles by Geert about it.  I know a lot of people don't like this one for its appearance, and while granted it doesn't look cube like, it is a nice design.  You see, not all puzzles are puzzles for puzzlers.  (say that three times fast I dare you!) Uwe is very excited about this as a toy/game/puzzle for seniors and very young children.  He is keen on making a puzzle that will keep the cerebral neurons firing and stay off the affects of aging.  Here's hoping he's right and playing with toys will make that happen.  I plan on spending at least a few years after I retire playing with these things.
My other puzzle of play this holiday was the toss off I got from Da Yan in January.  The Gem 4 to be exact (I had to just ask Otis to get the number on this one)  Now this one is still a doddle to solve.  If you can solve a helicopter, then you can solve this.  Or if you can solve a dino cube, then you can solve this.  Me?  Yeah. It's been solved and played with again and again.  This puzzle is the one that turns on the faces like a megaminx AND along the middles.  I've just been told it is a 'deep cut' puzzle.  Ok, I'll believe that. 

And now I had best get back to my company.  I've a friend from Beijing here going through boxes and boxes of puzzles.  I'm not at all sure what he's found, but he seems to be having fun.  


Monday, January 23, 2012

My rarest puzzle (and a loaner from a friend)

On 6 January of this past year clausewe posted a thread on TP entitled "extreme rare twisty puzzles".  This in turn prompted Andreas to go looking for something he saw along the same lines, and he came up with this thread.  Of course he had to send me a message right away asking what I knew of these puzzles, and I was more than happy to answer.

Now way back in 2000 I got my hands on a Chi Gung Ball.  Bug used it as a play toy when she was still a tiny little thing.  I have had that one lounging around for such a long time, I honestly forget I have it until someone asks me about it.  Then it's a bit of a dig and out it comes.  Well, Andreas' post and Uwe's proximity and his wanting me to rewrite that little something that is on the brainstick that was found in Oskar's Treasure Chest  made me think to pull in a favor.  No, really, all I did was call Uwe and ask him if I could borrow the space massager for a week or two.

So what's the big deal with these two puzzles?  They are fairly rare.  No, I changed my mind, these two are extremely rare.  Uwe has told me that he's only got that one sample of the space massager left or he would let me have it. And the Chi Gung Ball?  We know of 3 that exist now.  His, Mine, and Jerry Slocum's (who else?)
OK, so here you go.  We need photos right?
First up is the Space Massager.  This one has 6 sets of 4 balls in each of the following colors:  blue, green, orange, yellow, white, red as well as 10 pink balls.  All are transparent and the base of the puzzle itself is a pure white color.  (Now, if you look closely, you can still see bits of that white-I wonder if Uwe has taken up smoking and not told anyone, or if the pollution in Shenzhen is discoloring the plastic) The object of this is quite simple.  Make all the colors line up in a row.  As you can see here, I've managed to muck up this one a bit.  The pink and yellow are not in order.  It turns on each of the four center dials, and the endcaps can be rotated into one of the six different directions.  It's a tricky bugger to solve those last few pieces, but completely doable.  More difficult than the Babylon tower that's for sure.

Next up is the Chi Gung Ball.  Now this one is one hard puzzle to turn. You can see it here from the top view, and while it looks the same, it's slightly different from the above.  First off, the puzzle cannot turn along the center lines.  I've shown it from the top and side here, and as you can see, there are still 8 columns that must be ordered. There are still 4 balls per column, but this one is a bit different in that there are 8 of each color instead of just 4 as in the space massager.  So I guess technically, this one is a bit easier to solve.  Each ball has more places that it can stay in.  You will also notice a black ball on this one. That is a place holder and there is only one in this puzzle.  The other major difference is that the centers don't turn. They are held in place with one solid piece. And I do mean solid.  This puzzle isn't a lightweight one. It's got some mass to it.  Like all good puzzles of the 80's!

Ok, so solving wise?  Well, it did take a while to do so, but it's still fun.  It reminds me of the hungarian towers or the Otto Wu ball.

Last photo for you all:   A rare look inside!

Don't ask me where you can get one, I don't know.  As I said, I know of one and three samples of both.  If anyone else has one, I'd love to hear of it.  But I can tell you something you can do if you are sincerely interested in getting one of your own.  Go over to Meffert's and scroll all the way to the bottom and click the boxes to have him remake these.  If he gets a few thousand people who will order.....well, if not, then we all wait until I get old!  50 to be exact.  You see, he's promised me this for my birthday present.  But sadly, I'm such a young thing so it will be a while yet....

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas

My true love gave to me
Eleven Cartoon Puzzles
Ten Dexterities 
Nine Tiles Sliding 
Eight Twisted Tangles
Seven wooden puzzles 

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


Today we have a variety of different 'heads' and 'figures'.  Starting at the top we have  WALL•E .  I made this little beauty all by myself using a cube4you 3x3x3 and a you build it WALL•E figurine I got from Toys R Us when the movie first came out.  To the right is Homer Simpson. Homer was purchased from Hessport's Rubic's shop way back in 2001. Next up is a Gundam 2x2x2 puzzle head that was made in 2003 by Palbox, formerly known as Tsukuda Original, which later changed its name to Megahouse.  Oh my the twists and turns of the toy industry!

On the left we have is Darth Vader. Another from Hessport's Rubic's shop.  This time made when the movie came out.  (I know his price was US$9.99 because I have another still in the shipping box under my bed.) 

Morph was a McDonald's giveaway when the Disney movie Treasure Planet was released in 2002.  He's a 1x2x2.  The puzzle there is messing it up, not solving it.

Eve is my own creation and probably the ugliest puzzle on the planet.  She was made because Tony Fisher told me I could use man tools.  Boy was he wrong!

Mickey Mouse and Donald duck were made by Volzaper in Spain and sold by Meffert's since 2001-2002.  Mickey Mouse is still available.  (and no, I don't mean the cheap made in China version, I mean the original one.)  There is also a Scooby Doo puzzle there made by Meffert's under license from Warner brothers.  

The next is a Doreamon jigsaw puzzle that was a give away from 7-11 this past year.  There were a total of 8 in the set. Typically I got 7 of them.  (I'm missing one of the Gundam set as well-and if anyone knows where to find Zaku....)

The last is a put together Michelin man.  This one is from France, and was purchased on an ebay auction.  I'm not sure what year they came out, but I did see them not too long ago for sale at a table in a puzzle party for over US$70!  I think I'll keep him for a while longer.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Finally, A Tony Fisher-golden cube

I have this wonderful relationship with Tony. He makes great puzzles, I buy them. :-)

Tony has been around puzzles longer than I have, and as much as I'd love to say I have all of his, I simply don't have enough money!

For those of you that don't know, Tony makes all his puzzles by hand. He has some interesting ideas and even more interesting ways of making them. Tonight I'm going to show you his mini golden cubes.

This one is a nice little cube. It's made from the Meffert's skewb keychains. I'm not exactly sure when he made this one, but you can see a nice history of them on his page here. This is one of the puzzles he has had mass produced by Meffert's in a much larger size.

Now this one is a bit of a headache to solve. It has a number of oddly shaped pieces attached to the skewb. When solving, it is not just a matter of getting the colors to the right side, but moving the pieces around to the right orientation. A royal pain in the ... But fun to attempt anyway.

Tony did warn me that the key chain versions have this tendency to fall apart. Since mine has a pretty signature on it, I've not mucked it up so my solving experiences comes from the Mass produced versions. (And yes, I have the whole set-2 sets in fact, with an extra copper one that Uwe signed for me-oh dear bragging again.)

I also have a sliding puck, and the first I ever purchased from Tony was a nesting Dogic. My photograph brainbox is acting up (as usual) and the camera is packed in the suitcase so sorry, no photos of those two unless I can get that darned thing to behave itself.

Well, I'm off for a 'working holiday' Seriously this time. I work for 15-20 minutes and the rest of the week is holiday. (And listening to others) But the highlight of this trip for me is not going to be hearing myself speak, although I never tire of that, but meeting a group of puzzlers while there. My bags are packed, but more importantly the travelling puzzles are packed.

See you all after the weekend.