Ecorider

Showing posts with label twisty puzzle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label twisty puzzle. Show all posts

Thursday, April 9, 2015

meeting another puzzler

Around 4 years ago I had received a private message from a young puzzler asking if I might show his creations to my friend Uwe in the hopes that they would become mass produced.  Being the nice lady I am, I of course said yes and the puzzles were on their way to me.

A little while later another puzzler sent me another copy of one of the puzzles and I was ready to head to the manufacturers.

I'll be honest, while they are lovely puzzles, I knew when I looked at them that they would not be made. Too many parts, not appealing to the mass market, to small and to make it big enough would be to make it huge....I could hear Uwe already and I hadn't even shown him.  But I was duty bound and I took it over.  Sure enough, That's what he told me.

I didn't give up hope though and took the puzzle on to Mf8 and CubeTwist.  Both said similar things. Well, I boxed up the puzzles then and sent them back to the designer.  A few months after I saw the other puzzler at IPP in Berlin and hand delivered his.

To my surprise, when I got back from IPP I had another package from the young puzzler.  I opened it right away and inside were the two puzzles I just sent him.  Not delivered, return to sender.  I took the puzzles out of the box, put them on my shelf and forgot about them.  I showed them to a few other manufactures that year, but then....

Fast forward to last month.  I got yet another private message from that same young man stating that he was in Singapore and would be in HK soon.  Would you care to meet up Rox.  Well heck yes!  Why not?

I was thrilled, but he didn't send me a date. Well, he did.  But I missed it.  What a debacle.  I had to work, then had a dinner and totally messed up.  To compensate, I ran to the airport as he was leaving so I could deliver his toys and finally meet him. We met up, had a drink and a nice-although short-conversation.  Tanner is a very nice young man.  I'm glad I had the chance to meet him.  The puzzle he designed was brilliant for the age he was at the time.

I've never shown these to anyone outside the designers, and I now have his permission to do so. If anyone is interested, contact Steryne over on Twisty Puzzles.  I'm sure he'd be thrilled to hear from you about them.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bulgarian barrel

I don't know the name of this puzzle in English so ill just give it a descriptive name. I first saw this one on twisty puzzles back in September of 2012. A guy was offering it up for trade, but before I got the chance to make an offer, it was gone. I gave up hope of finding this one, but then one day my friend Otis and I were chatting and this one came up. He had managed to get one through the Beijing Collectors Club and was kind enough to tell me how to go about getting my own. Thank you Otis!

A little background first. The puzzle was invented in Bulgaria by an engineer named Petyo Petkov in 2011. If you thought it was older, you're as mistaken as I was. Hopefully you didn't get suckered into buying the "vintage" ones off our least favorite auction site. There is a company in Bulgaria that sells them, but sadly they don't ship out of country. To get this, you'll need to go through a middleman.

So what does this puzzle do? It has eight different colored sections which are cut in half.  Each half is identical save for the pips on one side.  You can tell if you have it correct because one side has a pip on each piece.  If It's still mucked....you have pips and no pips mixed up.  We don't want that now do we?

Around the middle there is a ring.  It is divided in half-part black and part white.  This doesn't do much except to lock the pieces into position if you will.  It's there I guess as a hand grip.

As for the solving experience, well, it solves like a cheese with an extra couple of quadrants.  That's the easy one to use for explanation as it's been remade now in China.  The cheese I mean. Or, if you prefer, it solves like a UFO.  Not as easy to get a hold of, but still as much fun to play with.

My overall impression is it's a nice pretty one to look at.  I love the way the colors of the plastic have a glittery effect.  Very pretty and shiny too!  My photos don't really do it justice.  As for solving experience, as I said in the paragraph above, it's like others out there with the exception of those locking rings.  Because they are so hard to get, I'd stick with the cheese.  Same puzzle, simpler to obtain.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mf8 stars

Yes I know that's not the official name for these puzzles but it fits the overall shape nicely. Well, the shape of the center bits anyway.

I've been blessed to meet the owner of Mf8 back in the summer of 2009. (Incidentally, that first puzzle was the crazy 4x4)  Since that first meeting, I've had the pleasure and privilege of meeting up with him quite a few times a year since then.  Dinner, drinks, a bit of peaking into the dark corners and parts bags in his warehouse.....He's trusted me with secret puzzle releases for quite some time now and has allowed me to play with many puzzles, take photos of many more and every now and again take one home.  And each and every time someone beats me to the information release over on TP.  But hey, I'd rather know and play than brag and tell.  Add to that his making my exchange puzzle for me this year as well as helping SmaZ with the manufacture of a few puzzles and you have one great guy on your hands!

It dawned on me today while I was reading Kevin's blog about his set of DaYan gems that I have not blogged about these so I'll make it up to you now.  Or should I say I'll make Kevin go spend more now.  :)

First up is the corner turning star.  I know I've not got the names right, but they are one thing on TP and something else on Mf8 and something else everywhere else you look so I'll just call them stars!  My toys, my choice of names!  This one came out in 2010, but didn't hit the market until 2011.  A nice one to play with, and not too difficult to solve.  It messes up nicely, but doesn't jumble so there is no 'real difficulty' in solving it.  Other than the obvious solving issues one has with puzzles.  I also have this one in ice-blue plastic, but since it is effectively the same, there is no point in showing another photo.

 Next we have the edge turning version of the star. This one does jumble, but in my photo I had a bugger of a time just turning the edges.  This one is very stiff. The screws are tightened down and as with all the puzzles in my collection, there is no lubrication. The corners on this one don't turn unlike the first star puzzle shown above.  This one is really pretty to me.  It reminds me quite a bit of TomZ's Curvycopter.  I think the first person to make one of these might have named it something along those lines.

Eat your heart out Kevin!  This one turns across the middle and that squiggle you see on there?  It's a signature.  We had a lucky draw at one of the Guangzhou meet-ups and I won this one as my prize.  Otis was there and was nice enough  to sticker it for me. I made Mr. Fok sign it before we left.  This has got to be a rarity.  He's such a humble man that it took me 2 years to get a signature out of him.  I don't know of anyone else who has one, but if there is someone out there, do let me know. I'd love to change my posting here.

Finally we have the last of the stars.  The Bauhinia.  That name hasn't been taken yet, and is absolutely perfect for this puzzle. IT looks just exactly like the Hong Kong flower!  It's so commonly found here, it's even on our coins!  This puzzle is just beautiful!  I first saw this one in 2010 as well, but at the time it had so many problems that it simply couldn't be made.  If you think back, Mf8 has made at least 20 puzzles either by himself, or in conjunction with DaYan and others since that time.  He did me a HUGE favor by making my puzzle, so the time from conception to production isn't that long afterall.  He did say he had a lot of projects in the works and no time to make this one...last January when I asked after it again.  I managed to steal this one after the HK Asian Championships of the WCA Cube competition kind.  We had an exhibition and Mf8 sent this new one along for display.  As we were packing up, I stole it!  But I'm an honest thief, when I see him next I'll give him the cash for it.  There's a video of it on my YouTube channel, but as usual it's mostly me blabbering on.  Watch at your own risk, I've been told I'm in need of a new camera. I'm really wondering if I'm in need of a new set of eyes because the videos look fine to me....

So there you go Kevin.  Enjoy!  And then go buy.  It's only around US$160 for the lot of them.  You can afford it you know you can, and Mrs. S....Well, a girl can never have too many shoes can they????  And for the record Kevin, I know.....