Notes from Puzzle Palace

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.

1 comment:

  1. Before any one else mentions it, I know the flippers are backwards on the pink dolphin. We swim different over here.