Notes from Puzzle Palace

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Hanayama Puzzles

One of the most loved sets of metal puzzles come from Hanayama.  The company has been making toys and games in the 1930's but are probably best known for their metal puzzles.  These puzzles are all relatively small.  They fit in a box that measures 75x119x45mm and will never be larger than that.  They have a difficulty level from 1-6 and the largest number of pieces a puzzle can have is 6. (Or so I've been told). 

Usually there are 4 puzzle releases a year.  Sadly with COVID-19 going around there won't be a new release until the autumn.  For those who are wondering, I've seen on the web that it should be cast heart designed by Scott Elliot.  This will be the second puzzle of his card suit series that they have made. Hopefully the rest will follow. 

We have the entire collection of Hanayama Cast Puzzles many of which George prototyped.  Because of our vast collection, we had a table custom made to hold the pieces in a displayable and playable manner.  Each puzzle is placed according to difficulty level or 'specialization'.  Over the years, the company has produced a number of different themes.  There are 4 puzzles in the Disney set, 4 in the Ultraman set, and 6 ocean themed puzzles in both normal and keychain sizes.  Hanayama also made a set of phone strap puzzles. I honestly don't know the total number of designs that were made as they had them in about 5 different packagings.  We have collected quite a few over the years.  If anyone knows the exact number made, I would sure like to know.  The final set in this cabinet are made by Hanayama, but are not cast puzzles.  They are 6 wire disentanglements in the shape of famous places or objects in Japan.  

The final cast puzzles from Hanayama are the Chess pieces. We do not have the set in the table, but rather have had another custom table and boards made for our pieces.  We have a full chess board designed by Henry Dudney.  A sample of this puzzle can be seen here.  Tom Lensch, George Miller made the chess boards. The cards were designed by Vesa Timonen and can be purchased online.  

Of course these puzzles are enjoyed by all who come into Puzzle Palace as they look deceptively simple.  For this reason, we keep a solution book on hand.  I'm still in need of the solution for Cast Rotor and Cast Snow so if anyone has a pdf copy of it, I'd sure be grateful.  

You can watch a video of the table and and explanation of the pieces on my youtube channel.  

1 comment:

  1. Hi Roxanne,
    Regarding the phone straps I feel comfortable saying that there are 9 of them. Both because I have nine but also because they seem to all be listed here:

    I really do like the miniature ones :)