October 20, 2009

Karakuri Cube Boxes

After seeing photos of Perry McDaniel's awesome Petite Fours from the 2009 International Puzzle Party, I got a hankering for some more puzzle boxes. I emailed Perry and he said that he was sold out for the moment, so I got on the waitlist for his December production run, I can't wait!

I got a tip from Peter Wiltshire that the Karakuri Cube Boxes were pretty cool as well, and a great deal for the money, so I ended up ordering those from PuzzleBoxWorld.com since Karakuri was sold out. Unfortunately, they were out of stock on #2, so I ended up getting #1, #3, and #4.

The shipping was incredibly fast, I think I had them in two days or so. It would be pretty tricky to tell these boxes apart since they all look so similar, but each one is packaged with a little slip of paper that tells you which number it is.

I am an organized kind of guy, so I decided to do them in order. The first box is made out of keyaki (zelkova) and maple on the outside. These boxes are different from the small box series because they do not have any identifying marks to indicate where the top of the box is, and they are cubes so it is quite easy to lose your orientation.

The #1 took me a few minutes of wiggling things to try to figure out what would move. I think it took me about five minutes to open it: the solution was pretty cool. This ended up being my least favorite of the three. I enjoyed it at the time, but by comparison it is not quite as cool. I was still delighted when it finally popped open.

Next I tried the #3, which is made out of walnut and maple on the outside. The #3 was not too difficult compared to the #1, but the movement is pretty cool. You wiggle it around all sorts of ways, and then all of a sudden something works. Then the actual opening mechanism is quite cool as well. This one is my favorite of the three.

Finally, I tried the #4, which is made out of karin and maple. This one is similar to the #1, but the way it opens is a bit more unique. The moves seem quite random, but when you finally open the box you realize what the mechanism is, which is pretty unique. I think this one was my 2nd favorite, it is also very cool.

Overall, these are great boxes that I would recommend! The only downside that I could think of is that non-puzzle people can be tempted to use their nails to slide the pieces, which can scratch up your nice boxes. The action on these is quite smooth, so gentle pressure is all that is required. The inner edges of the cubies are beveled which helps you get a grip, so nails are not necessary.

I'm planning to purchase #2 when it becomes available again. Any thoughts on this one as it compares to the others?

Tomorrow, I'll write about four puzzle boxes that I got from Bits and Pieces. Can you guess what happened?

2 comments:

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