November 15, 2010

Meffert's Pyraminx

I'm not typically a twisty puzzle fan, but recently Puzzle Master sent me some puzzles to review, and Pyraminx was one of them! This was actually the first puzzle designed and produced by Uwe Meffert way back in the 1970's. The Pyraminx has so far sold over 90 million copies world wide, making it the second most popular puzzle in the world! 

I had seen photos of it before, but I wasn't quite sure how it rotated, so I was interested to give it a try. It is actually one of the easier twisty puzzles out there, which also appealed to me since I'm not particularly good at them.

Each of the four corners rotates independently, so those are quite simple to position. If you go down one level from a corner, it can also rotate along that axis, which consists of the corner, three edge pieces, and three middle pieces. You can't rotate a single edge, which I found myself trying to do a few times before I got the hang of how it worked.

It turns quite nicely, and has spring loaded ball bearings that lock it into place when you complete a turn. This gives it a nice clicking noise as you solve it. I was also impressed by the weight of the puzzle, which gave it a nice feel.

Since it wasn't supposed to be too tricky, I scrambled this one right away and gave it a try. After about 5-10 minutes I was able to get all but two pieces in place, but those last two vexed me. In my attempt to get them positioned properly, I managed to screw up the rest of the puzzle, so I essentially had to start over.

At first I was just trying to get one face to be all the same color, but just randomly twisting with that purpose in mind wasn't doing me much good. Eventually, I figured out a move that would bring a piece into the correct position. Interestingly, this is quite similar to a move that I learned to use on 3x3x3 cubes, but it is pretty intuitive.

Again, I got to the position where only two pieces were off, but this time in my attempt to get things in the right spot, it all came together! It was a nice little surprise, but I wasn't quite sure how I did it. In total, it took about 15-20 minutes.

Not content with not knowing how I finished it, I decided to scramble it and try again. This time, I had a more methodical approach, and was able to solve it in several minutes. It really isn't too hard because there are only six pieces that are a challenge to position: the six edge pieces. The others are either quite easy to fix, since you can just twist the corners to match up to their adjacent piece, which doesn't move when you rotate the puzzle.

I can't really think of a negative aspect of Pyraminx, it is a lot of fun! It is a good one to try if you're just getting your feet wet with twisty puzzles. If you're good at them, you may find this to be too easy, but you'll probably want it in your collection anyways. Thanks to Puzzle Master for sending me this puzzle to review!


  1. Uwe Meffert told me that of the 90 million copies that were sold, only 1/3 were legitimate. The rest were knockoffs.

    In 1998, I invited Uwe to come to my middle school and give a talk. They loved him!
    Tom Cutrofello

  2. Oh geeze! That gives you an idea of what an impact knockoffs can have on a puzzle.

  3. tks, I just bought one, essentially because it was rated 5/10 (5 the easiest, 10 hardest). you just confirmed me it was easier than the Rubbick's cube !
    can't wait to try it!


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