September 1, 2010

Terra I and Navigator Box

These are two fairly similar boxes that I borrowed from Jeff of I had a general idea of how they worked, each has a little magnetic disc on the top, but I was curious how they differed. Both were made by Heartwood Creations. They do not sell directly to the public, but you can purchase them from Cleverwood for $55 each.

First I tried Terra I, shown here in a photo by Jeff. It is well crafted, with a very nice finish. I like the choices of contrasting woods used and the curved corners. The lid has a little bit of play, but is firmly locked.

You'll immediately notice that the button on the top is just attached magnetically. I had a general idea of how this would work, so it didn't take very long to figure out the solution, maybe a few minutes.

The mechanism itself I found to be a bit finicky: I had the right idea, but you really need to do it just right for it to unlock. I didn't mind this, since it probably would have been too easy otherwise.

I'd say that this one is moderately difficult. With a good understanding of how to approach this type of puzzle, it may not be too hard, but puzzle novices may find it to be fairly challenging.

Next I tried Navigator Box, which has a more unique shape with bowed edges. It has a similar coloring and uses the rounded corners like Terra I.

The mechanism to this one is similar, but it is not nearly as straightforward. This one took me a good 5-10 minutes to figure out. I was a bit confused as to why it wasn't working like I expected, but eventually I figured out the solution. The trick is OK, but not as clever as I was hoping.

This one is definitely more challenging, but still doable in a reasonable amount of time. Overall, a pretty cool box!

These two boxes are similar to Walk of the Ladybug by Tatuo Miyamoto that I tried during my trip to the Rochester Puzzle Picnic. This puzzle has a similar mechanism, but it is even more challenging and interesting. Still, you can't beat the price of the Heartwood boxes. The Miyamoto box sold for $245, but is well worth it.

Thanks again to Jeff for loaning me these boxes! There are more to come, so stay tuned!

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