Saturday 16 April 2011

Explosion cube from Vinco

First up from my recent delivery is the Explosion cube from Vinco. This is an absolutely gorgeous wooden "sculpture" with a combination of light and dark woods. My only criticism of Vinco's goods are that he does not state which woods he uses.

The finish is perfect and it looks great on display.

Explosion cube partially open
Finding the starting point to open it is actually quite awkward. It looks like there are 8 separate cubes and it is not at all clear which direction it opens in. I didn't want to use my fingernails so ended up pulling opposite corners apart in multiple directions.

After a few minutes a very small opening appeared and the puzzle got quite stiff. I swivelled it around and repeated the movement in another direction. This made it open a little more.

From then on I moved back and forth until it was at this point pictured above.

For a day or so I wouldn't go any further than this. Subsequent openings became easier and can be done now in one fluid movement (once the correct orientation is established). I didn't dare take it any further - my experience with my other Vinco coordinate movement puzzles is that it is easy to open them and then you need about 4 hands to get the damn thing back together again!! With this looking like 8 cubes I didn't have the courage to go any further!  I didn't bother to read the description (as my wife has said before - I am not really very bright!)

I eventually got the courage up to open it fully and was rather surprised that it opened into 4 parts. In fact this is the same mechanism as the Tetrahedron and the Dual tetrahedron I have already.
Here are the pieces:

This particular mechanism is not particularly difficult to work out how to put it back together. The real problem is the dexterity required to get everything lined up just right. The tetrahedrons can take up to 15 minutes to get right!

The explosion cube is actually pretty easy to do and it slides back together with a really satisfying clunk!

So - do you need to have yet another one of these when they all have the same mechanism? Probably not! But the explosion cube is just gorgeous and a small challenge to open so well worth buying and I would say that it is worth getting at least one of the other shapes to enjoy the challenge of reassembling the more awkward shapes (the bicones, tetrahedrons and the truncoctas are supposed to be a real challenge even if they all have the same underlying mechanism).

I will probably stop buying Vinco's 4 piece coordinate movement puzzles now that I have 3 of them unless he produces something else of significant beauty (which is highly likely!!!) I have a 6 piece puzzle still to do and several other puzzle types to work out and report on. I can heartily recommend his puzzles. They can be purchased direct from him or intermittently on the PuzzleParadise auction site.

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