Thursday, 24 May 2012

Popplock T3

Popplock T3
A puzzle friend of mine has decided to get more seriously into photography which is an expensive hobby (probably more expensive than puzzles - although my wife and Allard might argue against that). So to finance the purchase of a rather fancy new camera he decided to sell off a few of his puzzles. When word went out, I just happened to be sitting at my computer and immediately responded when I saw there was one puzzle I had missed out on previously available (Eric Fuller’s Galaxy) and of special interest to me was the Popplock T3.

Back in December I described my adventure with Rainer Popp’s most recent invention - the Popplock T6  and I really loved the puzzle solve (it was very tough) and the shear quality of the manufacture. The T6 had been specifically produced by Rainer to answer the general clamour for a slightly cheaper puzzle. This had just wetted my appetite for something else from him but I had struggled to find anything at a reasonable price and had rapidly been outbid at the various auction sites! I understand that a T2 is still available from Sloyd for nearly €200 but this would use all of my puzzle budget in one go! I was really delighted to be able to get this one without selling an organ!

It would appear that just about everyone has reviewed this before me! Jeff Chiou, Brian, Oli, Allard and most recently Jerry. All of whom really enjoyed this lock and most rated it as in their top 2 puzzle locks. I just HAD to try one!

The top picture here is the front of the lock with the characteristic Rainer Popp cat's face. The other side  has a knurled disk opposite the cat:

Back view
This disk rotates around 360º, meeting a couple of obstructions during the turn. These obstructions can be navigated by pushing the cat into the lock. There is almost no feedback from the puzzle as you play with it. Eventually you notice that something inside goes "Click"! Aha! Everyone I have given it to has found the click and gone "Aha!" only to be rather crestfallen when they can't work out what to do with the click.

I think I played with it for about a total of an hour over a week. Several of the reviews did state that it was important to notice something very subtle about the puzzle to make the next step and I have to say it is VERY subtle indeed. It took me ages to notice it and having done so the lock was open a few seconds later. No-one I have given it to has managed to solve it yet.

Open at last!
My only regret about this puzzle is that even after you have solved it, you cannot tell how it works. Only by reading the leaflet that comes with the puzzle can you finally understand the amazing workmanship and design that has gone into the manufacture of this puzzle. Definitely worth buying if you are a serious puzzle collector and you can find one for sale. It currently takes pride of place amongst my puzzle locks!

11 comments:

  1. Its a great puzzle lock isn't it? Glad you enjoyed it!

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  2. I love this type of puzzles as well, but I find very hard giving that kind of money for just one puzzle. However, I'm sure it's worth every penny. Maybe one of these days I might feel crazy enough to do it. Lucky me I'm not married yet, so I would probably have a lot of explaining to do...

    Cheers ;-)

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    1. Ah Gabriel! I do understand! You prefer to buy lots and lots of cheaper puzzles for the same amount. This allows you to produce your daily puzzle reviews! This is one of the reasons I have grown to love the Twisty puzzles - you get a lot of "bang for you buck"!

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    2. As a puzzle lover, being able to play with many puzzles is definitely more rewarding than to play with one every once and a while... And cheaper isn't necessary synonymous of low quality. Just look at the Hanayama Cast or some of the Jean Claude Constantin's designs, or even Vinco's. They have high quality standards without crazy high prices, although I understand that wood is cheaper and easier to work with than metal.

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    3. I'm a mix-up. Sometimes I purchase lots of small puzzles from somewhere then save up money to purchase a expensive puzzle from another place to puzzle over for a while. I personally prefer more expensive and harder puzzles instead of a bunch of easy ones. This doesn't stop me from purchasing some cute Hanayamas though!

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    4. I'm with you Will. I prefer quality which usually comes at a price! The Hanayamas are quality at a very reasonable price!

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  3. I prefer a "real big bang with big bucks"....haha...unfortunately I don't have the kind of time like Gabriel to play with with so many puzzles and do daily reviews!

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  4. I have neither time or money but I have to say that Popplocks seem to be something special. The few emails that I've shared with Rainer have been quite informative and I could tell that he knows a bit about locks just from the exchange.

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    1. The locks don't take too long to solve but yes they are very costly. I think the T7 is due out soon and I have heard that this one will not be as cheap as the T6

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  5. Even though the number of tricks in the T3 are minimal I think that's what actually makes it appeal to me so much. It's the same reason I like the T6 as well. T4 for difficulty, T3 for fun.

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    Replies
    1. Well, I hope that the T2 is good! I have just managed to obtain one from a fellow revomaze forum member for a good price! Now need to find the 4 & 5 at a reasonable price and I have the min set!

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