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 Post subject: Pyramorphix clone puzzles for $1
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2001 6:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 9:11 pm
Location: Dubuque, IA area
Yes, it's true. A store just opened in my town that sells clone pyramorphix puzzles (called "Magic Triangle") for just $1! Actually, everything in the store is $1 or less. The store is called "Dollar Tree". The package only says that is is made in China and packaged for "Dollar Tree". No manufacturer name is given. Here is a picture of the blister pack card that it is sold on:

Image

(I "borrowed" this image from an auction, so don't be surprised if the link disappears soon.)

Anyway, the package comes with a full size (80mm tall, 96mm edge length) pyramorphix puzzle and a bonus keychain (40mm tall, 48mm edge length) pyramorphix puzzle. The full size one is the same size as Meffert's, but the keychain one is smaller than Meffert's keychain version (48mm high, 58mm edge length).

These clones have reflective foil stickers. There were several different color configurations. If you buy one, try to find one that doesn't have both purple and blue sides. (I can hardly tell the two sticker colors apart.)

I don't know how Meffert's full-size pyramorphix puzzle is constructed because I was always afraid to take mine apart at $16 each. I did find out, however, that Meffert's keychain pyramorphix uses a center ball and thin plastic (easily breakable) posts after accidently breaking mine. At $1 each though, I figured that I didn't have much to lose so I took one apart.

The guts were quite different than Meffert's keychain puzzle. It actually looks like a much better, yet cheaper, design. It uses a six sided spindle similar to a 3x3x3 cube, but three of the spindle arms are permanently attached to one of the corners. There are also some extra internal pieces that are allowed to move around with the other corner and center parts. Each center and corner piece appeared to be made from two parts glued together. The keychain version had the exact same design. (Boy, those internal pieces are really small on the keychain version!) The full size puzzle seems smooth and works fairly well, but the keychain versions are sticky and should be primarily used for display.

Of course, once I had a couple of these clones apart, I had to see if I could make the star and octahedron puzzles from the parts. Actually it worked quite well. In the past, I had tried this with the Meffert's keychain pyramorphix puzzles, but the center pieces always seemed a little too big and the corners seemed sloppy. With these clones, however, the parts seemed to be more interchangeable. I don't really have a method for disassembly and reassembly other than careful prying. Looking at the construction, I would bet that these pyramorphix clones are assembled using the glue as the last assembly step.

I was a little hesitant to post this message, knowing that there will probably be many star and octahedron puzzles made and sold on Ebay at exorbitant prices. But, as a collector, I know what it is like searching for a reasonably priced source for new puzzles. Now you can get a star, an octahedron, and a pyramorphix puzzle for a total of only $3 and a little effort.

Happy puzzling, Doug.


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 Post subject: Meffert's pyramorphix puzzle construction
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2001 6:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 9:11 pm
Location: Dubuque, IA area
Does anybody know if Meffert's full size pyramorphix puzzle uses the same center ball and thin plastic (easily breakable) posts construction as their keychain version? If it is different, can anyone describe it? Is it the same construction as the clones that I described in my earlier message?

Thanx, Doug.


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 Post subject: More info ?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2001 4:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2001 12:30 am
Location: Montreal, Canada
Hi Doug,
You mentionned that:
"A store just opened in my town that sells clone pyramorphix puzzles (called "Magic Triangle") for just $1!
The store is called "Dollar Tree".

Without giving specific details, could you tell us, in what country you live in ?
Thanks
Michael


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 Post subject: USA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2001 5:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 9:11 pm
Location: Dubuque, IA area
In Illinois, USA.
I would guess that the "Dollar Tree" is a chain because many of their products appear to have been specifically packaged for them. It is seldom practical for individual stores to have their own custom packaging.

I also saw a couple of these for sell on Ebay, and I'm pretty sure that the sellers weren't from my area. So they probably are a chain.

Hope this helps, Doug.


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 Post subject: Dollar Tree
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2001 5:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 9:11 pm
Location: Dubuque, IA area
This should help:

http://www.dollartree.com/


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 Post subject: Dollar Tree
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2001 6:12 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 9:11 pm
Location: Dubuque, IA area
Check out their "Store Locator" on their site to determine if one is close to you using your zip code.


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 Post subject: Thanks !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2001 6:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2001 12:30 am
Location: Montreal, Canada
I live in the province of Quebec (Canada).
So next time I am in the states, I will check the for the Dollar Tree stores.

Michael
:wink:


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 Post subject: Joliet Dollar Tree
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2001 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 09, 1999 11:07 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA
I checked at the Dollar Tree in Joliet, IL and they were sold out of the puzzles.


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 Post subject: More internal details
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2001 8:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2000 2:32 am
Location: San Francisco, CA
I had a friend who lives in the appropriate region of the US send me 5 of the beasts. I concurr with Doug that even for $1 the larger size puzzle is of acceptable quality. It doesn't feel as solid as Meffert's - quite to the contrary, it feels rather flimsy since the plastic is so lightweight. The stickers are also generally poorly applied. However, it turned smoothly and never flew apart in my hands as I feared.

I've cracked one open and the mechanism is almost identical to the OddzOn Rubik's Pocket Cube, with the central spindle, square extensions with little crowns, and quarter-circle guides.

The differences are:

- There is no special corner piece as there is in the 2x2x2 cube. All of the face octants appear identical (not counting the tetrahedral tips). In the 2x2x2 cube one of the octants has a slightly different mold to accomodate the internal mechanism.

- The "fixed" spindle extensions and associated quarter-circle guides are molded together as one piece rather than two pieces as in the 2x2x2 cube, and they have a stronger and tighter connection to the central spindle. This looks like it would make the puzzle more robust.

- The "fixed" guides do not have the square wings like the 2x2x2's fixed guides.


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 Post subject: Building a Stella Octangula and Octahedron
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2001 8:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2000 2:32 am
Location: San Francisco, CA
Annecdotes:

- The Stella Octangula holds together very nicely, and feels much more solid than even the Tetrahedron. Conversely, the Octahedron rattles a bit and the edges are sharp.

- As Doug mentions, they come with different sticker combinations. I need to re-sticker mine since I wasn't paying attention while taking them apart and have mis-matched labels.

- When assembling the pieces, there's always the challenge of getting the last octant in. This appeared to be harder than with the Rubik's Pocket Cube. I discovered a technique which appears to work reliably. First, assemble all of the pieces except the last octant, leaving the one directly opposite from the fixed octant 'til last. Slide the last octant in with two sides in the guides - it will come to rest on the wrong side of the last guide. Start pressing the piece firmly down against the guide; maintain this pressure and twist the puzzle along the axis of the last guide by about 70 degrees, then back. The last octant seems to snap into place.

(With the Pocket Cube you don't have to do the forward/back twist, you just keep twisting through 90 degrees and the thinner plastic allows the last piece to slide into place.)


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