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:
(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.