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 Post subject: What constitutes a rare puzzle?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:02 pm 
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Rather than go A bit out of focus again Dave I am starting a new thread :lol:

How does one classify a puzzle as being "rare"? Is it one from the 80's? But it can't be, because those cubes, babylon towers, missing links....the list goes on, are a dime a dozen.

So is it one that is no longer made? If so, then in that case, puzzles like the Meffert's Golden cubes, flowerminx, and Rubik's UFO's would fit into that list.

Or is it one that was made in limited quantities when first made? Astrolabacus, Donald Duck, the Warner brothers set fit the bill here.

Or is it puzzles that are from the former Eastern Block? Cheese, Oktato jatek, Trik Haus to name a few?

Or are they puzzles from the far east that were hard to get a hold of pre-internet days? Jugo flower, Tsukuda square?

Or is it limited quantity hand made puzzles?

Or is it simply based on the current market price?

I have a lot of puzzles, and some of them, very few in fact I would consider 'rare'. The sad truth it seems is that everyone has a different interpretation of this word.

One 'rare' one I'm chasing now is simply a Russian 3x3x3. It has decided it doesn't want to be in my collection for a while so it's 'rare' :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a rare puzzle?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:19 pm 
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I think rare puzzles can be defined as a one off puzzle, a puzzle previously in production but not now (like the Golden Cube, hense why I think it should be allowed in the Packages Just Arrived With Rare Puzzles thread), and puzzles in limited quantities. Price is also a factor. Pantazis, like how you worked out a formula to how difficult a puzzle is, now you can try and work out how rare a puzzle is! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a rare puzzle?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:26 pm 
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SEBUVER wrote:
you can try and work out how rare a puzzle is! :lol:


Already done! If I don't have it and I want it, it's rare! :lol: :lol:

Back to the seriousness I rarely have...I've been thinking about this for a while. I browse other collections and have spotted a few I've never seen before. But just because I've never seen them doesn't make them rare....Interesting idea you have there....

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a rare puzzle?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:33 pm 
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I don't think that there is a need to separately define a 'rare' puzzle from any other 'rare' item. I think that puzzles can be described in the same sort of way. I would consider a rare puzzle to be any puzzle which is in short supply or only crops up for sale occasionally, with large (sometimes) gaps in between sales. I don't think that price has an impact on rarity, but rather results from the rarity (it works the same way as commodities; if there are very few available and people want them, the price will go up). Would you say that a Teraminx is much more rare (or difficult to obtain) than a skewb? It is not, even though a Teraminx costs a lot more. :D

Alex

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a rare puzzle?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:36 pm 
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I think a formula could be put in place to define if a puzzle is rare or not. First of all, quantity made. First we have to find all the 'puzzlers' who actually puzzle regularly, like us lot. Then work out the quantity of puzzles made. You could then work out an average of puzzles per puzzler (probably in rare puzzle cases some could be like 0.0001 puzzles per puzzler :lol: )

How original is the base puzzle. You could put them into categories depending on value (for example, a 3x3x3 rhombohedron would sell for a lot less than a 11x11x11 rhombohedron). If it doesn't have a base puzzle, then the complexity of the mechanism needs to be worked out. (In all of these sections there are a load of sub formulas required.)

Then how available it is. Whether it is from Shapeways or some store far in the east which barely anyone has heard about. How many are available they are in shops, and also in auctions and such. That would come in as another factor.

Then price. Price could worked out from the other parts of the equation. If it sells for more than the other parts of the equation add up to, then it is rare. Also, who buys it is another factor.

I'm pretty sure it is possible to work out the rarity of puzzles at a fixed point in time, but it would be one massive formula. I know I'm just chucking out ideas here. Please don't think I'm high, I'm just sleepy.

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a rare puzzle?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:47 pm 
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LOL here is (yet) another breakdown:


1. The difficulty formula is simply an indication, and I have some good idea to reveal
(with some short "type of proof") in the other thread quite soon**.

2. A rarity formula could definitely be built, and every year or few months, we may check
the changed status of puzzles, or we may even use it to predict a possible "future rariness"
of other puzzles based on some repeated statistical patterns LOL

3. Some of you may have heard of my mythical advanced bidding formula which decides
the most logical bid for a puzzle on ebay. Of course, to use this, you need to find a puzzle
of interest!

4. But from all formulas, I prefer the prettiness formula, because the colors and the beauty of a
puzzle can make you forget its difficulty and rarity. So prettiness is quite a powerful attribute, isn't it?

:D


Pantazis


** The semester is ending here, and my workload has suddenly increased exponentially.
(which also explains my lack of posts the past 1-2 weeks). The second week of November
should still be busy, but compared to now, it will surely be a more relaxed time!

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a rare puzzle?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:00 pm 
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I think issues like being out of production and where a puzzle was produces are secondary indicators to rarity. There are plenty of old out of print puzzles that are so plentiful they have no rarity at all, and likewise with area of production.

For some items rarity doesn't lie in the total number produced, but their availability. If there are a limited number but they come up on eBay fairly often they have some numerical rarity but are available so perhaps not considered so rare.

Rarity, to Roxanne's point, can have much more to do with how something is desired, as that has a more direct impact on availability if people are reluctant to let them go.

The particular case that brought this up was the production Golden Cube. Up until recently they were not rare at all as they were in stock at Mefferts. Now, out of stock, we find still a brisk trade in them on the forum: Even the more limited gold plated version was being offered and sold quite a bit over the last few months.

Compare this to the Dino cube. There may well be more Dino cubes, but those who have them generally hold them. A few come up per year and are generally snatched up by collectors who intend to keep them. So while I don't know numbers of production what is really relevant is how often you have a chance to obtain one.

That's my perspective.

Dave :)

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a rare puzzle?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:10 pm 
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I don't really see that we have the right to decide the meaning of the word "rare" since it already has a dictionary meaning. Market price or if it's still made has no relationship to the true meaning of "rare". The simple answer to the question is- a rare puzzle is one that is only lightly cooked.

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a rare puzzle?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:31 am 
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Someone remind me not to read Tony's posts while drinking hot coffee in the morning :lol: :lol:

Rare indeed. That's how I eat my puzzles! :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a rare puzzle?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:59 am 
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Georges wrote:
Also, there are different kinds of rareness. Rareness is either objective, if it can be proved that there exist only a restricted number of items, or subjective, if you don't know how many exist, but want to have one badly.
F.i., to me the Dino Star seems objectively rare, but as I don't want one because the shape doesn't appeal to me, I am not on the lookout for one.

viewtopic.php?p=186524#p186524

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a rare puzzle?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:45 am 
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Very informative post Georges :wink:
Georges wrote:
I do not collect with the intention of selling again to make money.

I identify myself with this statement completely. That's the true meaning and purpose of collecting. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks that way :(

Now, I do understand when someone buys an extra puzzle with the intention of trading it later. Keep one for the collection and leave the other safe for a while, until its value becomes higher. That's investment :D

P.S: I'm very happy to see you among us again, Georges. It's the best thing that happened to this forum in a while. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a rare puzzle?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:04 am 
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Indeed, there are many reasons for a collector to have a puzzle
in an as good condition as possible.

Some time ago, I even dismissed (wrongfully) the reasoning of keeping
the packages of puzzles. It all depends on a few general perceptions:


1. Historical. It is by far the most common type of collectors.
The package, the solution sheet, even a book about a puzzle is
very significant to identify the history and evolution of a puzzle.

2. Solutional. Although I would identify myself mainly as one
of this type, I don't know many others. Here, the important thing are
the mathematics or the secrets of a puzzle, and puzzles requiring
a different way of solving are very attractive.

3. Financial. Well, this type is very obvious, and I am not one that
supports it, as in extreme cases (where someone is of only this type),
the puzzle, instead of ending to a house where it can be loved as an
actual magical object, it ends up as a way for profit. Of course, in the
end, it costs much more for the genuine collectors than they would be
able to acquire it without the "help" of a middle man.

4. Speedsolving. It doesn't matter what puzzle it is, as it *must* turn fast
or else it is regarded as trash (well, almost LOL). The main aim here is
to be able to win competitions, and since there puzzles in competition is
very limited, so is the selection for this type of collection (variations of
known mechanisms are also included here).


I would always open a package to try out a puzzle, regardless its rarity
and whether or not it loses some financial value by doing so. Because the
purpose and reason of existence of a puzzle is to be played with. That said,
I fully respect historical collectors who would want to keep a puzzle in perfect
condition. Puzzles, *do* constitute a form of art, end of story.

Truth is, we all have parts of the above. For example, I am 25% type 1,
70% type 2, 3% type 3 (but here, I prefer puzzles instead of money),
and 2% of type 4.

:)

Pantazis


PS. Georges is rare. So... Georges... can I collect you? :D

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a rare puzzle?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:47 pm 
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Here is a simple definition for me:

If the current demand for something exceeds the supply, it is rare.

Maybe I'm over simplifying, but for puzzles it seems to work fairly well.

-d


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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a rare puzzle?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:40 am 
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For me, if it is pinkish in the middle, it is rare-very rare.

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a rare puzzle?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:01 am 
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darryl wrote:
If the current demand for something exceeds the supply, it is rare.

Both demand and supply are functions of price. At low prices the demand is higher than the supply, at high prices the supply is higher. How are they supposed to be compared?

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