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 Post subject: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:08 pm 
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I was recently looking through an extensive online picture gallery of a twisty puzzle collection, and a question popped into my head:

Why do you collect puzzles?

More specifically, what makes a puzzle a must have puzzle in your collection?

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:37 pm 
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I collect puzzles because it is fun. The puzzles comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colour. And waiting the postman for the puzzles is fun too.

A must have puzzle...hmm...it would be either a Rubik's cube or a petaminx! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:53 pm 
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I collect puzzles because they are fun to play with, and even if you get bored with one, it still looks pretty on a shelf.

A must-have puzzle: hmm, fun and at least somewhat challenging to solve (such as a 4x4), pleasing to look at (like a megaminx imo), innovative/new (7x7), or that it's just plain cool (like a Golden Cube or a Greenhill's Tetrahedron).


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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:04 am 
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My answer would have to be, why not?

There's the challenge of finally solving a beast that I couldn't solve before. Some of them look absolutely beautiful. People think I'm smarter than I am and I like fooling them. I love the way they feel when I play with them. It's a better hobby than some I could have. Cheaper than jewelry. A way to look back at accomplishments when I'm feeling down and useless. Something to pass on....

Giving a concrete answer is hard to do. It's not something I've ever thought of before.

Must haves??? How about the Mad Marbles I keep paying for that has never been sent (I've bought 4 of those over the years and not gotten one) or maybe a tsukuda square? Or the Massager I have only ever gotten to play with. My biggest "Must Have's" must be pleasing to the eye, or something I can fiddle with and not have to think about. If it "feels good" I want it. I can't say my collection is "complete" but it's fairly big. If I see something I like and have the extra cash laying around, I'll get it.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:06 am 
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I buy/collect puzzles for 4 reasons:
1) They look cool or intriguing
2) They are rare or will be rare (ie limited editions) and will have monetary value sooner or later
3) They are cheap.
4) Those I play with.

Those that fall in category 1 are things like most of what I build from Adam and Alokin's catalogs, transparent puzzles, and other custom or intriguing puzzles (bump cube, void cube, orb, alexander's star, etc). Things that the average Joe will look at and say, "I've never seen anything like that".

Those that fall under category 2, unfortunately, I don't have very many of. Those I do have are ones I've saved from the 80's, and a few I've just started accumulating.

Those that fall under category 3 are mainly to build my collection. Yea, everyone says quality not quantity, and I do agree with that, however you need those little 'fillers' to make your shelves look more full, and let's face it- a $3 Chinese-made extended 3x3x5 scrambled makes most people want to pick it up and say, "this is cool". Fortunately, there are a lot of cheap cool-looking puzzles. I often find myself buying 5-10 puzzles at a time from places that sell the cheap ones (Katsmom can attest to this). I have little intention of playing with puzzles like these mainly because they're cheaply made.

Those in category 4 are not the greatest shape, but are well loved. Those are the many 3x3 DIY's I have (I have a small crate full of them, and my kids scramble them and I solve them). It's monotonous, but somehow relaxing and fun all in one. Also in that category are 2x2-7x7, megaminx, square-1, and pyraminx.

Oh, and what makes a puzzle a "must-have"? Anything I don't already have. :) Seriously, it would probably be something that's either difficult to get, or something that's released for only a limited time (such as Mefferts collectible puzzles).


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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:15 am 
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For me there are a few reasons.

The first is the mental challenge. I like puzzling a solution out. But this is not unique to twisties, so something about the feel of the puzzle in my hands and the puzzle space (sequential movement) appeals to me as well.

The second is sheer beauty. Puzzles, to me, are art. A black plastic puzzle with shiny new stickers still gets me. Symmetry, color, shape changing. Amazing.

The third has to do strictly with the pleasure of owning something rare. That is not specific to puzzles at all and shared by pretty much any collector. Knowing you have something others crave is attractive, but often it doesn't matter what others think: Perhaps it is just an item you never obtained or one that completes a set.

The fourth builds on the third, and that is owning something rare but hand built by a builder you respect. This, for me, is a recent reason. Until I found TwistyPuzzles two years ago I didn't really think about it as I collected mainly for the first two reasons (primarily number one). This made selling my Dino cube so I could buy a Brilic an easy choice: A Dino is rare, but not hand made, and not by a friend. Although I miss it (and will probably want to replace it at some point) there are so many custom puzzles I would rather have for the same or half the price of a Dino.

What makes a puzzle a must have? Any one of these reasons will do. But if one puzzle has all four I am in trouble. Many of the puzzles I crave are shape mods by real craftsmen but they don't offer much for reason number one. But there are a few builders mining new territory in that area, specifically Adam, Drew and the.drizzle (not a complete list, but these guys stand out for designs with solutions not related to any other puzzle).

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:50 am 
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I'm not great at solving puzzles, so I think the biggest appeal to puzzles for me is their mechanisms. I love to build and work on puzzles, and I also love to look at the mechanisms to puzzles built by others. All of my puzzles have been disassembled at least once. Plus I love the uniqueness of puzzle collecting. I don't think I could ever get into your average baseball card collection or normal collections.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:39 am 
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Well, I love Algebra and Graph Theory. Now, puzzles are Algebra and Graph Theory
in real life form! I can hear voices from them calling me "solve me... solve meeee!!!"

Does anyone hear the same voices with me?

:lol:



Pantazis

PS. This is why I really prefer puzzles based on different mechanisms or different algebraic groups.
While some mods can be appealing, unless they have collecting value, I won't raise any eyebrow.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:51 am 
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kastellorizo wrote:
I can hear voices from them calling me "solve me... solve meeee!!!"

Does anyone hear the same voices with me?


I think your doctor would be interested to hear about these voices ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:27 am 
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Puzzlemaster42 wrote:
More specifically, what makes a puzzle a must have puzzle in your collection?


Mostly the fact that it is a historical cube, i.e. of the very early production.
That led me to collect ITC cubes, then Politoys cubes, then Politechnika cubes.
The the fact, as with stamps, that it is a 'test' or 'faulty' cube, like the Politechnika painted cube.
Sometimes the rarity of the 'cube (silver cube, Dinosaur Rubik's cubes, packaged octahedrons), but always I'm looking to have the 'original' product form the year when it was released.
Other reasons:
- the pleasure I have to look at the puzzles, turn it, like the Hexaminx,
- the puzzles are made by people I know personally (Dave, Marcel, Juozas, David, Lee, and many many more)
- the wish to be complete (usually impossible to fulfil as there are to many puzzles available and I haven't enough money)
I never want a cube/puzzle because of a possible increasing value, because they are for my pleasure and I know they will be thrown away after I will have passed out.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:32 am 
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1.- I like to play with them. I began in 1981, and it´s like a drug. My mind (brain) needs challenges like rubik puzzles. :lol:

2.- There are two "must have" puzzles. The puzzles I believe are hard challenges, and the nice ones. but ... I like all.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:58 am 
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Georges wrote:
I know they will be thrown away after I will have passed out.

If all it takes to toss your puzzles my way, is you passing out, I'll come knock you on the head. :wink: Then I'll make sure I'm in the right place when your wife tosses them out.

semantics again Georges when we die we "pass away" or kick the bucket or bite it. I am sure there are many other expressions as well.

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Last edited by katsmom on Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:23 am 
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katsmom wrote:

semantics again Georges when we die we "pass away" or kick the bucket or bite it. I am sure there are many other expressions as well.


life-long learning, thank you, katsmom!

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:13 am 
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I'm interest in it when I was young

but I collect it only a few years ,about 4 years

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:09 am 
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When I buy a puzzle, it´s mostly because I need a new challenge. I buy to be able to solve. But when I can solve a new puzzle, I need a new one to figure it out. That´s why I don´t have many doubles.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:20 am 
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because puzzles are beastly. and i just love themm i always want more and more

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:42 am 
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My collection happened by accident.

I've always liked puzzles. I learned how to solve the 3x3x3 a few years ago. I came across this site - saw Dodd's collection, didn't think there were that many puzzles out there (naive YES!).

Anyway, I wanted more - My first auction (entered and won) was Tony Fisher's 3x3x5. I fell in love with it and had to have more.

Around the same time - I saw Bill Cutler's The Cube. I didn't know wooden burr puzzles were just as intensive. Along came Mr. Puzzle - he talked me into getting the better quality burr puzzles.

So for my collection - I blame Tony Fisher and Mr. Puzzle (Brian Young) for getting me into 'collecting'. hahaha

----
As for why I collect? Well it was a break from digital media (Video Games hehe). It was something I can actually hold and play. It was just awesome to hold a physical game of sort.

I love the challenge, I love the aesthetics, I love the ingenuity of how it is made.
I'd rather collect high quality made puzzles as you'd collect paintings.

So my collection just came to be, rather than "I'm starting a collection".

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:32 pm 
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My friend got a 3x3 for Christmas a few years back, and as soon as I started turning it, I wanted to solve it. After I did, I searched for other solvers on YouTube, found out about Cube4You, Meffert's, etc. And it just became a bigger and bigger hobby from there. :P A must have puzzle? For me, I've wanted a Domino for so long, and as soon as I saw a low priced buy it now on Ebay, I had to have it.


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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:39 pm 
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I love the smell of new cubes in the morning :lol:

I just love the new challenge that is represented by a new puzzle, or the enhancements I get from new versions of puzzles (so I can alter my choice of speedcubes and modify my team of puzzles).

I also love collecting puzzles if they are rare or custom, I just love to have it in my posession, as I always take good care of puzzles that I get :P (Believe me, kids at my school treat cubes like trash, and that is unacceptable :P)


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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:56 pm 
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My answer: All of the above.

Although it has put some strain on my wallet/bank account. I'd love to have them all, but as a college student, it's not exactly going to happen. Recently, I've been having to downsize said collection.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:50 pm 
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I think I collect puzzles because I enjoy trying to solve them, and when I finally get it, cutting them apart and making weirded out stuff. :mrgreen:

I know I haven't posted a lot of particularly odd-looking mods, but I've made a couple mods that I didn't think were worth posting (fused cubes from 2 promotional cubes, 2x2x6 that somehow pops every solve, tangle mod that turns like an astrolabacus without the beads). Hopefully I'll get around to finishing some of my projects (currently handbuilt axis cube and keychain mod that's halfway between an edgeturning pyraminx and a mastermorphix, somewhat pillowed).

I have a nasty habit of modding puzzles that I only have one of, though. Recently it was my 3x3x3, I put stuff on the stickers so that I could solve by touch (for in my sleeping bag when camping :lol: ), does anyone have advice on this problem?

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:24 pm 
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Fractangle wrote:
I have a nasty habit of modding puzzles that I only have one of, though. Recently it was my 3x3x3, I put stuff on the stickers so that I could solve by touch (for in my sleeping bag when camping :lol: ), does anyone have advice on this problem?


Make sure you have 2 of everything, especially the basics?


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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:57 pm 
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JasperJ wrote:
Fractangle wrote:
I have a nasty habit of modding puzzles that I only have one of, though. Recently it was my 3x3x3, I put stuff on the stickers so that I could solve by touch (for in my sleeping bag when camping :lol: ), does anyone have advice on this problem?


Make sure you have 2 of everything, especially the basics?


Exactly. I have around 13 or so 3x3s, and that's a pretty small number considering the size of my collection.


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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:27 pm 
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If I see a puzzle and think "I gotta have it" then it is a must for my collection.
I collect because I like twisty puzzles and I like spending money.
And once in a while I like to show them to friends.
"I didn't think they got that big!"
lol

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:29 pm 
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JasperJ wrote:
Fractangle wrote:
I have a nasty habit of modding puzzles that I only have one of, though. Recently it was my 3x3x3, I put stuff on the stickers so that I could solve by touch (for in my sleeping bag when camping :lol: ), does anyone have advice on this problem?


Make sure you have 2 of everything, especially the basics?


But... But... If I've got two of it, then surely I can sacrifice one for modding!

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:48 pm 
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Fractangle wrote:
JasperJ wrote:
Fractangle wrote:
I have a nasty habit of modding puzzles that I only have one of, though. Recently it was my 3x3x3, I put stuff on the stickers so that I could solve by touch (for in my sleeping bag when camping :lol: ), does anyone have advice on this problem?


Make sure you have 2 of everything, especially the basics?


But... But... If I've got two of it, then surely I can sacrifice one for modding!


Exactly, but then you'll still have one left over if the mod goes bad. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:57 pm 
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aliengrey wrote:
Fractangle wrote:
JasperJ wrote:

Make sure you have 2 of everything, especially the basics?


But... But... If I've got two of it, then surely I can sacrifice one for modding!


Exactly, but then you'll still have one left over if the mod goes bad. ;)


Good point. Then I get two chances! :P

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:46 pm 
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Hmm, that's an interesting question.

I'd say it's because of a few reasons, most all mentioned already:
1) I love solving. I usually don't sit down and memorize algorithms and try to get faster, but to and from classes at school i'll pull out a pyraminx crystal of a 5x5 and do a solve just to keep myself occupied. Plus the "ooh"s and "ahh"s when i pull out something rare like an alexander's star or my fisher cube is always reassuring.
2) Puzzles are beautiful. I have always been a stickler for symmetry, and all puzzles involve some form of symmetry. So do commutators. Puzzles on display are wonderful to look at and always worthy of a second glance.
3) Knowing i have something rare makes that puzzle that much more interesting. When i got my dogic i could barely contain myself, and even though it's hard to play with i still love it because it's something that not everybody has. I try to stay away from the common stuff (i don't have a rubik's 4x4 or 5x5, a pyraminx, a skewb, or a tetraminx yet) and get stuff that's harder to find, much more difficult and rewarding.

-CC10

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:39 am 
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I collect puzzles for several reasons.

1: Its a fun hobby
2: I like getting packages int he mail
3: They are intresting to look at/mess around with
4: some are fun to solve
5: I like looking at my collection and have that feeling that I own all of these rare puzzles
6: Just so I can say that I have the puzzles in my collection

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:08 pm 
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Some interesting and thoughtful comments by folks here - I agree with most of them.

Why do I collect puzzles?

Primarily because of simple monkey curiosity, I suppose. I like intellectual challenges, I like sharing those intellectual challenges with others, and I like having first-hand access to a broad spectrum of puzzle concepts and physical expressions of them.

I have been interested in accumulating a good representative cross-section of the myriad ways people have devised to entertain and stump each other. Puzzling is, I don't know, like participating in a dialogue with another mind, unconstrained by gulfs of space, time, and culture - it's a confirmation that despite our differences we have some fundamental positive things in common. (Man, that sounds like so much hot air, but some of you will know what I mean, I hope...)

I love the "A-ha!" moment. I like mathematics and logic. I am fascinated by underlying logical principles that can be discovered and used to work out solutions in an organized way. Puzzle collecting, as opposed to other hobbies, ties to these pleasures.
I also generally like other people who like puzzles, and I very much enjoy being a part of the community, and having found an outlet where I can contribute as well as benefit.


What makes a puzzle a "must have?"

I always weigh a puzzle hobby acquisition against several criteria, including:

* First and foremost, will my wife doubt my sanity (any more than she already does) and/or become too difficult to co-habit with? :wink:
Kidding aside, this is a hobby and it cannot be pursued to the detriment of all else. All addictions are unhealthy.

* Does the item embody a fundamental puzzle concept I haven't seen before, and for which I do not already own a good representative? Or is it "more of the same?"

* Does the puzzle have good "mouthfeel?" - a term my puzzle friends and I have borrowed from the food business to refer to that subjective "je ne sais quoi" which makes something especially appealing and satisfying. It entails creativity, great workmanship, heft, precision, finish, and choice of material, to name a few dimensions.

* Do I think I'll enjoy the process of solving the puzzle - spending enough time with it to ferret out its underlying secrets? Very rarely do I acquire a puzzle, particularly a puzzle that seems like it would be too arduous to solve, only for its value as a conversation piece. In my opinion, truly elegant puzzles are not overly complex - if they are, they move from the realm of fun, to that of curiosities that might overawe, but will be loved by only a few. I think the best puzzles are those you aren't afraid to hand out at a party, and are immediately accessible even to people who profess to dislike puzzles. (Such folks are usually fibbing anyway - every genetic line alive today is the product of hundreds of thousands of years of selection for good puzzle-solving skills, in an environment that basically wants us dead :-)

* Does the puzzle have some historical significance, or an interesting backstory? I am especially interested in examples of puzzles embodying the first occurrence of some new principle, or for which I can track down an old patent, or those discussed in old puzzle books.

I have never made a puzzle acquisition based on my expectations of a return on investment. For me puzzles are a pleasant hobby and an escape from the worries of commerce. It's an area of my life where I really don't want to have to make spreadsheet calculations of risk and reward. Sure, it's great to know that some items I've acquired have appreciated in value, but I never bought them with the intent to re-sell them. At the end of the day, they're hunks of wood, plastic, and metal - all vulnerable to decay and destruction or theft, and they meet no other basic needs except those to experience beauty and wonder.

It's a balancing act among these various criteria. It also depends very much on what other items or activities might lay claim to my disposable income in any given timeframe.

So, one person's "must have" will be another's "can do without" - even for one person most items probably exist in a superposition of those states. I don't think there can ever be any innate qualities that will determine the answer exclusive of external factors such as those I've mentioned.

Thanks for the opportunity to reflect!

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:46 pm 
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The main reason that I have to collect puzzles is because when I see a puzzle that I like, I imagine myself playing with it and I try to picture how it will fill in my hands.
I will then try and purchase it for my collection. And the waiting for it to arrive and then open the package is very satisfying...
That's what happens with most of the puzzles that I have.
Some of them come in packs with several puzzles, and when I see an auction like this on Ebay, I try to win it, 'cause that's a rare opportunity to expand my collection for a nice price...

As for what makes a puzzle a "must have" in my collection, I guess the ones that are original and that capture my attention right away.
I can make several examples of a "must have" in my collection:

- Rubik's Cube
- Megaminx
- Alexander's Star
- The Bedlam Cube
- Gordian's Knot
- Orb-It

And I still have to put my hands on a Void Cube, a Pyraminx Crystal, a Rubik's UFO, a Babylon Tower, A Mad Triad, a Smart Alex, a Dogic, and many more that I can't think of right now. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:47 pm 
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Just because I am constantly growing bored with my current collection. I always have to add something.

Must have
Rubik's Mirror Blocks

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:34 pm
Location: Boston
I think for me it's best stress remover, it's like a good book, but good book are hard to find, and puzzle are easy to take with you and solve while waiting ...


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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:20 pm 
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
i collect too much stuff in general. I have collected stuff since like forever. you dont wanna see my room :mrgreen:
but after I started collecting puzzles, all other stuff have fallen in rank on my wanted list and in general
and I have started concidering giving up my other interests to benefit my puzzle interests.
but then again, I cant! I love every hobbie I have. how could I choose?
maybe I dont need this $400 custom painted Magnesium yoyo.. :roll: (I pity myself for buying this collectors item)

a puzzle just packs something no other item does.

but why do I collect them? because I simply cant help myself. this goes into the extreme. back when the V-cubes came out I ordered them with the last money I had and lived off nothing for a while. I sound like a kid, but I am not kidding :) I keep promising myself that this cant happen again, but I am sure it will.

what makes it a must have for me? Something new. or something better. Or something basic I dont have (yet! :) ).
its hard to say, but easy once I look at it.

Scott, dont tell me I dont know anything about collecting! And why is is that just if my opinion is different than yours, then its is not O.K. ? this is a DISCUSSION board isnt it?

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I believe it would work best with black plastic.

My puzzles in the Museum
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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:53 am 
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Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
Doubleyou wrote:
Scott, dont tell me I dont know anything about collecting! And why is is that just if my opinion is different than yours, then its is not O.K. ? this is a DISCUSSION board isnt it?
I've just reread this entire thread, and I still don't know what you're talking about.


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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:16 am 
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Location: Fort Meade, MD
JasperJ wrote:
I've just reread this entire thread, and I still don't know what you're talking about.


It happens often.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do you collect puzzles?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:39 pm 
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
JasperJ wrote:
Doubleyou wrote:
Scott, dont tell me I dont know anything about collecting! And why is is that just if my opinion is different than yours, then its is not O.K. ? this is a DISCUSSION board isnt it?
I've just reread this entire thread, and I still don't know what you're talking about.


in another thread Scott told me to keep me opinion to myself, apparently because I didnt know enough about collecting.
Those questions btw. were retoric.

Shua, what do you mean?

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Tony Fisher wrote:
I believe it would work best with black plastic.

My puzzles in the Museum
My Website
My Youtube Channel


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