Saturday, December 31, 2022

Looking Back to 2022

Hello puzzle lovers!

It's time to look back on this year.

We Have released the following 12 kinds of mechanical puzzles in 2022.

19th February - Puzzle Turbine and Splitted 12

We had been temporarily closing our web shop since near the end of 2021. After the shop was resumed, two types of high-level burr puzzles with slightly unusual shapes have been released.


23rd April - Bubble Universe

Juno says it was very difficult to produce this two-layer packing puzzle because of the small glued area of the pieces and the tight tolerances.

22nd May - Mittan

This is the Jury Grand Prize winner puzzle of the 2022 Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition. We received many personal emails from cat-loving customers.

10th July - Crooked 6 Board Burr #2 and Partially Crooked 6 Board Burr

The assembled shape of both puzzles looks like a regular 6 board burr, but when you start playing the puzzles, it feels very strange.

7th August - Card Case

We didn't dare mention it at the time of release, but there is a maze on either side of the light-colored slider of the puzzle.

18th September - Kumikisaurus

This is our first-time animal-shaped burr puzzle. It sold much faster than we expected.

6th November - Ovoloid

Five kinds of timber species, Bubinga (Sap wood), Tasmanian Myrtle, Fijian Mahogany, Camphor Laurel and Wenge are used for this very difficult burr puzzle.

25th December - Euroka 10x3, Half Splitted 12, and Pseudo Stretchy 12

Since pluredro in Esperanto means polyhedron, we always wanted to have polyhedral shaped puzzles in stock, but the Euroka 10x3 sold out in almost a day. The remaining two were added to Juno's invention of burr puzzles consisting of six 2x2 pieces and six 3x1 pieces.




How many puzzles have you played already?
We aim to make more fun puzzles tickle your intellectual curiosity.

We wish you and your family the best for the next year!




Sunday, December 25, 2022

Three new burr puzzles, 26th Puzzle Auction Results

We are going to release three kinds of burr puzzles, Euroka 10x3, Half Splitted 12 and Pseudo Stretchy 12, today. It's been a while since we sold out of polyhedral puzzles in stock, so it's time to add new one.

Three puzzles were put up for charity auction, with total puzzle sales reaching a staggering $1,841.09! As promised, half of the puzzle sales were donated to BirdLife Australia to help save the future of Australia's native birds. 

In warm appreciation of your loyalty during the past year, we extend our very best holiday wishes to you and your loved ones. 

May your Christmas and new year be filled with happiness and success.
We'll see you again next year!

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Eric

I was saddened and shocked to hear of the passing of my old friend Eric Fuller.

It had been a long time since Eric first contacted me by email. In 2005, Eric was very early in his puzzle making business and he wanted to know if my puzzle designs could be used in his business. I never heard his name until then but anyways, I replied OK to him because there was no reason to deny his offer, and I thought that he was gentle and polite.

One day, I received a parcel from Eric containing Two by Three puzzles. To be honest, I thought his work was not that much better than similar burr puzzles made by Japanese craftsmen. The puzzles that Eric made were not coated and the tolerances were a bit too loose, and I thought to myself, if business can be done with such things, the US must be easy. In hindsight, he may not have owned the superior machines and tools that he does today.

Each time he sent me a designer's copy of a puzzle he made, the quality improved. He always cared about the puzzle designers and was willing to pay royalties.

My first face to face encounter with Eric was at an IPP (International Puzzle Party). He found me and started telling me that he would like to produce more of my designed puzzles using exotic timber. He looked very shy and humble, perhaps because he didn't have a Mohican hairstyle back then. My wife and I often call mischievous cockatoos that come to our backyard Eric, by the way.

I left Japan with my wife in 2011 and moved to Australia, and when I applied for a work visa in 2013, I asked Eric if he could write a reference letter for me. Eric immediately responded to my request, knowing that my business sponsor (Mr Puzzle) and I would be a potential competitor for his business. I thanked him and told him I should buy him a glass of beer in the future. Additionally, when my wife and I started our puzzle business, Eric was kind enough to give us information on what kind of circular saw blades, dado blades, and coatings he used. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to meet him at the IPP in Paris in 2017 and had the chance to return the favor.

I continued to collaborate with Eric and he has proven that we can share this puzzle world. He promised to show me his workshop if I had the opportunity to visit the US. The last time I received an email from Eric was only a month ago. He was discussing about his future project involving a puzzle I had recently designed.

He was too young. It was a great loss to his family, friends and the puzzle world. Rest in peace my friend.

Juno