This has to be (in my opinion) one of -if not the- best looking puzzle of the Hanayama Cast range. This is the Cast Equa:
This was the Cast puzzle that I wanted to get more than any of the others, mostly again because of how good it looks. And with it's solid metal construction, finished in dark colour chrome it really does look spectacular. I would've reviewed it earlier on but even though I got it for Christmas I only just managed to put it back together this morning! And I wanted to have a photo of the Equa in it's completed form for my review.
One thing that is kind of hard to tell from the photos is that the Equa is actually made up of three solid metal pieces and not two. The outer 'casing' of the puzzle is all one piece and looks the same from every angle, but the inner 'ball' of the puzzle is actually made up of two 'c' shaped rings that lock together to form a sort of sphere....thing. The inner sphere can be rotated within the outer part to a certain degree, but there are two small protruding areas on the sphere that stop it from being moved in certain directions.
I managed to get the Equa apart into it's three pieces after about 2-3 hours, and I thought it would take me much less to put it back together, but oh how wrong I was. I didn't pay too much attention to how it came apart, and because of that I wasn't really sure on how to start putting it back together again. So it took me another few weeks of fiddling with it on and off until I managed to put it back together this morning and take a photo of it.
Hanayama rate the Equa as a level 5 out of 6 on it's difficulty scale, which I think is actually about right, but it definitely borders on being a level 6. All I can say is pay close attention when it comes apart. You have been warned!
This puzzle was also bought for me (lucky me eh?), but it came from: Puzzle This. It is also available from Puzzle Master.
Also read Brian Pletcher's review of the Cast Equa here: LINK