Now as some regular readers (which I like to think that I have) may have noticed I do tend to lean towards acquiring metal puzzles, but I've only really recently started to get quite interested in wooden puzzles as well. When I saw this puzzle on the shelf in Village Games in Camden (London) I just knew that I was going to be leaving with it!
This is the Explosion Cube, lovingly hand-crafted in the Czech Republic by Vinco:
You may remember that a fellow puzzler by the name of Chris previously wrote an article for my blog about Vinco's Dual Tetrahedron 9 puzzle in which he states that the craftsmanship is excellent, and I can say that the Explosion Cube is no different! This puzzle is handmade, and you really can tell. Every edge is perfectly sanded and there isn't any space to spare in-between each of the pieces. Only four pieces actually make up the Explosion Cube, but each piece is made up of several different types of contrasting wood that have been glued and sanded together to form the beautiful artwork of colour that you can see in the above images. I especially like the light wood corners.
Like I said, the Explosion Cube is only made up of four pieces, but the puzzle is actually a little hard to figure out at first. It actually took me a good few minutes to work out how to disassemble it properly. You can see in the image on the right how the cube looks when it starts to come apart, and this is where I imagine the 'Explosion' part of the name comes from. All four pieces have to be moved at the same time to take the cube apart, so there is a really nice moment when the puzzle sort of opens up from all sides at once and the motion of it is really satisfying to repeat.
Once you have the four pieces fully disassembled it isn't too difficult to see how they go back together, but the puzzle is actually managing to find a way to actually implement your assembly technique. As all of the pieces came apart at the same time that also means that they all have to go back together at the same time, which can make you feel like you need some more hands to achieve it, but with a bit of determination you will get there without too much difficulty. I think it took me no more than 6 or 7 minutes to take apart and then reassemble the Explosion Cube.
I absolutely love this puzzle, so much so that I'm aiming to get hold of many more of Vinco's puzzles in the future, I already have one other simpler puzzle which is great fun, and I will also review that one soon.
You can buy Vinco's puzzles directly from him on his site here: LINK.
And you can also buy a great variety of Vinco's puzzles from Puzzle Master in Canada.