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Saturday, 11 June 2011

Minibox C2 (Vinco)

Here's a really cool little packing puzzle simply called the Minibox C2, designed and made by the Czech puzzle designer Vinco, which was kindly sent to me by the guys over at Puzzle Master.

Considering that it only looks like a standard 2x2x2 cube you could be forgiven for thinking that this couldn't possibly be a difficult puzzle, but if you take a closer look at some of the pretty irregular angles going on in the partially disassembled photo on the right, you may be persuaded to reconsider.

The Minibox C2 is made up of eight completely different and irregular pieces and a box to pack them in to. The wood used is not expensive hardwood but it does still have a nice feel to it. Plus as the wood used is cheaper in comparison to many others, it also makes the final price far far less. Some puzzlers don't care for the look of untreated wood, but just like the Makishi Puzzle Boxes; sometimes less can be more.

Normally puzzles like this can be classed as either 'Put Together' or 'Packing' types, but in this case I would be swayed into saying that it is more of a packing puzzle as the final cube doesn't hold it's shape very well without the aid of the box.

Now, I mentioned that this puzzle is harder than it looks, but it really doesn't look particularly hard so that doesn't mean too much. But this puzzle took me well over half an hour to put back together, and I like to think that I'm not too much of an amateur when it comes to packing puzzles. The angles inside the cube are very irregular, but despite this the pieces can still arrange themselves in a surprisingly large number of different ways. I kept getting seven of the pieces together only to find that the eighth refused to go in! Vinco classes this puzzle as a level 4 out of 5, and I'm happy to agree with that.

All-in-all I reckon that the Minibox C2 is a great little packing puzzle that you won't be afraid to hand over to anyone to try. Whether they'll be able to give it back to you in one piece however is a different matter entirely.

This puzzle is currently available from Puzzle Master for the extremely reasonable price of around $11. Also check them out for a whole load of other puzzle designs by Vinco.

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