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Vaclav Obsivac (Vinco) - Puzzle Maker

Posted by Gabriel Fernandes for Brilliant Puzzles on 1/20/2015 to Educational
Which company/craftsman makes the most beautiful puzzles?

Over the last few months, I've been trying to answer this question and every time I attempt to do so, I come up with several more candidates for that prestigious title. And you know what? No answer is wrong. Each one of us have our own preferences. There are many talented puzzle designers out there that fulfill our requirements of what truly makes a beautiful puzzle. My job is just to focus on one of them at a time and hope I make them justice by showcasing their fantastic work and, who knows, maybe helping you to discover a new artist you didn't know about.

My previous articles have highlighted the creations of the highly popular Hanayama's Cast Series, the magnificent Japanese Puzzle Boxes and the prolific Jean Claude Constantin. This time, I will focus on another incredibly talented puzzle designer and maker, Václav Obšivac.

Born in 1962 in the Czech Republic, Václav Obšivac - better known in the puzzle community simply as Vinco - is an avid fan of skiing and biking, but what gets him the most recognition is his exceptional craftsmanship working with local wood. His puzzle-making adventure started in 2001, and since then, he has created countless designs, many with several versions featuring different types of timber.

Vinco mainly makes two types of puzzles, each one quite impressively made: packing puzzles (2D and 3D) and coordinate-motion puzzles. He has also ventured into other types of puzzles, but I will focus more on the two mentioned above, since they're the ones that have been fascinating more puzzle enthusiasts all over the world. First, let's start with the coordinate-motion puzzles. The term invokes something that seems difficult to achieve, as if you needed to be extremely dexterous to solve it. Well, in fact, it's not far from reality, because you do need some dexterity skills to solve these puzzles, especially when you're reassembling them.

So what exactly are coordinate-motion puzzles? As the term might've suggested already, you need to coordinate all your moves simultaneously in order to take apart or put together all the pieces of each specific puzzle. Each move will affect all pieces in the puzzle at the same time, and any other type of moves will result in no progress whatsoever. The best example to explain this is a figure, seen below, where all three pieces have to be pushed in at the same time, thus locking the puzzle until an opposite move can take them apart again. (Figure courtesy of John Rausch from johnrausch.com)

Vinco Puzzles Collection

From this simple example you can then move on to much more complex structures and interesting shapes, naturally with more pieces. This is exactly what Vinco excels at better than anyone, and to prove it you can see below a few extraordinary examples of some of the most impressive geometrical shapes he makes.

Vinco Puzzles Collection

Not only do Vinco's designs impress visually, but the texture of each puzzle is also remarkable. To get a perfect finish on his puzzles, Vinco polishes and waxes each one so the pieces slide easily on and off the puzzle and have an extra smooth surface, but also to protect the wood itself against dust and other elements. Vinco's coordinate-motion puzzles are strikingly beautiful. What contributes most for this is the high contrast between the various types of wood used in his puzzles. Vinco does this very effectively, from two up to several different colors, depending on the design and shape of the puzzle he's working on. The contrast always helps in the solving process, as the lines that separate the colors are usually the edges of pieces that move. You just have to discover in which direction they slide away from each other.

Another popular type of puzzle Vinco excels at is packing puzzles...extremely difficult packing puzzles. Just like its coordinate-motion brethren, this type of puzzles have a very distinct way of being made. Vinco takes small oddly-shaped pieces and glues them together at different angles, resulting in even odder and bigger pieces. As expected, these puzzles are very challenging, perhaps harder than his coordinate-motion range.

Vinco Puzzles Collection

Vinco's packing puzzles may not be as visually attractive to some as the coordinate-motion ones, but in my opinion they're as impressive as any of his other types of puzzles. Packing puzzles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and Vinco's are no different. Whether it's a 2D or a 3D puzzle, the design always gains from Vinco's great sense of style, with his contrasting wood colors and odd shapes. No two pieces are the same, which means that the patterns created are some of the most remarkable currently seen in the market.

There's another puzzle type by Vinco that I find quite fascinating, which is the interlocking spheres. Currently, I don't own any of these, but judging from the eye-candy designs and shapes, I can only imagine they're as extraordinary and beautiful as any other I've tried from this talented craftsman.

Vinco Puzzles Collection

Final Thoughts:

Vinco is among the best puzzle makers around, and when it comes to wood puzzles it's almost impossible to find any faults or imperfections in his work. He's very passionate about what he does, and that's clearly visible in his incredible works of art, worthy of every penny they cost. If you have yet to discover the works by Vinco, please do yourself a favor and buy one, or two, or three...as many puzzles as you can and enrich your collection. You'll certainly not be disappointed.

Vinco Puzzles Collection

See Vaclav Obsivac (Vinco) Puzzles.

*All photos used in the collages are courtesy of Václav Obšivac at vinco.cz

Jean Claude Constantin -Puzzle Maker

Posted by Gabriel Fernandes for Brilliant Puzzles on 12/22/2014 to Educational
Which company/craftsman makes the most beautiful puzzles? 
In my endless pursuit to answer this question, this time I will focus on one of today's most prolific puzzle designers out there - and my favorite - Jean Claude Constantin. The name suggests a French origin, but Constantin is in fact from Nuremberg, Germany, where he produces in his shop over 70 new designs each year; and having been a puzzle designer for so long, imagine the total number of different puzzles he's been able to make so far. I currently own about 100 of his puzzles, so I can only dream of having, one day, all of his puzzles...and at the current rate he's making them, it's an almost impossible feat.

Jean Claude Constantin Collection

Japanese Puzzle Boxes

Posted by Gabriel Fernandes for Brilliant Puzzles on 11/14/2014 to Featured Puzzles and Brain Teasers

Which company/craftsman makes the most beautiful puzzles?

This was the question I raised on my previous article, but since there's no right or wrong answer, and each reader will have his/her own opinion on the subject, I will continue my effort to show you some of the best puzzle makers out there capable of designing truly stunning puzzles. My choice this time goes to an absolutely amazing type of puzzles, the Japanese Puzzle Boxes.

Hanayama Cast Puzzles - Best Mechanical puzzles of all Times

Posted by Gabriel Fernandes for Brilliant Puzzles on 10/21/2014 to Featured Puzzles and Brain Teasers
I've been a blogger for over four years now, and one of the perks of this hobby is that a lot of people write to me on a regular basis, whether it's to exchange ideas, commenting about a particular post, or simply to ask questions about these wonderful objects we like to call...mechanical puzzles. One of the questions I was asked a while back got me thinking about puzzles in a different way, looking for characteristics and special features that distinguish them from the average-looking puzzles.

"Which company/craftsman makes the most beautiful puzzles?"

Brainstring Houdini - 3D Brain Teaser Puzzle

Posted by Brilliant Puzzles on 10/6/2014 to New Puzzles and Games
Back in 1992 inventor Guido Lap came up with the idea of interchangeable strings. Ten years later Brainstring Original was introduced and almost immediately became a worldwide bestseller. 

Now you can play with this great new version of the Brainstring Houdini here at Brilliant Puzzles. 

 Any string is interchangeable with another, so there are many possibilities for play. All imaginable combinations can be made. 
Move each button one-by-one by simply gripping and lifting the button, pulling it and the attached elastic into its new position. 

 Watch the video below to see how to string and un-string Houdini!

New Cast Hanayama Puzzles for July

Posted by Brilliant Puzzles on 6/29/2014 to New Puzzles and Games

New Hanayama Puzzles For Your Collection

 

 

Cast Delta - Hanayama Metal Puzzle


 

Take the puzzle apart and put it back together, that is the objective of this great metal puzzle by Hanayama.

 The Delta puzzle is formed by joining three separate pieces that mesh with each other. It is the brain-child of Hong Kong native Kyoo Wong who, with the eye of an engineer, has worked on a number of cast puzzles. While simple in form, its geometry somehow challenges and stirs up our creativity. The theme is the number three.

Designed by Kyoo Wong.


 

 

Cast Twist - Hanayama Metal Puzzle

 Take the puzzle apart and put it back together, that is the objective of this great metal puzzle by Hanayama.

 Using the grooves, slide the protrusions and attempt to complete this very complicated puzzle. The assymmetrical design will mesmerize you and bewilder your memory. The movement is definitely a twist. The theme for this puzzle is tangle.

It was designed by Oskar van Deventer from the Netherlands.


 

 

Cast Cylinder - Hanayama Metal Puzzle

 

 

Take the puzzle apart and put it back together, that is the objective of this great metal puzzle by Hanayama.

 As the name implies, there is a hidden trick inside the cylinder puzzle. There is absolutely no hint or clue on how to start from the outside appearance. If there is one hint that we can provide, it is to go about it as if you were cracking open a safe.

Enjoy finding the solution while pretending to be a spy cracking open a safe with a shaken not stirred martini by your side. The theme is "lock".

 Designed by Vesa Timonen from Finland.


 

 

Cast G&G - Hanayama Metal Puzzle

 Take the puzzle apart and put it back together, that is the objective of this great metal puzzle by Hanayama.

 Each piece is solid so that you can feel its weight when you hold it in your hands. You can see the sophistication in what, at a glance, looks like a rugged design. The has many possibilities and as soon as you start trying to take it apart, you will notice several protrusions that will hinder your path. This is the challenge that you must overcome. The theme of this puzzle is the letter G.

It was designed by Jin-Hoo Ahn from South Korea.

 

New - 3d Car Model Puzzles

Posted by Brilliant Puzzles on 5/29/2014 to New Puzzles and Games

 New at Brilliant Puzzles- 3d Model Car Puzzles

Specially for the upcoming Father's day, the Perfect gift to play and display.

 

Rubik's 40th Anniversary - New Arrivals

Posted by Brilliant Puzzles on 5/19/2014 to New Puzzles and Games
Today is the Rubik's 40th Anniversary, and Brilliant Puzzles is celebrating with new twisty Rubik's Rotation style puzzles from Meffert's. Check out the new puzzles, and many more at our Cube puzzles category.


 Skewb Xtreme - Meffert's Rotation

 



A beautiful new version of the Skewb Cube from Tony Fisher and Meffert's, which adds an extra level of complexity and uses high quality vinyl labels.

SKEWB Xtreme pushes puzzle fun to the extreme. It's challenging, but can be solved! and it is one of the most beautiful geometric forms ever created, symmetrical from all angles. 
With ten colors it is also one of the most colorful puzzles around.
A great add to any twisting puzzle lover.

 

 

Pyraminx - Meffert's Rotation

 

This is the famous Pyraminx puzzle that has been around for 40 years, and still it captures the original fascination.

Pyraminx is a triangular pyramid-shaped (or tetrahedron) puzzle.

The parts arranged in a pyramidal pattern on each side of the puzzle. The layers can be rotated with respect to each vertex, and the individual tips can be rotated as well.
It was designed by Uwe Meffert in the early 1970s.
Mix up and put back to the start.

 



 

 

 Venus Pillow - Meffert's Rotation

 

 A beautiful design by Evgeniy Grigoriev.
This is a very smooth moving rotational puzzle. Moves just like a 3x3x3 cube but looks quite different.
Venus Pillow is a mind bending classic.

It'll keep generations intrigued! With an amazing silhouette and super smooth movement, Venus Pillow generates never ending excitement.

A great add to any twisting puzzle lover. 

 

 

Skewb - Meffert's Rotation


This is the famous Pyraminx puzzle that has been around for 40 years, and still it captures the original fascination.

Pyraminx is a triangular pyramid-shaped (or tetrahedron) puzzle.

The parts arranged in a pyramidal pattern on each side of the puzzle. The layers can be rotated with respect to each vertex, and the individual tips can be rotated as well.
It was designed by Uwe Meffert in the early 1970s.
Mix up and put back to the start.

 

Gift Card Puzzle Promo at Brilliant Puzzles

Posted by Brilliant Puzzles on 12/14/2013 to Featured Puzzles and Brain Teasers
 


More Gift Card and Money Maze Puzzles





Pick up one of these handy Gift Card Puzzle and pop in your favorite gift card of choice. 

Now when you deliver the Gift Card Puzzle, your gift recipient will be tantalized by the sight of the gift card encased in a clear plastic maze. Your giftee needs to navigate the metal ball bearing through the maze before the interior chamber can be opened and the gift card released. Somehow being stuck inside a puzzle makes your gift seem about 10 times cooler... plus you get vicarious pleasure from watching your friends and loved ones struggle to open the damn thing. Now that's the true joy of giving!  

* Once opened, puzzle vault can be re-sealed and solved again.


 
  
The Bilz Pinball Money Holder Game has real flipper buttons and a plunger, just like a full-sized arcade game.

The recipient has to get all three balls in the hole at the end of the lightning bolt.

Once there, push the money holder's win button and pop open the gift drawer.
Now you can get the money from the inside.

 

You can play the game over and over again with or without money bills inside.

Today (12/04/2013) Only 30%-50% OFF on Featured Items at Brilliant Puzzles

Posted by Brilliant Puzzles on 12/3/2013 to Featured Puzzles and Brain Teasers
December 4, 2013

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Can you find the right sequence to spin the spiky Satellite outside its cage?
 
 
This version is made of coated bronze metal placed in a gift box with PVC window. 

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The Kumiki Ship shape Wooden brain teaser puzzle contains 16 non identical pieces that designed to resemble a ship. 
In Japanese the word kumiki means "joining wood together" and refers to varieties of wood craft. In the puzzling world it refers to 3D interlocking wood puzzle that resembled a familiar shape like buildings, vehicles and animals, not just abstract shapes like spheres and cubes. 
Tsunetaro Yamanaka (1874-1954) from Japan was the first craftsman to develop the figural wooden interlocking puzzles known as kumiki.
The object of this puzzle is to take it apart and then put it back together to form the original ship shape. 


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Great disentanglement wooden Brain Teaser puzzle in beautiful design (known also as Salvador String Puzzle or Mouse Maze).
 
The puzzle is a VERY tough one!
 
The object is to get the wooden rat and the string through the hole and ring maze and completely off the puzzle.
 
One wrong move and you've made the job even tougher!

Displays very nicely in it's upright position thanks to the wooden base. A perfect desk accessory or coffee table puzzle! 

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The Anaconda Cube is the new challenge for those who love the traditional Snake Cube Puzzle 3x3x3 (that contained 27 blocks).
 
This 4x4x4 with its 64 blocks is significantly difficult from the popular snake cube.
 
The objective here is to uncoil the cubes into a straight line and reassemble the cube to its 4x4x4 cube shape.
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Did you know?
This unique puzzle original idea is around since the beginning of the 20th century, however, the modern version was created in 1981 by NOB (Nobuyuki Yoshigahara), a talented Japanese puzzle designer and inventor. NOB had also designed several Cast puzzles for Hanayama (for example, the Cast News metal puzzle by Hanayama is based on the same solution mechanism as the Crazy X wooden puzzle). Also known as 'X Marks the Spot'.
 
Object
A very clever and tricky wooden brain teaser puzzle.
The objective of this puzzle is to remove the X from the square wooden frame.
Seems like impossible to solve, but can be solve in one second.
Don't be tempted to think it is an easy job.
A hint for the solution is in one of your physics lessons.

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Did you know?
The Complex Cube puzzle designed by Bill Cutler in 1991 and is very unique wooden puzzle with superb quality.
It was originally called Splitting Headache, because the designer claims you must use both sides of your brain to solve it (where your right side is responsible for intuitive problem solving and your left side for logical thinking).
 
Object
The puzzle has 9 pieces. Each piece of the 9 pieces is an assembly of small cubes or parts of a cube. The object is to get them back into a 3x3x3 cube, which won't be an easy task.
Each of the pieces having a beveled edge on all sides that give the puzzle a fancy look.
Come complete with a great base. The sides of the base have Plexiglas so as to best view the cube, and it makes a very attractive package.



Crazy Weekend at Brilliant Puzzles

Posted by Brilliant Puzzles on 11/6/2013 to New Puzzles and Games


       *  It is that simple
          1. Place items in your shopping cart with a value of $49 or more
          2. The Family Jewel Crystal Puzzle will be automatically added to your shopping cart for FREE 
          3. Proceed to checkout 
 
       *  Please note
          1. Offer Valid Thru Sunday, November 10 at 11:59 pm ET
          2. The Family Jewel Crystal Puzzle can come in either blue or green color

Featured Puzzles on sale at Brilliant Puzzles

Posted by Brilliant Puzzles on 1/21/2013 to Featured Puzzles and Brain Teasers

  Featured Puzzles. Did you know?...

Complex Cube - Brain Teaser Wooden Puzzle

Did you know?...

The Complex Cube puzzle designed by Bill Cutler in 1991 and is very unique wooden puzzle with superb quality.

It was originally called Splitting Headache, because the designer claims you must use both sides of your brain to solve it (where your right side is responsible for intuitive problem solving and your left side for logical thinking).

Description

The complex cube has 9 pieces. Each piece of the 9 pieces is an assembly of small cubes or parts of a cube. The object is to get them back into a 3x3x3 cube, which won't be an easy task.

Each of the pieces having a beveled edge on all sides that give the puzzle a fancy look.

Come complete with a great base. The sides of the base have Plexiglas so as to best view the cube, and it makes a very attractive package.

 

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Crazy X - Brain Teaser Wooden Puzzle 

Did you know?... 

This unique puzzle original idea is around since the beginning of the 20th century, however, the modern version was created in 1981 by NOB (Nobuyuki Yoshigahara), a talented Japanese puzzle designer and inventor. NOB had also designed several Cast puzzles for Hanayama (for example, the Cast News metal puzzle by Hanayama is based on the same solution mechanism as the Crazy X wooden puzzle). Also known as 'X Marks the Spot'.

Description

A very clever and tricky wooden brain teaser puzzle. The objective of this puzzle is to remove the X from the square wooden frame. 
Seems like impossible to solve, but can be solve in one second, if you know how... A hint for the solution is in one of your physics lessons (think about "force" but don't use force to solve the puzzle).

 

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Devil's Chess - Wooden Brain Teaser Puzzle

Devil's Chess, also called 'Just Fit', was designed by William Strijbos and won the Hikimi Puzzle Competition in 1990 (competition for wooden made puzzles only in Japan).

All 16 pieces and tray are made of wood. Each piece of the puzzle has 2 colors and when the pieces are arranged in the wooden tray as shown in the picture, there are actually 2 layers of 4x4. The pieces are cut in different angles and this is the reason the puzzle is hard to solve. Considers to be a very difficult puzzle.

Description

This one of a kind sixteen pieces wooden brain teaser puzzle represent all the possible ways that two pieces of 2 colors cut in different angels can be joined. The objective is to assemble the pieces into a two-layer, 4x4 checkerboards with the colors matching on both layers and with the colors being different on both layers.

Great Gift Ideas at Brilliant Puzzles

Posted by Brilliant Puzzles on 12/16/2012 to Featured Puzzles and Brain Teasers

Great Gift Ideas

   Best Sellers! Order now before they're gone!

                    

 

Solitaire Marble - Wooden Brain Teaser Game

Brilliant Low Price: $11.95

Beautiful and fancy wooden version of the classic solitaire game and a great brain teaser puzzle.
Begin with a single central peg vacancy. By jumping one peg over another and removing the peg which was jumped over, try to eliminate all the pegs until just 1 remains in the centre.
The board comes with a matching lid. 


Jumbling Tower - Classic Wooden Game

Brilliant Low Price: $17.95

Beautiful handmade version of this traditional popular and fun building classic game that has stood the test of time. The Jumbling Tower game combines test of skill, balance, strategy & patience. The Jumbling Tower construct from 54 blocks and is 18 stories tall. This beautiful wooden game set comes complete with a finely hand-crafted wood case to hold all of the pieces. A sliding wooden base allows for easy game setup. Take turns to remove the wooden bricks from the stack and replace them on the top. The tension mounts until finally the inevitable happens and someone causes the stack to tumble down! You can play it with any number of players from 5 years to adult.


                    

 

Magic 16 - 3D Magnetic Brain Teaser Puzzle

Brilliant Low Price: $11.95

This is a great challenging puzzle that magnetically combines 16 non identical pieces to form a sphere with 4 alternate solutions that included with the puzzle.

This puzzle got the Seal of Approval fro the National Parenting Center.

You can use the inner ball to store the pieces for safe keeping. 



Cobra Cube - Wooden Puzzle Brainteaser

Brilliant Low Price: $9.95

Definitely one of the most amazing brain teaser 3D cubes in our collection. Once the cube is unraveling, you'll discover how complicated and difficult it is to get it back into the original shape.
You can assemble this one over and over again and it will still be hard to remember the solution. By the way, there is more than one solution for this puzzle. You'll have so much fun that you can easily get addictive to this one.
The Cobra Cube is a bit different than the traditional Snake Cube Puzzle because there is more than one way you can twist the pieces due to different notches available for the wire to go through on each piece of the puzzle.
Also, there are different shapes you can do with this amazing cube (such as Cat, Dog, Snake, Chair, and more) - solution for some shapes is also provided. 


                    

 

Cast H&H - Hanayama Metal Puzzle

Brilliant Low Price: $10.90

 

Take it apart and put them back together, that is the objective of this beautiful metal puzzle.
Another great metal cast puzzle from Hanayama.

Try to separate the two H's locked together.

Click HERE for the entire Hanayama Puzzles line.



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 Vaclav Obsivac (Vinco) - Puzzle Maker
 Jean Claude Constantin -Puzzle Maker
 Japanese Puzzle Boxes
 Hanayama Cast Puzzles - Best Mechanical puzzles of all Times
 Brainstring Houdini - 3D Brain Teaser Puzzle

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