Sunday 25 May 2014

New Strijbos wares

A little while back Wil Strijbos’ latest email newsletter dropped into my inbox and I spotted a couple of new machined aluminium items that looked rather interesting, so I did the obvious thing and pretty soon I had a copy of each on my desk. 

Four-piece Jigsaw Puzzle is Wil’s version of the old classic. Thinkfun have been selling a purple plastic version for years (I remember buying a copy from Hamleys several years ago!) and there are several wooden variations out there – some with rather interesting shapes to them. 

Wil’s version is the classic square shape that looks like a simple four-piece jigsaw puzzle – how hard could it possibly be? Well, if you haven’t seen these before you’re likely to pick them up and expect the pieces to simply fall apart – except they don’t! Something seems to keep them from coming apart, and until you spot some rather subtle (very subtle on this version!) clues, you’re unlikely to get the pieces apart. You definitely won't solve this version by accident!

The pieces are all solid aluminium and the fit is absolutely perfect – which makes spotting the trick nice and tough initially, and then executing the required moves very tricky – there’s literally no margin for error at all… a really great version of a classic puzzle – brilliant for amusing muggles! 

Heart in Heart is a cute little puzzle consisting of a three-piece aluminium puzzle resting in a rather neat little machined brass base. Take the puzzle off the base and you’re faced with what may be a familiar sort of mechanism, albeit in a rather different shape. 

Ring-shaped versions of the mechanism have been around for a while. Wil had had a couple of samples made up a few years back and I was lucky enough to snag one of them – it took me ages to get it apart the first time, and then even longer to get back together again… it doesn’t take quite so long now, but it’s still incredibly finicky – especially starting it off on the reassembly. 

The heart-shape gets around this rather neatly due to its shape, so it’s a lot more fun to reassemble than the ring-version… things are a lot less critical in the early stages. 

Having said that, if you aren’t familiar with the concept, it might still take you a while to work out how the heck to take it apart – careful examination helps, but then your fingers will need to do things that the puzzle is specifically designed to make rather tricky – cute little puzzle that looks really good.

Both puzzles are produced and sold under Wil’s Streetwise brand, and readily available from the man himself...


  1. It's fun to reassemble the 4 piece jigsaw with green on one side and silver on the other!


    1. You REBEL! Hmmm, haven't tried that yet... :-)