Sunday, 12 November 2017

Wayne Daniels All Five

I’ve owned a MI Toys copy of All Five for a long time… and for an even longer time I’ve lusted gently after a real Wayne Daniels original copy of All Five… earlier this year I was offered a copy – it is now safely in the humble hoard.

All Five has featured on a lot of blogs (Brian, Gabriel), in learned magazines (Science), in less learned ones (Games – forgive me guys!) and even been in the New York Times!

Definition of Platonic Solids: according to Wikipedia (so it must be right!) – Platonic Solids have congruent, regular polygonal faces with the same number of faces meeting at each vertex. It turns out there are (provably only) five Platonic Solids – the Tetrahedron, Cube, Octahedron, Dodecahedron and Icosahedron.

Wayne Daniels genius was not only to find a way of nesting them inside one another rather efficiently (that had been done a long time ago), but also to fill up the remaining voids with pieces that were themselves either Platonic Solids or would combine with other pieces to make Platonic Solids… 

...and then actually craft all those bits, rather beautifully in some exquisite hardwood… NOW do you see why I was lusting after an original copy?

Each of the Platonic Solids can stand on its own, or nestles inside its neighbour, with space-filling pieces to keep it snug…

I’ve always loved the concept, but I find myself really marvelling at the craftsmanship that gives life to a thoroughly beautiful object that contains the essence of Plato’s mathematical beauty within…

Disassembly will pretty much take care of itself if you help it along at the appropriate points… and assembly is a wonderful exercise in careful, neat packing.



  1. Replies
    1. really is! Haven't come across anyone who's seen one in the flesh and doesn't love it...

  2. I have a (similar) puzzle that has the DUALS of the five Platonic Solids. It's a beauty. ;)

    1. Ooh - that sounds interesting... can you send me a pic, Tyler?

    2. Please forgive me -- my mathematics humour gene kicked in yesterday when I wrote that. Notice the playful wink at the end of my comment. The brackets and the all-caps were also significant.

      Without getting into a bunch of geometry definitions:
      The Dodecahedron and the Icosahedron are duals of each other.
      The Cube and the Octahedron are duals of each other.
      The dual of the Tetrahedron is another Tetrahedron.

      I have a copy of this same puzzle. Do you still want a photo?

    3. ...hook, line and sinker...

      I need to get smarter! LOTS smarter...

  3. I still don’t own a copy of this (much to my shame), I’ve been holding out for the Wayne Daniels version and never had the opportunity to get one.


  4. quick stupid question but where/how do you get these puzzles?

    1. Recently crafted puzzles generally come straight from the craftsmen. Older puzzles like this one generally come from puzzle auctions or private sales among friends... key message is make friends with lots of puzzle collectors and puzzle craftsmen! (Which doesn't seem like a bad idea anyway...)