3D Puzzle Series 2, #1

The question came up a few days ago as to how big these capsule dispensers are. The balls are 2″ to 2.5″ in diameter. The machines, when stacked three high are over 6′ tall. And, there are more than a few different things being dispensed.

(Some of the different toys you can get.)

I’d mentioned at the end of the wire puzzle set that the Capsule Cafe that I’d been getting the puzzles from had closed. Well, that’s not the only place in the city that has capsule ball dispensers; it was just the one place that had the most machines all in one place. As I was walking through Tenmonkan, I happened by a different set of 10 machines, one of which had “Ki no Rikkai Pazuru Part 2” (3D Wooden Puzzles, Part 2). There are only 5 puzzles in this series, and they’re still only 200 yen each. Since these are more elaborate puzzles, apparently there’s a need for cost cutting measures, such as not including the little brochure in the ball talking about the other puzzles in the series, or giving the puzzles names. The advertising on the machine even states that if you can’t take them apart or put them back together again, that’s the allure of these puzzles.

So, I’m going to call this one “the cage” for the lack of a better name. At first glance, it looks pretty difficult. All the pieces are interlocking. None of them slide or rotate in place. It took me the better part of 3 minutes to figure it out, and then it was elegant, but simple.

The Cage consists of 12 pieces, or 2 sets of 6 identical parts. The only difference between the sets is the direction of the notches. Sort the pieces into sets. (Set A and set B.)

Then, take one piece from column A and one from Column B, and fit them together to make a cross. Do this with all the remaining pieces to make 6 crosses total.

Take 4 of the crosses and connect them to form a square box, with the left and right ends open.

Take one more cross and rotate it a bit so that it goes into one of the open sides, and turn it back to fit the notches together and close that end. Do the same thing with the remaining cross on the other open end, and you’re done.

To take the puzzle apart, just pick a side to twist off, and then disassemble the crosses to get back to the individual pieces. I give this 2 stars out of 5 for difficulty, and 5 stars out of 5 for elegance. If I ever get a workshop, I have ideas for making this puzzle MUCH harder, if scaled up a little bit.

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  1. I am a much of a sucker for machines that dispense surprise toys as any kid you ever saw. I would go broke! (Are there any that dispense Disney characters?)

    • Occasionally, yes. Mickey and Minnie medallions or keychains, Minions figures were big for a while. Frozen medallions had been popular when the movie came out here. Kind of depends what the toy companies decide to release. Most of the capsule toys get rotated out after a few weeks, but if they are popular there may be a second or third series release later on.


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