Thursday, 28 January 2010

Rubik's Magic

Way back in the 80's I used to be hooked on the Rubik's puzzles and I was lucky enough that whenever I had a birthday or Xmas I would sometimes get another one. Over the years I acquired the cube, snake, missing link, triamid, fifteen, tangle, the clock and others including my all time favourite... The Rubik's Magic:


The idea of it is to get it from the 3 unlinked rings on the left to the 3 linked rings on the right (it's on the other side of the puzzle) by flipping/twisting it and using the tiny wires in the grooves on each piece to completely change the shape of it.

I had many hours of fun with it, always being careful never to push it a way it wouldn't go and I can actually solve it in UNDER 3 seconds and with my eyes closed (that's how much it's been played with). Skip forward 15 years, a friend of mine picked it up, fiddled with it and broke it in less than a minute :S As you can imagine I wasn't particularly impressed. I kept meaning to replace it, but never got round to it until last week. The "current" version of it is red not black (same technical design though), but I wanted an original one so after some hunting around I found someone selling the original ones (1986) and still new/sealed and these days really not that expensive either! Fantastic! (the above pictures are of the "new" one that I received earlier in the week).

But then I thought to myself, they made a "Master Magic" version in 1987 with *12* panels instead of the standard 8 and I had always wanted that, so why don't I get that one too? It took a bit of shopping around to get that (because again I wanted the original version), but I found it and it arrived today:


Interestingly they changed the pattern - the original goes from unlinked to linked, the master version goes from linked to unlinked. To say it is a lot more complicated is putting it mildly (although as you can see I've solved it already and worked out how to get it from start to finish and back again). A lot of the logic is similar to the original "Magic", it's just more complicated and as such if I get it stuck in some random pattern, currently it's taking me quite a while to get it back to something I recognise, but that's just because I'm not used to it yet. Once I get the hang of it I suspect I'm actually going to find it easier because with more panels it's easier to make smaller moves, but I could be wrong on that!

Aren't toys fun? :)

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