Puzzle Toy Reviews
Not every puzzle can be found in a little book or on a geeky website. Some of the most interesting and challenging ones are actually made of metal and plastic, can be touched and played with. Below you will find reviews and recommendations of many puzzle toys, along with pictures and links to online stores from which you can buy them. All of the toys have been purchased and tested by us, and all of the reviews express our personal expert opinions about them.
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The basic premise of Hanayama toys is always to take apart and/or put together some construction of metal pieces. Broadly speaking, there are four types of Hanayama Puzzles with respect to the way you do this:
- piece manipulation
Piece manipulation puzzles involve subtle moving, rotating and twisting several pieces around each other, until they get separated.
- piece arrangement
Piece arrangement puzzles require arranging several pieces into a certain shape.
- maze type
Maze type puzzles require navigating some simple piece (usually a ring) around a bigger, intricate body, until it gets to a special spot from which can be easily detached.
- special trick
Special trick puzzles are locked using a secret mechanism and can be solved only by applying a particular combination of moves.
The difficulty ranges from Very Easy  to Very Hard  and is displayed in square brackets next to the puzzle's name.
Perplexus is a 3-dimensional, ball-shaped version of the wooden Labyrinth game by BRIO, which was very popular several decades ago. Despite not being considered a real puzzle, it is a great toy for kids and young teenagers, developing skills like focus, patience and hand-eye coordination. The basic premise is to manipulate a big transparent ball, so that a steel marble inside it successfully travels through a curvy labyrinth filled with various obstacles. There are 3 difficulty variants of the standard Perplexus - the Rookie, the Original and the Epic, as well as 2 modified options - the Twist and the Warp, which introduce fun new elements to the gameplay. In 2015 the Perplexus company released a 6th model - the Death Star, in celebration of the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" movie. Here we offer descriptions of the Perplexus labyrinths, along with some brief reviews and recommendations.
There are thousands of various puzzle toys you can find in the stores. Below you can see reviews of some of the popular ones we have had the opportunity to try, including personal favorites such as The Wooden Cross and Escher Mirrorkal.