I am a puzzle fan. I admit it. I love puzzlers. Sadly, I am not great at some of the trickier ones, but give me a few minutes of peace and quiet and I'd either choose to read or do something puzzling. Enlivenze LLC has really unique puzzles. My family received the Tyrannosaurus Rex FlipStir Puzzle.
FlipStir Puzzles are completely different from any I've ever seen before. It is basically a ten piece jigsaw puzzle. That sounds deceptively simple. Don't be fooled! The puzzle comes sealed in a jar with only a special stir stick to manipulate the pieces. Because the pieces can't be removed, they travel very well. These puzzles are perfect for in the car, camping, or while waiting for your brother at Tae Kwon Do.
The plastic jar holds the ten 3D puzzle pieces and the wand comes in through a hole in the lid. You use only the wand, gravity, smarts, and coordination to maneuver each segment of the puzzle into place. With the sealed jar, you can never lose any of the pieces. There is very little wiggle room inside the jar. The pieces are "slices" of a half cylinder. You must turn them this way and that to not only get them all facing the right direction, but also in the right order.
FlipStir Puzzles are challenging, but doable. I've completed our puzzle multiple times now. It usually takes me just under five minutes. It can take much longer for others and I've seen several people admit defeat and give up. Unless you're very young or have muscle control issues, I'd say anyone who perseveres *will* complete it.
I've learned a few puzzling tricks which help me complete it so quickly.
- The Shelf - As I get nearer to the end and it is difficult to manipulate the last few pieces, I will set a couple of slices on the "shelf" made by the completed segments. Usually, I put slices 7 and 8 up on 1-6 while I maneuver 9 and 10 at the top of the jar. Then I slide the last couple pieces in between. Sometimes, I put 9 and 10 on the shelf and complete it all in order.
- All In a Row - I've also tried just getting them all going in the right direction and *then* rearranged them into the right order.
The puzzles come in several designs and levels. Our Tyrannosaurus is a level one. This means that the pieces have a straight edge on the side they stack. Level two puzzles have a wavy edge, making some of the manipulation a bit more challenging. Both levels are intended for ages 7 and up. They are made right here in the USA.
Some of the other Crew reviewers have puzzled over the Statue of Liberty, Rainbow Pencils, and the Solar System. Be sure to click the green box at the bottom of this post to see some of the other puzzles in action. They would make great gifts. I have my eye on the Periodic Table of Elements. Maybe for my birthday. *hint*
This is the most fun puzzle I've seen in a long time. I like that it doesn't take me that long to complete. The designs are varied and interesting. Enlivenze's customer service was fantastic. They were very quick to respond and super helpful.
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