Cast Seahorse (遜)

Posted on by Gabriel | 1 comments
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The Cast Seahorse, designed by Akio Yamamoto and released by Hanayama in 2008, belongs to the Marine Series, a special set of 6 puzzles, all with the ocean as the main theme.

The Cast Seahorse is one of the most beautiful of this special set, alongside the Cast Starfish. You have two seahorses that are bound together, and you have to carefully disentangle them. There's a silver seahorse with two closed loops and the second, a golden seahorse has two gaps that will work as two open gates to navigate your way across the other one. Wonderful design with the two different colors that adds a nice touch to the overall presentation.

This is a Hanayama level 3 puzzle (out of 6) or PuzzleMaster's level 7 (out of 10). I agree more with the PuzzleMaster's level classification, because it was a bit more challenging than what I was expecting (around 20 minutes solving time). You start with the golden seahorse, hooked by the head to the bottom of the silver one. Your next step is to rotate the golden seahorse to its bottom loop, while still joined at the bottom of the silver one. Next, you have to transfer it to the upper loop of the silver seahorse and you end up separating them at the top by their heads. It's a bit complicated to visualize all this, but for guidance, you can use PuzzleMaster's sheet solution found here. Like most disentanglement puzzles, putting them back together can be a tougher task than to separate them. This is because you spend many time concentrated on how to solve it, that you forget all the steps that were required to successfully disentangle them. So, by the time you achieve your goal, you are so thrilled at that moment to have solved the puzzle, that when you finally try to put them back, it's a whole new challenge. It isn't necessarily a bad thing if you like tough puzzles.

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Closing Comments:

The Marine Series are a fantastic addition to the Cast collection. They follow Hanayama's excellent presentation standards and philosophy and for a collector's point of view, a must have (all of them). The actual puzzle concept is not new, but it's its design approach that makes all the difference between an ordinary puzzle and a brilliant puzzle.

The Cast Seahorse can be bought at PuzzleMaster, as well as all other Cast Puzzles.

Note: In previous reviews, I had as the Cast Puzzle's official website, the English version, but apparently this site has been down for a few weeks now, and I'm not sure if it will return. For now, I will only list the Hanayama's website, which unfortunately is in Japanese only.

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Hanayama's Factory Visit (Many thanks to Roxanne Wong for sharing these pictures)


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