Mozaniac Puzzles

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Having been collecting mechanical puzzles for more than three years now (which is nothing compared to other collectors out there), I still love the fact that I can stumble upon some very interesting puzzles, while browsing through Rob's Puzzle Page.

Even though they were launched in 2007, the "Mozaniac - Multiple Picture Puzzle System"  puzzles were a very nice surprise to me. This original invention by Daniel Young from Paradoxy Products, makes a clever use of a very simple system. They were also entered at the IPP 28 as "Mozaniac Numbers".

Made of a thick and flexible type of paper (similar to high-quality playing cards), the same six pieces can be manipulated to show four different pictures. The way to achieve this is simply by connecting and interlocking the pieces together in a way that can reveal or hide some of its parts, leaving only the ones you need to solve a specific image.

The puzzles come with their own display card with a frame-like appearance, this way making it easier to be put in a desk. Shown in the front are the four possibilities for that particular puzzle, inside there's a solution and at the back, a brief explanation of the basic moves you need to learn.

(Click to Enlarge) - Left Pic: Display Frame; Right Pic: Backside of the Card

Every piece is cut about halfway into quarters, allowing them to slide into each other in several different ways. Each of them can have up to three parts of the same picture in it. Both sides of the pieces are printed, and even though you have one particular configuration on one side (showing three parts of the same image, for example), doesn't mean that it can be equivalent on the other side as well. This is also true for a finished picture. In other words, if you complete a puzzle, the opposite side won't have a solved one too.

(Click to Enlarge) - Left Pic: Four Numbers; Middle Pic: All Six Pieces; Right Pic: All Four Possible Pics

There are several options available for you to choose. From the ones I got, the hardest and trickiest of them is the none other than the "Tricky Numbers". Yes, the name says it all. The fact that the number two has the opposite color scheme from the others, will play a major part in understanding which parts are from the "2" and which ones are from the other three numbers. Likewise challenging is "Men With Moustaches", because they're only in black and white, and identifying different parts that way is not an immediate process.

(Click to Enlarge) - Left Pic: Tricky Numbers; Middle Pic: Men With Moustaches; Right Pic: Colored Numbers

On the other hand, the easier one to start, if you want to get more accustomed to the puzzles , is the "Colored Numbers". The same background and different color for each number, makes it pretty easy to recognize the patterns and spot how every piece should connect. 

My favorite from all of the Mozaniac's puzzles though, is the "Four Elements", featured with paintings. It was the one that caught my attention the most, when I saw them on Daniel's website, mainly because of Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night", one of the most fascinating paintings of all time. The material feels a bit different from the others as well, with a thin-film layer over the thick paper, making it look shinier.

(Click to Enlarge) - Four Elements

Paradoxy Products can also make custom Mozaniac puzzles with your own images. This is excellent for corporate gifts with a company logo, or to make something unique and special that only you will have, like family pictures, for example. For more information on this, drop an e-mail to Paradoxy customer's support.

Closing Comments:

You might be thinking how the puzzles will look like with a lot of use, given the fact that the material is basically paper and could tear around the cut lines. Well, I've had them for less than a week, but unless you force the connections too much, they'll be fine for quite some time, because the material despite being paper, it's very flexible and resistant.

Although I've seen before the sliding system on flat paper to build 3D objects, it's the first time I've played with it like this. Getting four different pictures out of only six pieces, is something you may find hard to believe at first, but once you understand how it's done, you'll be surprised and hooked as well.

You can get the Mozaniac's puzzles directly from their website or at SeriousPuzzles.com.

(Click to Enlarge) - 
From Left to Right to Bottom: Female Portraits; Picasso's Life Stages; Van Gogh Self-Portraits; Male Painters

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