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As a mechanical puzzle collector and enthusiast, I have a very eclectic taste when it comes to choosing new puzzles. However, there's one type of puzzles I particularly don't care about, and that's Jigsaw puzzles. Mainly because I find them boring and not very challenging. So why am I reviewing a Jigsaw puzzle, then? - Well, this one's a bit different and a rather original take on the 3D Jigsaw.
It's not the first time I see soda cans being used as puzzles. In fact, some of you might remember the slide tile cans from the early 90's (see two examples here and here). It's the first time, though, that I see them being used as Jigsaw puzzles and I really liked the idea, so I decided to give the Sprite Can a go.
|(Click to Enlarge) - Side-by-side comparison with a real Sprite can|
The Sprite Can, as you can see from the above photo, is a close representation, to scale, of a real Sprite can (the puzzle can is actually slightly bigger than the original, but that may be due to differences in European and American size standards). The graphical representation is also much simpler in the puzzle replica, where only the logos are visible (no small print info). Other than that, it's close enough and the idea is brilliant.
The puzzle itself is comprised by 40 pieces which are slightly curved to fit the can's contours. The concept is similar to Ravensburger's Puzzleballs in the sense that the pieces are not shaped like the traditional Jigsaw puzzles. The pieces stay in place by a click mechanism: There are pins on the can where each piece goes, which in turn click into place with the grooves on the back of the piece.
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One of the main differences with traditional Jigsaws, besides the shape, is that the puzzle comes already in its solved state right out of the box. Might not be ideal, because you're seeing the final stage, but it's not that big of a deal, as the puzzle aspect of it is not the main reason you'll be getting one, is it? - For me, it's because it has that "Wow" factor, which not every puzzle is able to accomplish.
(Click to Enlarge) - Piece-Removal Pin
To help you remove the pieces more easily, there's a pin on the bottom of the can (above photo) that you can push which will pop the first piece and make room to remove the others. As you proceed with the removal of the pieces, you'll notice that very small paint chips will start to come off. This is due to the layer of coating being applied to the can with the pieces in place. The result is that when it dries, the edges of the pieces will be sort of fused together by this thin layer of paint. So, besides working towards solving the puzzle, you'll also be occupied trying to clean each piece from the excessive paint. While it may look like a minor setback, the puzzle will still be quite fun to put together. Not challenging in any way, but very enjoyable nonetheless.
The Sprite Can was a very welcoming addition to my collection. What lacks in difficulty definitely makes up for a striking visual appearance. It'll most certainly look great on any collection and deserves a special place on your puzzle shelf.
Availability: The Sprite Can - 3D Jigsaw came from BrilliantPuzzles.com, and they also have the Diet Coke and Coca Cola versions as well, if you prefer.
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