Cast Shark (鮫)

Posted on Jun 15, 2012 by Gabriel | 0 comments
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(Click to Enlarge)
Beginning in March 1999, Hanayama launched a series of six Cast Puzzles dedicated to the theme of oceanographic subjects called Marine Series. The six puzzles were the Tie, the Fin, the Crab, the Penta, the Coral and the Tails. All designed by the Japanese Akio Yamamoto, the puzzles were relaunched in 2008 with different names (Seabream, Shark, Claw, Starfish, Reef and Seahorse), a brand new reflective coating finish and a few design refinements. Reviewed today is the Cast Shark, formerly known as the Fin.

The Cast Shark is an impressive and original design with a fossilized shark's denture having a smaller shark trapped between its teeth. As always, Hanayama pays extra care for the appearance of its puzzles and the two parts are coated with contrasting colors, silver and gold. A nice feature in these puzzles is that you can use them as keyrings. If you're a collector, I don't recommend this, because you'll end up with a heavily scratched puzzle. However, you can buy two of them and have one for this sole purpose.

From the six puzzles in the Marine Series, the Cast Shark is among the easiest ones with a difficulty level of 1/6. The other one being the Cast Seabream (a.k.a. the Tie). Contrary to my previous reviews, where I disagreed with their difficulty ratings, this one is just about right. Unless you're an absolute beginner with puzzles of this very nature, you shouldn't have any troubles solving it within a couple of minutes.

Even if you don't know exactly what you're supposed to do, fiddling with the puzzle is enough to eventually discover its solution, but paying attention to the gaps and indentations can also serve as a clear guide to free the small shark. Getting it to its original position - Not just inside the shark's denture - might be a little trickier, but it's still not challenging enough to keep you busy for more than 5 minutes.

(Click to Enlarge) - Solved

Video: Click here to see a video solution of the Cast Shark.

Solution: If you're having trouble solving the puzzle, you can download a solution guide at Sloyd's.

Closing Comments:

Although extremely easy to solve, the Cast Shark is a nice collector's item for its attractive appearance and bold design. It can be great to entertain guests at a party or a perfect gift to someone that loves the sea life. For a puzzle collector, I recommend getting all six of them. It's a fantastic sub-collection within the Cast Series.

Availability: Sloyd.fi sells the Cast Shark as well as all of the other Cast Puzzles.


Hanayama Cast (in English) - Very useful website in English, with plenty of information on all things Cast.

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


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