Matchbox Playground

Designer: Péter Gál

This puzzle measures: 225 mm x 153 mm x 100 mm

Material: Jatoba, Wenge, Maple, Cherry

Kevin Sadler wrote about it:

“This rather large puzzle set must be one of the most beautiful puzzle sets that I have ever seen! It is simply stunning and an amazing scope of work by the designer and by the craftsmen. It is the result of an epic amount of work by the incredible puzzle designer, Péter Gál. I have quite a few burr sets and this one ranks up there alongside the very best of them and will take pride of place in my collection. It is not a burr set but a set of increasingly difficult assembly puzzles based on the wonderful and clever Oskar’s Matchboxes puzzle that has been produced by several craftsmen over the years as well as 3D printed. Oskar’s original puzzle had 5 pieces and I found that one pretty challenging. Later the idea was extended by Alexander Kapkan with 6 pieces and again by Onno Hein with 6 pieces in a different configuration. Over more than a year Péter had performed an exhaustive computational analysis. A smaller version of this had been released in the IPP design competition in 2016. Péter’s analysis was restricted to a 3x2x1 matchbox with the matches attached at the gridlines giving 14 possible match/matchbox pairs. This puzzle set is contained in a gorgeous box shaped and sliding open like a matchbox itself to reveal the full set of 14 possible pieces and an envelope with an explanation and puzzle challenges ranging from using just 4 pieces up to the maximum of 13. There are effectively hundreds of challenges here as each one has multiple solutions to find. The individual boxes are stunningly made out of Maple, Wenge and Jatoba and the case made from Maple, Wenge and Oak. When I took a few out to admire them, I realised straight away that I would need a photo of how they were arranged in the box! If you do just tip them out then an additional challenge for you will be to pack them back in again – I was not brave enough to do that! The challenges are really fun to do and require considerable thought. The cards show just the required pieces and not the eventual shape that you need to use. This means that simple entry into Burrtools is not possible. I have managed the first couple of challenges and really look forward to spending real time with this set. This is absolutely fabulous! Should you buy this set? Hell yes! It’s stunningly gorgeous, a whole lot of puzzling challenges. I absolutely love puzzles that come with a booklet of challenges e.g. the Peanut puzzle, the cubic Mazeburr, Rhombic Mazeburr and Split Mazeburr and this new one from Pelikan is just amazing!”