The 2012 Karakuri Idea Contest was posted a couple of weeks ago and the Teapot and Toilet Puzzle Boxes caught my eye right away. It took me about 12 hours to determine how many puzzles of each to buy for my collection and store as the “Member Price” was somewhat costly at 31,250 Yen each! A little more than some other contest releases, but beautiful works all the same.
Placing my order, I was sorry to learn that both Puzzles sold out immediately. I was kicking myself for waiting even the day to purchase, but now assume that few pieces were probably available. I did finally locate a seller willing to part with some puzzles and purchased a Kamei Teapot while the offer was open.
The Teapot box is fairly large at approximately 6.5 x 5.9 x 4.72 inches. VERY well constructed and beautiful, the alternating grain of walnut woods make it an attractive Puzzle. I think the last large Puzzle Box with such substantial structure I have recently seen is the Kamei Bad Radio 2 Box released last year. Designed by Yoko Miyamoto and produced by Akio Kamei and Yoh Kakuda, the Teapot Puzzle had a few surprises.
A clue is given by stating that the hidden space can be found as you “pour boiling water.” By manipulating the box slightly, you can determine some movement with the top. After solving the box, you will note that the clue was almost a dead giveaway. Not a very complex piece, it was entertaining to open. For those of you whom are familiar with the Astronomical Telescope released by Hiroshi Iwahara in the Karakuri Idea contest of 2010 there are some similarities. One downside to the Teapot box is that the hidden space is very small but still a very nice piece. Right now this Puzzle will remain in our personal collection. If you are interested in one, let us know as we may be able to find one additional piece for sale in the future.
Other Kamei Puzzles available for sale at the time of this posting are the Cube and Octagon Puzzle, Money Bank, New Secret Japanese Puzzle #1, The Box with a Ribbon, Rotary Box, Dice Box, Love Box 4 and 5, Cassiopeia 3 and Bad Radio 2 Puzzles.