A lot has already been written about Hiroshi Iwahara’s Secret Base Box, but I thought that I would add my two cents worth. I have owned at least EIGHT different versions of this box including limited edition pieces and this puzzle never ceases to amaze me.
Iwahara is a fabulous crafter and the Secret Base Box is a very nice example of Hiroshi’s creativity. The fanning motion is so very unique obviously bringing an instant attraction to this puzzle. The Puzzle also has TWO secret compartments, although one very small, is a nice bonus. Of crafters associated with the Karakuri Group, Iwahara is among the very best at puzzle “complexity.” For those of you familiar with some of his other works (Pineapple box, Box with a Tree or Byway 2 Puzzles), this Box will not disappoint you.
Extremely durable and well crafted, this is a very solid box and measures 3.55 x 3.55 x 2.64 inches. The Secret Base Box is easy to manipulate and quite substantial in weight. Without giving up secrets for those few not familiar with this box, I find it interesting that a variety of Iwahara puzzles have a repeating characteristic. Like his Confetto and Byway boxes, the first compartment is not difficult to solve but the second compartment can be a bit more challenging.
Iwahara comments on his Secret Base Box by this excerpt listed on Karakuri. “It was created as a Christmas Present for 2007. The craftsman often watched TV robot animation. When a bad enemy destroys the town and the peace of the people, the shutter of a secret base that is hidden under the ground opens and a robot of the justice comes out to save the peace. It was an exciting scene. The shutter is the motif of this work. There are two spaces inside.”
The most recent versions of the Secret Base Box have been sold out for months, but I did find a few of them for sale from a friend of mine in Japan. Both the Birds Eye Maple and the Race Wood versions are for sale on our website on the Trick Box Page.