My dad used to build "puzzles" like this when I was a kid; I don't remember any of them being quite this fancy and deluxe though! Love the different shading, the contrast between the bare wood and the charcoal wood makes it not only look classy, but makes it easier to see all the intricate levels that your marbles run through! There's a really nice variety of slides & chutes & spirals to watch your marbles do, too, it's really cool.Building it is definitely complicated, but they have made it as clear & as helpful as possible! They include all the helpful tools you'll need, including a small wax stick that you will need OFTEN (though I will say a small emery board is far more effective than the little square of sandpaper that these things always include). It can be quite a challenge to pop out some of the pieces from the wood sheets; I recommend a very thin scalpel to cut the connections before attempting to push them out! I did wind up breaking a few pieces but they glue back together easily.Only complaint on this is that some of the pieces are a little warped. That always seems to be the case with these kits, but I don't usually worry about it because the issue usually straightens itself out once the pieces are all snapped together properly. Unfortunately, I should have worried about it more this time, because there are things you can do to mitigate the warping before assembly, and now it's too late! One of the very large, semi-circular pieces that keeps the marbles lined up as they go into the chute was bent, and while assembly helped, it didn't help enough, so now approximately every 1 in 12 marbles jumps out & goes rolling across the room. It's still cool to see the other 11 marbles.Bottom line is, it's really cool, fascinating to build, looks great when done, but if you notice a piece is warped, deal with it before you begin assemby.
Jayce P. –
I was excited about doing assembly and building up it. It was so great and kinda nice work. But a thing I am disappointed is easy to be broken, and about the order of assembly. Generally, it is great and good for people who love assemble modeling.
Alexander D. –
I like the way this kit turned out a lot. The pieces are of high quality and fit together nicely. It’s a little above average in difficulty and you’ll need persistence to put it together. But once it’s tuned it works great. To summarize, you’ll need to a) add a guard rail to stop the ball bearings from occasionally exiting the spiral. You can use the left over original plywood cut out. Just find a 5” diameter guide pieces (I used 8mm film can) and use it to cut the outside diameter of the spiral. b) put a plywood wedge with 45 angle under one drop hole (finger points to location in photo) to kick the bearings forward and keep it moving c) add the correct number of spacer rings so the bearing drop freely between the plastic pieces and d) adjust the play in the flip-flop so it alternates properly. Mine works very well and people really like it as do I.
Lucas M. –
I spent a lot of enjoyable time on this project. I was hoping that it would work well once finished. Unfortunately the steel marbles don’t follow all the pathways that they should. Mini parts are very fragile. I only broke a few small parts. I did enjoy the time I spent building it and I don’t feel disappointed that it does not work properly. It’s just time spent assembling it that is fun. The project will most likely end up buried in the closet.
Joshua C. –
My 91 year old dad enjoyed (for the most part!) putting this together. The grandkids love it.
Hayden B. –
I loved the challenge. There were some easy to assemble sections and some that required much more patience. I did end up almost breaking two pieces with my big thumbs. I suggest having a set of small needle nose pliers ready. Would definitely buy again. Also would be interested in a much bigger puzzle.