Hanayama Cast Puzzles is a Japanese manufacturer that produced cast mechanical puzzles called "Cast" (はずる). Hanayama started their first series of cast puzzles in 1983, which include historical puzzles and some new designs like the ABC puzzle and the Key puzzle by Nobuyuki Yoshigahara.
During the years Hanayama collection grow, and more puzzle designers add their puzzles to the Hanayama puzzle collection, such as Oskar van Deventer, a prolific puzzle inventor from The Netherlands, Akio Yamamoto from Japan, Vesa Timonen, Kyoo Wong, Andrei Ivanov, Jin-Hoo Ahn, Marcel Gillen and many more.
Hanayama rates their puzzles on a scale of 1 through 6, with 6 being the most challenging puzzles in their collection (We rate our puzzles on a scale of 1 (easiest) to 5 (hardest) - Hanayama's level 1 is equivalent to our level 1 and Hanayama's level 6 is equivalent to our level 5).
The first level focuses on fun and developing an understanding of how mechanical puzzles work on a fundamental level, basic ideas that become the building blocks to solving tougher puzzles. Even the simple puzzle designs still take meaningful consideration, but without allowing frustration levels to build. Level 6, on the other hand, is for experienced puzzlers who understand the rules, and now must throw the rulebook out the window. These higher-level puzzles demand more creativity, mixed with strategy and a dash of luck, to be successful. Hanayama tends to design in the realms of disentanglement puzzles, labyrinth puzzles, or puzzle lock mechanisms. Disentanglement puzzles in particular lend themselves well to a metal design because of the precision that can be applied to such durable building material.
The Infinity Puzzle earns its name for both style and mechanics. Not only do the pieces resemble the sign for infinity (a horizontal 8), but their motion continues in an infinite loop until the pieces are taken apart. This puzzle comes equipped with 3 interlocking pieces. The first is the frame, the infinity shape, and the other two pieces fit inside the left and right circle of figure eight. The solution might seem simple at first, but this puzzle has one of the hardest ratings out there! Conceived by Finnish designer Vesa Timonen, the objective of this puzzle is to disentangle the 3 metal pieces. There are 30 moves required, minimum, to solve the puzzle, but it might take you more! Up for the challenge?
Cylinder Puzzle - By Vesa Timonen (Level 3/5)
Live your James Bond spy fantasy with the safe-cracking Cylinder Puzzle from Hanayama! Can you take apart the 5 metal pieces of the cylinder to reveal the secret inside? That’s the goal, and it’s easier said than done. The outer look of the puzzle gives no hints or help from the design, so you truly are on your own while puzzling over how to disentangle these pieces. You just might need to think like a professional criminal to get the job done, and after you’ve successfully solved the Cylinder you’ll feel like a master escape artist by cracking the code. Designed by the famous Vesa Timonen from Finland in 2012, and was born from several iterations tested over the course of months.
Not for the faint of heart, The Quartet Puzzle is a deviously tricky disentanglement puzzle, named after the number of pieces involved. There are 4 pieces total that form the quartet, and they must be twisted, turned, finagled, and jostled in the perfect way to untangle the dark, metal pieces. The bond that these pieces form is truly difficult to unravel. For added fun, there are actually two approaches to this puzzle and we challenge you to try out both of them! This puzzle is the perfect gift for people who love construction and engineering and an added bonus for those who love to fidget.
Nutcase Puzzle - By Oskar van Deventer (Level 5/5)
If you’ve ever felt like a nutcase yourself while solving a puzzle, look no further! The main objective for this Nuts & Bolts style puzzle is to free the small, metal nut that is trapped inside! This is an interlocking puzzle and the player must figure out how to maneuver the pieces so that the mechanism slides apart. For the extra hardcore puzzle enthusiasts, you can also try rearranging the two larger nuts so that they read “Case Nut,” rather than “Nut Case”. Unscrew the cap off of your imagination, let those brain juices flow, and get going! Designed by the renowned Dutch inventor, Oskar van Deventer.
Ring Puzzle - Designer unknown (Level 3/5)
Very few examples of puzzle rings have been recorded in history, and hardly any that are over 100 years old. This ring puzzle, however, is a classic configuration based on legends of puzzle rings from 15th century Europe. The goal is simple: let the ring fall apart and then try to assemble the same structure again. The assembly, of course, is the tricky part. That’s why, according to popular legend, the ring was frequently given as an engagement or wedding ring, because if the partner removed it, the bands of the ring would fall apart, and they would be unable to reassemble it before the absence would be noticed. Give this classic puzzle as a beautiful piece of jewelry with a unique twist, or keep it to yourself to show off to friends!
Delta Puzzle - By Kyoo Wong (Level 2/5)
The Delta Puzzle is formed by three separate, metal pieces that mesh together into a triangle shape. The first challenge is how to separate the parts, and then the puzzler must reassemble the structure. Triangles are a central theme here, and may help you find the solution! This puzzle is the brainchild of Hong Kong native Kyoo Wong, who discovered Hanayama (as a puzzle solver) more than 20 years ago and turned his puzzling interest into a job. An inspirational story for sure, you never know who might find themselves designing puzzles someday, maybe even you!
Chain Puzzle - By Oskar van Deventer (Level 5/5)
The goal of this puzzle is to separate three metal chain links and then reassemble the chain. What’s so difficult about that? Well, the devil is in the details with this puzzle, and it takes some patience and a keen eye to solve. What’s more, the Chain Puzzle can actually be solved in three different ways, depending on which piece has been chosen as the middle link. That means once you have solved the puzzle, you still have two more tests to prove that you are a puzzle master! Chain Puzzle is another gem from the prominent Oskar van Deventer, a prolific puzzle inventor from The Netherlands. Mechanical Puzzles have a universal, international appeal that can’t be denied!
Love Puzzle - By Scott Eliott (Level 1/5)
Love is in the air - and cast into the metal! The Love Puzzle contains two pieces - one gold, one silver - that smoothly intertwine to make a single heart. How romantic! The objective is to start from a disassembled point and figure out exactly how the two similar pieces fit together. At first glance, it seems like there is no way, but keep trying! This puzzle has a simpler solution, but should still not be underestimated. It’s the perfect puzzle for that special someone who loves sleek, elegant solutions - who will you give your heart away to?
Spiral Puzzle - By Kenneth Walker (Level 4/5)
Can you separate the five pieces of the 3D jigsaw and then meld them back together again? At first glance, the pieces do not seem as though they are unlockable. If you do get them apart there’s a whole new problem for you to get them back together again. The most useful hint would be not to apply too much pressure as this could be counterproductive. Once truly conquered, this puzzle makes an intriguing conversation piece and a fun toy to fiddle around with unconsciously. Maybe it could be your new paperweight! Invented by Kenneth Walker of California.
Labyrinth Puzzle - Designer unknown (Level 4/5)
If you thought one maze was tough enough to navigate, try finding your way through two, at the same time! The Labyrinth Puzzle consists of two metal pieces joined together. The first is round like a coin and has a maze pattern on both sides. The second piece hooks around and latches onto the main unit. The puzzler must simultaneously navigate the top and bottom maze by sliding the second piece through the labyrinth and around to the exit point. be careful, moves that work for one side of the maze might not work for the other! This puzzle requires decisive thinking and duality of thought process that sharpens the mind.
UFO Puzzle - By Vesa Timonen (Level 3/4)
Faced with the iconic UFO shape that we all know and love, the object of the UFO Puzzle is to remove the spherical, metal globe from within and then place it back in again. In reality, the hidden globe is actually made of 4 unique pieces - and these central pieces will slip and slide out of reach and out of place as soon as you try to extract them from the outer ring of the UFO. This means that the puzzle must be separated into 6 metal pieces, and then pieced back together in order to achieve success. A truly out-of-this-world puzzle-solving experience!
Cyclone Puzzle - By Kyoo Wong (Level 4/5)
A modern puzzle, the Cyclone is a four-piece, cast metal disentanglement puzzle from Hanayama, released in 2021. In this puzzle, each piece interlocks with the other three in a cyclonic pattern, referring back to the name, of course. The goal is to disentangle the pieces from one another. The design of each ring has been carefully calibrated to greatly restrict the range of motion and create a delightfully frustrating and mind-bending puzzle. The Cyclone was designed in Hong Kong by Kyoo Wong. Using laser-precise metal casting technology, the Hanayama puzzle collection consistently generates convoluted and meticulous structures from the best puzzle designers working today.
Equa Puzzle - By Oskar van Deventer (Level 4/5)
The object of this ingenious, cast metal puzzle is to separate the two interlocked loops and remove them from the surrounding planet-like structure. Afterward, can you piece it back together? The famous Dutch inventor Oskar van Deventer created this extremely difficult master class in engineering for the Hanayama Collection; it was released in 2008. At first glance, the planet positioned tightly inside the ring looks as if it cannot possibly be removed, all you can seemingly do is rotate the orb on its axis. Could there be more than meets the eye? Hanayama offers the keyword and possible clue “Heaven” for puzzlers who are stumped on this intricate puzzle.
King Cast Chess Puzzle - By Marcel Gillen (Level 3/5)
The King Cast Chess Puzzle is a marvel of design, engineering, and style - and is the perfect puzzle for lovers of the classic board game! Collectors can enjoy these puzzles as a diverse set of chess pieces, or pieces may be bought individually. This puzzle features one of the most important and best-protected chess pieces: the king! Can you unravel his mysteries and find the secret coin rattling around inside? The solution almost feels like cracking the code to a safe, and is equally as thrilling!
Queen Cast Chess Puzzle - By Marcel Gillen (Level 3/5)
Connect your two favorite things, chess and puzzles, with a Queen Cast Chess Puzzle from Hanayama! The queen is an iconic, powerful, and deadly piece in a game of chess, and makes a beautifully designed puzzle with her intimidating reputation and figure. The object, like others in our set of chess puzzles, is to free the coin that is rattling around, trapped inside. Several sections of the queen’s body will spin, and her crown moves up and down. Each piece has a specific purpose, so keep a sharp eye while taking the queen apart. Do you have what it takes to conquer her majesty?
Bishop Cast Chess Puzzle - By Marcel Gillen (Level 3/5)
Never underestimate the bishop! This puzzle is modeled after the classic look of the bishop piece from a game of chess and is the perfect way to combine your love of mechanical puzzles with your love of board games. The objective is to examine the moving pieces and discover the correct sequence of steps that allow the Bishop to come apart and free the gold coin trapped within the inner chamber. This puzzle is perfect for all ages, and looks gorgeous to display, especially if you have the other Chess puzzle pieces to display alongside!
Rook Cast Chess Puzzle - By Marcel Gillen (Level 3/5)
This puzzle may look and feel like an ordinary chess piece, but make no mistake - there’s a secret that lies within! A small, gold coin lies waiting to be discovered by expert puzzlers. The goal of the puzzle is to find the correct sequence of moving, spinning, and sliding parts that allow the Rook to come apart and release the coin. Never again will you have to compromise between a love of chess and a love of mechanical puzzles, you can have it all!
Pawn Cast Chess Puzzle - By Marcel Gillen (Level 3/5)
Don’t be a pawn! Our puzzle, modeled after pawn pieces from the universally loved game of chess, allows the puzzler to choose their own destiny if they work hard enough towards the tricky, final solution. The objective is to examine the moving parts on the pawn’s body and maneuver the puzzle with the correct sequence of moves until the inner mechanisms come apart and release a small, gold coin for your prize. You could also store your own small items inside! The Pawn Cast Chess Puzzle is a beautiful item to display on its own, or as part of a set if you’re looking for other chess-related puzzles.