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Shar Volshebnyi
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Looks like a puzzle with utilizes marbles and one hole to move them but in fact it is dexterity puzzle.

  • Inventor: Unknown
  • Mechanism: Moving Hole
  • Patents: Unknown
  • Producer: USSR
  • Year: 1989
  • Original Price: $3.67 USD
  • Current Price: No Data

This puzzle is named "??? ?????????", transliterated "Shar Volshebnyi", which means "Magic ball".
This puzzle has a spherical shape. But this shape isn't important for its function. It's possible to design this puzzle as a cube. This spherical shape has six faces. On each face a white disk is mounted and inside of each disk six plastic marbles are located. Each face of the puzzle contains a different colour of marble. That means, the puzzle contains 36 marble in six different colour.

White discs are the moving parts of this puzzle. Under each white disk there is only one hole. If you turn the white disk the marbles also turn with the white disk. The marbles that come to same position with the hole fall inside of the puzzle. For starting to solve the puzzle you turn all disks and send all marbles to the inside of the puzzle. At the beginning you have 36 marbles in mixed colour in the center of the puzzle.

This is the point where one discovers this is a dexterity puzzle. The user shakes the puzzle until the marble in the colour that you like come to the hole and you turn the white disk for fixing the marble and for positioning next empty cell of the white disk to the hole. You try to fill each face with same colour marbles. Instead of shaking until finding the right color for right hole, you can fill all holes with marbles and after you can exchange incorrect colours from different faces. This may be a method for fast solving.

The overall dimensions of this puzzle is about 60x60x60 mm. The body of the puzzle is made from 2 pieces and glued together. The body material is a hard plastic. This puzzle may break in case of accidental falls on a hard surface.

This puzzle is one of the rare toys produced in the soviet union in the 1980s.
The logo tells that it was produced in the state holding company for domestic work in Ryazan.
At least three different colour variants were produced.

The original price is based on the official exchange rate (0.6 roubles per dollar) although in socialist time this was completely theoretical. The price (in roubles) is printed on the first package. The alternative package (images 8-9) shows a different price.

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Contributors

Thank you to the following people for their assistance in helping collect the information on this page: Carter, Geert Hellings, Erhan Cubukcuoglu.

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