Click a thumbnail to see its larger version and description.
A bead-moving puzzle that came in at least four different versions. The non-english versions have their own entry.
Each pole ring has 8 beads, and each equatorial ring has 20 beads. Some versions vary on which colours go where.
Most images show Waddington's Orb-It. This version has blue and yellow beads at the poles and red and green beads near the equator.
Images 4, 13 and 14 show the version from Parker Brothers. It has blue and green beads at the poles, and red and yellow beads near the equator.
The leaflet in images 8-9 forms a continous line of six panels. For purposes of demonstration it has been digitally split into two halves.
The unique feature of this puzzle is that it starts with four loops but is not restricted to that configuration. One turn of 45? (see image 2) creates a single continuous stream of beads around the puzzle. One turn of 90? creates two oval loops of beads arranged like the seams on a baseball or tennis ball.
The puzzle isn't too difficult, only requiring a few simple tricks to solve. The Orb is a fun puzzle to manipulate. It turns smoothly, has a massage-like effect, and makes a lot more noise than we twisty fans are used to!
It has US patent US4553754 (Filed 16 Feb 1982, granted 19 Nov 1985) and British patent GB8113543 (1 May 1981).
It is a little known fact that Wiggs and Taylor also designed Rubik's Clock.
The french version was called "l'Orbs"
Images 15-20 show an english package of taiwanese origin. It resembles the japanese version from Tomy, produced in Hong Kong.
Diameter: 85 mm
Weight: 109 grams
Thank you to the following people for their assistance in helping collect the information on this page: Sandy, Anthony Au.
This puzzle can be found in collections of these members:
Found a mistake or something missing? Edit it yourself
or contact the moderator