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 Post subject: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:37 pm 
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[Admin: Sadly, it seems this offer is not moving forward and people are not getting refunds or even reasonably prompt communication. Check the recent posts (here), and beware]

I cannot vouch for the veracity of the claim, but on the PuzzleWorld forums someone with the interesting name "Tarquin Crotch" posted that they used to sell the Astrolabacus and will be selling it again, and gave this link:
http://coolmasks.co.uk/puzzles-c-6.html

A visit to the site reveals that they advise to "call for price" and that 2/1/2012 is the expected availability date.

Big news if it is true! Has anybody heard of these folks before?

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:06 pm 
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Interesting news if it's true indeed! I like the idea of a small, slightly expensive run (over 50 pounds, for those of you who didn't go to the website) because it preserves the rarity of the puzzle, but makes it available for a whole new generation of puzzlers. Again, fantastic news!

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:08 pm 
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A bit pricey! 49-89 pounds? They don't know?

But then so is the mad triad...

Interesting find Rob-Oh, and while I'm at it, I hate you! :lol: :lol: (drooling over your webpage again!)

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:17 pm 
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It would be great to have this puzzle accessible to everyone.
In my opinion one of the most ingenious structures of all time
and one of my personal top favorites!

And for those who do not know yet... it is a deep cut puzzle!

;)


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:38 am 
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This would make me so happy! Well, this and a reproduction of the electroplated cubes and eggs. I noticed that the website says the puzzles will be available in February of 2011. How is this possible?

Nice to see the puzzle community is still rocking!

-Chris-


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:26 pm 
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Nice find, Rob! :)

The Astrolabacus is one of my favourites and I enjoy playing with it. Very unique movements.

If they want to produce a new batch of it, it should be of the same high quality as the existing Astrolabacuses. With cheaper manufacturing and materials just to reach a lower price, it could break easily and spoil the whole fun.

And after all, GBP50 is not much compared to the current prices for an Astrolabacus! ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:40 am 
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50 Pounds!?!?! That's almost $100 USD! For that amount of cash, I would expect a teraminx or somethng...

But if he can produce one for a reasonable price, I would be delighted to own one.

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:18 am 
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stardust4ever wrote:
50 Pounds!?!?! That's almost $100 USD! For that amount of cash, I would expect a teraminx or somethng...

Well, I guess I did not think about the weak USD in these times. Converted to our local currency here, it would only be about 58EUR, which would be quite fair in comparison to the prices that you usually have to pay for a (vintage) Astrolabacus in an auction these days. Luckily I got mine for 40EUR some years ago, when the EUR was much weaker. :)

And for the Teraminx comparison ... I have both puzzles to compare, and if I was offered both for the same price, I would always buy the Astrolabacus for me. 8-)

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:10 am 
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stardust4ever wrote:
50 Pounds!?!?! That's almost $100 USD!


Well, $80 or so.

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:45 pm 
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I just spoke to the guy doing this (for about 30mins). There's no doubt in my mind that he is genuine and intends to sell the puzzle. He certainly has a lot of business expertise so am confident it will happen. It's still very early stages though so we need to be patient.

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:48 pm 
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goetz wrote:
stardust4ever wrote:
50 Pounds!?!?! That's almost $100 USD! For that amount of cash, I would expect a teraminx or somethng...

Well, I guess I did not think about the weak USD in these times. Converted to our local currency here, it would only be about 58EUR, which would be quite fair in comparison to the prices that you usually have to pay for a (vintage) Astrolabacus in an auction these days. Luckily I got mine for 40EUR some years ago, when the EUR was much weaker. :)

And for the Teraminx comparison ... I have both puzzles to compare, and if I was offered both for the same price, I would always buy the Astrolabacus for me. 8-)

It's nice to have a stronger Canadian dollar, except everything is still marked-up by about 15% here which is a pain.

I'm not familiar with the Astrolabacus, but to my extremely untrained eye it looks vaguely related to the Backspin (I assume it's much harder).

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:55 pm 
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The USD to GBP exchange rate has always raped my wallet when it comes to UK imports. I hope my finances improve enough for me to get this when it becomes available.

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:16 pm 
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Hrm, well, this scuppers my plan to get rich quick selling off an Astrolabacus. :P

(I do have one I'm willing to part with, though...)


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:27 pm 
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kastellorizo wrote:
And for those who do not know yet... it is a deep cut puzzle!
Interesting... I'm not familiar enough with this puzzle. May I ask how you come to the conclusion it's deep cut? Could this same puzzle be built by cutting up a solid with cuts? I know many of the 'Moving: Beads/Balls/Marbles' puzzles can be mapped to pure twisty puzzles but I can't visualize what this one would look like.

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:53 pm 
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Here's my videoof it.

And here's Panda's video of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:30 pm 
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wwwmwww wrote:
May I ask how you come to the conclusion it's deep cut?
It is based on the definition Pantazis and I have proposed where deep cut is defined by isomorphic groups rather than planes or central rotation points. I would guess this brings us back to this discussion. I'm still on the fence, but leaning towards calling these puzzles deep cut.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:44 pm 
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Has the patent for it expired? It was issued in July of 1997.

Or is this being remade with consent of or by the same person/people who originally made it?


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:11 pm 
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Volitar Prime wrote:
Has the patent for it expired? It was issued in July of 1997.
For patents to have the full 20 years of protection one needs to continue to pay maintenance fees. If a product is not commercially successful, it is often hard for an inventor to continue to pay those fees.
The US Patent Office has a site to check such things (here), but you need to enter recaptcha information so I can't link to the actual Astralobucus page directly.

Search with the patent number 5645278 and you will see that:
USPO wrote:
Patent Expired Due to NonPayment of Maintenance Fees Under 37 CFR 1.362
The transaction log shows it expired on 8/3/2009.

I have read (here) that an expired patent can be revived up to 24 months after expiration "so long as the failure to pay the fee was unintentional". I doubt that was the case, but the fact that we are hearing about this now (24 months after the expiration date plus a few weeks) perhaps indicates someone was waiting to make sure their use would be legal.

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:30 am 
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Volitar Prime wrote:
Has the patent for it expired? It was issued in July of 1997.

Or is this being remade with consent of or by the same person/people who originally made it?

He did tell me all this but it was a long conversation and I forget the details. However I know he is doing every thing legit with protection etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:48 am 
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I hope there's a clear difference between the original and the new ones. Just a color change for one part. Or different screws. Something so they aren't exactly the same.

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:09 pm 
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theVDude wrote:
I hope there's a clear difference between the original and the new ones. Just a color change for one part. Or different screws. Something so they aren't exactly the same.


Agreed. Something should differentiate the old from the new being as it's one of the rarest puzzle manufactured puzzles in existence. This is excellent news being as I can't find my original one anywhere :(

I get back from a week away and see this. Today just keeps getting better and better!

-d


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:21 am 
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Bump.
Bad news for those wishing to sell theirs. It looks like the pre-order is up. I could be evil, pre-order a bunch of them and sell them on ebay as a pre-order and make some money from some unsuspecting people. But really, I just want a replacement astrolabacus from the one I lost, so I just pre-ordered 1. I was order 25 if that means anything.

Here is the link by the way:
http://coolmasks.co.uk/puzzles-c-6.html

-d


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:49 am 
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darryl wrote:
Bump.
..... so I just pre-ordered 1.
-d

They will not ship until February 2012 - is it not a bit risky to pay so far in advance?
The time for disputes through paypal or your credit card company would have passed by then wouldn't it?
I'd love to pre-order one but i am a little bit (most likely unnecessarily) wary...
Has anyone dealt with this person/company before?


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:24 am 
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Never thought of the disputing thing. I suppose If I'm getting nervous in a couple of months, I should do something about it. I did get a confirmation stating they will keep me in the loop for what's happening when. So hopefully I get some updates.

-d


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:43 am 
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I did a quick search about Coolmasks, and it is owned by a company called Navrongo Properties Ltd., incorporated on 22/03/2007, which has a registered address in Lancashire, England (Coolmasks address is also in Lancashire). They have not posted any accounts this year, and they are 6 months overdue.

This company was formerly called Just Turkish Properties Ltd.

I have no idea if this is good or bad news :(

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:07 pm 
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Note from John, at www.coolmasks.biz (ie Astrolabacus site):

I am aware our accounts are late. This is simply due to the fact that our accountant has now retired, after a long & serious illness, & lives overseas. Unfortunately he has taken our files with him, & not processed the due accounts. Therefore I am having to rebuild our account history, & then reprocess the due accounts with a new accountant. Companies House are fully aware if the delay & it's reasons. Simple. If necessary, I will give the name & phone number of the lady I have been dealing with at Companies House, for anyone who needs to verify this. The accounts will probably be processed later this month, as the rebuilding has taken me far longer than expected..

Sorry if my response is a bit terse, but you really need not worry.

The name change from Just Turkish Properties Ltd was made to Navrongo Properties Ltd, as that company now deals with my UK based rental properties & mail order businesses.

Also, I have been the sole world supplier of the Handy Mad Triad & Mad Triad Challenge puzzles for the last 6 or 7 years, so have plenty of long-term credibility.

I will post further information on the arrival of the Astrolabacus puzzle, as it comes through. Additionally new information on related puzzle products that are in development, & the puzzle-specific web site, will be posted here, & on the www.coolmasks.biz site.

Please email or call me, if you need further information

Thanks.

John

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:57 pm 
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coolmasksbiz wrote:
Also, I have been the sole world supplier of the Handy Mad Triad & Mad Triad Challenge puzzles for the last 6 or 7 years, so have plenty of long-term credibility.


Actually, this is true. In the past (at least when I bought all three items), the ebay seller redvers99
was selling all those three puzzles together. So it does make sense that if those three are being
sold together again, they come from a genuine source.

:)


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:57 am 
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Gus wrote:
I have no idea if this is good or bad news :(
I did not want to put anyone off, or cast doubt on Coolmasks, I was just reporting what I found.
kastellorizo wrote:
coolmasksbiz wrote:
Also, I have been the sole world supplier of the Handy Mad Triad & Mad Triad Challenge puzzles for the last 6 or 7 years, so have plenty of long-term credibility.
Actually, this is true. In the past (at least when I bought all three items), the ebay seller redvers99 was selling all those three puzzles together. So it does make sense that if those three are being sold together again, they come from a genuine source.
Thanks Pantazis. And John (Coolmasks), thanks for the quick reply, I'm sure that the TP members will be more likely to order this great puzzle. All things considered , I have pre-ordered one.

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:39 am 
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I've just had an email from John at coolpuzzles as follows:

John wrote:
The web site www.coolpuzzles.biz is done, & looks good.

The first delivery of the Astrolabacus puzzles will be later than expected, due to the very high setup cost. Instead of late Feb, they'll be a month or two late. Hope that's ok with you.

I've also decided on the next releases (two colour variations (one 2-colour, the other 4-colour) are that both very limited edition, & the Siamese version). These won't be here until later in the year.

I've also begun working with a puzzle inventor, & will again have exclusive puzzles that will only be available to purchase through my web sites. The puzzles will be radically different from other designs (like the Astrolabacus). These will be available much later in 2012.

Apologies for the delay in updating you.
Looks like the first batch of Astro's won't be available until April :( :x

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:46 pm 
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Gus wrote:
Looks like the first batch of Astro's won't be available until April :( :x
I waited years for this. I do not care about two additional months.


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:05 pm 
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I'd much rather wait a couple months and have it be made right than get one now and have it be flawed.

I'm more looking forward to the variations and other new concepts in the future.

-d


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:44 pm 
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I ordered (and payed) in November but did not get this mail. Gus: when did you receive it?

I don't maind waiting a bit, but I'd like to be informed.

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:08 pm 
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Pretty sure most people here know from experience that these kind of things get delayed. Let's be pessimistic and assume the summer then no one's going to be disappointed.
I got the same email today (9th) Maarten.

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:56 pm 
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I wish SO HARD that they'd also do a 12-color version.


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:35 am 
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maarten wrote:
I ordered (and payed) in November but did not get this mail. Gus: when did you receive it?

I don't maind waiting a bit, but I'd like to be informed.
I got my email on the 9th like Tony.

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:39 pm 
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I got the same email as Gus and Tony on February 9th.
I wanted to order and pay via Paypal.
The payment would go to "Just Florida Direct Ltd ".
Does this company name not look a bit suspicious?

Konrad

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:18 pm 
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Konrad wrote:
I got the same email as Gus and Tony on February 9th.
I wanted to order and pay via Paypal.
The payment would go to "Just Florida Direct Ltd ".
Does this company name not look a bit suspicious?

Konrad


Yes, a bit, but maybe Tony's comment from september 3rd sounds genuine.

btw: Got an instant reply on my email and received the mail. They aparently forgot me on the mailtinglist.

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 4:55 am 
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***** UPDATE *****

I have received the following email from John at Coolmasks:
john wrote:
The long delay is due to my decision to add three other types of Astrolabacus to the original order, with the manufacturer, being:

Astrolabacus standard (red, yellow, blue, green).

Astrolabacus Sports Commemorative (gold, silver, bronze, white).

Astrolabacus Two-Colour (black & white).

Astrolabacus Chrome (100 units only, with numbered certificate card, in gold chrome finish body, with silver chrome finish balls).

Obviously, this has entailed a much greater investment on my part, & hence the delay in raising the funds, which has taken me far longer than expected. It’s been very difficult, & my bank manager has been utterly useless. Thankfully, I have other businesses (mail order masks & costumes, UK buy-to-let rental properties, & the Florida rental business), which has been of assistance.

The whole batch, of four versions, should all be here together, in the summer. Hope that’s ok with you.

I will include a free Astrolabacus Chrome with every advance order, whether it’s for one, two or three of the others. I think this is necessary, as a thanks to all customers who have been very patient.

Pictures of the other three will go on the puzzle & mask sites when the arrive.
So the Astro is not going to be available for another 2-3 months :( BUT all of you who have placed an advanced order are going to get a free Chrome Astrolabacus :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 6:06 am 
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Wow! I can't believe all of these different versions are coming out soon. I'd like to preorder one but I just don't like the idea of having to put out and then be out all the money so far in advance. I'd rather put half down now to hold it and pay the balance when the puzzles are finished and ready to ship out. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 12:13 pm 
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Wow, the chrome one is a nice surprise. Hopefully he is right about the timing. My payment is way past the date of being disputable.

I'll be curious to see how much these limited chrome ones sell for a few years from now.

-d


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:51 am 
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Any news from astrolabacus?

I have contacted the seller many times, each time he said that in the "summer" it would be released, btw how long to summer ends at UK?

Hope to receive my astrolabacus this year.... :evil:


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:04 am 
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szykman wrote:
...btw how long to summer ends at UK?

Judging by the weather it never actually started this year. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:07 am 
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I emailed them on the 17 July and received this message on the 23rd July:
coolmasks wrote:
I'll update you over the next few days. I'm just waiting to hear on finalisation.
I have heard nothing since :(

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 8:50 am
Location: chicago, IL area U.S.A
FWIW, I emailed July 9th and he said the four versions (Standard, Sports Commemorative, Two-Colour, & the Chrome) rare all due approximately late summer.

Fingers crossed.

-d


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:42 pm 
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Most up-to-date info I have:

Aug 2
coolmasks wrote:
I’ll be updating everyone, & the forum, in the next week or two (when I’m able to be precise). Realistically, delivery will be two plus months from now.

Thanks.

John

I guess when he has a precise date he will let us know.


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:16 pm 
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Two more months will pass. The end result=no astrolabacus and no paypal refund. Anyone else see this coming?


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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:14 am 
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Location: Hertfordshire, UK
mizzle576 wrote:
Two more months will pass. The end result=no astrolabacus and no paypal refund. Anyone else see this coming?

I spoke to the owner of the shop for over half an hour a couple of weeks ago, and to me he sounded very genuine. I think he's just not happy to give out exact release dates before he knows them to be accurate, otherwise he'll end up upsetting people that way.

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:54 am 
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John emailed me yesterday and repeated the "late summer" time-scale.

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:59 pm 
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Don't rush it. When it comes it comes. Better to be late and work than be early. Think of how many times puzzle makers have rushed a product and you all have complained about them....

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 Post subject: Re: Astrolabacus coming back?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:38 pm 
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Location: Crestwood, IL
Does anyone know if these are out yet or have any current info?


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