By Mark Frauenfelder at 10:17 am Thu, Dec 11, 2008
It's good to discover that Michael McGinnis' 3D maze puzzle, Superplexus, is back in production. Here's my review of it in Make magazine. It's one of my favorite toys.
Michael wrote an article about the creation of his Superplexus, which Make is going to run next year.
Superplexus at Think Geek
I got one of these a few years ago before they went out of production. I saw it at a Wizards of the Coast store and had to have it. That gives you a pretty good idea of how long ago it was.
As long as nobody puts batteries in it, it’s a great time waster on the john. The maze is fun, the sound is not.
Ths s gd fr th cgntv dvlpmnt f chldrn.
Smn shld tll Nm Chmsky (r Stvn Pnkr) bt ths!
I had the opportunity to speak with Michael McGinnis at the 2007 maker faire. Incredibly nice man with a brilliant idea. This thing has been in his life for decades. I hope his perseverance & dedication pay off with this wonderful creation. Wishing much success!
Ok, now I go buy one!
So is this the solarplexus, or a knockoff? One of the gadgets posts implied that this was incusive of no electronics, and a cheaper feeling bubble. I’d feel bad if McGinnis is getting ripped off.
(I’ve had a superplexus for a number of years now- I think I’ve managed to get from start -> finish exactly once.)
Posted five hours ago in gadgets.
Just purchased one as a sort of companion/silly gift for my doctor brother who has absolutely no time to play with. Hopefully he’ll appreciate it anyway.
Anyone have any idea about an appropriate age group for this?
I have a nephew who might get a kick out of it but I don’t want to be responsible for his brain leaking out his ears.
It’s probably age appropriate for anybody that’s ever played with one of those ball-bearing labyrinths with the knobs and tilting platform.
If the kid would enjoy one of those, he’d enjoy this.
My knowledge of age-appropriateness is up to date for 0-3.5, and 30+, but I’ve recently come to realize that I’m suffering from an advanced case of “out of touch old man” syndrome for everything inbetween.
LOVE the superplexus.
I bought one for my nephew and one for my self….he is only 5 so uses it as a football.
I on the other hand send myself insane trying to complete it.
I have doen it about 3 times.
so ~nobody~ else wants to use it as a hamster ball for cockroaches?
I’m thinking of a new career young Sammich.
well, catching up around here i see you’ve been expanding on your Terror of the Toilet position…
aye, but there’s no money in it.
you gotta follow your heart Tak…
or am i anthropomorphizing you again?
I wasn’t too upset about the threat (promise!) of a Takuan stealth colonic, but if you’re dressed as a giant roach…
I don’t think I’m getting to sleep tonight.
“squeedlyspooch” but I digress. What matter what engine of ichor oozing if an entity gain the entire water column but lose it’s indecipherable skritchy markings on dark basalt?
goota pen? (or whatever your equivalent might be?)
“gotta pen?” i mean, of course…
my ink sacs are vast
but are they charged? – i’ll meet you in the white vastness…
A co-worker of mine ordered one of these a few months ago from some company in Hong Kong. They call it the “Magicel Intenect Ball” and the packaging contains some of the best attempts at English ever, very very funny.
I just got mine yesterday from ThinkGeek. It’s definitely a knockoff, not the original back in production. No complaints about the quality, though!
You’re right that it is a knockoff, in a way. It was reverse engineered in China and distributed illegally there, however the company brought it to the US without knowing that there were copyrights for it here and worked out a deal with Mike so that he does get royalties. There are 2 flaws in the current version of the perplexus: it’s missing a wall at one point and the ball is 8mm instead of 7mm, which substantially changes the weight of the ball. We had a family competition between the Superplexus and the Perplexus over Thanksgiving–they play very different, but both are still enjoyable. I actually like how lightweight and round the Perplexus is compared to the Superplexus.
From a 2002 SF Gate profile of MM:
“McGinnis says he’ll make about 33 cents for each toy sold.
‘Maybe if every single person in the world buys one, I’ll get wealthy,’ he adds with a laugh. ‘This whole, long ordeal definitely wasn’t for the money. But, for whatever reason, it was really important for me that (Superplexus) went out into the world. And now that it’s out there, I feel more settled.'”
Sounds like he’d be happy to see more people get their hands on one even if he doesn’t get his royalties. Perhaps BB can set up a fund where we can send our $.33?
Anyway, just got mine today. It’s great fun, but fiendishly difficult!
i have the original superplexus i got it five years ago and i still use it to this day and i can get to start to finish without stopping
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