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Grown-up baby toy

By Shamus
on Wednesday Mar 15, 2006
Filed under:


Of all my puzzles, this is the only one I’ve never solved. In my defense, it’s hard to work with. It’s stiff and difficult to turn, and after a few minutes my fingers hurt from the effort. Not a very fun puzzle to experiment with.

On the other hand, it is very visually appealing. Lots of bright primary colors and a surface with just the right texture make it hard to resist picking the thing up.

Let’s be honest here: For anyone who’s been around bright and colorful infant toys, you know that many of them are attractive and amusing. It’s fun to pick them up and make them spin or beep or rotate or whatever it is the toy does. It isn’t any less fun to hold for an adult (although it’s not nearly as amazing or mysterious for us) but sensible adults (read: not me) shun them because you don’t want to get caught playing with a baby toy.

So a lot of the attraction of these puzzles is the same visual and tactile experience of the baby toy, along with the more cerebral process of solving a difficult puzzle. If you don’t believe me, just imagine how much less fun a Rubik’s Cube would be if it was made of wood and the sides were shades of grey, or simply numbered. The puzzle would still be there, but the “baby toy” appeal would be gone, and it would be much easier to put the thing down.

Comments (3)

  1. inara says:

    i guess ur right. i never really thot about it b4.

  2. AndrewNZachsDad says:

    Walking thru Toys-R-Us with my son once I cam e across a baby toy which is an octopus with “squeezies” for arms (legs? limbs?) When squeezed, each one makes a different tone. I must have spent about 10 minutes figuring out how to play “Mary Had A Little Lamb” on it. Then I brought my wife in two days later expressly to show her how clever I was.

    Sometimes I wonder why I have any friends, never mind a wife.

  3. Patty M. says:

    I’ve had one of these for quite awhile and I absolutely LOVE it! In a way, like a modern day Rubix Cube.

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