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The incredible Superplexus Vortex puzzle


February 19, 2010

The Superplexus Vortex is an incredible puzzle that could give you hours of pleasure...or frustration

The Superplexus Vortex is an incredible puzzle that could give you hours of pleasure...or frustration

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Remember that old wooden labyrinth puzzle you used as a kid? You had to manipulate a small steel ball through a series of mazes by altering the orientation of the plane using two knobs. Prepare to meet its big brother – the Superplexus Vortex. It’s a humungous, three-dimensional, spherical labyrinth that promises to both challenge and frustrate you.

The Superplexus Vortex is designed to use your manual dexterity and spatial aptitude by getting you to manipulate a wooden ball through an incredibly complex series of chicanes, hairpin turns that are multi-planar, staircases and spirals. Oh, and if that’s not challenging enough - as the name suggests – there’s a vortex as well!

This extraordinary puzzle was designed and hand-crafted by Michael McGinnis. Apparently each one takes an incredible 400 hours to construct, so you can imagine how much detail goes into each piece. Just consider the track - if you laid it in a straight line, it would be 31 foot longer than a football field. And during the ball’s journey - it needs to be manipulated on a 1/16" diameter stainless steel wire pathway at eight different points.

The track is made from three and six ply Finnish birch and is set inside a 36" diameter acrylic sphere. This in turn is attached to a Jatoba base by a stainless steel gimbaled mount. The mount allows the user to tilt the sphere in any direction to try and get the ball heading the right way.

Luckily, there are directional arrows to show you which way you should attempt to move the ball. This may be little consolation though – apparently it will take you a minimum of 425 turns or plane changes to complete the journey. That’s assuming you manage to keep the ball on the track at all times.

If you doubt your ability to solve this monster puzzle, fear not, it can be customized in order to ease the degree of difficulty.

The Superplexus has a height of 50" a 36" diameter, weighs 65 lbs and is available now from Hammacher Schlemmer. So what would you expect to pay for a hand-made puzzle that takes 400 hours to make and could potentially occupy you for days, months or even years? Try US$30,000…let’s hope it gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

Via technabob.


I\'d love to have one, but not at 30 grand... Maybe $500-$1000 would be a fun price point and make an interesting game for guests, but $30,000 could buy a lot of hydrogen generators...just sayin\'...


Facebook User

Please don\'t dumb down measurements I still know how long your medieval \"foot\" measurement is but am totally unaware of how long a \"football field\" is. Just give me the measurement, whatever it is, 130 feet 300ft or a measurement that the rest of the world will know, meters.


Pandora, Your right, it should be directed more to all the world! Gizmag is that good in my opinion. In this case I am assuming he is referring to the American football field, not soccer. (Someone who knows can chime in here for soccer field length.) If it is the American football field, that would be about 100.89 meters, to be exact.

Will, the tink

An American football field is 109.7 meters long by 48.8 meters wide.

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