In our never-ending search for great games at our local thrift stores we sometimes come across something so unique and never-before-seen we just have to have it. Fortunately it only cost a couple bucks but has already provided hours of entertainment for myself and the girls.
At first glance it looks like some type of Rubik’s Cube puzzle. Or maybe even one of those 3-D puzzles that come in different shapes. Digging into the box yields the original instructions and name – Odd Balls!
Odd indeed. Smooth and slippery to the touch, they are so well-made that they just don’t want to come apart. The pieces fit together tightly and prevent us from prying them apart at first. The instructions give us a clue about special techniques to open them.
Multiple plastic wedges and an inner disc that they tightly snap on to. Digging around the internet yields very little about them other than some eBay auctions. We finally come across an old listing from the early 2000’s that sheds some light on them. They are a teaching tool used in the classroom for a variety of subjects. Recommended for grades K-2 for learning beginning numbers and colors (other models come in color), grades 3-5 for fractions, 6-12 for physics demonstrations and for all ages for art.
Sure enough, the odd shapes do snap together to form unique symmetrical shapes. The number of variations seems endless and by swapping out different colors there truly could be an almost infinite number of combinations.
Originally offered in the early 90’s by Orbix Corporation of McLean, VA, we cannot find where it may be currently offered today other than your favorite auction site. It’s a shame, it is actually quite fun just being creative with it. We have it sitting by our couch and tend to fiddle with it when waiting for commercials to end.
You never know what you’ll find at thrift stores! Have you found something one-of-a-kind like this?