Thursday, 14 January 2016

Lunatic lock: a quick comparison between the original and the mass-produced

Every puzzle collectors, whether they collect metal puzzles and/or trick locks or just puzzles, have already heard at least one about the famous Lunatic lock, a metal lock designed by Gary Foshee.

But most collectors have the Bits&Piece lunatic lock and not the original and thus cannot see the differences between both. My copy was my first trick lock.

Before pointing out the differences, a quick talk about what this puzzle is: a lock of course! But a lock without any hole to put a key and without any key, so a mysterious lock!

So how to open it? Well you can play with the small rod in the center: you can turn it, pull it more or less. You can hear also some pins or other ratling things when you move the lock. Then perhaps you've found out what is inside? If so, that's already a good point.
Even if you know how to solve it, you need good precision, and thus it can take a little bit of time.

Once solved you can see the mechanism: simple, precise and so efficient to make you be "lunatic" :-)

Here we are with the differences: on the left will be the original one and on the right a mass-produced version. The mechanism is exactly the same for both.

The design:
I do not have with me right now the mass-produced one, but it seems that the original lock is a bit bigger.
The main difference is that the name of the lock is written on the lock produced by Bits&Pieces. Honestly I think this is a nice thing and I would have liked to see the name written as well on the lunatic lock crafted by Gary Foshee.

The material used
It's stainless steel for the original lock and some kind of cheap aluminium for the mass-produced.
I always prefer to have the original puzzles because the quality has usually nothing to do with the mass-produced ones. However, I must admit that the material is pretty good for this copy. But I still prefer of course the smooth stainless steel of the original one.

For the original one, you will have a small addition, but I cannot say more, otherwise it's not a surprise!

To conclude, this puzzle is a must-have in any collection. If you cannot afford the original version, which is rare and expensive, then you can consider buying a mass-produced version for around 15 euros, which will still do well its "job".


  1. I have a brass version without anything written on it. It looks like it is handmade and not mass-produced. Do you have any clue, where it could be from? Have there been original ones as brass version?

    1. As far as I know the original has only been made in stainless steel as the one I reviewed. I tend to think yours has been mass produced but less "mass" than the one by Bits&Pieces.But the mechanism should be the same.

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