Pros: Easy to assemble, 90% accurate, light weight.
Cons: Made of plastic, some pieces can warp rendering it useless.
I've had a fascination with the puzzle box featured in the Hellraiser films for more than a few years. So much so that I attempted to make my own from wood, plastic and glass. I was never satisfied with the way that they looked. There was always something that kept me from completing all six sides needed to make up the box. Glass etching was the worst as each side took at least five hours to complete and if you screwed up one single line you had to start over with a fresh piece of glass. Eventually I gave up on making one and started looking to buy one online. That's when I realized that there are a lot of shady people that are looking to get over on buyers.
The first box I purchased turned out to be a pressed cardboard mock up of the original Lament Configuration. That sounds impressive right? After assembling it I realized that one side was uneven so there was no way that it would display correctly. The second purchase was a little nicer but it was still cardboard. It looked great for a few months but as soon as it got humid the sides started to warp. I didn't want to have to buy all six of the Hellraiser figures that included the individual plastic pieces of the puzzle box but it started to look like that was what I was going to have to do. My last purchase was the worst. I paid twenty five dollars for a box that the seller said could be displayed in Lament or Leviathan Configuration. What I got was three inch pieces of foam core with paper puzzle box panels heat pressed on to them. I won't even go into the details of that disaster.
Finally settling on buying the figures I came across a plastic version of the puzzle box. Modestly priced at fifteen dollars it was a lot cheaper than having to buy the figures to get the puzzle pieces. Even if I could get them at ten dollars a piece I was still looking at a sixty dollar investment. What I ended up with was a nice puzzle box. It isn't anything that is ever going to pass for a true Hellraiser Box but unless you are right on top of it, it looks good. You get six pieces that snap together to form the puzzle box. You should get instructions on how to start the build but if you don't you can go online to see the exact placement of the panels. To most people it won't be a big deal if you get a side wrong but if you will get an earful if someone into the film comes across it and you have one of the sides in the wrong spot. It takes about five minutes to put it together; the hardest piece is the last one. I had trouble with one of the sides coming loose when I would press the last snap into position. It can be a little frustrating but once you get it put together it is worth the effort.
"So eager to play, so reluctant to admit it" I'll be honest; this is nothing more than a knock off of the more expensive boxes. It’s made of plastic, it won't summon the Cenobites, it won't open a gateway to pleasure and pain. It will look cool with other Hellraiser collectibles but that's about it. If you see a Hellraiser Puzzle Box selling for less than a hundred dollars then you are going to get a plastic box that you will more than likely have to assemble. The box has textured detailing to it so when you pick it up it doesn't have a cheap feel to it. It is made of plastic so it is light weight. If you are concerned with it falling apart you can use some craft glue on the inside sections as you are building it but you will have to leave the last piece off of it so that the glue can dry completely. If you are going to do that you have to make sure that the pieces are locked into place and that they are even or the last piece will not fit.
Outside of buying the Hellraiser figures and collecting the pieces that way, you are stuck with having to buy a custom made piece. I have searched high and low for puzzle box makers and most of them offer a Hellraiser styled design but not an authentic piece. Clive Barker was asked why he never created an official puzzle box and he never answered the question. Maybe he was afraid someone would unleash the Cenobites. I would have loved it if there was an official puzzle but after searching for four years, I have yet to find one that was worth a fraction of the asking price. The plastic puzzle box will never be confused with an authentic wooden puzzle but if you can get it for ten or fifteen dollars it is worth it to have something that looks cool and will always have people wondering exactly what it is if they have never seen the films.
^V^ © 2009 Freak369 ^V^
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