Puzzle:The Ten Yen Puzzle

Multiple Products Corp.1950

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play

In 1950 the Multiple Products Corp. of New York produced a remarkable dexterity puzzle, based in part on the well-known Asian puzzle tangrams. The "Ten-Yen" puzzle differs, however, in a lack of triangular pieces. A player's task is simply to assemble the pieces back into a square, using the plastic snap-case to hold it. In 1950, along with a patent pending mark, the manufacturer states there were "450 known solutions." Contemporary computers have demonstrated at least 18,000 solutions for the simple puzzle. What also makes it remarkable is the similarity of the puzzle pieces to the tiles in the famous video game Tetris, which came to the United States with Nintendo's Game Boy in 1989, and has since grown to be called one of the most popular video games of all time. One can only wonder if the Russian designer and programmer Alexey Pajitnov ever saw the Ten-Yen puzzle.

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  • Title: Puzzle:The Ten Yen Puzzle
  • Creator: Multiple Products Corp.
  • Date Created: 1950
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Subject Keywords: Tetris
  • Type: Puzzles
  • Medium: plastic, printed cardstock
  • Object ID: 115.849
  • Credit Line: Gift of Joanna B.Olmsted in honor of her parents, Charles E. Olmsted and Hazel W. Olmsted.