A vintage puzzle so rare I didn’t even know it existed

A vintage puzzle so rare I didn’t even know it existed

A vintage puzzle so rare I didn’t even know it existed

In this box is a vintage puzzle, so rare I didn’t even know it existed, so I’m gon na tell you the full story of how I acquired it in just a minute, but first, let’s open this up, because I’m so excited to see it in person. Okay. Okay, here it comes here, it comes here. It comes. Oh, my gosh.

Oh my God! Oh my gosh! It’S here! It’S here! It’S here literally like no one out there will have ever guessed what this was.

Oh, my God! Oh my God! Okay, here we go here. We go I’m taking it out of the bag, I’m taking it out of the bag there. It is so this okay, you guys, still have no idea what this is.

So this is the Eaton challenge cup, but it is the tea version which I did not even know existed. I made a video a while ago. I made a video about all of the rarest puzzles in the world that I am still looking for and on. That list was the coffee version of this puzzle, of which there is literally one photo on the entire internet on eatonpeles.com, which is an incredible resource of vintage, eaten puzzles.

Even that website does not have this puzzle on there. So, okay, let’s open it up! Oh okay! We have our little little puzzle and this okay, this. This is what I am here for.

This is why I spent way too much money on this puzzle. Aunt is the score card. I can finally read the entire thing: instead of trying to zoom in on that super pixelated photo. I can finally read the entire thing, I’m so happy right now, I’m so happy happy new year. So I filmed that first clip that you just saw as a little preview for my patreon subscribers um when I was filming my haul video last year.

I just really wanted to see this in person and also make sure it wasn’t like broken or anything. But now I am back to tell you all about it and do the most detailed, Deep dive into this puzzle. You have ever seen and that’s a true fact. No one will have ever seen this before, because this puzzle does not exist on the internet. So, as I mentioned in that first clip the only photo from this puzzle series that is on the Internet is on eatonpuzzles.

om, where they have a not great quality photo of the coffee puzzle, and when I was scrolling through the edenpuzzles.com website, it seems like that was The only puzzle that Eaton ever released that was not just a regular puzzle in a regular puzzle box. So when this one showed up for sale, my world was shook. I just turned 32 Am I allowed to say shook all right, so here’s what we’ve got you can see that the top of this cup. We have this lid with this beautiful typography that says the challenge cup up here.

We can see Schaefer Eaton Textron, so that phrase also appears on the puzzle boxes and when I look up that entire thing it looks like Schaefer is a calligraphy pen company. So basically, both companies were acquired by Textron and then from 1976 on they were releasing pens, puzzles and other paper products under the Shaffer Eaton name. So then we have a little blurb. The enclosed puzzle features 42 pieces. The completed size is six and a half inches by six and a half inches.

Then we have the Eaton logo, and then we have some kind of serial number and all of this is sort of like a raised ink so on the outside. You can see that it says tea and the letters are stylized to look like a jigsaw puzzle which is very cute and then on the bottom. We have a little bit of raised text. It says: whirly Industries, Inc, Warren, Pennsylvania, USA, so I feel like that’s probably the company that made this plastic cup all right. So if we open it up, we can take out our bag of pieces as well as our scorecards.

So those are the only two things that are in here and I guess now you could use this as an actual cup. If you wanted to everybody, go check your grandparents cabinets and see if they have this cup sitting in there. So the bag of pieces is uh still sealed. I believe – and it has this tape holding the bag closed, which I’ve actually seen a lot of in other puzzles from around this time period. This puzzle doesn’t have a date anywhere on the puzzle itself, but on eatonpuzzles Com, they say that the coffee puzzle was released in 1980, so I’m just gon na assume this one was also released in 1980.

Oh okay: we’ve got a lot of vintage puzzle dust here, okay, but I can’t solve it yet. I don’t even want to look too closely at the pieces because I need to time myself and find out what my uh, what my score is. Okay, so this is what I’m so excited to have, because in that photo that I kept telling you about the bottom was completely cut off. So now we can finally read the entire thing. Okay, so once again it says Schaefer, Eaton challenge, cup Mini Puzzle scorecard.

So if you complete it in under three minutes, you’re a genius three to five minutes, nice going doing piece work for a living. How did they know? I don’t think this was a job in the 80s. Youtuber was not a job in 1980, so five to eight minutes is maybe a little peace and quiet would have improved your score. Eight to ten minutes practice practice 10 to 15 minutes.

Were you trying to assemble the puzzle in its plastic bag and if it takes you over 15 minutes, no score see points for consolation. So then, okay, we have our bonus points and penalties. If you fill the cup before removing the puzzle, minus 20 points attempting to drink puzzle while assembling it minus 30 points trying to fit the assembled puzzle back in the cup without disassembling it minus 99 points and then finally, finding fun and enjoyment in your challenge. Cup. Mini Puzzle, bonus 100 points.

So no matter how long it takes you as long as you find fun and enjoyment you’re a genius. But what if you do it in under three minutes and you find fun and enjoyment, then you get 200 points and there’s no label for that. Alright, so there’s nothing on the back. That’S all we’ve got there. So I think, it’s time to time myself doing this puzzle all right.

I got this. I got this here. We go and start somehow doing a puzzle. This small is even more stressful than doing a giant puzzle. There’S like no room for error.

No, my first piece. No, my second piece was wrong. No, my third piece was wrong. Oh no, okay! I got one.

I got one! No! Ah, this is so stressful, okay, okay, okay, I’m doing it I’m doing it I’m doing it, I’m only 40 seconds in so I’m a third of the way to not being a genius anymore. No I’m trying things that are so dumb. I just need to calm down and, like take a deep breath: oh no uh!

Okay! This is the problem with trying to race a like valuable vintage puzzle. Is I also don’t want to ruin the pieces by like shoving them together? Oh no! Oh!

No! This is bad. This is bad. This is bad, oh, my God, I’m so stressed. I’M so stressed right now, I’m so stressed.

What am I even looking at? What is this uh? I’M a minute and a half in more than halfway to not being a genius anymore like I ever was a genius in the first place. What am I even talking about? Okay, two minutes, seven uh.

I just saw this piece there. It is that’s a corner. That’S a corner, that’s the corner! I need okay, okay, oh my God! Oh my God!

Oh my God! No there, though, these connect together. I should have seen that earlier. Maybe I’m not a genius. After all, two minutes – 33.

Okay, oh my God. Oh my God! No there we go there. We go. This one goes there and then this one is not there.

This one is gon na. Go there that one’s gon na go. Oh my god! Oh no! Oh no!

I’M not a genius! I’M not a genius. We just hit three minutes. Thank you! Okay.

Okay. I think I’m definitely gon na finish before four minutes and done. Oh my God. Oh my God that was so stressful. Oh my gosh, I’m not a genius!

My final time was three minutes and 31 seconds, so I guess that means I have a score of 80. nice going doing piece work for a living literally. How did they know that is actually really perfect? Okay, so here is the final picture, so we have a lemon uh, some more lemons. We have a tea bag and then the um, the string and the paper, and then I think, they’re just sitting on top of a bunch of tea leaves and as you can see, this is super solid um.

The pieces are super thick. This is very reminiscent of Springbok puzzle quality from the 80s. They definitely had their own unique cut. That was very different from Spring box Cuts, though so, if I bring back out the puzzle plus uh puzzle that I just did recently, this puzzle came out in 1982, so theoretically, two years after the tea puzzle, but if we look at them next to each other, The greens aren’t quite the same. This one is a little bit more of a teal, this one’s more of a yellowy green, but the puzzle cut is very similar, but you between the two.

So I thought I might do a comparison to a Ravensburger puzzle piece just because that’s very well known so everybody knows you know what I’m comparing against. So look at that these eaten puzzle pieces are basically like twice. The thickness of the cardboard puzzles that we’re getting today, and this is not at all to throw Ravensburger under the bus um. Their puzzles are excellent, but it’s just to show how thick the puzzles were back in the 80s. So, interestingly, I just pulled up the photo of the coffee puzzle and I’m trying to compare the piece Cuts, because I would have thought, especially if these were released.

At the same time, I would have thought they’d have identical puzzle Cuts, but I’m looking at them and they are completely different, which is so interesting. Maybe they weren’t released at the same time, or maybe they were expecting people to buy both of them and if they were gon na race, both of them, they didn’t want them to just memorize the piece cut, or maybe these were made at a totally different time And they just had had a different Mini Puzzle, die cut, ready to go at that time. Also, the coffee one definitely looks a lot harder because that one is coffee beans on top of ground coffee. So it’s just dark brown on top of light brown, whereas with this one these lines are much more distinct, so actually doing the coffee one in under three minutes. That would be more of a challenge than this one was I’m also looking at the lids.

The lids are pretty much exactly the same except different colors and looking at the score cards. I’M pretty sure those are exactly the same between the two. So now, let’s get back to the story of how I got my hands on this. Our Saga begins with an Instagram message and I cannot find the original message. So I don’t know who sent it to me.

If it was you please let me know so I can say thank you, but somebody sent me an Instagram message basically saying there is a puzzle on the Milwaukee Craigslist that you might want to go. Take a look at and I was like. Oh, this is fun. This is like a scavenger hunt. Let’S go see what we can find, so I went to the Milwaukee Craigslist and I found the listing and as soon as I saw the photos, I was like.

Oh, my God, this is really good, so the seller was only asking 15 for this, so I immediately messaged her and offered more than that and asked if she would be willing to ship it all the way to LA, and then she replied uh. Why am I getting so many emails? Why are people offering me so much money for this puzzle? So at that point I explained exactly who I was. I sent her the link to the rare puzzles video I explained like what this puzzle was and how rare it was.

So she thanked me for all that information. She let me know that this had been her mother’s, Who Loved games and puzzles, so we went back and forth a couple times uh. She let me know that she was getting some very lucrative offers, but that she suspected they were coming from people who were just looking to resell. It then make even more money and she wanted it to go to someone who loved puzzles as much as her mother did so. I was basically like, I totally understand if you get a a higher offer, but if you can tell me what your current top offer is, I can try to match that.

So that’s what we did. I ended up paying her um much more than 15, but she sold it to me so that I could have it here for my puzzle, collection and I’m just so happy to have this. This is such a special piece in my puzzle, collection, so we’ll just have to see if I ever get my hands on the coffee one if I could have both of those like sitting here next to each other. Oh my gosh. That would be amazing if you have one please get in touch so originally that was going to be this entire video, but yesterday I fell into such a deep Rabbit Hole of eaten puzzles.

I wanted to know what other mini puzzles they had released and also what they were releasing around the same time as this one. So what I ended up doing was basically transferring the entire eatinpuzzles.com website over to my own spreadsheet, so that I could more easily sort and reorganize all of that information. So Eaton was releasing puzzles between 1971 and 1988 and in those 17 years they released around 350 puzzles, although there are some blank spaces on the website. So that number is not total really exact, but I wanted to know if they had released any other mini puzzles, because most of the puzzles on their website are just these 500 piece puzzles.

Okay, so in 1973 they had a whole series of 300 piece puzzles mostly of nature scenes. Then in 1977 they released this series of doodle mini puzzles, and the gimmick here is that they came with markers so that you could color them in yourself. So this tennis one is actually the only one that was on the eatonpuzzles Com, but I found another one: just by searching Eaton mini puzzles on worthpoint and then just by Google searching Eaton mini puzzles. I found a third one on mercari and I may have uh order into that. One never ordered anything on mercari before so we’ll see if it actually shows up, but it was under 15 for this very rare puzzle.

So I decided to take my chances, so we have those three um. I have no idea if there were any more in that mini doodle series um. If anyone knows please, let me know so, then, jumping ahead to a 1980, they theoretically released the challenge cups, although there’s no proof on the product itself that that’s when it was released, they also released a mini puzzle called pigtails, but it’s so weird, that’s the only One that they released at that time like. Why would you release one single mini puzzle? Maybe there are others and they’re just like not on the internet?

I don’t know so that’s basically it if we jump ahead to a 1988. They have these Foxwood Tails mini puzzles, but they don’t say, eat in anywhere on them. They just say it’s treasure collection, which is what all of the Eden puzzles were sort of categorized, as so, at least according to the website. These are some of the last puzzles that Eaton ever released, but I did a little Googling and I found this uh lawsuit from a trucking company, basically saying that Eaton canceled their contract with them, but there’s a whole lot of information in here about the company of Eaton so, as I talked about before it says that Schaefer Eaton was the consolidation of two corporate divisions of Textron, Schaefer, Pen, Company and Eaton paper company. But then in August of 1987, Textron sold its Schaefer Eaton division to Jennifer Inc, which is a holding company.

And it’s only asset consisted of Schaefer Eaton there’s a lot of business stuff in here. I don’t really know what all of this means, but then, literally, two months later in October, of 87 was Black Monday, which was a stock market collapse and then and in order to keep themselves out of bankruptcy, they had to sell, eaten and yeah. I think that’s about it. I think. That’S why Eaton stopped producing puzzles is because of this stock market crash.

Hi guys editing Karen here, so I actually did a little more Googling of this Berkshire stationery company and just like these mini puzzles, there were actually a bunch of puzzles in 1987 and 88 that stopped using the Eaton name altogether and were only credited to Berkshire stationery. Sometimes, with the treasure collection, and sometimes not Berkshire was not named at all in that lawsuit that I was just talking about, so I don’t really know the full story of these last few years. I’Ve eaten it’s something that I’m just gon na continue to research. Okay, so then also on the site, is this random cuddly teddy puzzle, which is said to be 108 pieces, but there’s no date and the photo is really bad, and when I search every combination of cuddly teddy eaten puzzle, I can’t find anything else about it. So I have no idea about that one, but that’s really it for their mini puzzles.

So not that many. I wish I could just talk to someone who worked there back then, because I am, I have so many questions about the products they chose to release anyway, before you go, I have a couple uh charts for you, because it would not be a Karen puzzles video Without a whole bunch of charts, so when I was making my eaten spreadsheet, I categorized all of the puzzles by shape and by category, so you can see that the vast majority of the puzzles they released were rectangular. They released 37 round puzzles, eight mini puzzles, at least that I’m aware of, and then the two cups, and then I also wanted to assort all of their puzzles into category of what was on the puzzle, because I feel like all of the really boring nature photos Is what originally jumped out to me, but it turns out the biggest category is actually their animal puzzles after that is photographs of places, then is objects then artwork, which actually surprised me that they released so many artwork puzzles. Then food. They had a lot of food puzzles in the 80s and then we have the nature, puzzles and other category fantasy illustrations and cars.

So we can also see how many puzzles they released each year. It looks like 71 and 80 were their most prolific years, but keep in mind. There are all of these puzzles without confirmed release dates. So if we manage to figure those out, it could skew the data quite a bit and then finally, one more interesting thing that I found so I was trying to find a better photo of this puzzle from 1971 I looked it up on worthpoint and look at this description. It was being sold by someone whose mother-in-law worked at Ian.

I would have loved to have seen that attic collection. Can you just imagine what Treasures were up there? Alright, so I think that’s all. I’Ve got for my deep dive into eaten puzzles, so, even after all that I still only have four puzzles by them out of 350. um.

I definitely want to keep collecting them. A lot of them are not at all rare. So I’m sure that I can can just go on eBay and pick up a bunch of them, but I have to be mindful of how much space I currently have in this room before I just start buying and buying and buying but someday. Can you just imagine? Wouldn’T it be so amazing to have all 350 all in one place again: oh, that would be so beautiful.

I mean that’s basically what my dad did with his Anvil collection. Definitely following in his footsteps. Now, with my puzzle, collection all right so before I go, I just wanted to let you guys know about a puzzle, competition that I will be taking part in So at the end of January I will be leaving beautiful, sunny Los Angeles, and I will be traveling To cold snowy Minnesota why I’m gon na be so cold, but it is the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. They do an annual puzzle, competition every single year and I will be taking part this year. This has been going on for decades.

So there’s a lot of information. Already out there about it, if you want to learn more about this one, so this competition is only four person teams. It is not individual, not pairs, it is only a team competition and are you ready for the team reveal? I will be teaming up with Jonathan who you saw in my Nationals: video we’re gon na give it another shot. We’Ve also got face, who was part of the group that organized the Nationals, competition and Kevin, who I have not met yet, but hopefully we puzzle together.

Well – and I say that because I’m also taking part in a competition down in Orange County in February and I’m going to be teaming up with Kevin, so hopefully we work well together because we’ll be competing against it. Tammy and Yvonne, I’m just hoping for second place. There I’m just hoping they’re, not like a full 10 minutes ahead of us. So if you are at either of those events, please come say hi and let me know down in the comments um, what puzzles did you get for the holidays? What puzzles did you work on over the holidays?

Your code word for the comments will be tea, so thank you for being here and supporting me for another year of puzzle, videos, and I will see you all in the next one.

 

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