Puzzles » 3D Sculpture Puzzles: A Brief History, Explanation on How to Solve, and Where to Purchase

3D Sculpture Puzzles: A Brief History, Explanation on How to Solve, and Where to Purchase

History of the 3D Sculpture Puzzle

The 1990s were an interesting time period for puzzles. The traditional jigsaw puzzle had been around for a couple hundred years and people decided that it was about time that the jigsaw puzzle got a face lift. Companies thought it was time to try and create 3D puzzles. The most popular 3D puzzles were Puzz 3D puzzles created by Canadian company Wrebbit. While kind of a niche product, Puzz 3D puzzles were quite popular from the 1990s to the mid 2000s.

Trying to cash in on the popularity of the 3D puzzle craze, Milton Bradley decided to try their luck at creating a 3D puzzle. They eventually decided on the 3D Sculpture Puzzle. Instead of building on a flat surface, the goal of a 3D Sculpture Puzzle is to place the pieces on top of one another in order to create the sculpture. The sculpture is formed by each layer being a different shape. When placed on top of one another the different layers form the sculpture.

The 3D Sculpture Puzzle line never seemed to catch on as well as Puzz 3D puzzles. While there are almost 300 Puzz 3D puzzles, there appears to only have been around 30 3D Sculpture Puzzles made. The puzzles didn’t appear to do well in the United States since over half of the puzzles appear to not have been sold outside of Europe. Milton Bradley appears to have stopped production of the puzzles in the early 2000s around the time that their parent company Hasbro bought Wrebbit and started producing Puzz 3D puzzles.

After Milton Bradley stopped making the puzzles a couple other companies tried to make their own versions of the puzzles. The Master Pieces company made at least a couple puzzles including a Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Homer Simpson puzzle. The unique thing about the Master Pieces puzzles is that they actually were a combination of a traditional jigsaw puzzle and a 3D Sculpture Puzzle. Each layer of the 3D puzzle was actually a mini jigsaw puzzle that had to be together to form the layer. I think it would be really interesting to put one of these puzzles together.

The latest company to try and make 3D Sculpture Puzzles is Educa Borras. They recently started a new line of the puzzles and currently have four for sale which includes Darth Vader, Tutankhamen, Venus de Milo, and Yoda. Hopefully this line of puzzles is successful since they might extend the line in the future.

I have to say that it is a shame that 3D Sculpture Puzzles never really picked up. They are a unique puzzle experience since they don’t feel at all like your typical jigsaw puzzle. Building the puzzle vertically instead of horizontally requires quite a different approach from your typical puzzle. They might look intimidating at first but they aren’t that difficult once you start putting them together. I would say they are moderately difficult and are about as difficult as a Puzz 3D puzzle. Since they have quite a few less pieces though they take less time to put together. Puzz 3D puzzles are probably better overall but the 3D Sculpture Puzzles are still fun to put together.

The thing I like most about 3D Sculpture Puzzles is that they look really nice when you have finished them. While they lack color, the detail in the puzzles is quite impressive. Outside of not having any color, I would say they look nicer than the Puzz 3D puzzles. They obviously aren’t fine artwork but they look nice enough that you would consider displaying them.

Tips on Solving a 3D Sculpture Puzzle

Currently I have put two 3D Sculpture Puzzles together. I am far from an expert but here are some tips I learned putting those two puzzles together which could help people having some trouble.

I think the best way to approach these puzzles is to sort the pieces into a couple different groups of similar shaped pieces. This is helpful since the similar looking pieces will go together. In order to create the sculpture each subsequent layer has to be similar to the previous layer because the 3D look of the puzzle is created by each layer being shaped slightly different. If each subsequent layer was drastically different, the sculpture wouldn’t look right. By separating each section of pieces it is easier to figure out which pieces belong to each section of the puzzle.

The second tip I would recommend is to look at a key element of the section of the puzzle you are currently working on and compare all of the pieces of the section using that element. For example when I got to the face portion of the Presidents in the Mount Rushmore puzzle, the noses stood out the most so I arranged the pieces in order to create the noses. The back of the King Tut puzzle was the distinctive element since most of the pieces had the same shape with each layer getting slightly smaller which made layering the pieces quite easy.

My final tip is to look at the pictures of the section you are working on and see whether the pieces are moving outward or inward. A lot of the pieces have areas that are very similar to all of the other pieces in the same section. By looking at the picture you can see how these areas are supposed to line up. My example for this tip is the back of the King Tut puzzle. The back of the puzzle pieces are pretty much the same with the only difference being some pieces being bigger or smaller. In the neck region each subsequent layer pushes out further so I knew to keep placing pieces that were slightly larger than the previous piece. In the head region the opposite happens so I knew to place the next smallest piece as the next layer.

Mount Rushmore Sculpture Puzzle

Mount Rushmore Sculpture Puzzle

The Mount Rushmore puzzle consists of 186 pieces in 99 different layers. Of the two 3D sculpture puzzles that I have put together I think the Mount Rushmore puzzle looks nicer. The different faces of Mount Rushmore look quite detailed and the puzzle looks nice displayed. A unique thing about the Mount Rushmore 3D Sculpture Puzzle is that it uses two different stacks of puzzle pieces.

You would think having to create two stacks would make the puzzle more difficult but I actually think it makes the puzzle easier. Since the two stacks of puzzle pieces need to connect together (there would be a huge crack in the middle of Mount Rushmore otherwise) you can use one stack to figure out the other stack. To find the piece that goes in the other stack you just have to line up pieces with the completed stack and find which piece fits.

Mount Rushmore Sculpture Puzzle

Mount Rushmore Sculpture Puzzle

Mount Rushmore Sculpture Puzzle

Mount Rushmore Sculpture Puzzle

 

Solution (from bottom to top)

  1. 126 & 171
  2. 180 & 155
  3. 132 & 44
  4. 83 & 108
  5. 172 & 157
  6. 149 & 82
  7. 181 & 89
  8. 114 & 36
  9. 20 & 35
  10. 53 & 151
  11. 147 & 179
  12. 30 & 145
  13. 84 & 161
  14. 80 & 21
  15. 56 & 19
  16. 87 & 29
  17. 117 & 85
  18. 110 & 1
  19. 14 & 138
  20. 17 & 42
  21. 99 & 135
  22. 96 & 93
  23. 61 & 182
  24. 122 & 11
  25. 100 & 74
  26. 162 & 4
  27.  113 & 123
  28. 5 & 15
  29. 131 & 141
  30. 139 & 94
  31. 158 & 170
  32. 81 & 102
  33. 23 & 128
  34. 38 & 78
  35. 130 & 27
  36. 66 & 143
  37. 165 & 70
  38. 112 & 103
  39. 92 & 22
  40. 121 & 168
  41. 104 & 45
  42. 134 & 51
  43. 90 & 43
  44. 127 & 75
  45. 160 &159
  46. 65 & 174
  47. 28 & 31
  48. 142 & 6
  49. 116 & 54
  50. 175 & 49
  51. 164 & 41
  52. 3 & 58
  53. 77 & 120
  54. 16 & 119
  55. 62 & 152
  56. 150 & 60
  57. 69 & 166
  58. 133 & 68
  59. 106 & 50
  60. 153 & 7
  61. 40 & 137
  62. 115 & 39
  63. 169 & 72
  64. 156 & 148
  65. 46 & 95
  66. 71 & 144
  67. 63 & 57
  68. 167 & 2
  69. 25 & 79
  70. 10 & 48
  71. 97 & 177
  72. 86 & 129
  73. 109 & 125
  74. 146 & 9
  75. 34 & 98
  76. 178 & 163
  77. 32 & 154
  78. 59 & 101
  79. 12 & 118
  80. 136 & 111
  81. 67 & 24
  82. 76 & 176
  83. 37 & 8
  84. 33 & 64
  85. 91 & 1 Blank
  86. 107
  87. 55
  88. 105
  89. 88
  90. 47
  91. 26
  92. 173
  93. 18
  94. 52
  95. 150
  96. 124
  97. 73
  98. 13
  99. 3 Blanks

King Tut Sculpture Puzzle

King Tut Sculpture Puzzle

The King Tut puzzle uses 163 pieces. Unlike the Mount Rushmore puzzle, the entire King Tut puzzle uses one stack of puzzle pieces. This actually makes the King Tut puzzle quite a bit different to put together than the Mount Rushmore puzzle since it consists of more layers and you can’t use the other stack as a guide.

I think the key to putting the King Tut puzzle together is to approach it from the back. The reason to look at the back of the puzzle is that the back of all of the pieces look very similar to one another. The back of the pieces mostly differ in size. The bottom of the puzzle gradually gets bigger as the neck becomes the head/headdress. Then the headdress slowly gets smaller as you approach the top of the head. Following these patterns makes the puzzle easier than you would think to complete.

King Tut Sculpture Puzzle

King Tut Sculpture Puzzle

Solution (from bottom to top)

  1. 107
  2. 55
  3. 124
  4. 155
  5. 132
  6. 44
  7. 83
  8. 108
  9. 105
  10. 157
  11. 149
  12. 82
  13. 73
  14. 89
  15. 114
  16. 36
  17. 20
  18. 35
  19. 53
  20. 151
  21. 147
  22. 150
  23. 30
  24. 145
  25. 84
  26. 161
  27. 80
  28. 21
  29. 56
  30. 19
  31. 87
  32. 29
  33. 117
  34. 85
  35. 110
  36. 1
  37. 14
  38. 138
  39. 17
  40. 42
  41. 99
  42. 135
  43. 96
  44. 93
  45. 61
  46. 13
  47. 122
  48. 11
  49. 100
  50. 74
  51. 162
  52. 4
  53. 113
  54. 123
  55. 5
  56. 15
  57. 131
  58. 141
  59. 139
  60. 94
  61. 158
  62. 126
  63. 81
  64. 102
  65. 23
  66. 128
  67. 38
  68. 78
  69. 130
  70. 27
  71. 66
  72. 143
  73. 37
  74. 70
  75. 112
  76. 103
  77. 92
  78. 22
  79. 121
  80. 64
  81. 104
  82. 45
  83. 134
  84. 51
  85. 90
  86. 43
  87. 127
  88. 75
  89. 160
  90. 159
  91. 65
  92. 47
  93. 28
  94. 31
  95. 142
  96. 6
  97. 116
  98. 54
  99. 26
  100. 49
  101. 88
  102. 41
  103. 3
  104. 58
  105. 77
  106. 120
  107. 16
  108. 119
  109. 62
  110. 152
  111. 140
  112. 60
  113. 69
  114. 8
  115. 133
  116. 68
  117. 106
  118. 50
  119. 153
  120. 7
  121. 40
  122. 137
  123. 115
  124. 39
  125. 91
  126. 72
  127. 156
  128. 148
  129. 46
  130. 95
  131. 71
  132. 144
  133. 63
  134. 57
  135. 33
  136. 2
  137. 25
  138. 79
  139. 10
  140. 48
  141. 97
  142. 18
  143. 86
  144. 129
  145. 109
  146. 125
  147. 146
  148. 9
  149. 34
  150. 98
  151. 52
  152. 76
  153. 32
  154. 154
  155. 59
  156. 101
  157. 12
  158. 118
  159. 136
  160. 111
  161. 67
  162. 24
  163. Blank

List of Milton Bradley 3D Sculpture Puzzles

Here is a list of all the different 3D Sculpture Puzzles that I could find online. This list may not be complete since some of the puzzles are not that easy to find online.

Albus Dumbledore

American Bald Eagle

Anakin Skywalker

The Beatles

Beethoven

The Cherub

Darth Maul

Darth Vader

David

Elvis Presley

The Eternal Woman

Gandalf

The Globe

Harry Potter

The Head

Jar Jar Bink

King Tut

The Kiss

La Pieta

Marilyn Monroe

The Masks of Comedy and Tragedy

Mount Rushmore

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Qui-Gon Jinn

Sweet Cherubs

Taz the Tasmanian Tiger

The Venus de Milo

Vertical Clock

List of Educa Borras 3D Sculpture Puzzles

Darth Vader

Tutankhamon

Venus de Milo

Yoda

Your Thoughts

Do you remember the 3D Sculpture Puzzle? Do you have any tips on how to solve the puzzles? Is there any 3D Sculpture Puzzles that I missed? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

14 thoughts on “3D Sculpture Puzzles: A Brief History, Explanation on How to Solve, and Where to Purchase

  • June 28, 2016 at 10:44 am
    Permalink

    I cant find insructions for 3d puzzle of darth maul id appriciate any help thanks lee

    Reply
    • June 28, 2016 at 2:15 pm
      Permalink

      Hello.

      Unfortunately I don’t own the Darth Maul 3D Sculpture Puzzle so I can’t be of that much help. I tried looking on the internet and I really couldn’t find much information about it.

      I am sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

      Eric

      Reply
  • October 19, 2016 at 12:29 am
    Permalink

    Elvis Presley 3d sculpture puzzle need instructions on how to put it together.

    Reply
    • October 19, 2016 at 5:01 pm
      Permalink

      Hello.

      Unfortunately I don’t own the Elvis Presley 3D Sculpture puzzle so I don’t have the instructions. I am sorry that I couldn’t be of much help.

      Eric

      Reply
  • June 11, 2017 at 6:22 pm
    Permalink

    Lost my insrtuction manual to Elvis. Can you send me code.

    Reply
    • June 11, 2017 at 6:32 pm
      Permalink

      I don’t own the Elvis puzzle myself but I think I was able to find what you are looking for on Hasbro’s website. The instructions for the Elvis Sculpture Puzzle can be found here on Hasbro’s website.

      Eric

      Reply
  • November 5, 2017 at 10:19 pm
    Permalink

    I have a 3D crystal puzzle of red roses in a vase. I can’t download on my desktop computer. I’m looking for printable directions. Can you help??? Thanks.

    Reply
    • November 6, 2017 at 10:15 am
      Permalink

      Hello.

      I am not sure exactly which puzzle you are talking about but I did find the instructions for a BePuzzled 3D puzzle featuring red roses in a jar. Here is a link to the instructions. Otherwise here is a link to a page showing instructions for several different BePuzzled rose puzzles.

      If these don’t help can you give me more information about the puzzle including the manufacturer and I will try to help out as much as I can.

      Reply
  • September 16, 2018 at 6:57 am
    Permalink

    Does anyone have the instrutions for THE HEAD as i have lost mine

    Reply
    • September 17, 2018 at 11:21 am
      Permalink

      Hello.

      I was unable to find the instructions for The Head puzzle which is kind of odd since the Hasbro website has links to most of the sculpture puzzle instructions. If you are looking for the solution to the puzzle I did find someone online saying that the second number on each piece supposedly tells you which section of the puzzle that it is part of. You are then supposed to take the third and fourth number (as a single number) and subtract from it the first number. This is supposed to tell you what position in the section that the piece is supposed to be. The lower the number the lower the piece should be in the section. As I don’t have access to the instructions I don’t know if this is correct or if it is even helpful.

      I am sorry that I couldn’t help you more.

      Reply
  • November 6, 2018 at 11:36 pm
    Permalink

    Do you know where I can find the triangle center post that the pieces go on mine broke cause my can’t jump where I had King Tut and nocked it off and the piece that goes inside the other piece broke off

    Reply
    • November 7, 2018 at 11:51 am
      Permalink

      Unfortunately I don’t know if am going to be able to help you that much. I see two potential solutions. First you could find another copy of the puzzle and take the plastic center pieces from that copy. Otherwise you could try to contact Milton Bradley/Hasbro to see if they have replacement pieces. Publishers are usually pretty good at providing replacement parts. The problem is that the puzzles are pretty old at this point so I don’t know if Milton Bradley would still have replacement parts available for the puzzle. It may be worth contacting them though as they may be able to help them out.

      Reply
  • November 7, 2018 at 1:04 pm
    Permalink

    tried conntecting milton bradley and no they dont carry it any more and if i was to get another one thats or 75 dollars for part thats to much just for one part

    Reply
  • February 11, 2019 at 8:30 am
    Permalink

    Does anyone have the Secret Solution Sheet that goes with the Sweet Cherub 3D Sculpture Puzzle? Not the Instructions I have those but when the Puzzle came new it also included a secret solution guide.

    Reply

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