SOMA Crystal
SOMA News rev.15 Juli 2016
rev.10 Apr 2010
rev.29 Jul 2009
ini.26 Oct 1999


The MANY faces of SOMA


Now 6 more years, and I receive information of a very pretty SOMA.
Custom made in machined brass, the owner is Kevin Suffecool

Kevin commissioned a local CNC shop to make a custom SOMA cube out of brass.
The pictures of the final product are here for us to admire.

That is indeed some very pretty SOMA pieces.


This puzzle seem to keep amazing me. Now again - almost 1 year since my last update to this newsletter.
Patrick Parrish ( Newsletter 2010.04.02 ) wrote to me, that he had found one more SOMA.

At first I thought - "Havent I already seen them all.? Wood, marble, knitted. ... etc."
Well as soon as I saw Patrick's new acquisition, I must admit that My eyes grew large.

I had always thought that SOMA was sold exclusively as a puzzle of 7 pieces, and that fancyfull puzzlers bought two sets (or 4 sets) to puzzle larger figures.
But here it was - A Box containing a Dual set of soma pieces. 14 parts !.
Take a look at this box. In contrast to the traditional boxes, this one comes in a dis-assembled order, and all the 14 pieces are systematically scatteret throughout the box floor.
Each seated in a precut hole in the inside cardboard.

Strangely though, the illustration sheet shows only single set (7 pieces) puzzles.
Maybe the designer had never puzzled a doubleset figure and simply reused the folder from a standard SOMA.
By the way - here is the whole papersheet.


Some 10 years have passed, since this newsletter was written, but now is the time for an update.
From Pat Ashforth I have received a link to this beautifully knitted version of SOMA.
This shows how pretty it can be done, in yet one more material. The shown version is filled with small polystyrene beads which makes it very nice to handle, but it also means that the corners are not perfectly square. It is a very tactile puzzle. So if you (or your girlfriend/wife) like knitting, this is certainly a possibility. - The knitting instructions can be purchased through Pat's web page.
Thank you to Pat, for this nice link.

Knitted version of SOMA.


The original SOMA is a Rosewood type. But for many people, SOMA is a synonym for the old Parker Brothers version, made in solid plastic, Blue, Red or Gold.
SOMA however exist in MANY different versions, some are homemade and some come from factories. Most versions include a booklet with pictures of various objects for the user to duplicate.
In this Newsletter I present just a small number of the various types.
Thank you to all those who supplied fotos, and a special thanks to Lluis who gave me the dice versions as a present

Here is my own Rosewood SOMA.

This is the red plastic version produced by Parker Brothers, This particular one (Where each cube is 3cm.) belong to the "University of Waterloo's Museum of Games".

A 2016-08-17 addition:

The SOMA set from Parker Brothers Inc. is a historic Icon.
These puzzles emerged from a classical game factory and being made in solid plastic, these puzzles were affordable to many people. (Compared to the original Skjøde Rosewood version.)
Another first was that Parker Brothers Inc. issued two versions, a red and a blue, enabling various games to be played, as well as the building of two set figures.
Vintage versions are still available, and its great to see these photos of the historic puzzles.
Although they are much more fun to unpack and start puzzling ;o)

SOMA Cube Puzzle Game by Parker Brothers No. 33 1969 in Plastic Wrap.


The booklet could slide into the black socket.

Here is a nice view of the Red SOMA.



You may want to read the accompaining booklet, so check this 2016-08-17 Newsletter: The SOMA booklets

From Lluis Pazos, I have received these pretty SOMA's made of dices.

Lluis also made this miniature dice-SOMA.
( Note the centimeter ruler [1cm=0.39"] )

Also paper can be the basis for making your own SOMA pieces. This ORIGAMI-SOMA is the property of Krystyna and Wojciech Burczyk.

SOMA can be made from many materials. This version is made from foam cubes, cut from a foam sheet with 2 centimeter thickness. This foam was covered with adhesive on one side, which made assembly easier.

The compagny "Binary Arts" produce this SOMA which is sold under the name "Block by Block". This is Another release of "Block by Block" in a new package

This is Jay Jenicek's homemade SOMA.

A beautiful example of a two colored SOMA set.
Available at $13.00 from:

Jürg von Känel's Wooden SOMA.

Soma in the shape of animals
This particular figured SOMA belong to John Rausch.
The puzzle was made by Trevor Wood in 1989. and the figures show; (Swan, Bird, Cat, Octopus, Seal, Squirrel and Goffer)

- submitted by Thorleif Bundgård.

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