cube review: Void Cube
Wow! At last, I can finally feature this very peculiar cube that’s just patiently waiting on my desk this past few days. Recurrent afternoon rain has been hampering the scheduled photo shoot for this lovely puzzle and when I realized it’s dry outside, I couldn’t wait to post this baby here.
I recently got this Void Cube from a good friend of mine at the Rubik’s Cube Philippine Open 2009 for only about 250 bucks. I got it for a pretty good price since I’ve been with business with Giuliano Cayetano, the fastest Megaminx solver in the Philippines, for quite sometime now. A Void Cube from Lan Lan toys cost about 270-300 bucks here in the Philippines, available in two colors: black and white. Of course, with my poor recognition on a white cube, I got the black one.
The stickers are PET, which means it will eventually fade and peel with time. So better have replacement stickers if you plan to play with this for a long time. It was also poorly stickered. Yes, It was spot-on for the placement, however, there were bubbles on them and some had ‘tears’ already.
The inside mechanism of the Void Cube is also pre-lubricated with an unknown liquid. Upon closer inspection, I could fairly say that it is oil-based and smells much like lubricating oil. So if you plan to spray it with any Silicone-based lubricant, please make sure that you clean out all the ‘mystery oil‘ inside the cube to avoid any untoward chemical reactions. You wouldn’t want to mix super glue inside your cube do you?
Although the cube was already pre-lubed, it was still not smooth enough and locks up a lot. The tension (though the mechanism has no springs) on all the sides are pretty uneven. For example: the Gray side is smoother and turns faster than the Black side, directly opposite it. Now that I mentioned a Gray face, it’s time for you to know that it has a sort-of whacked out color scheme. It does not follow the Standard BOY Scheme, nor the Japanese Color Scheme. It has a Gray, Very Dark Gray , and Apple Green faces which makes the puzzle more confusing.
Most YouTube videos will tell you that the Lan Lan Toys bootleg is just the same as the original Gentosha Toys incarnation. I beg to differ, though I don’t own the original version, (which costs 700 bucks more) it really shows on sample solves that it turns so much better. Nonetheless, after breaking-in, sanding and lubrication, here are the results:
- moderately smooth
- reacts just fine to Silicone
- cheaper than the original
- no cutting corner ability
- stickers suck (and don’t get me started on the color scheme)
- locks up a lot
It feels like I’m using an over-sized original 2×2 Pocket cube with the very same feel. Uneven tension, crappy stickers and ZERO cutting corner. It might be from the design of the internal mechanism but it is definitely not an excuse. And since the main mechanism is like an over-grown 2×2 internal mech., you might get a ‘Parity’ problem evert three or so solves which adds to the frustration factor.
Just like my original 2×2 Rubik’s Cube review, I also do not recommend this cube for speedcubing at all.Try out the Gentosha brand first and borrow your friend’s Lan Lan version. I bet it will be so much better in terms of stickers, turning smoothness and quality. However, if you’re just into collecting these cool-looking puzzles like me, then it might do.
Very awful for speedcubing but proportionally very cool cube in terms of aesthetics.