Gaming 293

Published on January 27th, 2009 | by Greg


Suds and Duds: B&D’s Scrub Brush and Mozaniac Puzzles

Alright, we confess- we mostly liked the headline. We usually like to combine only similar items, but we couldn’t resist. And though they have little in common, both items are bound to grab a bit of attention initially but disappoint- the puzzles quickly, the brush only after several uses.

We’ll get the duds out of the way first. Imagine a puzzle that suggested “[A]t their most profound they are a major discovery about the true shape of yin and yang, the basic interacting or complementary forces in life.” Well, we here at Truly Obscure are definitely drawn to the profound, and immediately had to check out what was such a major discovery- the “world’s simplest yet deepest puzzle.”

We were quickly disappointed. The BB Mystery Magnets are perhaps the lamest puzzle we have seen, so utterly pointless that we “solved” them within a couple of seconds and then tried to figure out what to do next. We decided that we needed to scrub something, which worked out well as we had a scrubber handy… but even the Black and Decker ScumBuster Xtreme (its actual name) couldn’t erase the painful memory. These puzzles, and we hesitate to call them that, would be suitable for free giveaways at a convention but barely work as the $5 magnets they purport to be.

Luckily, Mozaniac also makes some of the more artistic puzzles that we have seen, which went a small way towards making up for the over-enthusiastic philosopher-marketing guy from the BB Mystery Magnets. Though not particularly well made, it’s a neat idea done well- imagine 6 pieces of square paper, that can combine together to make 4 larger images. They fit together not like puzzle pieces, but sliding over one another. These aren’t very challenging, but are pretty, and the art is chosen fairly well- we liked Van Gogh’s 4 Self Portraits. $8 each, available online.

As mentioned above, the ScumBuster from Black and Decker won’t get rid of bad memories- but it does do a number on a variety of stains. The rechargeable battery is merely OK, and though it only lasts about a half hour, we don’t scrub for that long normally. The ScumBuster doesn’t turn as fast as you might expect, but the brush works surprisingly well, on tile, grout, counters, and hard-to-reach areas thanks to the fairly long extending handle.

The only real downside, other than the non-removable battery (common to many devices), was the liquid squirting tank/sprayer. It barely worked, and made the process more painful than it needed to be- not good for a gadget of convenience. Overall though, we’d recommend the ScumBuster ($40, online and in stores) over the Mystery Magnets anytime.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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