The second "main" event of IPP - The Puzzle Party. Here is where attendees of IPP display their wares for sale on rented tables.
Puzzles for sale typically fall into the following categories:-
1. Leftover (or extra) exchange puzzles - great for exchange assistants who were "so close yet so far" from the 99 exchanged ones.
2. Leftover exchange puzzles from previous IPPs, some going back several or more years....hmm, you wonder why?
3. Collectors' pre-loved or unwanted puzzles.
4. Puzzles from commercial puzzle retailers. Great bargains here sometimes as they are usually a bit cheaper during IPP and you don't have to pay shipping.
5. Old, current and new puzzles from puzzle designers and craftsmen
6. Copies of the design competition puzzles
Like the Puzzle Exchange the day before, the Puzzle Party can be even more chaotic. Long queues form outside the event room while the sellers are setting up inside. The doors open at 9am sharp and everyone frenziedly rushes in to scan the room for that elusive one (or few) only available, hard to find puzzle(s). Really they are looking out more for seller than the puzzle itself. Over the course of the previous two days, news from the grapevine would have circulated about who is selling and selling what.
The Party is like a high end flea market with puzzles strewn all over the tables. Sellers are making their sales pitches and buyers are touching and feeling everything in sight and asking lots of questions. There is polite and gentle shoving and pushing here and there as everyone jostles within the narrow aisles. Everybody is eager to cover as much ground as possible within the first half hour, which is the most crucial to securing a desired or prized puzzle.
Money change hands every second and the major currencies of US$, GBP and Euros are all gladly accepted. If you run out of cash don't worry, you can always borrow money from someone. Puzzlers are more than happy to lend to another puzzler in dire need (as I experienced at last year's IPP33 in Japan).
The excitement runs from morning to early afternoon. At 3pm, selling officially stops. The dust settles and the last sale is transacted. Most leave the room exhausted but happy with their day's haul. But some with crestfallen faces, regretting their paralysis by analysis!
Here are some shots of the Puzzle Party.
|Perry McDaniel (the most well-dressed seller at the Puzzle Party)|
selling his food themed Bon Bon puzzles
|Frans de Vreugd|
|Hendrik Haak (in lime t-shirt holding note pad)|
|Ms Kimura from online puzzle retailer Torito, Japan|
|John Hache (left)|
|Mr & Mrs Koshi Arai|
|Neil Hutchinson, Chris Pursell & Louis Coolen|
|Walt Hoppe & Iwahiro Iwasawa|
|Brian & Sue Young|