Saturday, October 17, 2015

Popplock T1

Ah, the Popplock T1! I believe this is the first review on the internet of this particular puzzle. This is also the first in the coming chronological series of (very late-to-the-party)Popplock reviews. I'm overjoyed to say I managed to snag this puzzle off of Wil Strijbos a couple years ago. He was the original owner and I am the second owner of this puzzle. It cost me an arm and a leg!

The Legend of the T1: First produced in 2006 by Rainer Popp. Already experienced in restoring antique padlocks, he was goaded by a friend to consider designing a padlock of his own. The T1 is what he came up with! A padlock with no visible openings, no key, and not a combination lock. An essential block of brass with a shackle and a mystery method to opening it. This is Rainer's "Lock That Started It All" that spawned what the Popplock name is today.

Contrary to popular belief, there are 25 of the T1 in existence, this is number 20 of those. There is also a noticeable difference between the first 5, and the remaining 20, that difference being a square shackle, showcased here in the Slocum Puzzle Collection. Like any one of Rainer's creations, this padlock is of exceptional quality. In terms of size, it's just between the T7 and the T2. Rainer has deemed this lock "impossible to solve without the manual" but I, and several others who have played with the T1, beg to differ. It does have about ten steps in order to open it, but I think another padlock of similar difficulty and number of steps would be well received by the community (Please, Rainer?)

As a puzzle, it took me around four and a half hours to solve. Nothing when compared to my T6 solve time, which I may or may not be too ashamed to say. Shaking it produces a small clicking noise that is almost entirely irrelevant to the solve, and despite it's "put together" appearance, there are a lot of moving parts on this puzzle! Everything is deliberate and well executed. My one complaint (Who has the audacity to complain about a T1?) Is that the padlock needs to be manipulated in many different ways in order to open it, and I think it would make actually removing this padlock from something you've locked it to, very difficult. But that's a purist thing.

Last little tidbit; This padlock has the feel of a "trick padlock" only meant to be opened by the person who knows how to do it, rather then to be solved and opened as "puzzle." The T2 also has a similar feel, and I believe the T3 is where Rainer began incorporating very clever tricks and "Ah-ha!" moments into all of his puzzles. All in all, this padlock is absolutely amazing. Any puzzlers visiting NY, drop me a line, we can meet up and I'll be sure to bring it along!

Opened! Without revealing any of the trickery!


  1. Very cool. That's a real treasure. And apparently not as impossible as advertised. Looking forward to seeing more of your collection.

    mike d

  2. Hi,
    How much did you pay for T1?


  3. Had to be north of $2k. Anyway, congrats on securing a T1 and thanks for the review. I am proud and fortunate to own T2-T10 and have always wondered about the elusive T1. The picture of the original T1 is most interesting.I have always hoped that Rainer would reissue it in some form. Lets hope!

  4. I understood he bought the lock spring 2013, so maybe it was south back then.