Friday, October 31, 2014

Puzzle Toy Review: Kyjen Yin-Yang-Yum

The Kyjen Yin-Yang-Yum is a board game puzzle toy made out of hard plastic. This puzzle requires two different problem-solving skills to complete, making it significantly more challenging than our Star Spinner. To access the large treat compartments, the yellow and red cups must be removed from the blue base. Once the cups have been removed, the red and yellow sections can be rotated out to reveal four smaller hidey holes.
Photo by Erin Koski

This was Brisbane's first board game puzzle, and it still takes him a few minutes to complete it. Removing the cups is the biggest challenge, even though he knows exactly what to do. Getting a good grip and lifting each cup out of the base is tough without thumbs. I love watching Briz work through the puzzle because he is so careful and methodical about it now.

Photo by Erin Koski
Ulysses, on the other hand, still hasn't figured this one out. The Star Spinner is still a little intimidating, and he just can't get the Yin Yang to give up its secrets. I've been encouraging him with nice smelly treats under the cups, but he is still baffled.

Puzzle Toy Rating

Capacity: 3/5
I can fit about half a cup of kibble in here, enough for Brisbane and Uly but not enough for a dog that eats a normal amount of food.

Loading Speed: 5/5
Dump in the kibble and it's ready. I can load it with the same scoop I use to measure the kibble.

Photo by Erin Koski

Unloading Speed (standard dog): 5/5
Uly and I have spent ten minutes at a time working on this puzzle for several sessions now, and he still hasn't figured it out. I've been carefully demonstrating how the cup covers the food, and he is just beginning to understand that he has to pick them up.

Unloading Speed (superdog): 4/5
Photo by Erin Koski
Brisbane knows exactly how this puzzle works, but it still takes him several minutes to work through the steps. It's a shorter activity than a frozen Kong full of peanut butter, but clearly requires more mental effort.

Size: 4/5
Ru is a bit too tiny for this puzzle, he can't get his mouth around the cups to pick them up. I would worry about using this toy with a mastiff or a Great Dane too, just because the cups are so much smaller than their massive jowls. So not toy or giant-breed friendly, but fine for regular-sized dogs.

Durability: 3/5
Since this is a supervision-only toy, it isn't made to be played with like a durable chew toy. It should hold up nicely when used as intended, but I worry about the hard plastic and moving parts sometimes when Brisbane plants his front feet on it and shoots it across the room. Large dogs who are less delicate about picking up the cups may put this toy through a lot of wear and tear.
Photo by Erin Koski

Noise: 5/5
Love those rubber feet on the bottom! This toy stays mostly in place on the hardwood and operates silently, unlike some of our particularly heavy bobbing toys.

Locatability: 5/5
The rubber feet keep it from sliding all over the house, and the fact that we play this game together means I always know where every part of the Yin Yang is.

Photo by Erin Koski

Washability: 5/5
There are no nooks and crannies for food to hide in with this toy, it's easy to scrub clean and set out to dry. It's also dishwasher safe, for those lucky dishwasher owners out there.

Hoardability: 1/5
Briz can't haul this one away to his lair, after playtime it gets picked up and put away.

Total: 40/50

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