Who we are, what we do — Page 2 of  2  


Praise and fanmail

Diane Miller:
Hello! I am absolutely addicted to your puzzles! I was first given one as a gift last year, and this summer I drove from Indiana to Michigan to buy four more puzzles at an art show. ... Thanks for hours and hours of pure mathematical and fun enjoyment!!

Pat Shuter:
I have never seen a puzzle or a game in my whole life that could hold a candle to Quintillions.

Evan Ponder:
The more I see the more I want.

Overheard at the booth:
This is a worthwhile thing to spend time with.

Eddie Timanus [blind Jeopardy champion]:
The way you designed the tiles with variably notched edges [the MultiTouch series] to substitute for the colors is truly ingenious. Though the tiles are all black, I'm told they still look very cool. I would be on equal terms with any sighted companions if we were playing any matching games. So many manufacturers of puzzles and games don't even think about blind consumers. Granted, we aren't a really big market. But the fact that you've put in this effort and done such a wonderful job is outstanding. You are to be commended. The most fun thing about these puzzles is coming up with things to do with them independently, truly the mark of a good puzzle. Thank you again for all your great work with the other games I ordered.

Jean Palm:
Wonderful Web site! I enjoyed my visit.

Frank in Colorado:
Eureka! I found it! I found your website! I've bookmarked it. Boy, do I feel great. The site is great. Your description and writeup are great. Thank you so very much.

Kerri Phebus:
When I was 11 years old [20 years ago] my mother bought me your basic Quintillions game in a Maryland mall craft show. This game has been arguably my most favorite game ever in my whole entire life. I played with this thing for hours and came up with so many solutions that I wrote down it is pathetic. I am thrilled because I didn't even know this game or company still existed. I was searching for more information on the game because I am doing a toy analysis for my Occupational Therapy class. I decided to check the Web because I thought this would be a great game to do an analysis on since it has been a fantastic learning toy. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it and thanks for coming up with the game!

Jay Rush:
What a great site — I bet it's fun working for this company.

Mary and Neville [Telepathic TV, Fairfax, VA]:
Thank you so much! We wished to let you know how much fun we have had with your puzzles! We have spent many hours playing with them and shared them with our relatives at family gatherings. We couldn't help ourselves and went to your website and ordered more! It is so easy and convenient to do, thanks! We are also having fun coloring the work of art you did! Thanks again for all that you do and contribute to the world!

Ronna R.:
I bought a puzzle for my husband at the craft fair. Unlike any other present given to him....he cannot put it down! Thanks. I'm so glad I found something to match Free Cell and the NYT crossword puzzle!

Leighann Boone:
We have four of your puzzles and enjoy them tremendously.

David Weinberg:
Just wanted to send you a letter of admiration. I discovered you at an art fair in Chicago a few weeks ago. My daughter had just turned 5, and was drawn to your colorful booth. She sat down and played with a Roundominoes set you had on display. After lunch, she insisted we return, and she attacked the same puzzle. I was delighted at her interest in the puzzle, and gladly purchased it, but doubted that she would be able to solve it until she was older. She did it, for the first time, very shortly after we arrived home, and has done so several times since. I am very impressed, not only with your creations, but how you run your business. Your website is outstanding.

Alan Baltis:
I'm as impressed and tickled with [your website] as I am with so many of the other things you do. A linear walk-through if I wanted it, sortings and groupings amundo that very well anticipated the different ways in which I (and others, obviously) might want to jump into sets of information, lots of meta-links that had me both searching efficiently and wandering joyfully, and always a way to get back to from whence I came and/or to an index/home page so that I never felt lost or over-committed to whatever path I had taken. The site so well represents what Kadon and you are all about, beautiful and rigorous and playful and multi-faceted and gush gush gush.

Warwick Pulley:
It's nicely cross-referenced, and browsing is very easy, so it's an enjoyable site to visit.

Zdravko Zivkovic:
You have created magic in the last 20 years! That's the truth. I'm sure many people (especially your buyers) share my opinion. There are not many people like you, enthusiastic and a fighter against windmills — in the world of pure commerce and cheap, mostly stupid, industrial toys in millions of copies. You are a very special person, extraordinary indeed, and I'm glad that someone has noticed that, too [referring to MPT video]. Thanks for being my friend.

Janice Okoomian, Ph.D.:
Thanks so much for the Proteus directions! It's great to get back into playing the game. Such a great workout for the brain, not to mention that it's something of a metaphysical experience to play it.

Jack Heaney:
I can't tell you how much I like the Tri-Jazz set. The design you came up with is excellent as always! Very pleasing to look at and find the color symmetries.

Jeff Binning:
I appreciate the quality of your products.

Holly Caldwell:
Thank you for providing this website so that we can exercise our brains, for the joy of thinking. I have recently introduced Puzzle Parlor online to my students. Today in Computer Lab so many of them were clicking, flipping and rotating. It was fun to see all the thinking going on. I know that puzzle skills are valuable for too many reasons to go into now. We can't just teach kids stuff all the time. We need to help them learn to think. Corny to say, but Life is like a puzzle. BTW, I am fairly addicted to a few of the games myself when I am at home. Again, thanks so much for making this great website available for problem solvers, young and old.

Sissy Gross:
I just wanted to drop a note telling you how much my friends and I enjoyed your stand at the Maryland Renaissance Festival...The people were wonderful and we truly enjoyed visiting and playing the games.

Susan Isenhower:
You have the neatest stuff!

Judy Miller:
Thank you for bringing all this wonderful beauty into not only my life but into so many other loved ones' as well. We all truly appreciate your craftsmanship and ingenuity.

Carolyn K. (educator):
My family loves your puzzles, and I've introduced them to hundreds (thousands?) of other folks. Do you have an Associates program?

Nancy Dryden:
Two years ago when you came to a cold, cold street fair in Washington, PA, you introduced me to your great line of puzzles and games. I gave several to my family members last year, and they loved them. This year, I'm ordering some more. So — I just want to thank you for coming to our small town.

Matthew Dickinson:
I have a growing collection of games, but Super Deluxe Quintillions is by far the finest of the bunch. I am very much looking forward to the many hours of enjoyment contained in that wooden case! Thank you for making such a wonderful product available.

Erica Harris (New Zealand):
Yours is the first site out of about 10 I've visited that understands polycubes! So congratulations on using accurate terminology. A nicely presented site as well, very easy to navigate.

Michael Tanoff:
MiniMatch arrived today and it is WONDERFUL! And I haven't even opened the booklet yet to actually read about the puzzles. But it is really a beautiful piece of craftsmanship (craftswomanship). I think that the colors go great together, and my FAVORITE PART is the VERY COOL clear base piece. Just an overall great job. Thanx a lot!

Jeanne Pierce:
We are extremely pleased with the puzzles we purchased. We keep one on our coffee table at all times for the interest of our visitors.

Charlotte Li:
QUINTILLIONS! As soon as my parents got me this wonderful game, it has been my favorite possession. I have not been able to keep my mind off it! This is a wonderful masterpiece and I am very grateful to have it because it is educational, fun, memorable and challenging. I will never get bored of this game because I am sure that no matter how many times I go through it, its good qualities will never run out. It will always be my favorite game. Thank you.

Hoda Moustapha (architect):
It was great to see you at the Walnut festival; it was quite a surprise. I also wanted to express the extent to which I admire your work. Finally games that integrate beauty and intellect. Your puzzles are fascinating to admire and fascinating to interact with. Even more fascinating is the way you design them. I also loved your website, in particular, the puzzle parlor section.

Pamela Davis:
I saw you and your puzzles on Telepathic TV. I have spent hours on your web site since. Had I not seen your presentation with your insightful discussion of geometry represented, I might not have appreciated these wonderful items. I have worked some of the puzzles online. But I look forward to working them hands on with my 87-year-old mom over the holidays. I believe they will relax and challenge her and hopefully keep her brain sharp!

Joe Marasco:
Anyone who can sustain a vibrant, profitable business with integrity for 25 years in this day and age is a genuine hero in my book. My life is so much richer for having discovered you. You are inspirational. Please keep up the good work. Our community needs you very much.

Mitchell Thomashow:
Your games have made a tremendous impact on the gaming world. And I especially enjoy your emphasis on wonder, intellectual discovery, and the sheer joy of experimenting with shape, color, and form. Thanks so much for all that you and KADON have provided throughout the years.

Wayne Saunders:
The Teleporters set is a wonderful piece of architecture—The rules are elegant, and the entire game worthy of your company.

Charles Loeffler:
Your puzzles have brought me much enjoyment and challenge and thought.

Sharon Neal:
We love to visit you in November at the Virginia/Carolina Craftsman Show in Richmond. My two girls and I love your puzzles. We make it an annual trip to see and talk to you! They bring us so much joy as we sit and do them together.

Russell Grieshop (Looney Labs):
I really admire your company and your products — thanks so much for all of your support and the very cool things that you make!

Fred Armitage:
You provide endless fun and stimulation. A firer of imagination to all who are fortunate to have it.

Paula Burch:
I like books and web sites about recreational math, but there is nothing quite as satisfying as being able to manipulate the concepts directly with my hands. Yours is the only company with more than one product on my math toys weblog — there are five of yours there, as I write this [seven, as of February 2005] — and I haven't even had a chance to review all of my favorites yet. ... Your website is the most satisfactory commercial website I have ever come across. It's much easier to navigate than most, and considerably more fun.

Diane Reeder (Founder/Director of The Queen's Galley):
I had received one of your gamepuzzles from a friend and during my very long recuperation from carbon monoxide exposure your gamepuzzle actually sped up my neurotherapy. I had suffered a bit of brain damage (could not read or write, could not walk straight, forget about driving...it was a nightmare!)... My doc had suggested puzzles for challenge ...bottom line is that your product should be advertised to other people going through rehab for brain injury because it is a valuable tool for rehabilitative therapy...not just through [Renaissance] faires! ... Thanks again for making such a great product!

Gordon Collins:
Your website is a joy to browse, not having the gratuitous animations, banners, and misuse of scripting that pollute so many others.

Brandon Long:
My friends and I have found the 5-color pattern included in the 25 piece Pocket Star to be the most pleasing. It is nice to know that it will not be difficult to get more of this pattern. ... I very much plan to accumulate the nice collection of these tiles. Thank you again for the impressive and unique products your company distributes.

Eric Seldner:
I have loved polyominos from age 12 when I read Martin Gardner's chapter on them. I made analogs with triangles (your polyiamonds) out of cardboard and puzzled them. I discovered your site a while ago and have been looking forward to these essential polyforms for a while... I think it is wonderful that you fabricate and sell such a deep set of polyform and related puzzles. I especially appreciate the mathematical bent that you have and that most of your sets are complete censuses of each polyform type. Your precise descriptions and pictures of each product are ideal. I am also impressed by your continuing development of new types of polyforms and your willingness to credit other creators and contributors to the field. Thanks for your dedication.

David Greene:
Visitors to your web site may get a sense of the luxurious craftsmanship of your products, but until one actually arrives, they really have no idea. I was floored when my first purchase (a Y game) arrived and I saw it enclosed in a custom made red velvet bag, the thickest, most beautiful velvet I've ever encountered. The uniquely shaped wooden board itself is a work of art. The playing surface is perfect. It is beautifully etched and has a luxury feel. The board is very heavy and solid, and is made to last for centuries. And it is raised slightly from the table by top quality non-skid legs. Your games will be enjoyed by my family for many generations to come. To say that your works of art are heirloom quality doesn't begin to describe them. Thank you for helping turn my home into a museum.

Julie Stevens:
Received my Q-Bix yesterday. It is GORGEOUS!!! Thank you again for all the joy your products (and you!!) have brought me in the past and still do to this day. I smile every time I look at any of the Kadon products I have.

Sherry Kelm:
To the Kadon Team — Thank you for the outstanding workmanship and quality of service you performed to complete the Bon Secours Health System logo puzzle — it is a great hit and they are thrilled by the quality you achieved!

Laura Burns:
Thank you for the wonderful gift of your presence at the Grand Haven Art Festival and for taking time to play. You have brought much joy and fun into our family. It was a pleasure to meet you and I hope we get to see you again! We played Ten Yen and Poly-5 all afternoon. It is great fun that there are so many challenges in each puzzle. We will enjoy them for hours/days/years to come! Thank you for your wonderful way and fantastic puzzles!

Corey Cleland:
As always, you guys rock; thanks for existing, you make my daughters' and my lives a bit better.

Joe Burtoff:
Thanks again for personally delivering your puzzles to me at my school. The students and I always enjoy playing with your puzzles. When they're working with one of your puzzles, I know they're focused and enjoying the challenge. It helps them to be better problem solvers. Your puzzles will never go out of style and will continue to challenge and enrich our minds.

Noah Brod:
...it was almost 10 years ago that I first sat at one of your booths at an art show. My mother had a line of clothing and we did the art-show circuit together. Every time I had the good fortune to be at the same art show as the gamepuzzles booth I would spend hours and hours working on puzzles that Kate would put in front of me. Oftentimes I helped Kate break down her booth in exchange for a puzzle to keep or for a discount on a puzzle.

One of these puzzles was an Archimedes' Square, which I have been schlepping around in my own journeys for years now. The most recent travel that the Archimedes' Square has made with me has been to a little remote pueblo in the northeastern part of El Salvador near Perquin, where my wife and I will be serving a Peace Corps mission over the next two years. We're living with a host family here who have nine children. Our first day was a little awkward, but I broke out your Archimedes' Square and the kids here lit up. There's not a lot of entertainment or toys in these parts (especially not educational tools) and kids only go to school in the mornings. In addition, it's usually hard to get boys and girls to do anything together here because of the rigid gender roles. However, I broke out your puzzle and saw our host family kids go to work (both the boys and girls). They've probably spent 20 hours over the past few days coming up with different solutions.

Seeing them immersed in that puzzle reminded me of the hours I spent hanging around Kate's booth way back when. I mostly wanted to reach out and let you know the reach of your puzzles and how much I've appreciated always having a couple of your puzzles in my luggage over the years. They're really magical. Thanks again for everything,

Rebecca Valois:
Thanks for all you do! Briana has been a fan for years and [your booth] is the highlight for our fair tradition. Your work is invaluable!

Betty Gosnell:
Today I received the Super Roundominoes that I ordered Monday. This is exactly the type of gift I wanted. Please thank the lady who helped me. She was so patient and understanding. It was a pleasure doing business with you.

Cheri Haring:
My Mom is in an Assisted Living Facility and has mild dementia. I bought 2 of your puzzles at the DeLand Outdoor Art Festival last spring. Mom enjoyed doing your puzzles, although it is a challenge to get her interested in doing anything, yet once she got started she couldn't stop. It was quite interesting to observe how her mind worked, and I found myself reacting much in the same way as you had to me when you observed how I solved a puzzle. Mom was funny—she'd put all the same colors together, or always do something exactly symmetrical. And she never seemed to mind when I dumped the pieces back in her lap and said, "Okay, let's try to make another kind now!"

Brian Fogel:
I use your puzzles in First, Second and Third grade classrooms as a substitute teacher. The students LOVE your puzzles because they are hard and colorful. Thank you.

Catherine Huffman:
I just wanted to thank you. The boys had a great time playing in your shop during the MD Ren Fest and we are looking forward to tormenting my nephew with the Giant pyramid. Your puzzles are the number one request for Christmas, so an order is coming your way very soon. Thanks again.

Joe Marasco:
Amazon is a distribution network and a clearing house. It creates no products itself, but rather sells anything that anyone will pay them a commission to sell, within reasonable limits ... Kadon, on the other hand, is a quintessential creator, making physical some very abstract ideas in an elegant and thoughtful way. The biggest difference between the two companies is that Amazon is run by a Bezos, whereas Kadon is run by an Amazon.


 

In the media

Maryland Public Television (Channel 22 and 67) produced a fabulous 4-minute segment about Kadon's beautiful, mathematically inspired puzzles, with narrative by Kate Jones. It was first aired on Thursday, October 10, 2002, at 8 PM. It was re-broadcast on Saturday, October 12, at 10:30 AM, and on Saturday, November 30, at 10:30 AM in a "Best of 2002" segment. And in April 2003 it won an Emmy for its producer, Violet Carberry. You can now view this video right here; allow plenty of download time.

A nice 2-page interview about Kate and Kadon appeared in a local newspaper, the Maryland Gazette, in 1997, sensitively written by Mary Alice Gallagher, with beautiful full-color pictures of some of the puzzles.

Ms. Gallagher expanded that story, with fabulous professional photography by Richard Anderson, to a 5-page spread in House of Business magazine's April 2001 issue. You can see some of the pictures here.

Many Decembers since 1997, Kate had been a guest on the "Telepathic TV" program on Channel 10 in Fairfax, VA, hosted by Neville Johnston and Mary Phelan. This live full-hour show has no commercial interruptions, and viewers can call in with questions. The visits were always great fun, as the host tried out various puzzles on the air while getting updates on the latest developments at Kadon and discussing Kate's design philosophy and the hosts' wonderfully benevolent metaphysical views. The entire backdrop was a panoramic display of our puzzles.

On June 22, 2007, Telepathic TV invited Kate to Neville and Mary's other program on a sister station, AIM, in Arlington, VA. Regrettably, the video archives are no longer accessible.
 

Three books honoring Martin Gardner, published by A. K. Peters — The Pied Puzzler (1998), Puzzlers' Tribute (2002), and Tribute to a MatheMagician (2009) — include chapters by Kate:  "Those Peripatetic Pentominoes," "Pixel Polyominoes," and "Combinatorial Philosophy" (.pdf file, 1.6MB), respectively. The latter is Kate's most complex contribution to date. Articles are contributed by mathematicians, magicians, puzzlers, and others whose lives have been influenced by Martin's life-long career of popularizing recreational mathematics.

       
 

Other articles by Kate have appeared in two online magazines, The Games Journal, edited by Greg Aleknevicus (formerly The Games Cafe by Burt Hochberg):  "A New Puzzle Genre — Polyforms" and  "A New Paradigm: Non-Predatory Games." The latter turned out to be fairly controversial.

On August 12, 2002, Kate was interviewed on a television station in Novi Sad, the former Yugoslavia, during a visit with puzzle inventor Zdravko Zivkovic.

The September 2003 issue of Games Magazine had a very well-researched article on meta-games, by Eric Martin. It featured prominently our Proteus and Lemma games and comments by Kate Jones.

On December 14, 2003, the Sunday New York Times ran a front-page article on the research going on in deciphering Archimedes' manuscript in which is described the Stomachion puzzle. An accompanying photo shows Prof. Reviel Netz holding a copy of the puzzle for the entire world to see. It was a big thrill to know that was the puzzle we had been commissioned to make, a prototype for our reproduction of Archimedes' Square.

Bernie DeKoven's weblog entry for April 12, 2004, at DeepFun.com gave a glowing report about the latest issue of our occasionally published e-journal, The Life of Games. He called it well-informed, clearly written and entertaining.

Patrick Matthews of Live Oak Games, LLC, runs an excellent interview feature on the OrlandoGaming.org website. In January 2005 he interviewed Kate Jones and got an earful.

Bernie DeKoven's blog entry at DeepFun.com for January 28, 2005, saluted Kadon's 25th anniversary with a great little write-up, "25 Puzzling Years" and praised especially our Coloring Book, the Puzzle Parlor, and our treasure chest of over 150 original products. We appreciate this recognition from the world guru of fun.

The British gaming publication, Counter, in their March 2005 issue published an article by Ben Baldanza, 25 Years of Kadon Games, based on an interview with Kate Jones. Ben gave good exposure to Kate's ideas about non-predatory games and game design in general as an art form. Baldanza is not only a game hobbyist; he's also the President and CEO of Spirit Airlines. Here's his awesomely clever message about their luggage fees.

Max's Project Management Wisdom is the superlative website of Max Wideman, one of the great gurus and authors in the field of software development. Kate is honored that he chose one of her pieces to include among his guest articles, on The Cult of Design. It was released May 1, 2005.

Yehuda Berlinger's entry in Boredgamegeeks' Blogspot on September 13, 2005, contained a long and soul-searching article, "Meet Kadon Enterprises," based on email interviews with Kate Jones and her co-editor of Kadon's journal, The Life of Games, Stephen Sniderman, about their involvement with game ideas and game design. It was a timely piece during Kadon's 25th anniversary year and went where no interview had ever gone before, giving free rein to both Stephen's and Kate's cosmic aspirations of saving the world, one game at a time.

We were greatly surprised to learn that the New York Times on April 3, 2006, ran this photo of Kate at her puzzle display table as part of their article by Edward Rothstein on the Gathering for Gardner VII event held in March 2006 in Atlanta. It's nice to know the media are interested in covering such brainy occasions, albeit breezily. No mention was made nor quotes reprinted of anything to do with the picture. That snake-like puzzle being toyed with is Arc Angles.
 

Bernie DeKoven's blog entry at DeepFun.com for September 7, 2006, delights in our slogan, The joy of thinking, and our concept of making game systems that combine both games and puzzles—what Bernie refers to as our grand unified theory of fun! It's nice to know a real connoisseur applauds our efforts. Thanks, Bernie!

Yonah Borns-Weil, a student from Boston and a great fan of our work, for a special school project in 2011 chose to do a report on Kadon and our games. So he interned with us for a week of shows, where he got to explain puzzles to visitors, help take down the display, and (joy of joys) work on prototypes. Then he and his mom flew to Baltimore to look over the laser shop and Kadon's world headquarters. Here's Yonah's report on his Somewhat Puzzling Project Week. (Link opens in new window.)

A webpage launched in 2012 on the Grabarchuk puzzle family's Pinterest site is dedicated to the Top Puzzlers, the most renowned designers and puzzle masters of the world, living and dead, showing their images and a brief summary of their work. Kate Jones has a nice little write-up in it.

One of the top producers of art shows in America, Howard Alan Events, Ltd., has built an elegant online gallery of the works of their many fine exhibitors, including a feature about the playable art of Kate Jones.

Our most unusual and cherished accolade is the one in Arthur C. Clarke's 1984 book, Ascent to Orbit, a quasi-autobiographical work about the development of space flight, in which one chapter is entitled, "Help—I'm a Pentomino Addict." Dr. Clarke saw fit to include Kadon's address as a purveyor of pentomino sets. We'll never move!

 
The future

New product ideas are aplenty. We have dozens of concepts in the planning stages and will be introducing them as time and money allow. Check our website regularly for new announcements. We'll also be enhancing the look of what you find here, with more interactive features, puzzles and maybe even animation somewhere down the road. A larger dream is a chain of puzzle parlors serving up refreshments as well as food for thought (investors apply here). Amidst all that, we'll continue producing the full product line of gamepuzzles we already have, with the same dedication to excellence that has built our reputation.

 
Contact us, by email, papermail, phone/fax:

Kadon Enterprises, Inc.
1227 Lorene Drive, Suite 16
Pasadena, MD 21122
USA
(410) 437-2163


 To Product Index

©1998-2017 Kadon Enterprises, Inc.