Shaped for Fun — A Top Ten List

This week, for the dog days of summer, Jigsaw Junkies is featuring shaped puzzles. This week we had a review of “Autumn Squirrel” by Mary Thompson and “Abundant Garden” by Aimee Stewart. Today I’m going to share a top ten list with my favorite picks of Puzzle Warehouse’s selection of shaped puzzles. (As usual, I couldn’t pick just ten so there are a few extra…) Counting up to the very best…. 12. “Waiting For A Walk” by Giordano Studios, Sunsout — 800Read more

Review: “Abundant Garden” by Aimee Stewart – Sunout, 9.25/10

This is a gorgeous and fun-to-assemble shaped puzzle from Sunsout. The garden is filled with vibrant flowers, colorful birds, cute animals, and other surprises to discover as you assemble it. I really loved the soft art style, which feels airbrushed. The image is full without feeling crowded and there’s no real ‘background color’, dead space, or dark areas. Assembly is of moderate difficulty but everything has a unique color or texture, so if you reference the box lid, you can always tell where a piece goes. The Sunsout quality is excellent with thick, sturdy pieces and a wonderful random cut. I particularly liked the unusual, fan-shaped border, which was a nice change from rectangular puzzles. Highly recommenRead more

New Wasgijs in stock!

The latest and greatest Wasgij puzzles have arrived at Puzzle Warehouse plus a lot of older ones are back in stock! Check them all out here. Here are the brand new ones: WASGIJ BACK TO #2: 14TH CENTURY CASTLE WASGIJ CHRISTMAS #12: THE BIG TURN ON WASGIJ ORIGINAL # 24: A VERY MERRY HOLIDAYS WASGIJ DESTINY #16: OLD TIME ROCKERS WASGIJ MYSTERY #12: THE UNUSUAL SUSPECTS! WASGIJ IMAGINE #2: IF THE WHEEL HADN’T BEEN INVENTED Grab them while you can!Read more

Review: “Autumn Squirrel” by Mary Thompson — Sunsout, 9/10

I loved shaped puzzles and fall-themed puzzles, so this puzzle was extra fun to assemble. The image has lots of fall leaves, both large and small. It really puts me in the mood for crisp autumn days! The Sunsout quality is excellent with thick, sturdy pieces and a wonderful random cut and hangs together really well. The overall difficulty is moderate. Most of the puzzle is easy, despite the shaped border, but all the squirrel fur gives the puzzle a little more challenge at the end. Highly recommended.Read more

Puzzle Maker Interview: White Mountain Puzzles

Above: Colin Wroblewski (left) and Sean Minton (right) of White Mountain Puzzles WHITE MOUNTAIN WEEK: This week on the blog we’re featuring White Mountain puzzles.  There’s a terrific sale on White Mountain at Puzzle Warehouse all month (30% off!).  We featured two White Mountain reviews this week (“Tapestry Cat” and “Perennials“). I was also fortunate to get a chance to interview one of the owners of White Mountain Puzzles, Sean Minton. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE SALE AT PUZZLE WAREHOUSE     First,Read more

Review: “Perennials”, White Mountain – 9/10

White Mountain’s “Perennials” is a gorgeous puzzle that’s super fun to assemble. The image has some educational value in that it shows the names of the various perennial flowers. I particularly enjoyed the vibrant colors and how different textures made flowers easy to identify even when they had the same colors as other flowers. The main body of the scene is so packed full of unique flowers that there’s very little left-over green background to do in the end, making the puzzle very enjoyable all the way through. The White Mountain quality is good with larger pieces and a random cut. The final puzzle has a flat, smooth finish that allows you to see the art rather than the jigsaw cut. The finish is glossy, so there is some glare under bright lights. Highly recommended!Read more

Review: “Tapestry Cat” by Lewis T. Johnson, White Mountain — 9/10

White Mountain’s “Tapestry Cat” is a fun and challenging puzzle with moderate difficulty. The image by artist Lewis T. Johnson has bright colors and a lovely hand-drawn art style. Big bold elements–such as the large border, the Morris-esque wallpaper background, the cat, and the floral bouquet inside the cat–make separate distinctive areas to assemble. Repeating elements within the border (like the blue diamonds) and within the floral bouquet (for example, white daisies) make the puzzle more challenging but never frustrating. The White Mountain quality is good with larger pieces and a random cut. The final puzzle has a flat, smooth finish that allows you to see the art rather than the jigsaw cut. The finish is glossy, so there is some glare under bright lights. Highly recommended!Read more

Artist Interview: Mike Jupp

Mike Jupp is a British artist who creates fantastic humorous “busy” cartoon puzzles for Gibsons. His images are full of meticulous detail and crazy characters.  See all Mike Jupp puzzles on Puzzle Warehouse here. My reviews of Mike Jupp puzzles here. Hi, Mike! It’s a privilege to have you as a guest on our puzzle blog. I personally am a huge fan of your cartoon puzzles. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions. JJ: First, please introduce yourself and tell usRead more

New Puzzles — August 2016

I’m a bit early with August’s new puzzles post, but there are too many cool things to talk about to wait! NEW IN STOCK We have some exciting new releases in stock at Puzzle Warehouse. Below are my picks, but you can see all the new puzzles for the past 30 days here. SUNSOUT Sunsout has released 120 new titles!  Some of the puzzles I talked about last month are now in stock. Can you tell I’m excited!🙂 “Boy’s Stocking” and “Girl’sRead more

Review: “I Love London” by Mike Jupp, Gibsons — 9.5/10

Gibsons is a high-quality puzzle brand from the UK with beautiful blue boxes, very thick pieces, a standard grid cut, and a waxy matte finish. Their Mike Jupp series of “I Love…” puzzles are some of the best cartoon puzzles on the market. The art work is of exceptional quality and has a wealth of fine detail. “I Love London” is a comic look at the great city of London with a range of crazy characters. You’ll have a lot of fun assembling this puzzle and getting a closer look at the sight gags and mini stories within the scene. Assembly is easy-to-moderate with no one area being especially difficult. You may find yourself referencing the box lid a lot! Recommended for anyone who likes cartoon puzzles and humor, or for those with a soft spot for London.Read more

Review: “I Love Gardening” by Mike Jupp, Gibsons – 9.5/10

Gibsons is a high-quality puzzle brand from the UK with beautiful blue boxes, very thick pieces, and a waxy matte finish. Their Mike Jupp series of “I Love…” puzzles is enormously popular in the UK and for good reason. These busy cartoon puzzles are filled with fine detail, bright colors, and humorous sight gags. It’s fun to discover all the characters and animals as you piece this puzzle together. The grid cut, seamless finish, and excellent image reproduction all mark this as a AAA brand with an excellent tactile feel. Due to the standard piece cut, some pieces may appear to go where they don’t belong, which makes this brand more challenging to work than some. If you like cartoon puzzles, you’ll definitely want to check out the Mike Jupp puzzles in this series. “I Love Gardening” is ideal for those who have a green thumb or just like a moderately difficult and detailed puzzle.Read more

Artist Interview: Steve Crisp

Steve Crisp is a British artist who creates rural country scenes, British nostalgia, jungle wildlife, and other lovely images that have been made into jigsaw puzzles. He’s published by many brands including Sunsout, Gibsons, Falcon, and White Mountain. See all Steve Crisp puzzles on Puzzle Warehouse here. Those who have followed my blog for awhile know that I’m a fan of Steve Crisp puzzles. So I’m honored to have him agree to an interview with Jigsaw Junkies!  First, thank you, Steve, for taking the time to answerRead more