Publisher: Bits and Pieces (US), 2014, 750 pieces (also comes in 300 pieces)
Title: “Victorian Christmas Poinsettia” Artist: Rosiland Solomon
OUR RATING: 9/10
I posted about this puzzle when it first went up on the Bits and Pieces site a few weeks ago, and despite my huge backlog, I wanted to assemble it as soon as I received it in the mail. So! Here is Bits and Pieces new shaped Christmas puzzle for 2014. As you might discern from my 9/10 rating, I really loved it.
Bits and Pieces boxes are so-so. The design on the front is nice (see above). There is a plain white back, and three of the box sides have information suitable for vertical shelving–the puzzle image, piece count, and Bits and Pieces logo. The Bits and Pieces box bottoms are rather thin, but it’s not a big issue if you’re careful with your puzzles. The boxes are shrink wrapped. You can see my full coverage of the Bits and Pieces brand here.
The box only contains the bag of puzzle pieces. However, there is little to no puzzle dust, the pieces were fully separated and there was no sign of image lift, piece warp, hanging chads, etc.
Clearly, I’m a sucker for Christmas images and also for shaped puzzles, so I look forward to Bits and Pieces puzzles that fit both categories. This puzzle is new for 2014 and features a Victorian Christmas parlor scene with lots of detail inside the shape of a potted poinsettia. I like the level of color and pattern and detail in this image, as well as the fairly elaborate shaped outline.
I’ve been doing a lot of standard grid puzzles lately, and doing this puzzle I remembered how much I really love the non-standard grid puzzle cuts like Bits and Pieces, Springbok, Sunsout and House of Puzzles. I enjoy the wider variety of shapes and interesting ways the pieces interconnect. As always with Bits and Pieces, the puzzle pieces feel thick and have a slightly glossy texture. I really like their quality.
As you can see, this puzzle has a thick white-ish border around the entire outside of the puzzle. While I prefer, visually, a cut directly against the design (like the Bits and Pieces puzzle Maple Sugaring, reviewed here), I must admit that the white border made assembly much easier. First, it’s obvious which pieces are border pieces. And also, the ‘white’ edge is actually tinted around the puzzle from peach to pink to white to light blue, and this makes it easy to figure out where the border pieces go. Shaped puzzles can have difficult to assemble borders, but this one was a snap. Whether that’s good or bad depends on your perspective! I was in the mood for something ‘trouble free’ so it worked for me.
I’d rate this puzzle as ‘easy’. I put it together in one sitting (albeit a 4-5 hour sitting) and didn’t have any hang-ups. The green and red leaves are the hardest part, but with the ‘tinted’ white border, it was pretty straight forward. I found it very enjoyable and relaxing.
If you like this puzzle image, I can definitely recommend both the quality and the assembly experience. This is another great shaped puzzle from Bits and Pieces, and one I’ll keep around for holidays future.
Where to find:
This puzzle is no longer in print and becoming very difficult to find. However, you can find hundreds of similar Christmas Puzzles here.