Review: “Dream of the White Lions”, Bits and Pieces, 7/10

BnP_WhiteLion_box

Publisher: Bits and Pieces (US), published 2015

Title:  “Dream of the White Lions”, Artist: Liz Goodrick Dillon, 750 pieces (also comes in 300 large pieces)

OUR RATING: 7/10

This puzzle is new for 2015 and I ordered it as soon as I saw it, and put it together as soon as it arrived! So I guess you could say that I liked the image. And I always enjoy a shaped puzzle once in a while as a change up from the typical rectangular shape. Based on the image and assembly, I would have rated this a 9 if it weren’t for one quality issue I’ll describe later in the review.

Box Quality:

You can see the front of the box above. This is the usual shaped puzzle box design from Bits and Pieces and, while it’s pretty basic, it gets across the key points. I like that they have the name of the puzzle image and the artist on the front of the box.

Inside the box there is nothing except the bag of puzzle pieces.

Sides:

The box has 3 identical sides and 1 side with legal stuff. I would prefer to have the name of the puzzle and artist on the side of the box, but you do get a good image of the puzzle so you can tell what it is when it’s shelved. Bits and Pieces also does not put the year the puzzle was made on the box, and as a collector I really wish they did.

BnP_WhiteLion_sides

The Image:

This image is by Liz Goodrick Dillon, who has done a number of Bits and Pieces puzzles. I quite like the image, particularly the large white lion head and all the various colored flowers and the water around the scene. There’s a lot of detail in the puzzle and the art style is appealing.  I particularly love the detailed outline of this puzzle.

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Puzzle Quality:

Bits and Pieces is a quality US brand that has fairly thick pieces (not as thick as Ravensburger, but ‘chunky’ in feel) and a creative, non-grid puzzle cut I really like. You can see my Bits and Pieces brand comparison here for details. I’m particularly a fan of their shaped puzzles, which are the best in the industry (IMHO).

With this particular puzzle, there was a quality issue that I haven’t seen before. In one area at the bottom of the puzzle, parts of the puzzle pieces got so thin that they easily bent and did not hold the image layer. See the close-up below. This is the only part of the puzzle that had this issue. It’s hard to believe Bits and Pieces would DESIGN a piece cut with sides this thin, so I’m guessing the press was a little off. But for whatever the reason, I did deduct this review score -2 for this issue.  The puzzle is still worth doing, in my opinion, and when the entire thing is done this flaw isn’t very noticeable and some of the lifted image could be fixed with a spot of glue.

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The piece cut on the puzzle is quite attractive. I love the very detailed edge around the lion’s head… (click for closer view)

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…and the flowers and leaves on the right. Wow! Now that’s a shaped edge! I like the way it follows the contours as if these were ‘real’ plants.

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Assembly:  

This puzzle was easy-to-medium in difficulty. As usual with shaped puzzles, I started with high-color areas in the middle, like the flamingos and flowers. It works best to ‘work your way out’ to the border.

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There is a lot of white in this puzzle, and that was the last thing I put together. Fortunately, there are various textures of white fur, and also shading around the features, so it wasn’t a frustrating, trial-and-error process.

BnP_WhiteLion_CU6_SM

Above: The white fur on the small lions is tighter in texture than the big lion’s mane and face, so the pieces are easy to differentiate.

Conclusion:

If you like shaped puzzles, or just want to give one a try, I’d recommend “Dream of the White Lions”. The price on it is quite good at the moment.

Where to find:

The puzzle is currently on sale for $12.99 at Bits and Pieces.

JJ

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