Review: “Ballroom”, Heye, 10/10

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Publisher: Heye (Germany), published Jan 2015

Title:  “Ballroom”, Artist: Hugo Prades, 1500 pieces 

OUR RATING: 10/10

My first review of the new Heye 2015 line-up. Whoot! It had to go to Hugo Prades, of course, one of the “old Heye masters” for his brand new image, “Ballroom”.

Box Quality:

I’m quite a fan of the Heye triangular boxes. I love the fun shape and they shelve well in pairs of two. They’re sturdy and colorful and just a nice change from all the rectangular boxes. You can see one front side of this triangular box above. The box has the name of the image and artist on the front and has a copyright date on the bottom. Yay! Below is the back side.

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Top:

The top of the box is lovely for having face out on a shelf. It shows a nice close-up of the puzzle image and the piece size.

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Inside:

Inside the box is a bag with the puzzle pieces (in excellent condition, no damage, puzzle dust, or unseparated pieces). It also comes with a poster of the image on thick paper.  You can see the front and back of the poster below. The back acts as a mini-catalog, which is lovely.

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Above: A look at the front and back of the poster than comes in the box.

The Image:

Hugo Prades has done a number of brilliant Heye cartoon puzzles. A few of my favorite are “Walpurgis Night” and “Astro World“. So I was very happy to see a brand new Prades image in Heye’s 2015 line-up.  This image is of a ballroom with all kinds of fun figures dancing away in the scene.   (Click on any of the images in this review for a closer look.)

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Puzzle Quality:

You can see my Heye brand comparison here for details.  To sum: Heye is one of my favorite brands. I actually noticed, with this brand new, hot-off-the-press, 2015 puzzle some slight changes in the puzzle quality. Mainly, the pieces are a bit bigger than in older Heye puzzles, and I found that an improvement. Heye has always been a bit smaller than Ravensburger and Gibson type puzzles, but they are about the same size in this puzzle. As always, the pieces feel thick and have a nice, linen, non-glare finish to the pieces.

The puzzle cut is a grid cut, but with wonky lines and lots of variety in piece shapes. Each piece is unique and you never think a piece fits somewhere when it really doesn’t.

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Above: Here. Relax and have a cookie.

Assembly:  

I’d rate this puzzle as medium difficulty due to the amount of detail and size (1500 pieces). The process of putting it together is just perfect. Wow, you’d think they actually designed the image to be a puzzle. 😉  The picture contains many smaller areas that can be pieced together as separate units like the dark aqua windows and the gold near the ceiling. What I really loved, though, are the various groups of dancers in similar costumes. It was easy to identify the pieces for these, and since they were larger groups, instead of just individuals (though there are some of those too), it made for nice little chunks to assemble.  For example — the aqua and pink group on the stairs…

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The red and orange Indian dancers in the center…

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The Maori (I think) group on the left…

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And the pink ‘cheerleader’ group on the right…

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And a green and yellow group on the right-hand stairs.

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Besides these groups of dancers in similar costumes, there are lots of individual dancers that are fun to discover as the puzzle comes together–Spanish dancers, break dancers, 50’s dancers, etc. So many great characters and clever ideas!

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Conclusion:

I enjoyed this puzzle even more than I thought I would. When you get to see it in detail and close-up, the image is just amazing–clever, funny, and filled with interesting details and nice color patterns to assemble.  And the Heye quality is even above its usual high standard. Highly recommended!

Where to find:

The 2015 Heye puzzles are available at stores like puzzlewarehouse.

JJ

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