Publisher: Master Pieces (US), published Feb 2015
Title: “Hometown Heroes: Local Law”, Artist: Dona Gelsinger, 1000 pieces
OUR RATING: 8.5
This is a brand new puzzle for 2015 and I liked it as soon as I saw it online. I like the painterly style and the unusual point of view for a puzzle– it’s more of a close-up shot. I also like the ‘murder mystery’ feel of it. So how did it score?
Box Quality: (9/10)
Master Pieces creates good boxes. This is a new series, “Hometown Heroes” and the box is square. It’s a sturdy box with an attractive design. You can see the front above. Below is the back.
I scored the box pretty highly because I like the fact that the back of the box has information on the artist and another shot of the image. That’s so much nicer than a generic or blank back!
The side of the box that’s best for shelf display has the series logo, a picture of the puzzle, the piece count, and the Master Pieces logo. It would have been nice to have the puzzle name and artist name on this side below the picture so you can easily see it when it’s shelved. The name of the artist is shown in the fine print on another side of the box.
Inside the box is a bag with the puzzle pieces (in good condition, no damage, puzzle dust, or unseparated pieces). The only other thing in the box in a small warranty slip.
Puzzle Quality: (8)
You can see my Master Pieces brand comparison here. There has been some variation in quality with Master Pieces, especially from series to series. The quality of this particular puzzle is good. The thing I like the most about it is the non-grid cut and the nice variety of piece shapes, as you can see in the close-up below. I never thought a piece fit where it did not. The pieces are not as thick as Ravensburger, but they don’t feel “too thin” or cheap. The fit is not as tight as Springbok, but it’s tighter than grid-cut puzzles. Overall, I was satisfied with the quality of the puzzle and would buy more in this series.
Click on the picture above for a close-up
The Image: (9)
I like the image quite a bit. It’s not as brightly colored or detailed as a cartoon puzzle, but it has a nice illustrated art style (as opposed to photographic) and I like the small town murder mystery feel of it. It’s very attractive when completed.
As I mentioned above, I really liked the free form cut of the puzzle. It was fun to assemble given the unusual piece shapes and the unconventional ways pieces could interlock. There are some bright, easy areas like the flag, the deli, and the green lamp. However, there is quite a lot of brown, black, and white in the puzzle which wasn’t quite as interesting. I’d rate this as easy-to-medium difficulty.
This is a new series for Master Pieces and they released several similar ones for 2015. I enjoyed the puzzle and I’m looking forward to doing more of them. They’d be ideal gifts for anyone with a career of military or civil service. Recommended.
Where to find: