Publisher: Gibsons (UK)
Title: “It’s Christmas” by Marcello Corti, Gibsons, 1000 pieces, limited edition for 2015
Review by Jane
OUR RATING: 9/10
Box Quality: (10/10)
The Gibsons boxes are of excellent quality–thick and sturdy with a very nice design. You can see the front above. I really like the special gold box they use for the limited edition Christmas series. Very ‘collectible’ in feel. The back of the box is custom and has information about this image and the artist.
Inside the box is the bag of puzzle pieces and a number of extras. There’s a guarantee card, a Gibsons puzzle catalogue in full color (always nice to have years down the road), and a certificate for the limited edition.
Below is a close-up of the certificate. It’s a bit bent at the corners because it’s loose in the box with the bag of puzzle pieces, which is heavier and shifts around. It has the limited edition number on it.
The Image: 9/10
This image is a specially commissioned Christmas scene by Marcello Corti, so it is, of course, perfectly lovely. I like the cute touches like the huskies helping to lead the sleigh, the kids arriving at Grandma’s house on the right, the choir, and the woman trying to coax the cat in from the roof. I rated this a 9 only in comparison to last year’s Marcello Corti puzzle. This year’s scene is very pretty but does have quite a lot of snow and blue sky, which can get difficult with Gibsons’s piece cut. There are also fewer figures than last year’s skating rink market scene.
Puzzle Quality: 9/10
I love the feel of working a Gibsons puzzle. The pieces are very thick–even a bit thicker than Ravensburger, and they have a waxy feel to the touch. You can see our full brand comparison for Gibsons here. I have deducted 1 point because they do have very repetitive piece shapes which can cause pieces to look like they fit where they don’t actually go, and sometimes you can’t tell until you try to connect the 2cd or even 3rd side. It isn’t an issue when the puzzle image has lots of color and pattern but it is noticeable on this puzzle because of all the snow and blue sky (see Assembly).
This puzzle is of medium difficulty. The snow and blue sky in the scene require extra effort because Gibsons’s has lots of similarly cut pieces, leading to pieces appearing to fit where they do not really go. This can force a trial-and-error, place-and-remove approach in monotone and repetitive areas. For example, you can place a piece of sky that looks like it works, but when you try to attach the 2nd or 3rd side around it, it doesn’t fit. The best approach in these cases is to figure out which piece you KNOW is correct (perhaps one has a lavender tip or bit of steeple on it), and then remove the piece next to it if it doesn’t fit. You can see a close-up of the blue sky below that shows how similar the piece shapes are.
I personally didn’t find this puzzle super difficult, and I enjoyed the assembly, but I did deduct a few points in this category. There are some negative reviews on Amazon over this issue, and I can see where some puzzlers would find it frustrating, especially if you’re used to working easy puzzles. As long as you know what to expect, and are prepared to do some trial-and-error, you can enjoy the extra challenge these areas provide.
When I worked the puzzle I did the border first then focused on the buildings and all the figures. I did the snow and blue sky last. The snow does have various shadows and tracks in it which helps and there’s some color variation in the blue sky as well (as you can see in the image above, it gets darker on the right and has lavender tints lower down).
I really enjoyed the figures and love the high-res detail in the painting. You can see what I mean in the close-ups below.
I love Gibson’s limited edition Christmas series and it’s always a highlight of the year for me. This is another good edition and a ‘must have’ for Christmas puzzle collectors!
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