Review: “The Three Graces” by Josephine Walls, Buffalo Games – 9/10

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Publisher: Buffalo Games (US), published 2016

Title:  “The Three Graces” by Josephine Wall, Buffalo Games, 1000 pieces 

Finished size: 19.75″ x 26.75″

OUR RATING: 9/10

Box Quality:  (8/10)

The Buffalo Games box is a small square shape, which saves room on the shelf. The front is shown above. The back of the box has a generic Buffalo Games back. Unfortunately, there’s no bio information provided anywhere about Josephine Wall, who is a prominent fantasy artist. However, her name is on the front and sides of the box.

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The sides have a photo of the puzzle, the artist name, piece count, and manufacturer. The name, “The Three Graces” is shown on two sides.

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Inside:

Buffalo Games boxes are not shrink-wrapped but are instead sealed with glue on all four sides, meaning that you have to cut the glue with a knife and thus damage the side of the box (as you can see below) in order to open it. I’ve deducted a point for this. I’m all for saving plastic, but I don’t like having to mar the box. The inside of the box contains the puzzle pieces (NOT in a bag, but completely loose) as well as a full-color poster. Props to Buffalo Games for including a poster to work with since the box itself is quite small!

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The poster is shown in the photo below. It has the puzzle image to use during assembly and shows a few other Josephine Wall puzzles. The back of the poster is blank white.

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The Image:  10/10

I saw Josephine Wall puzzles for years before trying one for the first time. I wasn’t sure how difficult all the ‘mixed together’ areas would be. But I really like assembling her puzzles now, especially when the image has strong colors, like this one does. It’s hard to imagine stronger colors, in fact!  This image is broken up into an orange, purple, and blue figure, the green ‘land’ area in the lower right and the regular blue ‘sky’ area above. There are lots of smaller flowers and insects and doodads mixed in too.

It’s a very pretty fantasy image and ideal for puzzling. I’ve given it full marks.

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(Click on any of the images in this review for a closer look.)

Puzzle Quality: (8/10)

You can see my brand page for Buffalo Games here.  This puzzle is from the 2016 line-up, and I found the quality good. The pieces feel hard and sturdy, there was no puzzle dust, and the image reproduction was excellent. The pieces are cut in a grid, but there is good variety in the pieces shapes, as you can see in the close-up below. I never had any issue with pieces seeming to fit where they did not. The fit is not too loose, but you do have to use care when moving assembled pieces because they fall apart fairly easily.

On the con side, the finish is very glossy, which can lead to glare under overhead lights. Also, I did see a very slight start of ‘image lift’ on a few pieces when I had to detach them from the wrong piece they’d gotten hooked to inside the box.

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Glitter: (1 extra bonus point)

I’m fond of gold and silver foil puzzles. Glitter isn’t something I’ve seen a lot of, but I liked it in this puzzle. There’s quite a bit of gold glitter. I’ve pulled out some close-ups below. The glitter outlines the silhouette (jaw, neck) of each of the three graces and their eyebrows. It also appears in other areas such as the morning glory flowers below, the tuffs on the birds, and the feathers around the blue figure’s head. It adds a nice “something extra” to the puzzle and adds to the tactile feel of the pieces. It didn’t make the puzzle any harder or easier.

I was a bit worried the glitter would be a mess, but it wasn’t. There wasn’t any lose glitter in the box and none on my puzzle board at the end. It’s really stuck on there!

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Assembly:  (9/10)

This is an easy-to-medium difficulty puzzle. The border is easy to assemble. I next did the orange figure, because there seemed to be the least amount of orange pieces. Then the purple. The orange and purple faces are easy to identify and assemble.

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There’s much more blue, but the specific blue of the blue face is easy to find as well. However, all the blues in the headdress, with the features and birds, was more challenging.

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The blue sky is also a specific blue and easy to build out. The green and blue ‘land’ in the lower right is a little more difficult because the paint brush pattern is more random. But the area is fairly small in size.

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There are lots of dark blues in the lower left, which was a little more of a challenge, though not too difficult. I love the different species of birds in the image.

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There are masses of flowers and butterflies in the image which are sort of a random jumble. You may need to reference the poster for these bits, but they’re so pretty it never feels monotonous.

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All told, I’ve given high marks for assembly of this puzzle. I enjoyed the bright colors and the mix of more solid with more brush-strokey areas, and easy areas with more difficult ones. It would be a nice puzzle to assemble with another person since there are very specific areas to work on.

Summary:

This is a gorgeous fantasy puzzle by renown artist Josephine Wall. The Buffalo Games quality is quite good featuring grid-cut pieces with a wide variety of shapes. The small box saves shelf space while an included poster can be used for reference while assembling the puzzles. I loved the bold, bright colors in this one. Assembly is a nice mix of easy areas, like the faces, with areas of medium difficulty, like the masses of flowers and butterflies. I liked the added touch of the gold glitter, which is solidly applied and used throughout the puzzle. It adds a nice tactile dimension during assembly and makes the final puzzle even more attractive. This would be a nice image to frame for a kid or teen’s room.

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Where to find:

This puzzle is 15% off for the next 3 days at Puzzle Warehouse (until 6/10/2016). Click here for the sale page.

PWLOGO

JJ

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