Review: “Made in the USA” by Tom Wood, Sunsout — 8.75/10

Sunsout_MadeintheUSA-box1

Publisher: Sunsout (USA), 1000 pieces

Title:  “Made in the U.S.A.”,  Artist: Tom Wood   

Finished size: 20″x27″

OUR RATING: 8.75/10

It’s 4th of July Week!

This week at Jigsaw Junkies, we’re featuring 4th of July themed puzzles for the upcoming holiday. We’ve had gorgeous summer weather here in Pennsylvania and my family has been enjoying shorts and BBQs, heat and fireflies. I hope your summer has also gotten off to a great start!

I’ll be reviewing two July 4th themed puzzles during the week and doing my “Top Ten” list of all 4th of July puzzles currently available over the weekend. Happy 4th!

Box Quality (7/10):

The Sunsout boxes are very large and square in shape. They’re oversized compared to most boxes on the market. This takes up more shelf space but also provides a nice big image when you use the box lid for reference.

Sides:

Three of the sides are the same, showing an image of the puzzle, puzzle name. artist, piece count, and Sunsout logo. The fourth side has a bar code.

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Back:

The back of the box is plain white.

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Inside the box:

Nothing comes inside the box except the bag of puzzle pieces. There was a fair amount of puzzle dust with this particular puzzle, enough that I had to get out my vacuum and vacuum off the puzzle board where I’d sorted the pieces. The pieces were fully separated and undamaged.

The Image (10/10):

I love holiday puzzles of all kinds–Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, you name it. The 4th of July is the embodiment of summer to me, with small town parades and community picnics in the park, sun bathing, blankets in the grass, BBQs, and kids running free. So in a way, many ‘summer’ puzzles have a bit of that 4th of July feeling. But it’s lovely to see puzzles that really feature the holiday straight on.

This image by Tom Wood is one of those. It couldn’t be any more ‘4th of July’ with the fireworks in the sky, the multitude of American flags around the image, the red, white, and blue color scheme, and the small town country fair. It’s a nice composition full of detail and interest. There is a lot of red, but there are a variety of textures within the red such as the barn siding, the red and white stripes of the tents, and smaller stripes of flags, so it’s not difficult to assemble. I’ve given the image a full 10 score for being a great holiday puzzle image.

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Puzzle Quality (9/10):

Sunsout did well in our brand comparison. You can see our full brand comparison on Sunsout here.

This puzzle is new this year, and I’m happy to report that the quality is very good. The pieces felt thick and sturdy right out of the box and the connections were tight. I really enjoy the random cut pattern of Sunsout, Bits and Pieces, and Springbok puzzles. It’s a little more challenging than working a grid-cut puzzle, but it gives assembly more variety and interest. As you can see in the close-up below, this puzzle has a very random cut with piece shapes all over the board.  (click on any image for a closer view)

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Also, because of the fairly tight interlock, you can move groups of pieces without them falling apart, which is nice when you’re trying to shift clumps of assembled pieces around on the jigboard.  The image reproduction is good with nice bright colors and no blurring. You can see in the crispness in the close-up below in the man’s salt-and-pepper hair and the writing on the Candy booth signs.

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Assembly (9/10):

This puzzle is fairly easy to assemble if you’re used to working 1000 piece puzzles. I did the border first, as usual, then the blue sky. Although a good quarter of the puzzle is blue sky, there are firework bursts and the ferris wheel to help break it up. I assembled the firework bursts first, and then the white lights of the ferris wheel and put them in place. Their distribution is the sky is well laid out so that it’s not too difficult to then ‘fill in the holes’ with the plain blue pieces. The sky goes from dark at the top to lighter at the horizon, so that helps as well.

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I next did the “WELCOME” flowers since the pieces were very easy to recognize. Then the green bits, like the grass and distant hills.

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In the fair scene area of the puzzle, there are a lot of distinctive textures and colors that make assembly easy. There’s the split-rail fence, sunflowers, the red barn siding, the signs, the blue and white tents, the red and white tents, the ‘popcorn’ texture, and the gray shingle roof. You’re kept moving right along to the next little bit to put together. It went quick for me!

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Conclusion:

Celebrate summer with this lovely 4th of July themed puzzle by Tom Wood. This Sunsout puzzle features thick & sturdy pieces, a random-cut pattern with a good variety of piece shapes, and a tight interlock. With so many unique textures such as the red barn siding, the split-rail fence, the tent awnings, the signs, the ferris wheel, and the firework bursts in the sky, assembly goes quickly and easily. This is a puzzle that keeps your interest to the end. Recommended for anyone who likes Americana or holiday-themed puzzles.

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Where to Get It – 15% off:

For the next 3 days (til 6/24/2016) you can get “Made in the U.S.A.” for 15% off at Puzzle Warehouse. Just click on the logo below:

PWLOGO

 Jane

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