“Nancy Drew”, Cobble Hill — 8.5/10

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Publisher: Cobble Hill (Canada), 2015

Title:  “Nancy Drew”, Simon & Schuster, Inc, 1000 pieces, 26.625″ x 19.25″

Review by Jane

OUR RATING: 8.5/10

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COBBLE HILL WEEK & PROMOTION:

From Oct 5 to Oct 19th, Puzzle Warehouse is running a special promotion with Cobble Hill. If you buy 3 Cobble Hill puzzles, you can add another to your basket and get it for free! That’s an awesome deal. Just add three qualifying products to your cart and visit the “View Cart” page. Under “You have qualified for the following promotion” you’ll see how to add the freebie. Visit Puzzle Warehouse’s Cobble Hill page to begin.

In honor of this lovely deal, we’re featuring Cobble Hill on the blog this week. I’ll be reviewing two Cobble Hill puzzles and have a company retrospective on the weekend. See all our Cobble Hill posts here.

Box Quality:  8/10

The box is shown above and below. Cobble Hill has attractive rectangular boxes similar in size to Ravensburger and Jumbo. They have a nice linen finish which makes them look and feel different from other brands. The front of the box does not show the artist or image name.

Back:

The back is a generic Cobble Hill back. There’s nothing specific about the artist or puzzle image here.

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Below: A close-up of the back blurb in English.

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The sides:

The box sides have a nice close-up detail from the image, the Cobble Hill logo, piece count, puzzle dimensions, and puzzle name. The art is credited to Simon & Schuster, the original publisher of Nancy Drew. The year of production is not listed anywhere. The Cobble Hill boxes all have a similar layout but the color is unique for each puzzle. The boxes look nice arranged together on a shelf.

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Inside the box:

There’s nothing inside the box except the bag of puzzle pieces and a small warranty sheet. The pieces were fully separated with no damage and little puzzle dust.

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Overall I’ve given the box an 8 score. It’s attractive and sturdy, but I would have liked to see more about the Nancy Drew franchise and the history of these covers.

The Image: 10/10

The Nancy Drew books were popular when I was in middle school, so I have very fond memories of these covers. I owned some of these books myself. The covers are super attractive with a mysterious vibe, retro feel, and fun spooky titles. I also like collage puzzles. It’s probably no surprise then that this image gets two thumbs up from me and the maximum 10 score. It made me wish I had all these books again!

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Above: The completed puzzle. Click for closer view.

Puzzle Quality: 8/10

You can see our full brand comparison on Cobble Hill here.

I did two Cobble Hill puzzles this week, the 500 piece “Ring-Necked Pheasants” (my review here) and this 1000 piece “Nancy Drew” puzzle.  I preferred the quality of the 500 piece puzzle due to piece size. The pieces in the 500 piece puzzle were all consistently large, they felt good in your hand, and you could really feel the linen finish. By comparison, the 1000 piece Nancy Drew (which is from 2015), has a random cut with a wider variety of piece shapes–which is good–but the pieces were on the small side and some were very small. I pulled some pieces below for a comparison.

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Also the cut is highly visible on the puzzle, as you can see in the photo of the finished puzzle above and the close-up below. You really notice the cut in the finished puzzle which detracts from the covers themselves.

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On the positive side, the random cut is fun to assemble and the pieces are sturdy and had no damage. The fit is fairly tight as well, and I really like Cobble Hill’s linen finish, which reduces glare. The image reproduction is good.

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Overall, I’ve given quality an 8 score.

Assembly: 8/10

This is a medium difficulty puzzle. Collages are often easier puzzles, but not so much here because there are lots of common colors throughout the various book covers and lots of darker colors too. The title and author letters help, and fortunately there’s a lot of lettering! Still, I found myself referring to the box cover often.

DAY ONE:

I assembled the border and began on the reds/pinks since there isn’t a lot of that color. The collage has five books that are larger, which means larger title lettering, and those larger letters were easy to identify.

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DAY TWO:

In the second session I worked on the brighter colors like the whites, yellows, greens, and blues. I also pieced together all the book titles. I liked assembling the various titles and placing them around the image. That was the highlight of the puzzle for me.

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DAY THREE:

The last session consisted of “everything else”. A lot of darks were left to the end, but these were small patches scattered all over the image.

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It was quite fun to see the book covers come together. Many of them I remembered specifically, and all of them are fun covers. The covers were hand painted for this series, and they’re fascinating little works of retro art in their own right.

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The one thing I would have wished for was that each cover was larger. The small cover are really quite small in the final puzzle — only about 3 pieces wide. I would have loved to see this puzzle overall be significantly larger so that each book cover was more like the five large ones.  Below you can see the comparison between one of the large covers and the smaller covers.

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One of the “small books” shows the back of a book with a blurb about the Nancy Drew series and a list of titles (its the yellow one below). Unfortunately this area is so small in the puzzle that the text is unreadable. That would have been nice to have in a larger size to see a list of all the titles in the series. It’s a bit baffling as to why it’s included at all when its illegible.

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Overall I’ve given assembly an 8 score.

Additional Images

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Summary

“Nancy Drew” is a fun collage puzzle that will bring back fond memories for those of us who grew up reading Nancy Drew. The book covers themselves are retro works of art with faux spooky designs that are a pleasure to puzzle. The Cobble Hill quality is good with random cut pieces in a wide variety of shapes that run from normal to small in size. The pieces have a linen finish which helps reduce overhead glare. This puzzle is of medium difficulty. All the letters in the book titles help, but I did refer to the box lid quite often to figure out where a piece went. The five large books in the image are a good size but the smaller books are a bit small to see all the detail. If you grew up with Nancy Drew, or like vintage art, you’ll love this puzzle. Recommended.

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Where to find:

Grab it at Puzzle Warehouse. Between now and Oct 19th, there’s a special “buy 3 get 1 free” promo running. Click on the logo below.

PWLOGO

Jane

6 responses to “Nancy Drew”, Cobble Hill — 8.5/10

  1. jigsawjungle says:

    oh, you made a review in this puzzle! thanks! i have looked at it some times, and though i am a detective fan, i couldn’t decide to buy it. i know nothing about nancy drew)

  2. I did this puzzle earlier in the year, and I agree it was quite fun and the titles were my favorite part as well. It reminded me of going to the library and picking out more Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books to read. My finished puzzle did not have such a visible piece cut though, perhaps you just got the end of the run.

    • That’s good to know! Yes, possibly is was the end of the run. I don’t have any damaged pieces though, so it really wasn’t an issue.

  3. Mark Stelzner says:

    This looks like a fun puzzle. Of all the major jigsaw puzzle companies Cobble Hill is my favorite for the unique shape of the puzzle pieces. I just wish that there was a better variety of images. I would be doing mainly Cobble Hill puzzles otherwise.

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