Publisher: Sunsout (US), published date 2018
Finished size: 15″ x 24″
OUR RATING: 8.75/10
I was in need of a bit of sunshine this week, so I worked this brand new Sam Timm puzzle. Sam Timm is known for his lovely bird paintings, and I have enjoyed quite a few of his puzzles. See the end of this review for some more of my Sam Timm favorites.
Box Quality: (7/10)
The Sunsout boxes are very large and square in shape. They’re oversized compared to most boxes on the market, especially for a 550 piece puzzle. This takes up more shelf space but also provides a nice big image when you use the box lid for reference. The name of the puzzle, and artist’s name is prominent on the front. I really like how the artist is featured on both the front and all sides of the box.
Three of the sides are the same, showing a tiny image of the puzzle, puzzle name, artist name, piece count, finished size, and Sunsout logo. The fourth side has a bar code and no puzzle image. Unfortunately, the year of manufacture isn’t given.
The back of the box is plain white and made of a thinner cardboard.
Nothing comes inside the Sunsout box except the bag of puzzle pieces and a very small paper slip with the company url. There was a small amount of puzzle dust in the bag. The pieces were fully separated and undamaged.
The final box score is 7.
The Image: (10/10)
I love Sam Timm’s art. Although there are usually birds in his paintings, they are more landscape than bird images. His art generally features a days-gone-by Americana feel a bit similar to Thomas Kinkaid but not as fuzzy. His images are warm and appealing.
This puzzle just came out from Sunsout and I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. I love the vibrant red and yellow birds and flowers in the lower left combined with the soft small town scene in the middle and background. The colors are especially appealing.
I’ve given this image a full 10 score.
(Click on any of the images in this review for a closer look.)
Puzzle Quality: (9/10)
Sunsout did well in our brand comparison. You can see our full brand comparison on Sunsout here.
This 2018 puzzle doesn’t vary much from the one we tested in our comparison. It has a random piece cut, as you can see in the close-up below, thought it’s still sort of in ribbon rows and all the pieces are fairly large (unlike some of Sunsout’s shaped puzzles, which can get really crazy). I like the random cut. It provides a more interesting and varied assembly experience and also very few “it looks like it fits but it really doesn’t” moments because the piece shapes vary so widely.
This puzzle fit was about average in tightness. I could move groups of attached pieces with care, and it didn’t come apart when you accidentally nudge it, unlike some brands.
The image reproduction and colors are excellent.
There is a glossy finish to Sunsout puzzles, which can cause glare under overhead lights at night. That wasn’t an issue with this puzzle because there aren’t any very dark areas.
Overall, I’ve given quality a 9 score.
This is an easy puzzle that took me two sessions to complete but it could be done in one longer sitting.
As usual, I assembled the puzzle border first. That was straight forward. All the edge pieces are large and look like edge pieces. At the end of my first session the puzzle looked like this:
I did the sky first. The grays-to-pinks were easy to separate out into their own box during puzzle sorting, so it went together quickly. There’s not enough of any one color area in the sky for it to become tedious or difficult. The trees the sky surrounds all have slightly different colors/textures.
After the sky, I did the red and yellow flowers and most of the birds. These are the most vibrant colors in the puzzle. The flowers repeat, but there aren’t too many of them.
I also did the fence on day one, since I kept noticing pieces of fence in my boxes as I looked for sky and bird pieces. Doing the fence gives you a start on the green lawn area too.
I finished the puzzle in my second session. As you can see below, I first did the greens. The green ivy-like leaves around the red and yellow flowers are quite different in texture than the green lawn. There’s a cluster of tiny flowers by the bird feeder which go together fairly easily as well. As you can see in the image, the last part of the puzzle to go together for me were the slightly darker areas in the buildngs and by the house.
The large leaves by the flowers have tendrils and leaf patterns you can match to the box lid if necessary, though I didn’t find this area difficult enough to require that.
The green areas of the lawn and quite bright and smooth in texture.
The tiny flowers by the bird feeder are just dots. But the mix of colors helps in assembling this area.
The windows in the brown house and white chapel are good guideposts for assembling the buildings.
A tree in the upper right corner.
This area by the house was the last to go together. It’s sort of a murky area without anything specific to define it.
Overall, I’ve given assembly a 9 score. The birds, flowers, buildings, and green lawn with brown path were the most enjoyable areas to assemble and the rest went together without much difficulty.
“Summertime Memories” is an easy and relaxing puzzle to assemble when you need a taste of summer. I love artist Sam Timm’s Americana landscapes like this one. It takes you back to a soft summer’s day in simpler times. The red and yellow birds and flowers are vibrant and the highlight of the puzzle. The pretty white chapel and brown building were also fun to assemble. There are no dark areas or boring spaces. The Sunsout quality is good with fairly thick, random cut pieces, a fit that is neither too tight or too loose, and good image reproduction. Recommended.
Where to find:
Click below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.
SOME OF MY OTHER FAVORITE SAM TIMM PUZZLES
Here are some of my other favorite Sam Timm puzzles in stock at Puzzle Warehouse. Click on an image to see the puzzle on the website.