Santa’s World by Springbok Puzzles

Hello, Puzzle Friends! As promised, I’m back to talk to you about Springbok Puzzles. If you’re an avid puzzler, (and since you’re on this blog, I’m going to assume you are,) you’ve more than likely assembled a puzzle by Springbok. I’d like to think of them as underrated gems. They’re not as fancy as Ravensburger or Clementoni, but I adore them and think everyone should try at least one.

Springbok was founded in 1963 by Robert and Katie Lewin. How amazing is that? They’ve been producing puzzles for almost 40 years! Mrs. Lewin drew the die designs herself, and each puzzle was a unique design. Springbok was acquired by Hallmark in 1967 and they sold them exclusively in Hallmark stores from 1967-2001. In 2002, Hallmark decided to stop producing Springbok puzzles, but there was a huge letter writing campaign by fans asking Hallmark to continue production. Hallmark then entered into a partnership with Allied Products Inc. and rest in history! I look for a lot of puzzles in thrift stores and the coolest puzzles that I have found, by far, are vintage Springboks. The oldest one that I found was from 1968 and the box and puzzle were hexagonal shaped. I have also seen vintage Springboks that come in round boxes.

The puzzle I worked on recently was another thrift find called Santa’s World. It is a cute 500 piece puzzle and the publication date is 1995. The boxes aren’t round or hexagonal anymore, but the standard square. I actually find the boxes kind of flimsy and they always seem to be way to thin for the amount of puzzle within.

However, that is where the cons end, at least in my opinion, because I love everything about the actual puzzle. Springbok knows how to make an amazing puzzle. I absolutely love the bonkers way they decide to do their borders. Every single Springbok that I have done has never had a typical border. Their borders have pieces that just touch each other, but don’t connect. They have pieces that are inside pieces, but contain a sliver of border. I think it’s laud of fun and make the puzzle just the right amount of challenging. I always start with the border, but have to abandon it at some point, because I have never found all of the border pieces in one go.

The other things that I enjoy about Springbok are their puzzle pieces. They are big, chonky, and random shaped. I know most people like their ribbon cut, but I am a fool for random shaped pieces. It makes the puzzle more interesting for me. Springbok pieces are also matte and the fit is divine. I have picked up many a Springbok with one hand.

Unfortunately, Puzzle Warehouse doesn’t have any Springboks in stock at the moment, but they do have a bunch of other comparable brands. I find that SunsOut is very similar to Springbok. They also have random shaped pieces, unusual borders, and have a similar finish. Also, SunsOut has some great shaped puzzles.

I also feel that Dowdle or Vermont Christmas Company would be good substitutes. The pieces are a bit smaller, but are a lovely mix of random and ribbon cut, the finish for both puzzles are matte, and the images are quite fun.

That’s it for this year! Hopefully next year will be better for everyone. Be sure to check back in January and see what puzzles we’re talking about. Have a safe and happy holidays!

Gaby @puzzlepastime

9 thoughts on “Santa’s World by Springbok Puzzles

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  1. Springbok, at least the vintage ones, are my favorite puzzles. I love the random pieces, and the old ones use some good, sturdy cardboard. I need to buy a new one to see if the quality has gone down over time. The round boxes have round puzzles in them, and the octagon boxes have the Okta-puzzles; everything else has a regular square/rectangle box. I found a stack of Springboks at an estate auction this year, including the one called Little Red Riding Hood’s Hood – it’s round, and all one shade of red. Took me most of a month to complete it.

    Whoever designed the dies for Springbok was a diabolical genius. Their habit of dividing a piece in the middle of the inlet/bay, or whatever you want to call the curved-in hole, is unique to Springbok as far as I’ve found so far, and very challenging at times.

    1. I have the Puzzler II – it took me MONTHS to finish. And was missing so many pieces. So I bought a second copy off of eBay and am hoping for the best. I love vintage Spingbok.

    2. Good luck with the Puzzler II. Hopefully they were cut with the same die – I was actually looking online for decent pictures of Red Riding Hood’s Hood, to see if I could get some clues on pieces, and I started to wonder if they were cut with more than one die.

  2. Love Vintage Springbok! And the borders are tougher when they could very possibly go somewhere else in the puzzle!

  3. I have never tried Springbook before, but now I will have to try and get it. Both new and vintage,just to see with my own eyes.

    1. I bought two new Springbok last week – the local farm store had them on sale. I’ll have to compare them to the vintage Springboks, which I love.

      My biggest problem with the vintage Springboks is when I’m done. They fit together so well, I almost have to take them apart piece-by-piece, or just have a box of large sections next time I want to put that puzzle together. Other puzzle brands that fit together more loosely (Cobble Hill, Ravensburger, etc), I can just slide it into the box, shake it a bit, and it disintegrates pretty well on its own. What do other puzzle people do?

    2. That works for most puzzles (although I worry about bending pieces), but I’ve got some vintage Springboks that fit together so tightly that you can pick them up with one hand. I’m afraid the fold and crunch would bend a lot of pieces. I guess I’ll have to take them apart while i’m watching TV. Keeps my hands busy, at least.

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