My Rating: 9/10
Happy shopping to all my fellow jigsaw junkies. Yes folks once again it’s time to head to “The Grocery Store”. If you guys are anything like me you simply love to shop! Also like me I know you will all really enjoy this puzzle’s unique spin on this neighborhood grocery store. Let me begin by introducing you to the brand, Trefl. It is a European brand based in Poland. They have been manufacturing puzzles since 1985. The founder, Kazimierz Wierzbicki started a small family puzzle business which eventually expanded to board games as well as cards and toys. They do take pride in their product so you will find Trefl puzzles to be of high quality. The artist “Pauline Paquin”, who resides in Canada is a unique and very talented artist. It is actually her work that drew me to the “Trefl” brand. Paquin is a self-taught painter. She actually is trained as a nurse and worked with children in the school system. While working with children she observed the fascinating world of, “childhood”, with imagination, simplicity, and spontaneity, and this became the center of her work. I am sure like me you will find her work fascinating as well. She says, “Children live, think, and play in a world that is theirs only”. In her paintings you can feel the energy and enthusiasm of childhood. The scenes she paints will easily bring us back to our own childhood. Her paintings are full of detail and with each brush stroke the colors explode onto the canvas. You will notice as you become familiar with her work that there are few adults in her paintings. The faces of the children are left off intentionally so that the viewer can imagine his or her own childhood. I find her work unique and nostalgic. I welcome my own childhood memories her paintings remind me so much of. I hope all of you will enjoy her art as much as I do.
Box Quality: 9/10
The Trefl boxes are larger than some American boxes. They are a rectangular shape and measure 10.5″ x 16″. The front of the box basically focuses on the image. Neither the title of the puzzle or the artist name appears on the front of the box. The back of the box is the same on all Trefl boxes which gives a brief history of the brand. On the sides of the box you will find the full image displayed on only three of the sides. The artist’s name only appears on two sides of the box. The piece count is displayed on the front as well as three sides of the box. The fourth side of the box gives a brief history of the artist as well as a circular detailed image of the store. The “Trefl ” logo is provided on the front as well as two sides of the box. The date of the manufacture is not given. The title is not displayed on the front of the box and is only displayed on two sides. The quality of the box itself is very good. The box only comes with a bag of puzzle pieces and nothing else. As you can see I did deduct a point here because I do find it easier for shelving purposes to have all the puzzle info displayed on all four sides.
I can easily give this image the highest rating. As I began assembling this puzzle it was abundantly clear that the colors in the image on the front of the box match the puzzle pieces exactly. The image is both bright and clear. I found no blurriness in the image reproduction. The detail is crisp. This was a unique assembly for me because there are so many different shades of color, and detailed print that made the search for a piece an absolute breeze. For example the buildings are two completely different colors and a breeze. The prints on the children’s clothing again a breeze. As you begin to assemble the sky you will find so many different shades of blue along with the clouds, making the assembly of the sky easy-peasy. Each area of the puzzle is so distinctive which makes the pieces just flow together. The artist’s attention to detail is remarkable. The elaborate outfits of the children and their playful dance through the neighborhood leaves nothing to the imagination. Look at the detail displayed in the windows of the store. The individual style of each building is exceptional. The clothes hanging on the lines, curtains hanging in the windows as well as the light coming from the windows no detail is overlooked. Remember blowing bubbles and chasing them as a child. This artists paintings will bring you right back to your own childhood. A carefree children’s parade through the neighborhood brings back memories right. Trefl puzzles have a non-reflecting coating. I didn’t have any glare issues with my overhead crafting lights when assembling this puzzle. Trefl has a sizable catalog of images. They carry a lot of landscape and cityscape puzzles as well as collage , fantasy, and painted landscapes. They don’t however carry a lot of holiday images. As I said earlier in the review it was the artist, “Pauline Paquin”, that drew me to the brand and will definitely be increasing my Trefl inventory in the future.
Puzzle Quality: 10/10
I have read some reviews in the past of the “Trefl” brand that considered the company a mediocre quality brand and I couldn’t disagree more. I would consider this brand as high quality for these reasons, image reproduction is excellent, although the pieces may be smaller than most the pieces are just about as thick as a “Ravensburger” piece. The puzzle pieces have a solid backing with absolutely no fraying. The non-reflective coatings work very well. High quality blue-board is used in the manufacturing of this puzzle brand, which gives the finished product a smooth and even surface. I found almost no dust in the box. Each piece was separated and completely cut. I didn’t find any raised edges in the completed puzzle. For all these reasons I give the puzzle quality the highest rating.
My biggest pet peeve when assembling a puzzle is the tightness of the fit. Although the fit here could have been a little tighter, I really didn’t have too much trouble moving small groups of assembled pieces around my board. For that reason I won’t deduct a point here. The actual assembly I would say was rather easy as far as difficulty goes. I assembled this puzzle in about six hours including a few breaks. As I mentioned earlier the image reproduction matches the image on the box perfectly which makes assembly that much easier. After assembling my border I couldn’t resist assembling the children first. It only took a few minutes to assemble the sky next. Once the sky was completed I moved onto the store. This really was such an easy relaxing assembly. Because the reproduction is flawless you will have no trouble gathering your pieces for each area. The assembly of the store with the flowers, fruits and breads was effortless. You can use the bubbles as your guide to steer you in the right direction. You shouldn’t have any trouble with the two coca cola signs if you pay attention to the details, you will notice the different shades of bricks and the different hues of green that surround the signs. Once the store was completed I finished with the building next to the store. I found using the light in the windows a definite perk to finding the right piece. While assembling the last building you can use the blue railings, doors and the leaves on the tree as your guide. I promise it will all flow together so simply, you will be amazed how quickly you will be assembling your last piece. I really enjoyed working on this puzzle, so much so that this was actually my second time assembling it and I have a feeling it won’t be my last. Remember piece by piece and you will be on your way.
If you haven’t already assembled a “Trefl“, then please consider adding them to your puzzle collections, I know you will enjoy them as much as I do. Also take the time to check out this artist’s work. Paquin’s work has limitless imagination and childlike purity and simplicity that I find so refreshing. Puzzle Warehouse carries many “Trefl” puzzles to choose from. Add them to your wish list. I promise you won’t be disappointed.