I have been a Heye fan since I first discovered them in the mid 90’s. I have spent a ridiculous amount of hours on ebay hunting down out of print Heye puzzles. In fact, you can blame Heye on my love of cartoon puzzles in general. I now also collect JVH (Jan Van Haasteren), Mike Jupp, Wasgij and other cartoon puzzle series/brands. But Heye will always have the number one place in my puzzle collection.
Here’s part of my Heye collection:
Heye cartoon puzzles generally offer bright colors and tons of detail. They’re the kind of puzzles that you can’t just assemble whilst ignoring the box image and just building up color areas. They often require one-on-one inspection of a piece and the image on the box or included poster. They’re challenging, in a nutshell, and also full of delightful and humorous detail that you get to study as you put the puzzle together. Heye puzzles are also of excellent quality. The brand is German, so you know the quality will be good (like Ravensburger). The pieces are sturdy and the piece shapes, while always interlocking on 2-4 sides, are of a wide variety–more unique shapes than most puzzle brands. I never have a piece which looks like it really does go somewhere where it doesn’t. You know when you have the right fit with a Heye. I also LOVE the triangular boxes the puzzles come in. They’ve started making some puzzles in regular rectangular boxes, but I always want the triangular to go with my Heye collection. Here’s what the triangular boxes look like:
They store nicely on the shelves with the ends showing:
Heye makes photo and gothic puzzles also, but the only ones I collect from them are the cartoon puzzles. My favorite Heye artists are Michael Ryba, Loup, Degano, Prades, Ruyer, and Jabo.
Ryba tends to draw cute and very busy images. He does people, pigs, and rabbits, and often bases his images on classic works of art.
Below are some of my favorite Ryba puzzles.
“WHO DID IT” — 1998, 2000 pieces
This puzzle is probably my favorite Heye puzzle ever, because I love murder mysteries! Look at all that detail and color! It’s a fantastic image. Below are some close-ups.
Here are some more Ryba puzzles I love:
“ROBIN HOOD”, 2004, 2000 pieces
“MATHMANIACS”, 1996, 2000 pieces
“GO WEST”, 1991, 4000 pieces
And a close-up from “Go West”:
Loup is another fantastic Heye artist. I have many of his puzzles and hope he does many more! His puzzles are not as crowded as Ryba’s, which means a bit more solid background–a nice changes and slightly easier to work. His big-nosed human characters are very cute.
Below are some of my favorite Loup puzzles.
“CASTLE OF HORROR” — 2003, 2000 pieces
Details from “Castle of Horror”:
“EMERGENCY ROOM” — 2003, 2002 pieces
“OPEN AIR” — 2014, 2000 pieces
“AVE CEASAR” — 2003, 2000 pieces
Detail from “Ave Ceasar”:
Every Degano puzzle is a work of art crammed with intelligent and funny details. I love them all, and I hope we get many more in the future.
Below are some of my favorite Degano puzzles.
“LABYRINTH OF LIFE” — 2000 pieces
“GO AMERICA”, 4000 pieces
“2000 YEARS”, 8000 pieces
Prades’ puzzles are right up there with my other favorite 3 artists above. His style is a bit looser, and his humans more human, but the detail, wit, and humor are all these just as with Ryba, Loup, and Degano. You have to see these puzzle images up close to appreciate the detail.
Below are some of my favorite Prades puzzles.
“CHINA TOWN” — 2000 pieces
“1001 NIGHTS” — 2003, 1500 pieces
“ASTRO WORLD” — 4000 pieces
“HOTEL WORLD” — 2002, 1500 pieces
“WALPURGIS NIGHT” — 1998, 1500 pieces
Ruyer is a relative newcomer to Heye. Though he did a few small puzzles years ago, it is only in the past few years that he has done the full-sized “crowded” cartoon scenes that Heye is known for. (Though he did do some good ones for Paitnik.) His current puzzles are very good (especially “Bunnytown”) and we hope he keeps making puzzles with Heye.
“BUNNYTOWN” — 2013, 1000 pieces (Read our review here)
“BUNNIES VS WOLVES” — 2014, 1000 pieces (Read our review here)
MORE ON HEYE
Heye puzzles come out each year, usually in January. You can find the new ones all over the world. Here are some good links:
Amazon.co.uk (sold under Paul Lamond Games)
Jigsaw Jungle (in Canada, but good shipping rates to the US)
Southwest Puzzles –– they have some out of print ones (free shipping for orders over $150)
Puzzle Warehouse (they get the new ones first)