Puzzle Brand Comparison

It’s difficult to find a good comparison of puzzle brands on the web.  We hope you find this useful!

SUMMARY CHART (click for closer view):

jjbrandchart-2-28-2017

 

Scroll down for links to each brand’s detail page.

———————————————————————-

HIGH LEVEL SUMMARY

LEVEL A — BEST QUALITY — (BRANDS I AM CONFIDENT BUYING ANYTIME)

EURO

  Ravensbuger –– High quality thick and sturdy packaging and puzzle pieces.  Standard grid type puzzle. Wide range of images.

  Jumbo– High quality thick and sturdy packaging and puzzle pieces.  Standard grid type puzzle. Publishes JVH and Wasgij.

  Falcon — High quality thick and sturdy packaging and puzzle pieces.  Standard grid type puzzle. Tends to cozy UK images.

  Heye — Good quality boxes. Standard grid type puzzle with a wide variety of shapes. Best cartoon puzzles.

Piatnik — Good quality with thick pieces and a snug fit. Standard grid cut. Fine art, cartoon, and photo collage puzzles.

  Schmidt — High quality packaging and puzzle pieces.  Quirky grid cut with lots of variety. Excellent fantasy puzzles.

  Clementoni — Solid quality with thick pieces and a linen finish. Standard grid cut. Conventional images.

  Anatolian — Solid quality with thick pieces and nice boxes. Standard grid cut. Conventional licensed images.

  D-Toys (editions with “wide variety of shapes” sticker) –– Standard grid cut puzzle with six piece shapes. Offers unique cartoon, folk art (“classic tales”), and fine art puzzles.

UK

  Gibson — Lovely boxes, thick pieces with a waxy feel. Overall stellar quality. Grid cut pieces. Pieces can appear to fit where they do not.

  House of Puzzles —  Best unusual piece cut and images created for puzzling with lots of colors and textures.

  WHSmith — Similar to Gibson, good boxes and sturdy puzzle pieces in a grid cut.  Pieces can appear to fit where they do not.

  Otter House – Nice smaller boxes, good overall quality on the pieces. Hard to get outside UK.

CANADIAN

  Cobble Hill —  ‘Linen finish’ boxes and puzzle pieces have a nice feel. Pieces are thick. Grid cut but not 100% limited to grid.

Eurographics — Pieces are thick. Not quite grid cut with a wide variety of piece shapes. Large image selection. Some puzzle dust and glare.

U.S.

  Bits and Pieces — Thick pieces with a non-grid cut.  Best shaped puzzles in the industry.

  Buffalo Games — Standard grid cut. Quality sturdy boxes and puzzle pieces, nice but limited images.

  Lafayette Puzzle Company — Grid cut puzzle with a seamless fit, sturdy and attractive boxes and pieces.

  Pomegranate — Fine art puzzles with excellent quality.

  Sunsout—  Unattractive boxes but good puzzles. Thick pieces with a non-grid cut. Tight fit. Tons of images.

  Springbok — Thick puzzle pieces, a super tight fit, unusual piece shapes and good colors. Images are so-so. Lots of photo puzzles.

 Vermont Christmas Company — Fairly thick puzzle pieces, a semi-random cut with a good variety of shapes, overall nice quality and lots of unique Christmas and Halloween images.

  White Mountain — Great image selection and regular releases. Larger pieces with a nice random cut. Pieces are on the thin side, with occasional image lift and some puzzle dust.

Japan/Korea

Puzzlelife — Puzzles come with a large poster and glue and are of good quality. Most reasonably priced of the Asian puzzle brands.

  Yanoman — Thick pieces with a grid cut similar to Ravensburger. Excellent overall quality.

~ *** ~

LEVEL B — ACCEPTABLE QUALITY (BRANDS I WILL BUY ONLY IF I *LOVE* THE IMAGE)

EUROPE

  Educa — Good overall quality, but they have many similarly shaped pieces, making puzzles with large areas of the same color or pattern  a challenge.

Castorland – Pieces feel a bit thin and some of their puzzles (like the 1500 pieces) have very small pieces. But the 1000 piece puzzles have decent quality. Haven’t tried the larger sizes.

Trefl — Pieces are a bit on the small side and grid cut is very standard. Pieces have a good thickness and density. They specialize mainly in photographic landscapes and collages, with only a few offerings that are illustrated.

U.S.

  New York Puzzle Company — Nice boxes, thick pieces, and a creative non-grid cut. However, the looseness of the fit and high visibility of the piece cut when the puzzle is assembled is less than desirable. They have some great images that are worth these slight annoyances.

  MasterPieces — Quality too variable. Some puzzles have thinner pieces than desirable. Good boxes and images. Non-grid cut.

 

~ *** ~

LEVEL C — BARGAIN / VALUE BRANDS

U.S.

  Ceaco — Pieces simply too thin. Warped out of box, some image lift, tons of puzzle dust.

EURO

  D-Toys (editions with only two piece shapes) — Pieces are too thin and easily warped or bent. Most D-Toys puzzles have better quality and six piece shapes.Look for “wide variety of shapes” sticker for better quality.

  King — Pieces are too thin and too similar in shape. Pieces appear to fit where they do not.

———————————————————————-

COMPARISON CRITERIA

**Click here for our full Brand Comparison Sheet pdf**

 1. BOX — How deluxe does the box looks and feel? Is it sturdy? Will it hold up over time?  How nicely does it arrange on the shelf?

2. INSIDE THE BOX  — How deluxe are the internal goodies (such as posters or brochures)?  When you remove the pieces is there puzzle dust, pieces stuck together, hanging chads, and places where the image has begun to separate from the backs?

3. PIECE THICKNESS — How thick are the pieces compared to other brands? How does a piece feel in your hand? How easily are pieces damaged or bent during assembly and separation?

4.  PIECE SIZE & SHAPE — Are the pieces standard shapes? Special shapes? How much variety do they have? Are they large or small?

5. PIECE FIT— Do pieces interlock well? Can it be confusing if a piece fits or not?  Can you move groups of pieces together? Does it look snug when it’s done?

6. IMAGE REPRODUCTION — Are the colors bright and vivid? Is the image sharp or feel like a bad Xerox? How is the finish/texture on the pieces?

7.  IMAGE VARIETY & ARTISTS — Does the brand have a wide variety of fun images and good artists?

**Click here for our full Brand Comparison Sheet pdf**

———————————————————————-

 INDIVIDUAL BRAND DETAIL PAGES

See our detail pages for photos and detailed info on each brand.

Anatolian quality detail page

Bits and Pieces quality detail page

Buffalo Games quality detail page

Castorland quality detail page

Ceaco brand quality detail page

Clementoni brand quality detail page

Cobble Hill quality detail page

D-Toys (“Wide variety of shapes” sticker) brand quality detail page

D-Toys (2 piece shapes only) brand quality detail page

Educa brand quality detail page

Eurographics brand quality detail page

Falcon brand quality detail page

Gibson quality detail page

Heye quality detail page 

House of Puzzles quality detail page

Jumbo quality detail page

Lafayette Puzzle Company quality detail page

Master Pieces quality detail page

New York Puzzle Company quality detail page

Piatnik quality detail page

Pomegranate quality detail page

Puzzlelife quality detail page

Ravensburger quality detail page

Schmidt quality detail page  (prior to 2015)

Schmidt “Premium Quality” detail page (**NEW – 2015 on)

Springbok  quality detail page

Sunsout  quality detail page

Trefl quality detail page

Vermont Christmas Company quality detail page

Wasgij quality detail page 

White Mountain quality detail page (updated 7/30/2016)

Yanoman quality detail page

 

135 responses to Puzzle Brand Comparison

  1. Colin says:

    How does the Great American Puzzle Factory rank in your opinions. I done a few of those recently I liked the interesting piece shapes and the images, but don’t have that much to compare it to.

  2. Debbie says:

    Any thoughts on the brand BePuzzled? They combine a puzzle with a murder mystery. Any top quality brands you can recommend that have such an added “feature”

    • I did BePuzzled years ago. As I recall the quality was good, but I don’t remember the specifics. A “puzzle plus” feature is a great idea. I’ll try to work it in early next year. Thanks!

  3. I came across your site before I found my manufacturer for my puzzle brand this summer. I wanted to say thank you for the Jigsaw Junkie Puzzle grading sheet. It definitely opened up my mind to what goes into the quality of the puzzles. Hopefully by next summer I will be able to provide my customers with glue too in the puzzle box.

  4. Christos says:

    Greetings, I am doing the Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany (Castorland 3000 Piece Puzzle). I’ve completed the edge pieces and 1/3 of the puzzle. Image reproduction is very good. The pieces do feel very thin. Someone has commented that castorland pieces may be very small, but when dealing with a 3000 pieces puzzle I consider them perfectly normal. My issues with Castorland are the fit of its pieces and image quality. I have identified two spots where edge pieces while having a good fit they are not of exactly the same size, thusly disrupting the linearity of the puzzle. In addition, I discovered a clear case of faulty design. The issue in question is the way the colors connect between 2 pieces in the center of the puzzle, disrupting the line of shadow that is supposed to be completely linear between them.

  5. lanceklass says:

    My company, Porterfield’s Fine Art Licensing, has been licensing art into jigsaws puzzles in the US, UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand for literally decades, and this is the first – and extremely useful – description of comparative puzzle quality and presentation that I’ve seen. An excellent piece of work. Thanks so much for providing this service.

  6. Jacqui M says:

    Hi Jane, hope you are well. Just wondered if you (or anyone who reads this) has heard of or completed an `Art Puzzle’ jigsaw? Thanks. Jacqui

    • Jane says:

      Hi, Jacqui! Nice to hear from you. I have seen them online, but I’ve never done one or inspected one in person. Maybe someone else can answer.

      • Good morning! If you are referring to the ArtPiece puzzles from Pomegranate, I can tell you that they are by far my most favorite puzzle to work! Top quality all the way, including a lovely matte finish with no glare issues. Gorgeous colors and designs, in my opinion. I always take advantage of their annual sale, early spring I think, which can get 1-1/5 puzzles “free” with the big discount.

  7. Reece. says:

    I recently purchased a Ravenburger Disney Pixar puzzle at B&N and after assembling found 1 piece was missing. I know it wasn’t my error, as I opened it carefully on board. Happened to end up on Amazon reviews for this print and was astonished to read how many people had missing pieces and duplicate pieces for this particular puzzle. It was a disappointment to read. I am truly hoping this isn’t the case with other Ravensburger and maybe they just had some problem in manufacturing when they produced that batch. At the price, it’s very frustrating to have a piece missing. Also, Ravensburger doesn’t help with missing pieces, so your basically out of luck. 😦 Have several unopened Ravensburgers to put together and crossing my fingers.

    • Jane says:

      This is a problem I see a lot and experience very rarely. I don’t know if I’m lucky or what. Most manufacturers do have a missing piece policy and some retail sites will also refund if the product is defective. Good luck with your other Ravensburgers.

      • sharon says:

        Well, I have had another upset with ravensburger.. except, this time it involved our new puppy! After many hours invested in the Bizarre Bookshop 2, the puppy got to the puzzle and destroyed the work. Which, was 85% completed! What a disappointment! It was such a great puzzle, with all it’s cute little details! Highly recommend! Needless to say, looking at a puppy safe solution!! No more throwing away puzzles!! 🙂 We aren’t sure how many pieces she injested! 😮

      • Reece. says:

        I actually have been looking at the jigboard 1500 but the price was causing me to hesitate. Well, today I ended up doing a pretty good DIY .. I bought some very nice heavy micro suede velvet apholstery fabric and some heavy flannel backed vinyl for under $20 bucks. (Thank you Jo-Ann’s coupon). I used a heavy duty stapling gun and attached it to a pretty big framed bulletin board I purchased for free with some Staples rewards cash I had. (Bonus!!) I cut the vinyl out to use as cover. The whole thing only cost me $16 bucks and honestly, it turned out really well for a DIY .. the fabric I got was perfect. I would guess it is very similar to the material that is on the jig board, at least from what I can tell. It reminds me of the “flocking” on hot rollers.. 😉 if anyone else out here knows what that is 🙂 anyhow, pretty happy with my DIY

  8. Greg says:

    This web site opened up a world I didn’t know existed. We have played with Milton Bradley “Big Ben” puzzles, which are bargain brand, though acceptable quality; and Springbok, from Hallmark Shops, back in the 1980’s when the kids were young. Springbok is a gold standard brand.
    I haven’t noticed mention of a marketing website I used some months ago: Puzzle Offensive in Germany. Good prices, huge selection, and flat and fair shipping rate, even to the United States when buying several items at a time. https://www.puzzle-offensive.de/Kat/8-Gesamtsortiment-17-0-20-1.html
    Please keep this project moving forward.

  9. amaradia says:

    Hi,

    What do you think about arzzle? It combines AR with jigsaw puzzle. Have you tried it! What kind of quality do they have? I tried from arzzle.com and for my opinion it was a good quality and something new for me.

  10. myopenbsd says:

    Hello Jane, I really liked your website, congratulations.

    I have searched in many places but I do not find the answer.
    It seems to me that Trefl uses computer effects in his photographs.
    Can you tell me if they are authentic photography, or do they have computer treatment?

    Look at this example I’m interested in:
    http://sklep.trefl.com/en/doha-katar.html

    I believe there are some manufacturers that use computer effects in their photographs, which I particularly do not like, you could do an article about it any day.

    Thanks, Victor.
    Porto Alegre – Brazil

  11. Monica says:

    For puzzles that are simple, yet dignified, for people with cognitive loss from Alzheimer’s, stroke, head injury, or other condition, please see MindStart puzzles, which are designed by an occupational therapist!

  12. Amanda says:

    I buy Holdson puzzles. You have mentioned only ones made in Northern Hemisphere. I buy ones made in NZ because I live in New Zealand. They have been making puzzles since 1939 so are a very good puzzle company.

    • Jane says:

      I live in the US where it is nearly impossible to get Holdson puzzles without paying outrageous shipping fees. Unfortunately! But thanks for letting our readers know about the quality. I like their images.

  13. miriamkadansky says:

    Thanks so much for this site! How about a review of sites like puzzleyou.com, that make custom puzzles from your own image?

    • My family worked with Puzzle Warehouse to customize a puzzle from a picture of me skiing to the North Pole. They were all compliments of how much time the folks at Puzzle Warehouse spent to show them how different puzzle sizes would best transfer from the photo. The puzzle is pretty cool!

  14. Simon says:

    Hi Jane
    I came across your website a while ago and it is fantastic, thank you for all the great work you do for us puzzle fans.
    I live in the UK and have came across a puzzle brand called STEP PUZZLE. I have never heard of them before but they do have a few nice images. I wondered if you have any idea on the quality of their puzzles?

    • Jacqui Melrose says:

      Hi Simon, I was just away to ask the same thing – was it through puzzleplanet (jigsawpuzzle) by any chance?! I thought they had some nive images too. I tried the Grafika puzzles from them a while ago which were ok so hopefully the Step puzzles will be similair. Jacqui

  15. Simon says:

    Hi Jacqui
    Yes it was puzzleplanet I seen them on. Think I’ll give them a chance. I have also been looking at the Grafika puzzles as they also have some nice images but wasn’t sure what they were like but now you’ve said they were ok I will prob try them too. Simon

  16. Curt says:

    Hi Jane,

    I understand what a “hanging chad” is when talking paper ballots or punch cards. Nevertheless, I am having some trouble visualizing what a “hanging chad” might entail with respect to jigsaw puzzles pieces. I can think of a number of possibilities, but none quite agree with my ballot based visual definition. As such, could you post an example picture to your informative web site?

  17. Annalee says:

    Thank you very much for this info. Glad I came. You provide a lot of info! 🙂
    By the way, have you ever tried Aquarius puzzles? I believe they have licensed characters, such as Harry Potter ones. What do you think about them? I couldn’t find Aquarius puzzle’s website too. I wonder if they are still around nowadays.

    • Jane says:

      Hi, Annalee. Thanks for the kind words. I haven’t tried Aquarius, but perhaps one of our readers has and will comment.

  18. Julie Smith says:

    You may want to re-evaluate King which has made some big changes and quality now seems to rival Ravensburger especially on their new Disney puzzles.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Pingbacks & Trackbacks

  1. […] – Jajemensan! Sekruttpussel har mjuka bitar av tunn kartong med suddigt färgtryck och så kass passform att man hela tiden måste granska de bitar som man fogar samman – passar de verkligen eller bara nästan? Ravensburger, Schmidt, Jumbo och andra kvalitetsmärken har tjocka, härliga bitar som  sitter fast så väl i varandra att man kan lyfta stora sjok utan att de faller sönder. […]