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):

 

 

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

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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. Random cut.

  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, Wysocki, Josephine Wall, Aimee Stewart and more

  eeboo — Standard grid cut. Quality sturdy boxes and puzzle pieces, modern folksy round tables images and more

  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.

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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**

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 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

 

185 thoughts on “Puzzle Brand Comparison

Add yours

  1. Our favorites are Pomegranate and Gold Collection which, I believe, is from Turkey. Sunsout is one of our least favorite since our experience was that the pieces were thin and it was often difficult to fit the pieces together without bending them and there was quite a bit of puzzle dust.
    On another note, we are wondering why there are very few, if any, puzzles of Western American artists such as Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, Andrew Wyeth, Edward Curtis, and the like. I think puzzle companies are missing out on some great artwork. We prefer puzzles of famous paintings and have found a website, Mondo Puzzles, which has a large selection of puzzles of Impressionist paintings. I believe they are in Italy.

  2. Thanks so much for such detailed comparison. I have been buying Trefl since I can remember, because they are ridiculously cheap here with really good quality (also because I live in Poland and they are very popular here 🙂 ). I do try other brands, so far Hape (very disappointed with how loose the cutting between the pieces is), and recently I bought Clementoni, haven’t unpacked them yet, but from your reviews I can see that I should be happy with their quality. I’ll come back to your site for sure next time I want to try another brand!

  3. I wanted to share a comment from Corey of Cobble Hill puzzles. ” Counterfeit puzzles have become distressingly common in the last few months as puzzle manufacturers struggle to keep up with demands. We are working on it, but please be careful when purchasing online, even on Amazon! I do recommend trying puzzlewarehouse.com or seriouspuzzles.com if you’re concerned about counterfeiters!”

    I experienced several counterfeits from Amazon. They have a huge selection but not all are the real thing. Look carefully and the distributor.

    Good luck. Stephanie

  4. HI puzzle junkies, thank you for all your hard work on the brand puzzle comparisons. I do however have some things for you to consider. You may not want to post this, but here goes.

    I have been trying different puzzles now for only 2 months due to the pandemic. I have tried Ravensburg, Cobble Hill, Vermont Christmas Company, Bits and Pieces, Springbok and Sunsout. (Masterpieces and Ceaco were rejects from the get go.)

    Now first of all, who really cares about the Box and the Inside of the Box? Raise your hand. These scores really do not do anything for the enjoyment of the puzzle.

    Ravensburg is the most pleasant to hold with their thickness and finish. However…I found the selection to be boring and sterile.

    Cobble Hill I really liked. However when you get to the 1000 size, the pieces are way too small. Stick to the 500.

    Vermont Christmas Co. is very nice but the pieces could be a little thicker and it does not stick together when you move it. This also has the problem that the 1000 pieces the pieces are thin, ugly shaped and just no fun to do. Part of the fun of puzzles is the tactile and visual joy of the pieces. I like a lot of the puzzles but unfortunately most are 1000 pieces.

    Bits and Pieces…a very nice surprise as Piece thickness, size and shape and fit are all excellent with a wide range of nice choices.

    Springbok is the first I did …a 1000, and it turned out great! I love Springbok. I just can’t wait ‘ til more are in stock.

    Sunsout has some nice puzzles also but only at 25% stocking right now. So looking to 2021. The cutest puzzle I have done is Fireside Snooze, Art by Giordano. Another great Giordano puzzle is Kittens by the Stove…a Cobble Hill puzzle.

    Bottom line: just try a picture and a brand and see what you like. The ratings are nice but if you take out the Box and Inside the box, a lot of the scores are just the same. It takes your own experience to feel if a puzzle is right for you.
    So have fun. Returns are usually easy. So go for it! Happy Puzzling. Stephanie

  5. Hey JIgsaw junkies,
    I just got a 550 size Village Square from Vermont Christmas Company. IT IS NOW THIN AND NOT RANDOM CUT.
    PLEASE REVISIT YOUR EVALUATION. BOYCOTT VERMONT. I have sent complaints and cannot even return without paying a fortune to mail. I sent an letter to Walter the owner. Won’t make a difference but need to warn everyone. The 1000 are even worse.

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