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.

———————————————————————-

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.

———————————————————————-

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

 

166 thoughts on “Puzzle Brand Comparison

Add yours

  1. Hi there. I’m so happy that someone has taken the time to review all these brands. Thank you so much for doing it! I was looking at your chart and I noticed you have the Educa brand on it twice with the same final total (56), but different numbers in the categories. Was this a mistake or intentional?

  2. Hello and thank you for taking the time to do all of this! I am trying to decide which School of Athens puzzle to purchase off Amazon — Eurographics, Clementoni and Tomax all offer one. The Amazon reviews are (uncharacteristically) not that helpful. One reviewer did say that the Clementoni puzzle cuts off a lot of the original painting, another that the Eurographics image was fuzzy. I know it’s a lot to cover in a 1000 piece puzzle. Not sure how I’ll proceed but your high marks for Clementoni are very helpful. Anyhow, I am very happy to see there are others out there who take puzzles so seriously!

  3. I would love for you to review the Nathan puzzle line. They are from France and were once called Jeux Nathan. When they were the Jeux Nathan line, they made some large puzzles (~ 6,000 pieces) by the artist Gabor Szittya and those puzzles were absolutely fantastic! They come up on eBay occasionally and sell at high prices. Nathan currently makes puzzles featuring the art of Miss Tigri, and the art on these puzzles is really, really good. I adore cartoon puzzles, and Nathan doesn’t do those, but for what they do, they do really well. The boxes and puzzle pieces are well made, but inside the box is strictly no frills. I only own a couple of their puzzles but my plan is to buy every one of the Miss Tigri puzzles. :0)

  4. I just started a Tomax puzzle and I HATE it- If I tai two random pieces, there’s about 50% chance that they will match. They have just two basic forms, and it’s really enjoying and frustrating.

    1. I attempted a larger Tomax puzzle last year (2000 piece HallStatt, Austria, in winter) but gave up after struggling with it off an on for nearly 10 months. The picture on the box was great, but the colors on the puzzle itself were a bit muddy and not-at-all bright. The picture itself appeared to be fuzzy or out-of-focus. But the worst part by far was the puzzle pieces; there were many times when I thought I had a small section of the puzzle completed (where all the pieces had a similar unique color) but I was left with one piece that did not fit in the only remaining hole in that section. I then has to check each piece in that section to find out where I had mistakenly placed the piece that was supposed to fit in the one remaining hole. So puzzle piece variety is a big problem. I was attempting to piece the large section of sky together but just gave up. The big section of mountainside I never really attempted. There were also other negatives, but those listed above were more than enough for me to avoid any additional Tomax puzzle purchases. And thinking about it, I can’t really come up with anything positive about this puzzle.

  5. Hi,

    Does anybody knows anything about SPEZET or Nathan puzzle brands ?
    The second one is very popular in France but I don’t know it’s level in quality

    Thx,

Leave a Reply to Jill Cancel 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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: