Puzzle Brand Comparison – D-Toys

This page is part of our Puzzle Brand Comparison. You can find the overview page here.

SUMMARY:

Unfortunately, this brand is not recommended to to the very thin pieces thickness.

1. BOX  — 7/10

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?

Pros: The D-Toy boxes are attractive, colorful, and fairly sturdy. The cardboard box is not as heavy as Ravensburger or Gibson, but heavier and of better quality than US brands like Sunsout, Bits and Pieces, and Springbok.  The box graphics are professional and fun.  They look nice together as a set on the shelf. The pull out characters from the image are nice, particularly in the “1000”.

Cons:  The name of the artist is nowhere to be found on the box, nor is the name of the puzzle!  (The puzzle box shown below is for ‘Building Stonehenge’.)  The name of the puzzle and the image would be useful on the sides and ends where it could be easily referenced when shelved.  A small image is only shown on the the long side. The back is plain.

Front:

d-toys_box3

Back:

d-toys_box2

Sides:

d-toys_box1

 

2. INSIDE THE BOX  — 6/10

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?

There is nothing inside the box other than the puzzle bag itself.

D-Toys1

The puzzle bag is sturdy enough. It doesn’t have any holes for airflow. There is a fair amount of puzzle dust, but the piece separation is good and there were no visible ‘hanging chads’ or image lift.

D-Toys2

 

3. PIECE THICKNESS — 1/10

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?

This is where D-Toys fails harshly by comparison. The pieces are the thinnest of all the brands we’ve tested. They are so thin that it’s quite irritating to assemble the puzzle.  Below is a direct comparison between Ravensburger (our standard for piece heft) and D-Toys. D-Toys is perhaps half the thickness of Ravensburger.

D-Toys3 D-Toys4

 

Because of this thinness, the pieces do not lay flat where assembled, but lift a bit and are easily loosened just by placing a piece nearby, trying to shift the puzzle slightly, or even just running your hand over it (see image below). The overall feel of the puzzle during assembly is almost paper-like and very delicate.

d-toys1

4.  PIECE SIZE & SHAPE – 2/10

Are the pieces standard shapes? Special shapes? How much variety do they have? Are they large or small?

D-Toys are on the small size compared to other brands, but not too small.

comparison-1

In terms of shapes, D-Toys puzzles have only a 2-knob, 2-hole vertical piece shape and border pieces. There is no other shape to be found in the entire puzzle.  This makes for lack of interest as well as fit issues.

d-toys2

5. PIECE FIT– 2/10

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?

D-Toys puzzles, because of their lack of variety in piece shapes, have the problem of having pieces look like they fit when they do not. In the sample image above from “Building Stonehenge”, the white and brown areas on the Stonehenge blocks were tedious to assemble because of this issue.

Also, in some cases, even where a puzzle piece fits, it has a loose fit and looks like it might not go there.  There is not a snug fit when the puzzle is assembled, as you can see in the image above.  In fact, I often run my hands over the top of the completed puzzle, and if you do that with a D-Toys puzzle, it breaks apart!

6. IMAGE REPRODUCTION — 8/10

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

The quality of the image reproduction is quite good and colors are vibrant but not overblown. The finish on the pieces is plain without the fine finish of Ravensburger or Gibson.

7.  IMAGE VARIETY & ARTISTS – 7/10

Does the brand have a wide variety of fun images and good artists?

D-Toys carries a limited but nice collection of photographic scenes, fine art puzzles, art deco, and cartoon puzzles.  Unfortunately, they never give the name of the artist that does their “cartoon collection” puzzles.

See their website here.

SUMMARY:

As a lover of cartoon puzzles, I was excited about D-Toys puzzles. Their cartoon images are cute and unique, I love the historical theme, and the puzzle boxes are attractive. However, the quality of what’s inside the box is extremely disappointing. The thinness of the pieces and poor fit was the worst I’ve come across and made assembling “Building Stonehenge” a chore rather than a pleasure.

This poor quality is so unusual for a European brand I can only assume it is a bargain-priced brand in its home country. However, the price of the puzzles here in the US and UK is comparable to Ravensburger and Gibson and those brands are much better quality.

3 responses to Puzzle Brand Comparison – D-Toys

  1. Dorin says:

    Indeed, D-Toys are kind of aiming at the low-end of jigsaw puzzles in Romania – they are at around 10$/1000 piece puzzles while a Ravensburger for the same price will take you to 15-20$, depending on the retailer, but I find that the price difference doesn’t justify the low quality of the product. BTW, your blog is amazing. 🙂

  2. Billsville Mike says:

    I suspect that I am in the minority, but thinner pieces isn’t a deal-breaker for me, as long as they are made of solid and dense cardboard and don’t bend. I have had good experiences with brands that are on the thin side, such as Castorland, D-Toys Step from Russia. I had no issues with bent knobs although the pieces did feel a little more delicate, but that to me is just part of the experience of working with those particular brands.

    And I also am probably an outlier but to me some ambiguity in the fit isn’t a terrible thing, either. Isn’t that what makes a challenging puzzle? One where you have to second-guess yourself from time to time, look extra close for subtle differences in hue or texture, and be more tentative in your work? It does make the puzzle slower and more frustrating, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a design flaw. I also like the aesthetics of a neat, even cut.

    I’m glad that you gave D-Toys a second look with your more recent review. Their new releases from 2016 are excellent, with lots of fine art titles and a few 2000 piece ones also. They are a great value and in my opinion, most improved brand of the year.

    • KB says:

      Thanks, Billsville Mike. I bought one D-Toys puzzle and was so disappointed I gave up on the brand. I was sad to do so because really like fine art puzzles and so many makers have stopped producing them. l’ll give D-Toys another shot.

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