Puzzle Brand Comparison – Educa

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

SUMMARY:  (56/70)

Educa puzzles are produced in Madrid, Spain. They have good quality boxes and a nice selection of images, particularly fantasy, fine art, and European landscapes. They also make some of the largest puzzles in the world. The puzzle pieces are ‘thick enough’ and their image reproduction is excellent. On the down side, their standard grid cut pieces are mostly two-knob, two-hole and can appear to fit where they do not, so the puzzles can be a bit more challenging. In addition, the glossy surface of the pieces are subject to reflective glare.  This brand is recommended.

1. BOX  — 9/10

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?

The boxes are very sturdy and of good quality, both top and bottom. All Educa boxes have a black background, which makes for a pleasing harmony when grouped together on the shelf. They are rectangular boxes, like Ravensburger. The 1500 box I tested measured 12″ x 17″.  The box design is excellent.

Front:

educa-1b

Back:

The back has messaging about Educa puzzles in general and about their puzzle club. There is nothing specific to this puzzle.

educa-2

Side:

educa-3

All four sides have the puzzle image, Educa logo, and piece count for easy reference, so you can stack your collection however you like.  Several sides also have the puzzle and artist name. The boxes look quite attractive on the shelf.

 

2. INSIDE THE BOX  — 7/10

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?

Inside the box there is only the bag of puzzle pieces and a packet of puzzle glue. A brochure or leaflet about the artist and image and/or other Educa puzzles would have been nice.

jigsawjunkie_guardianAngelEduca1500-7

 

The puzzle pieces are well separated within the bag with minimal puzzle dust. There are no hanging chads or image lift.

Educa-2

 

3. PIECE THICKNESS — 8/10

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?

The Educa pieces feel ‘thick enough’ while you’re working the puzzle, and of good quality, though they’re visibly thinner than Ravensburger pieces in our side-by-side comparison.

Educa

 

4.  PIECE SIZE & SHAPE — 8/10

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

Educa uses standard grid piece shapes, and the size is similar to Ravensburgers.

comparison-1

Educa puzzles have a great deal of ‘two knob, two hole’ pieces, at least 80%.  This is much less variety than you get in a Jumbo, House of Puzzles, or Ravensburger puzzle, for instance. Below is a close-up of “Guardian Angel”. I’ve circled two pieces that are particularly close in shape. This can make it easy to get the wrong piece in a spot and then later, when you find pieces around it, you figure out it doesn’t really go there. It does make the puzzle more of a challenge.

jigsawjunkie_guardianAngelEduca1500-6b

5. PIECE FIT– 7/10

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?

Educa puzzles fit together attractively when done. They don’t interlock tightly enough to move groups of pieces without them falling apart (unlike Springbok and Sunsout), so care must be exercised.  In addition, Educa has so many two-knob, two-hole pieces that are very similar that pieces can look like they fit where they do not.  This isn’t an issue when the image is very busy with color and pattern, since it is easy to tell if a piece fits somewhere or not. But when there are large areas of the same color or a repeating pattern, such as the ivy in “Guardian Angel”, below, you literally have to try piece after piece to determine if a piece fits or not. Some puzzlers may enjoy this as an additional challenge, but I’m not one of them. However, the issue is not so bad as to make the brand undesirable. I’d just recommend choosing the image with care–or being in the mood for a harder puzzle. “Guardian Angel”, pictured below, was especially difficult.

jigsawjunkie_guardianAngelEduca1500-2

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?

I’ve only tested this one puzzle, “Guardian Angel”, but the image reproduction quality was very good–the colors seemed true and the details were sharp. See my full review of this puzzle here.  However, the pieces have a glossy finish, which makes them reflective in the light. Because of this, light glare can tend to make similar colors blend together at certain angles.

educa_guardianAngel_CU1

jigsawjunkie_guardianAngelEduca1500

 

7.  IMAGE VARIETY & ARTISTS — 8/10

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

Educa_3in1

Educa carries a good selection of puzzle images. Their fantasy puzzles are particularly nice (Victoria Frances, Mario Wisibono). They have a large number of lovely European landscape puzzles, both photographic and painted, Disney themed puzzles, fine art, and collages. Like Ravensburger, they tend to have a smattering of everything and generally their images are well chosen and aren’t available elsewhere.  Unlike some puzzle brands, when I look over their catalogue I want to do most of them!

If you like really, really big puzzles, Educa carries more puzzles 2000+ than most other brands. They even have one that is 33,600 pieces!

See their website here.

SUMMARY: 56/70

Educa puzzles are produced in Madrid, Spain. They have good quality boxes and a nice selection of images, particularly fantasy, fine art, and European landscapes. They also make some of the largest puzzles in the world. The puzzle pieces are ‘thick enough’ and their image reproduction is excellent. On the down side, their standard grid cut pieces are mostly two-knob, two-hole and can appear to fit where they do not, so the puzzles can be a bit more challenging. In addition, the glossy surface of the pieces are subject to reflective glare.  This brand is recommended.

6 responses to Puzzle Brand Comparison – Educa

  1. Jewel Smith says:

    Impossable to work solid area on Diner Al Mac’s Restaurant, I worked a lot of puzzles, but I will never buy another puzzle from the company. I have almost wore out the pieces trying to match them.

  2. haas says:

    Great review, thanx!
    Do they manufacture custom images upon request as well??

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