Puzzle Brand Comparison – Gibson

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

SUMMARY:

An excellent puzzle brand, but be sure to choose images without large areas of the same color/pattern due to the way their pieces are very similar in shape and can appear to fit where they do not.

1. BOX  — 10/10

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?

Gibson boxes have a distinctive branch identity with their blue colored, square boxes. The boxes are very sturdy and of good quality.

Front:

gibsonbox4

 

Back:

The back has a special design the describes the puzzle image and artist.  Much nicer than a plain back!

gibson_box_2

Side:

All four sides have the puzzle name, image, and piece size for easy reference so you can stack your collection however you like.  The boxes look quite nice on the shelf.

 

gibson_box_1

gibson_box_3

2. INSIDE THE BOX  — 9/10

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 is a full-color, multi-page Gibson puzzle brochure and a small guarantee card with information on piece replacement.

gibson_inside_1

The puzzle is in a thick plastic bag with tiny airholes to prevent moisture damage. Puzzle dust is moderate. The pieces are full separated and there are no hanging chads or trouble with the image lifting off corners.

 

gibson_inside_2

3. PIECE THICKNESS — 10/10

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?

Gibson is the thickest of the puzzles we tried, comparable to Ravensburger or even slightly thicker. It’s a pleasure to put together a Gibson puzzle. The pieces feel thick and sturdy in your hands.

gibson-1 gibson-2

4.  PIECE SIZE & SHAPE — 7/10

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

Gibson uses standard piece shapes and the size is similar to Ravensburgers. The pieces have a very nice finish with a slight glossiness to them, but not enough to be reflective in the light.

comparison-1

Their pieces are more similarly shaped to each other than Ravensburgers, though, and the puzzle has a great deal of ‘two knob, two hole’ pieces.  This isn’t much of an assembly problem when the image is busy, such as “Ready Steady Whoops” below. This particular puzzle has a wider variety of pieces than some Gibsons (see “Hop Country” below).

gibson_ReadySteadyWhoops_CU3

 

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?

Gibson puzzles fit together snugly when done, and they lock well, making groups of pieces movable with care. So the quality of the fit feels good. However, Gibson has a problem with pieces looking like they fit when they do not.  This isn’t an issue at all when the image is very busy, such as their Mike Jupp puzzles. But when there are areas with the same color or pattern, such as the sky and green branches in “Hop Country”, below, you literally have to try piece after piece with at least two of its neighbors to determine if a piece fits or not, because their pieces are so very similar in shape. Very tedious.

gibson_HopCountry_1000_CU2

 

6. IMAGE REPRODUCTION — 10/10

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

You can depend on beautiful colors and sharp, high resolution images with Gibson puzzles. The image below is from Mike Jupp’s “I Love Spring”. See our review here.

gibson_Jupp_ILoveSpring-(1)b

7.  IMAGE VARIETY & ARTISTS — 9/10

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

Gibson is a UK puzzle manufacturer and they specialize in British-themed puzzles. If you’re a UK resident, or an anglophile, this is exceedingly appealing.  Their puzzle range includes scenic landscape paintings, vintage images, an annual limited edition Christmas puzzle, cartoon/humor puzzles, and some licensed and photo puzzles.

They do quite a few 500 piece puzzles and have boxed sets of 2-4 puzzles which are quite popular.

Their most popular artists include Mike Jupp, Marcello Corti, Trevor Mitchell, Steve Crisp, and John Francis.

See their website here.

SUMMARY:

An excellent puzzle brand, but be sure to choose images without large areas of the same color/pattern due to the way their pieces are very similar in shape and can appear to fit where they do not.

5 responses to Puzzle Brand Comparison – Gibson

  1. Daan says:

    I was looking for some WWII themed puzzels, and Gibsons have a large portfolio of these. The images are quite nice depending on the artist. So far I have built 3 puzzels. I did find the quality to be inconsistent. Overall the pieces aren’t cut well, so they have messy and damaged edges and in one case all the pieces were damaged on the image side (on the ‘arms’ of the pieces). The pieces don’t fit very tight. And I experienced also that some pieces will fit on multiple locations (indeed annoying when building large monotone areas). There was a low degree of saw dust in the box. If it weren’t for the images I would probably skip this brand.

    • Hi, Dave. I haven’t had those issues you mention with any pieces having messy or damaged edges in any of the Gibsons I’ve done. What size were they, by the way? I’ve noticed sometimes the 500 piece puzzles in many brands are different than 1000 pieces. I’m not sure what the reason for that is other than possibly just a different manufacturer. I have certainly had the experience of pieces looking like they fit where they don’t, which is a Gbison thing!

      • Daan says:

        The ones I built were 500 piece puzzles. I am planning to do a 1000 piece Gibson puzzle. I am curious wether the quality will be different than the 500 piece puzzle. I hope so 🙂

  2. Daan says:

    I just finished a Gibsons 1000 piece puzzle, and you were right… the quality of the 1000 piece Gibsons puzzle is better than that of the 500 piece puzzles I made. The pieces seem to be better cut and have a ‘waxy’ feel to them (instead of the smooth surface of pieces from the 500 puzzle). All in all a better experience.

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