This page is part of our Puzzle Brand Comparison. You can find the overview page here.
This brand is a personal favorite due to their rural British life painted scenes and unusual piece shapes. While their boxes could use some improvement, their puzzles are lovely and fun. This is a small puzzle manufacturer that deserves to be widely enjoyed.
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?
House of Puzzles boxes are fairly sturdy, though not quite a thick as Ravensburger or Gibson boxes. The background colors on the boxes varies from puzzle to puzzle. The boxes are rectangular. The box design is fairly simplistic.
The sides provide the puzzle image, name, and HOP logo on all sides for good flexibility when shelving.
The back is plain white. A missed opportunity to describe more about the image and provide an artist bio.
The puzzles look nice when arranged together on a shelf.
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?
The box comes with a nice full-color brochure showing other puzzles in this season’s offering. In addition, series puzzles (like this Find the Differences series below) come with a page about the series. There’s also a warranty/replacement piece service card. The box bottom is sturdy.
The puzzle bag is sealed and there is a minimum of unseparated pieces, hanging chads, or image lift. Some of their puzzles have had a considerable amount of puzzle dust, though this recent one did not.
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?
House of Puzzles isn’t as thick as Ravensburger or Gibson puzzles, but they feel ‘thick enough’ while working the puzzle.
4. PIECE SIZE & SHAPE – 10/10
Are the pieces standard shapes? Special shapes? How much variety do they have? Are they large or small?
House of Puzzles piece shapes are unique in the industry and are the ‘least standard’ of all the cardboard puzzle brands. Some pieces look like border pieces when they’re not and some have no knobs or holes at all, such as in the man’s gray pants in the image below.
Their holiday puzzles have special shapes such as the Christmas tree and snowman in the close-up below (from their 2013 Christmas puzzle “Unexpected Guest”).
The size of the pieces is comparable to Ravensburger and Gibson. They do also carry larger sized pieces in their 500 piece puzzle line. The finish is slightly glossy.
5. PIECE FIT– 9/10
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?
The puzzle fit is fairly snug. Because of the unusual piece shapes, some not having any knobs or holes, it can be troublesome to move around blocks of pieces. You have to make sure any ‘detached’ piece is fully ‘filled-in’ on the sides. However, this goes part and parcel with having such unusual piece shapes, which is a plus. There are cases where a piece looks like it fits when it does not, but not to the extent of some brands like Gibson. When complete, the piece fit looks tight.
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?
The colors are bright and the the reproduction seems high resolution, thought most of their images are of a looser painterly style by their nature.
7. IMAGE VARIETY & ARTISTS – 8/10
Does the brand have a wide variety of fun images and good artists?
House of Puzzles is located in Scotland and they specialize in painted country and vintage scenes. They also carry some collage puzzles. Their variety is somewhat limited to this category, but if you like this type of British-centric puzzle art (and I do), it’s quite brilliant. They release a good number of puzzles a year, several dozen in February and again in July. They also have an annual limited edition Christmas puzzle and a series called “Find the Differences” which is quite fun.
Their most artists include Ray Cresswell, Tracy Hall andKeith Stapleton.