Puzzle Brand Comparison – Lafayette Puzzle Company

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

SUMMARY:  54/70

Lafayette Puzzle Company is a US brand with good overall quality. They use a standard grid cut but have a nice variety of piece shapes. Their pieces are ‘thick enough’ and feel sturdy. The image reproduction is good. They have a ‘Colorluxe’ line of high color photo puzzles, an ‘Art Collector’ series of painted images, and some nice fantasy puzzles, particularly their “Goldenline Fairies” and “Silverline Fairies” foil-accented puzzles. They fall well within our ‘recommended’ parameters.

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?

The boxes are small and square, similar to those from Buffalo Games or Ceaco.  Both top and bottom are sturdy. The size is 8″ x 8″. The 1000 piece box I saw was the same size. The front of the box has a very attractive design.

Front:

Lafayette-2

Above: The puzzle we tested was Lafayette’s “Goldenline Fairies: Fairy Book” puzzle, at 750 pieces. This puzzle has gold foil accents.

Back:

The back of the box (see below) has information on this series and the artist, which is very nice.  Note that this box has a paper seal. I quite dislike paper seals, because I like to keep and collect puzzles, and I don’t like having to damage the box just to get it open. It makes the puzzle feel cheap to me, and I honestly was expecting the quality of this puzzle to be less than it was given this box seal. I would prefer just a round clear tab seal if there is no shrink wrap. Because of this one issue, I dinged the box score that otherwise would have been a 9.

Lafayette-3

 

While trying to open the box, although I used care, I cut into the side of the lid (see below). Ack! I think this problem can be avoided by running a thumbnail around the edges first.

Lafayette-1

Sides:

The box sides are nicely designed for vertical shelving with the puzzle image, series name, artist, and piece size very visible on all sides. Interestingly, the Lafayette logo and name is nowhere to be seen, which would be nice info to have on the sides.

Lafayette-4

2. INSIDE THE BOX  — 8/10

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 only thing inside the box is the bag of puzzle pieces.

Lafayette-1

 

The bag of puzzle pieces, however, was promising. There was no puzzle dust and no image lift, warping, pieces not fully separated, or other damage to the pieces. They looked sturdy and in great condition (and loaded with gold foil–yay!). Click the photo below for a closer view.

Lafayette-2

 

3. PIECE THICKNESS — 7/10

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?

Side by side with Ravensburger, you can see that the Lafayette pieces are not as thick. However, they are quite dense and they feel sturdy. It would be quite difficult to bend or warp one, which is typically the bane of thin puzzle pieces. The pieces feel good in your hand as you are working the puzzle and the image is solidly adhered with no image lift like some thin puzzles.

lafayette

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4.  PIECE SIZE & SHAPE — 8/10

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

The pieces in this puzzle were larger than normal. In fact, I was surprised when I took the photo below that they were only a little larger than Ravensburger because they feel big. This 750 piece puzzle is 20″x27″ when complete.

Lafayette

The piece cut is a standard grid cut. There is a good variety of piece shapes.  (click the image below for a closer view)

lafayette_goldenline_FairyBook_CU1_SM

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?

I didn’t have any confusion about whether or not a piece fit. There is a good interlock between pieces. In fact, you can pick up small groups of pieces and they stay together. The fit is not as tight as Springbok or Sunsout, but tighter than most grid-cut puzzles.

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When assembled, the puzzle looks tight and seamless and there no raised pieces that won’t lie flat.

lafayette_goldenline_FairyBook_CU3_SM

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?

This can be a hard category to judge from just one sample puzzle. This puzzle had excellent colors and the gold foil was lovely and in very precise lines. However, parts of the puzzle, such as the fairy’s face (see below), were pretty blurry and vague. This may simply be the art style (though her face is AWFULLY blurry). Given that Lafayette carries puzzles that have very fine detail like this Kleem puzzle here, I’m guessing their image reproduction is crisp when the art is crisp.

lafayette_goldenline_FairyBook_CU5_SM

7.  IMAGE VARIETY & ARTISTS — 7/10

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

Lafayette-3-in-1

Above: Colourlux “Lollipop Swirls” 500 pieces, Heavenly Horses series “Into the Sunset” 300 pieces, Holographic puzzle “It’s in the Stars” by Bill Bell 1000 pieces

This is a subjective category, and your mileage may vary. Lafayette has a ‘Colorluxe’ line of super colorful photo puzzles. Since I’m not really into photo puzzles, it’s not so much my cup of tea, but you may love it.  They also have photographic landscapes, some quite nice horse and wildlife puzzles, and an ‘puzzle collector ART series‘ of painted scenes that are also very high color.  I’m most interested in their fantasy puzzles like the Goldenline Fairies series I reviewed for this page, which is unique in the industry and quite excellent. They also have some ‘holographic’ puzzles by Bill Bell and Ciro Marchetti which I want to try.

See their website with their full line here.

SUMMARY:  54/70

Lafayette Puzzle Company is a US brand with good overall quality. They use a standard grid cut but have a nice variety of piece shapes. Their pieces are ‘thick enough’ and feel sturdy. The image reproduction is good. They have a ‘Colorluxe’ line of high color photo puzzles, an ‘Art Collector’ series of painted images, and some nice fantasy puzzles, particularly their “Goldenline Fairies” and “Silverline Fairies” foil-accented puzzles. They fall well within our ‘recommended’ parameters.

JJ

9 responses to Puzzle Brand Comparison – Lafayette Puzzle Company

  1. Richard G Smith says:

    Jane,

    I recently purchased two 1000 piece “Puzzle Collector ART” jigsaws by Lafayette Puzzle Factory from Puzzle Warehouse. Neither puzzle was truly grid cut like the one in your review. The pieces varied in size and the rows were not uniformly straight.

    I assume that ‘grid cut’ means all pieces are uniform in size with straight rows & columns.

    I wish the puzzle descriptions from the manufacturer said more than just ‘fully interlocking’.

    – Richard

    • Hi, Richard — Yes, you are correct about what grid cut means. I didn’t know that Lafayette made some puzzles that are random cut. Unfortunately, when I review a brand, I use one puzzle for the brand review, but other puzzles from that same manufacturer may vary. But usually, in my experience, they do not. For example, all Gibsons and Ravensburger and Jumbo puzzles have the same basic cut and size unless they are “500 XL” or shaped or something clearly unusual.

      I agree, it would be nice to know more about how the puzzle was cut in the manufacturer’s descriptions. Barring that, I guess looking for online reviews is the best bet.

      • Richard G Smith says:

        Jane,

        Many thanks for the feedback.

        As you probably suspect, I prefer 1000 piece grid cut puzzles.

        In my experience Buffalo, Ceaco, Vermont and White Mountain are also normally grid cut.

        Thanks for the tip on Jumbo. I will add that company to my list of ‘grid cut’ manufacturers and order a few of those next from Puzzle Warehouse.

        – Richard

  2. Richard G Smith says:

    Jane,

    Speaking of Ceaco, last year after retirement I got back into jigsaw puzzles. I purchased several Ceaco ‘Jane Wooster Scott’ puzzles and all were nicely grid cut. That was before I discovered the Jigsaw Junkie web site this year. On to Jumbo!

    PS. I actually restarted doing jigsaw puzzles with a 5 x 500 grid cut box made by a company called TCG, out Toronto. They are very dusty, very thin and made in China, but you can’t beat the price at $9.99 at Walgreens. Plus Walgreens seems to restock with a new selection every few months.

    – Richard

  3. Kathleen says:

    Jane,

    I ordered a Ciro Marchetti holographic puzzle. It is shrink-wrapped -yeah! My objection to the box is that the image is much smaller than the box which is in itself small. Also, there is no poster included like other small-box puzzles. I think it is going to be difficult to see since my eyes are old! The pieces seem to be rather thin for me, but I haven’t done it as yet. We’ll see!

    • Hi, Kathleen. I do like Ciro Marchetti. I haven’t tried any of his puzzles from Lafayette. Let me know how you like it.

  4. Linda Mc Donald says:

    I recently purchased two Lafayette 1,000 piece art puzzles. The boxes say interlocking, but probably 30 pieces are missing a very small corner which breaks off easily. Many were already laying in the bottom of the bag before we even opened it, making it very difficult to keep the border together. I’m sorry to say we will not be buying from this manufacturer again. One puzzle maybe we could overlook it, but two…..No.

  5. Marge Arnone says:

    My husband and I enjoy doing puzzles together. This puzzle American Eagle was random cut and a real challenge. We finished it only to be DISAPPOINTED to find one piece missing. Very unhappy with this. Saw in comment above they had 30 pieces missing.
    Pieces fit well so don’t know about buying from this company again.

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