Puzzle Brand Comparison — Piatnik

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

SUMMARY:  58/70

Piatnik is based in Austria. They use a standard grid cut similar to Jumbo and Ravensburger with have enough variety of shapes that a piece never seems to fit where it does not. Their pieces are fairly thick and feel sturdy. The image reproduction is excellent. Groups of pieces hold together when you move them. They specialize photo collages, fine art, and cartoon puzzles. Their price is quite reasonable in the US and UK. A strongly recommended brand.

1. BOX  — 8/10

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 rectangular like most European brands. Both top and bottom are sturdy. The size is 10″ x 14″. The brand has a consistent black background with the yellow, triangular Piatnik logo. The front of the box has an attractive design with a matt finish.

Front:

Paitnik-3

Above: The puzzle we tested was “Salamanders”, 1000 pieces. 

Back:

The back of the box (see below) serves as a mini catalogue, showing other puzzles in the current line-up. There is nothing specific about this particular puzzle image or artist.

Paitnik-2

Sides:

The box sides are nicely designed for vertical shelving with the puzzle image, series name, artist, and piece size, and Piatnik logo very visible on all sides. This puzzle is easy to identify when shelved. The sides also show the piece size and finished puzzle size.

Paitnik-4

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 is the bag of puzzle pieces and nothing else. The box image is large enough to be a good reference when putting the puzzle together, but some information on Piatnik, the artist or image, or even a mini catalogue would have been nice.

Paitnik-2 (2)

The bag of puzzle pieces looks good. There is little puzzle dust and no image lift, warping, pieces not fully separated, or other damage to the pieces. They look sturdy and thick. Click the photo below for a closer view.

Paitnik-1

3. PIECE THICKNESS — 9/10

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?

Piatnik pieces are not quite as thick as Ravensburger and Gibsons, but they’re very close and they do feel sturdy and dense in your hand.

Paitnik-4

 

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Above: A view of Piatnik piece thickness while assembling. 

 

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 size is just slightly smaller than Ravensburger. This 1000 piece puzzle has a final size of 44.1×67.5cm (vs Ravensburger 1000 piece size of 49.7×69.9cm).

The piece cut is a standard grid. The pieces are mostly of the two-knob, two-hole shape, though there are some three-hole and three-knob shapes once in a while. Nevertheless, there is enough variety in each piece that you never think a piece fits somewhere where it does not.  Personally, I prefer a non grid cut puzzle (like Sunsout, Springbok, House of Puzzles, or Bits and Pieces), but most European brands are grid cut.

Piatnik_Lizards_CU2_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 enjoyed assembling this Piatnik and wasn’t conscious of any real difference in the piece cut/fit from a Ravensburger or Jumbo. I prefer it to Gibsons and Educa, both of which often have pieces appear to fit where they do not. That was never an issue with this puzzle, and with some of the repeating patterns in the salamanders, it really could have been!

I was surprised to find that Piatnik has a pretty tight fit, as I recalled it being looser when I did one of their older puzzles. But this puzzle from 2011 was quite snug so that you could easily move a group of pieces without them falling apart–which is lovely. The fit isn’t as tight as Sprinkbok, where you have to push pieces pretty hard to get them interlocked, but it definitely hung together better than the recent Heye’s I’ve been doing.

jigsawjunkie_piatnik_salamanders-2

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

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 color reproduction on this puzzle was excellent.  The lines of the image, such as the lizard’s eyes and claws, are sharp.

The surface finish on the pieces feels soft in texture and is only very slightly reflective. The darks did not get too dark.

Piatnik_Lizards_CU4_SM

7.  IMAGE VARIETY & ARTISTS — 7/10

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

3-in-one-paitnik

 

Above: “Skiing” by Francois Ruyer 1000 pieces, “The Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel” 1000 pieces, “Tomatoes” 1000 pieces

Piatnik carries fine art puzzles, photographic collages, scenic landscapes (mostly photographs), and cartoon puzzles by Francois Ruyer.  I am not particularly interested in their fine arts and photographic puzzles myself, but I do have all their Ruyer cartoon puzzles and their Christmas cartoon puzzles. I also have found images of theirs I quite like here and there, like this “Salamanders” puzzle and it’s companion, “Frogs”. If you like photographic collages, they have some excellent, unique ones like ‘Tomatoes” above.

See their website with their full line here.

SUMMARY:  58/70

Piatnik is based in Austria. They use a standard grid cut similar to Jumbo and Ravensburger with have enough variety of shapes that a piece never seems to fit where it does not. Their pieces are fairly thick and feel sturdy. The image reproduction is excellent. Groups of pieces hold together when you move them. They specialize photo collages, fine art, and cartoon puzzles. Their price is quite reasonable in the US and UK. A strongly recommended brand.

JJ

7 responses to Puzzle Brand Comparison — Piatnik

  1. Lkreagan says:

    Piatnik Renoir Luncheon Boat Party – worse puzzle ever & i’ve done many Impressionist puzzles! Missing pieces, Faded colors, poor printing, pieces fit perfectly into too many spots. Ugh! Throwing it away!

  2. Kathleen says:

    I am thinking of ordering “Fruit” by Piatnik. Anyone know about this particular puzzle?

  3. Kathy says:

    I have two very poor experiences with Piatnik puzzles. I never got past the edge pieces of the Albrecht Durer rabbit I purchased about 5 years ago because so many pieces fit in so many places and the color was monotone. I decided to give the brand another try after reading positive reviews in other places. I just finished the Holbein portrait of Jane Seymour and had a similar experience, though the patterns and colors made it possible to complete most of the puzzle. But where the color was more continuous, numerous pieces fit in numerous places, and the fit was so loose that I couldn’t move even three pieces without having them fall apart. Often I had to take two pieces, turn them over and press them tight together to examine whether the fit was true — and even then I couldn’t trust the fit. Tons of puzzle dust — both in the bag and beneath the puzzle after it was finished. I had to vacuum my puzzle board. Disappointing because Piatnik has many paintings I would like to own in puzzle form.

    • Thanks for the info, Kathy. I haven’t had this problem, but I tend to do their cartoon puzzles or ones like the lizard with a large variety of color/patterns. But I know exactly what you mean because I’ve had that experiences with Gibsons with monotone areas.

  4. fallenserendipity says:

    I’ve just gotten interested in puzzles, and bought my second ever, Neuschwanstein Castle by Piatnik. The only other puzzle I have is a Eurographics Haruyo Morita. I was looking online for resources on how to best go about sorting and solving puzzles, looking for techniques etc and I came across your website. Loving it! I think this might become quite the hobby for me, I am especially interested in having the finished puzzles on my wall as that was the intention when I chose the designs of the two I have. So far, my Piatnik seems to have a lot of puzzle dust, but as I’m inexperienced with puzzles maybe it isn’t as much as I think. After all, I only learnt the term just now from your site! I’m really not great at solving, but hopefully I’ll improve as I do more 🙂

    • Welcome to puzzling! You can find info on doing mounting under the “how to” pages. I hope you’ll enjoy the hobby and I look forward to seeing you around the site in the comments. 🙂
      Jane

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