Puzzle Brand Comparison — Schmidt

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

SUMMARY:   62/70

Schmidt is a fine quality Germany puzzle brand with sturdy boxes, thick pieces, and good image reproduction. Although their puzzles have a standard grid cut, their piece lines are a bit quirky and they have more variety of piece shapes than most grid cut puzzles. The final puzzle fit is sure and seamless. They carry a wide variety of images but they particularly excel at fantasy puzzles. Very much 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?

Schmidt boxes are comparable to other European brand boxes–large and rectangular and of sturdy construction. The size of their standard 1000 piece puzzle is 11″ x 14.5″.   The box design is good and varies from series to series. See some examples below.

Front:

schmidt-1

Above: “Colorful Cats World”, ~2009

 

Jungle_1000

Above: “Jungle Panormama”, ~2012

 

5113aTnow5L

Above: “Schneiders Composition: Beside the Seaside”, ~2009

 

Back:

The puzzle that we tested was “Colorful Cats World” by artist Gale Pitt from 2009.  Schmidt uses the back of this box to show a number of their other puzzles, sort of a mini catalogue. While I love box backs that talk about the specific design, artist, or series, this type of back runs a close second because as a collector, I always like seeing other puzzles from this year that I may have missed.

 

schmidt-2

Side:

All four sides of the box have the Schmidt name and logo, the piece count, and a picture of detail from the puzzle. On a few sides the name of the puzzle and artist is also listed. This provides plenty of nice options for vertical shelving.

schmidt-3

 

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 inside of this box contains nothing but the bag of puzzles.

Schmidt-1

The puzzle comes in a thick plastic bag. Puzzle dust is very low. The pieces are fully separated and there are no hanging chads or trouble with the image lifting off corners.

 

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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?

Schmidt pieces are slightly thinner and less dense than Ravensburger, Gibsons, and Jumbo, but still quite acceptable. The pieces feel good and sturdy in your hand and there are no issues with image peeling or piece bending/warp that you can get with very thin pieces (see our Ceaco page).

 

schmidt

4.  PIECE SIZE & SHAPE — 9/10

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

Schmidt pieces are similar to Ravensburger in size–neither large nor small.

comparison-1

Their piece cut is standard grid but with a bit of ‘qurkiness’ to the lines as opposed to being ruler-straight. There’s also a lot of variety to the piece shapes (far more than Educa or Jumbo).  Quite nice! I really liked this cut and found it fun to assemble.

 

schmidt_ColorfulCatsWorld_2009_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?

As you can see from the photo below, the piece fit is very fine and nearly seamless. It has a smooth finish when done. There is never any difficulty determining if a piece really goes somewhere or not. The piece interlock is very ‘sure’.

Tightness:  The fit is not so tight that you can pick up a corner of the puzzle and have it hold together without glue. However, you can move a small group of attached pieces while working on the puzzle, if you exercise care. (for very tight puzzle fits, see our pages on Springbok and Sunsout).

schmidt_ColorfulCatsWorld_2009_CU5_SM

 

6. IMAGE REPRODUCTION — 9/10

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

From the one puzzle we tested, the image reproduction is quite good. Gale Pitt’s style is looser, so it’s hard to tell how a very crisp image would look. It would be better to judge this category after checking more examples, but time/money, etc!  The colors are saturated without being overblown.  I particularly like the variation between the full-color vignettes and the pastel ‘faded down’ background on this puzzle. (click for close-up)

schmidt_ColorfulCatsWorld_2009b

 

7.  IMAGE VARIETY & ARTISTS — 9/10

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

Schmidt_3in1

Above: Josephine Walls “Astral Voyage”, Jacek Yerka “Boudoir”, Ciro Marchetti “Spirit of Winter” (click for closer view)

Schmidt publishes quality images in a variety of categories including photographic, collage, Hollywood-themed puzzles, landscapes, and fine art. One area where they really excel is fantasy puzzles. They carry a number of well-known fantasy artists including Josephine Wall, Jacek Yerka, Ciro Marchetti, Nene Thomas, Maxine Gadd, Arantza Sestayo, and David Delamere. They also carry Thomas Kinkade, Michael Young, and Anne Geddes.

See their website with their full line-up here.

SUMMARY:   62/70

Schmidt is a fine quality Germany puzzle brand with sturdy boxes, thick pieces, and good image reproduction. Although their puzzles have a standard grid cut, their piece lines are a bit quirky and they have more variety of piece shapes than most grid cut puzzles. The final puzzle fit is sure and seamless. They carry a wide variety of images but they particularly excel at fantasy puzzles. Very much recommended.

JJ

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