Puzzle Brand Comparison — Sunsout

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

SUMMARY:

Score:  56 out of 70 possible

The Sunsout boxes are their weak point, being oversized, not very sturdy, and having rather poor design. Fortunately, the puzzles themselves are thick, brightly colored, and with good image reproduction. They carry some fun American artists like Rebecca Barker and Susan Brabeau. They make both shaped puzzles and rectangular puzzles. Their shaped puzzles aren’t as good as Bits and Pieces, but they come in a good second and they do have a wide variety of them.

1. BOX  —6/10

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 Sunsout boxes are not one of their best features. They’re quite large at 12.5″ x 12.5″. Honestly, this is larger than is necessary and means you end up storing a lot of air on your shelves.  (The Bits and Pieces boxes, by comparison, which have similar piece sizes, are 9″ x 9″, Master Pieces and Buffalo Games are 8″x8″ and work just fine.)  Each puzzle box has a unique color, which makes the brand less uniform but can make for nice variety on a shelf when stored together. Unfortunately, the boxes are fairly lightweight and fragile, particularly the bottoms. The box design is also amateur in appearance compared to brands like Ravensburger and Gibson in terms of fonts, logos, and layout. Each puzzle has a different font on it, some of them quite childish.

Below: (from “Mommie Makes it Better” by Sunsan Brabeau)

sunsout_box1

 

Side of boxes — three sides are similar and 1 side has the barcode and copyright info. The photo of the puzzle is much smaller than it needs to be to fit on the side, meaning it’s difficult to see on the shelf.

sunsout_box3

Backs: The backs of the Sunsout boxes are blank white, missing an opportunity to tell the consumer more about the artist and image and making teh box less collectible.

sunsout_box2

 

2. INSIDE THE BOX  — 6/10

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?

There’s nothing inside the box except for the bag of puzzle pieces and a tiny piece of paper with general warranty/website into. Like Bits and Pieces, the bottom of the box is fragile and is actually taped at the corners instead of having a solid bottom.  This seems to be a cost saving measure but it’s rather cheap in feel.

sunsout-1

 

The puzzle bag is sturdy with no puzzle dust or unseparated pieces.

sunsout-2

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?

Fortunately, the quality of the puzzle itself is better than that of the box.  The pieces feel sturdy and, while a bit thinner than Ravensburger, are comparable to Bits and Pieces.  They feel very good when you work a puzzle.

sunsout-1 sunsout-2

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 piece shapes vary depending on whether the puzzle is shaped or rectangular.  Below is an example from “Mommie Makes It Better”, which is 500 pieces in an extra large size (EX Grip). In this case, the pieces are standard grid-pieces, but they do have some funky shapes.  They are all, however, 2-knob, 2-hole pieces.

Sunsout_MommyMakesItBetter_500L_CU2_SM

The puzzle below is a shaped puzzle, “Bunnies in the Garden” and it has a wider variety of piece shapes than the puzzle sample from a rectangular “EZ Grip” puzzle shown above.

Sunsout_BunnyGarden (1)

Size — the piece size for their regular (not extra large EZ Grip pieces) is similar to Bits and Pieces and slightly larger than Ravensburger.

comparison-1

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 pieces fit together well enough, and there isn’t any confusion about whether a piece goes in a specific location or not. The fit is not as seamless as Jumbo or Ravensburger due to some slight ‘hanging chads’ or rough corners where piece separation was not entirely smooth. You can see this in the image below. Not a big deal, but did bump the rating down a bit.

The pieces hold together well when you pick them up.

sunsout_fit

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 image reproduction is quite good, colorful and sharp.  This is important, particularly with ‘painterly’ images such as Susan Brabeau.  You can see this in the sample below from “Mommie Makes It Better”.

Sunsout_MommyMakesItBetter_500L_CU2_SM

7.  IMAGE VARIETY & ARTISTS – 8/10

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

Sunsout carries a wide variety of puzzles including shaped puzzles, animal-themed puzzles, country scenes and Americana.

Their shaped puzzles are not as good as Bits and Pieces. They can be over-crowded and a messy mix of photo and painted textures, which doesn’t present a cohesive, quality image. (See “Cardinal’s Public Bath” by Lori Shory as an example.) This is, of course, entirely subjective and others may find that sort of image appealing. I do have a few Sunsout shaped puzzles that I quite like, such as “Garden Bunnies” by Mary Thompson and Japanese Garden by T.C. Chui.

In their rectangular puzzles, they carry some fun artists such as Susan Brabeau, Rebecca Barker, Bob PettesJenny Newland, Kevin WalshMary Thompson, Jack Sorenson, Tom Wood, Terry Doughty, and Joseph Burgess.

They do not have any series.

 

26 thoughts on “Puzzle Brand Comparison — Sunsout

Add yours

  1. I’ve done a number of puzzles from sunsout.

    They do actually have series. 1 that I know of. The Noahs Ark set by Tob Dubois.

    As far as piece size goes. I’ve had a ton of variation. One puzzle had pieces that are very blocky and square and another that had a bit more variation with 3 sided 5 sided pieces both of which puzzles pieces held together well when lifted. Then another with tons of odd shaped pieces that didn’t hold together well at all.

    I can say that their customer service is great. I thought I was missing a piece and they immediately sent me a new puzzle. Then I found it under furniture and now have 2 of the same puzzle.

    Some pieces are stuck together and it’s a bit irksome.

    The boxes are definitely boring. I wish they had a small print of the image as it’s handier than checking the box.

  2. Just finished 1500 piece Summer Pleasures. This is a new hobby and the previous two puzzles were from White Mountain and quality was great and the images were fun. This puzzle had un-separated pieces and many pieces that fit in the wrong places and slowed me down. I will avoid this brand in the future.

  3. I experienced wonderful customer service from Sunsout.

    Bought a Finchley Paper Arts puzzle. When it was delivered, to our surprise, the puzzle bag of pieces did not contain “Birds of a feather” but after a search of the internet we realized the bag of pieces was “Hummingbird and Butterfly Flight” also by Finchley Paper Arts.

    Sent an email and within 1/2 hour received a reply saying the die cutter had messed up a batch and they were sending out the proper puzzle immediately. Was very gratified to see such care taken of their customers!

  4. I am done with this brand. I have now made two of their puzzles and both were missing a piece. I make puzzles constantly and have NEVER had this problem until Sunsout. Many pieces were stuck together when I took them out of the box and none interlocked tight. If I touched the puzzle, the pieces came apart. I contacted the company about the missing pieces and they blamed the retailer. They suck. Never again!

  5. I just opened “Astrology” (art by Ciro Marchetti), which I have owned for a couple of years but never opened. I am disappointed by the amount of dust from these puzzle pieces. Once the puzzle is completed I will have to dump out the dust from the box.

    I agree with you that this is a very flimsy box bottom. I think I will have to reinforce it with tape at the corners/edges because otherwise it will not hold up.

  6. I absolutely adore Sunsout puzzles, however, the last few new ones I have bought have had absolutely tons of puzzle dust in the box, bag and all over the pieces. Seriously, have had to clean the pieces before I can start (and thankfully I don’t have a puzzle board as you should see the floor!). A small amount of dust doesn’t bother me but it’s almost as if they’ve swept the floor and popped it in the bag! This is so disappointing and I wondered if anyone else had noticed this (or if I’ve just been unlucky the last 8 or 9 times)?

  7. Could you tell me on one of your puzzles I just got it says 33.5 in by 28 ins. Is the first number the height or the width I’m new to puzzles. An want to place it right so don’t have to move it all around. Thank you !!!

  8. I have had so many inconsistencies with SunsOut I would say that 40%of them are good. I think they are going through a rough patch. I ordered one from Puzzle warehouse and when it arrived the pieces had been double cut, I don’t know if you have seen that before but the pieces have impressions of other pieces on top or on the bottom of the piece making a thinner piece where it was pressed. one piece had the nub cut off and it was actually in the box. I showed them pictures and they did replace it, however the replacement came from the same lot and with the same problems, but I was able to swap out the pieces so I could have an almost perfect puzzle. I did contact them but said I don’t want a replacement, but this quality is unacceptable. I did write to puzzle warehouse letting them know about this too. I had another puzzle I asked for a replacement because the fit of the puzzle was so loose it made it difficult to piece together. they replaced that one too. sometimes I have to glue two pieces together so that the tiny edge won’t break, as it is so fragile I am afraid to lend it out.

  9. I do not understand a complaint about a puzzle taking a long time, Is this a race or a method of keeping sharp and improving skill? At 84 I do them to maintain dexterity in my fingers and exercise my brain, such as itis.

  10. It looks like I am coming in late to this conversation… for Christmas 2018 my husband gifted me with a “Puzzle of the Month” gift from Puzzle Warehouse. The first puzzle selection from them was a Sunsout puzzle. I have been doing puzzles since I was a kid–my dad only did Tuco puzzles (I wish they were still around). Now that I am an empty nester with health issues that often prevent me from leaving our apartment, I have started putting puzzles together much more frequently. I have a HUGE collection of Buffalo Games Puzzles, and nearly all the affordable Charles Wysocki puzzles. I was excited to try a new brand when I got the Sunsout. It was AWFUL! I actually sent it back and contacted Sunsout. The pieces did not fit together well–I had to almost force them and even then they fit unevenly. I love the variety Sunsout has, but I will probably never do their brand of puzzles again. I enjoy white mountain although the finished product of the 1000 piece puzzles is almost too big for the work space I have right now.

    I come here often to read reviews on brands of puzzles I haven’t tried. Glad the resource is here.

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