Puzzle Brand Comparison — Yanoman

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

SUMMARY:  59/70

Yanoman is a Japanese puzzle brand with lovely thick pieces, a soft matte finish, nice sturdy boxes, good image reproduction, and overall high quality. Their image selection is perhaps not as broad as other Japanese puzzles companies. They carry Japanese scenic and art puzzles, Disney and other licensed puzzles, and a bit of fantasy.  Recommended as a quality brand.

The puzzle tested for this brand comparison was “Flowering” by artist Senko, 1000 pieces.

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 Yanoman boxes are traditional rectangular boxes similar in shape and size to Ravensburger and Jumbo. The boxes are quite sturdy, both top and bottom. The background is white.  Boxes are shrink wrapped.

Front:

The front of the box focuses on the puzzle image, piece count, and puzzle name.  A little plain perhaps, but it does the trick.

box_yanoman_flowers

Back:

The back of the box is a blank white, unfortunately. More info on the image or perhaps other puzzle images in the line would be nice.

yanoman_box_back

Sides:

The sides of the box are good. The puzzle’s image and name are on all four sides as well as the piece count and the “YM” Yanoman company logo.

box_yanoman_flowers_sides

 

I particularly like the artist photo and bio on one side of the box.

box_yanoman_flowers_sidesa

 

And this is really interesting. One side of the box has an area that lists Challenge Level (4 stars for this puzzle), puzzle dimensions, the number of edge pieces (126), and the estimated time to complete (30 hours). That’s cool!  I wish US and European puzzle makers had something similar.

box_yanoman_flowers_sidesb

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 box contains the puzzle pieces in a bag, a packet of puzzle glue, a little plastic knife thing for spreading the glue, a service card and registration page.  Personally, I’d prefer a brochure or more info on the artist or other puzzles from Yanoman, but some people might appreciate getting the glue.

box_yanoman_flowers_inside

The puzzle pieces came dust-free, fully separated and with no hanging chats or image lift whatsoever.

 

box_yanoman_flowers_insideb

A closer look at the items that came with the puzzle.

box_yanoman_flowers_insidec

3. PIECE THICKNESS — 10/10

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?

As soon as I opened the box, I could tell the pieces were nice and thick and of very good quality. You can see in the comparison below, Yanoman pieces are at least as thick as Ravensburger, maybe even just slightly thicker. Nice!Yanoman

yanoman_piece_WIP5

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 Yanoman piece size is average, very similar to Ravensburger in the image below.

comparison-1

The piece cut is a standard grid but with a good variety of piece shapes. It’s quite reminiscent of Ravensburger’s cut.

jigsawjunkie_yanoman_Flowers_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?

There’s a good, solid interlock between pieces and I never had any doubt whether or not a piece fit somewhere. The end result is fairly seamless. Assembly is a pleasure.

yanoman_piece_WIP

The fit isn’t super tight like Springbok, Sunsout and some other brands.  You can lift the puzzle a little without it falling apart, but it doesn’t hang together tightly, so care must be used when moving sections of pieces.

yanoman_piece_WIP3

yanoman_piece_WIP2

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?

Based on this one puzzle I tested, I rate this category highly. The colors were beautiful and the image detail was sharp. The pieces have a soft, semi-matte finish so there wasn’t a lot of glare from light. They feel quite nice to handle.

jigsawjunkie_yanoman_Flowers_CU4_SM

 

jigsawjunkie_yanoman_Flowers_main_SM

7.  IMAGE VARIETY & ARTISTS — 8/10

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

3-in-one_Yanoman

Above: Castle Himeji Japan (1000), Disney Mickey & Friends Good Luck (500), Love Plus Anegasaki Nene

Yanoman carries photographic scenes of Japan, Disney, Hello Kitty, and other licensed images, anime images, traditional Japanese art, and fantasy. I’m still learning my way around Japanese puzzles, so it’s difficult for me to compare their image offerings with other Japanese puzzle companies like Epoch, Apple One, Beverly, etc. But Yanoman has some very nice images. I would say their Disney and fantasy puzzles are the most impressive, though I’m personally drawn more to the traditional Japanese art like the kimono puzzle I tested.

See their website here.  For purchasing outside of Japan, ebay is your best bet.  I had good luck with the order I placed with http://imaginatorium.org/shop/yanoman.htm

SUMMARY:  59/70

Yanoman is a Japanese puzzle brand with lovely thick pieces, a soft matte finish, nice sturdy boxes, good image reproduction, and overall high quality. Their image selection is perhaps not as broad as other Japanese puzzles companies. They carry Japanese scenic and art puzzles, Disney and other licensed puzzles, and a bit of fantasy.  Recommended as a quality brand.

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