love shaped puzzles, and this offering from Sunsout and Aimee Stewart is really gorgeous and fun to assemble. The image is filled with a variety of brightly-colored butterflies and flowers in different colors and patterns, and those are easy to assemble. The fill around them–greenery and a blue pattern–appears in small doses and wasn’t too difficult. I really liked assembling the irregular edge, especially the antenna. Cute!
You'll find lots of interesting details in this puzzle as you "treasure hunt" among the books. The fantasy image by Aimee Stewart features a rainbow of brightly-hued books and interesting elements arranged among them, such as dancers, jewels, notes, and Aladdin's lamp. The puzzle is easy-to-moderate to assemble with many bright and distinct colors. The Sunsout quality is very good with thick pieces and a fun random cut with a wide variety of piece shapes. The fit is fairly tight so you can move groups of assembled pieces around with care. The final puzzle is frame-worthy. Recommended.
"Sunday Lunch" is a wonderful puzzle for the holidays. The subject is unusual in puzzles, with a contemporary family around a holiday table. It's a breeze to assemble thanks to each character's unique face, hair, and clothing, the orange curtains, the windows, and the loaded dining table. This is a puzzle you can work without constantly referring to the box lid. I found it particularly fun to piece together the "feast" on the table. The Falcon quality is excellent. It's a grid-cut puzzle with thick, sturdy pieces, a soft matte finish, a solid 'click into place' fit, and a seamless finish. Highly recommended!
"Nancy Drew" is a fun collage puzzle that will bring back fond memories for those of us who grew up reading Nancy Drew. The book covers themselves are retro works of art with faux spooky designs that are a pleasure to puzzle. The Cobble Hill quality is good with random cut pieces in a wide variety of shapes that run from normal to small in size. The pieces have a linen finish which helps reduce overhead glare. This puzzle is of medium difficulty. All the letters in the book titles help, but I did refer to the box lid quite often to figure out where a piece went. The five large books in the image are a good size but the smaller books are a bit small to see all the detail. If you grew up with Nancy Drew, or like vintage art, you'll love this puzzle. Recommended.
White Mountain's "Autumn Traditions" by Terry Redlin is a beautiful and nostalgic fall-themed puzzle that comes in 1000 pieces and 300 pieces so you can choose your level of difficulty. The 300 piece version is easy and crops out some of the more difficult sky. The 1000 piece version is easy around the country store and pumpkin patch, but moderate-to-difficult for the sky portion. The colors are very pretty and brighter than many Redlin puzzles. The quality is very good. I especially like White Mountain's larger piece size and very flat, smooth finish. This would be a lovely puzzle to frame. Recommended!
Red River Crossing is a lovely fall-themed puzzle featuring gold-orange leaves, brightly-colored birds, and a peaceful covered bridge scene. It has easy sections and moderately difficult sections like the blue sky and dark green pine needles. The Sunsout quality is very good with thick, sturdy pieces, excellent color reproduction, and a fun random piece cut. The pieces are on the normal-to-large side and easy to hold. The art by Sam Timm is sure to get you in the mood for fall. Recommended.
Heye’s “Cartoon Classics” line reissues some of their best loved cartoon puzzles from the 70’s-90’s. This delightful image from famous French cartoonist Jean-Jacques Loup is a breeze to put together. The large balloons and the buildings in the image go together quickly. There are a myriad of cute and funny characters in the scene, each with unique clothing and expressions that help you figure out what piece goes where. Heye is a German brand with overall excellent quality. Highly recommended.
This is an easy, fast, and enjoyable puzzle to put together. The different areas of the puzzle--the map sections in various colors and the seasonal vignettes--make assembly a snap. The fall leaves and winter scene sections are especially pretty. There's a bit of "edutainment" value to this puzzle, and you'll learn something about New England as you work it, particularly in the map sections. The Sunsout quality is quite good with thick, sturdy pieces, lovely bright colors, and a random cut that makes assembly more fun. The pieces are on the normal-to-large side and easy to hold. This image is especially designed for puzzles, and the artwork by Mary Thompson is nicely done. Recommended.
Publisher: MasterPieces (US), published 2016 Title: “Safe Travels” by Aimee Stewart, 1000 pieces Finished size: 26.75" x 19.25" OUR RATING: 8.25/10 TRAVEL WEEK: Since I just got back from vacation, it seemed like a good time to tackle travel themed puzzles (say that three times!). I'll be reviewing two puzzles this week and sharing some of my favorite... Continue Reading →
I loved shaped puzzles and fall-themed puzzles, so this puzzle was extra fun to assemble. The image has lots of fall leaves, both large and small. It really puts me in the mood for crisp autumn days! The Sunsout quality is excellent with thick, sturdy pieces and a wonderful random cut and hangs together really well. The overall difficulty is moderate. Most of the puzzle is easy, despite the shaped border, but all the squirrel fur gives the puzzle a little more challenge at the end. Highly recommended.
White Mountain's "Tapestry Cat" is a fun and challenging puzzle with moderate difficulty. The image by artist Lewis T. Johnson has bright colors and a lovely hand-drawn art style. Big bold elements--such as the large border, the Morris-esque wallpaper background, the cat, and the floral bouquet inside the cat--make separate distinctive areas to assemble. Repeating elements within the border (like the blue diamonds) and within the floral bouquet (for example, white daisies) make the puzzle more challenging but never frustrating. The White Mountain quality is good with larger pieces and a random cut. The final puzzle has a flat, smooth finish that allows you to see the art rather than the jigsaw cut. The finish is glossy, so there is some glare under bright lights. Highly recommended!
Gibsons is a high-quality puzzle brand from the UK with beautiful blue boxes, very thick pieces, a standard grid cut, and a waxy matte finish. Their Mike Jupp series of "I Love..." puzzles are some of the best cartoon puzzles on the market. The art work is of exceptional quality and has a wealth of fine detail. "I Love London" is a comic look at the great city of London with a range of crazy characters. You'll have a lot of fun assembling this puzzle and getting a closer look at the sight gags and mini stories within the scene. Assembly is easy-to-moderate with no one area being especially difficult. You may find yourself referencing the box lid a lot! Recommended for anyone who likes cartoon puzzles and humor, or for those with a soft spot for London.