UK & European Christmas Puzzles 2019

I've always loved the limited edition Christmas puzzles from the UK and Europe.  They have terrific Christmas puzzle in general over there. Some of them are difficult to get at Puzzle Warehouse, but we should be getting some by the fall. Meanwhile, here are the images announced by the big manufacturers. Talk about Christmas in... Continue Reading →

Christmas Puzzles Roundup 2018

Tis the season for a roundup of the best Christmas puzzles this year. This list includes US puzzles, UK, and European puzzles. These are my top picks, but your mileage may vary. And now... presented in alphabetical order... the best of Christmas 2018! BUFFALO GAMES "Governor's Party" by Chuck Pinson, 1000 pieces (Available at Puzzle... Continue Reading →

Ravensburger Limited Edition Christmas Puzzle 2018

Look what's been announced!  Ravensburger's Limited Edition Christmas puzzle for 2018 is here, and it's gorgeous. Here's the blurb from their website: Taking children to visit Santa is a great moment, creating new memories, rekindling old ones and reminding us of the excitement and magic of the festive season. This wonderfully detailed and colourful puzzle... Continue Reading →

Review: “Christmas Fayre” by Tony Ryan, Gibsons – 9.25/10

“Christmas Fayre” is a beautiful holiday puzzle from Gibsons set in a traditional English village Christmas market. The puzzle is easy-to-moderate in difficulty. The night-time colors are rich with purples, oranges, and reds. The artwork is a hand-painted scene with a good amount of detail. There’s some repeating greenery and red and white stripes throughout the image that make assembly slightly more challenging–in a good way. I enjoyed seeing all the characters as I put the puzzle together, young couples and families out enjoying the market. There’s lots of Christmassy details like wreaths, trees, advent candles, roasted chestnuts. The Gibsons quality is exceptional with thick pieces and a waxy finish that feels good to the touch. Recommended!

Review: “Small Town Christmas” by Charles Wysocki, Buffalo Games – 9.5/10

"Small Town Christmas" is a gorgeous Americana Christmas puzzle from artist Charles Wysocki and Buffalo Games. It's a good moderate challenge that took me three sessions to complete. No one area is difficult, but there's a lot of detail throughout. The palette of bright colors against the snow and blue sky is very cheerful. I particularly liked the red ribbon around the tree, the fir tree lit with candles, and the birdhouses in the sky. There's so much fun detail to examine in this image as you assemble the puzzle. The Buffalo Games quality is very good with grid cut pieces and a nice box that comes with a poster. Recommended to all fans of Christmas puzzles.

Review: “Whistle Stop Christmas” by Charles Wysocki — Buffalo Games 9.25/10

"Whistle Stop Christmas" is a sweet holiday puzzle from artist Charles Wysocki and Buffalo Games. It's an easy puzzle to assemble with 500 pieces and strong color and detail that makes it clear where each piece goes. I love the theme of people arriving home for Christmas. As you assemble the puzzle, you'll smile at the happiness on all the individual faces. The unique costumes and expressions are delightful. I partricularly liked the orange sky on the horizon, the red train station with all the windows, bows, and detailing, and the wintery "white Christmas" snow. The Buffalo Games quality is very good with grid cut pieces and a nice box that comes with a poster. Recommended to all fans of Christmas puzzles.

Review: “Father’s Christmas Train” by Susan Brabeau, Sunsout – 8.25/10

"Father's Christmas Train" is a cute Americana painting by Susan Brabeau that's been made into a 500 piece puzzle by Sunsout. At the heart of the painting is a dad having a grand time playing with trains while his disinterested son reads a book. The cozy living room is decorated for Christmas and there's a definite nostalgia vibe to the image. The Sunsout quality is very good, with sturdy pieces and a fun random piece cut. I like that you can move around a set of joined pieces without them falling apart. This is an easy puzzle that you can do in a single setting and would be good for kids and seniors. Recommended.

Review: “Christmas Chaos” by Francois Ruyer, Piatnik – 9/10

"Christmas Chaos" by Francois Ruyer is a fun but moderately challenging Christmas cartoon puzzle. The artwork is beautifully executed with tons of color and detail. The repeating elements of similar-looking elves and gift boxes scattered throughout the image are tricky, but there are some anchoring elements such as the windows, fireplace, toys, and Christmas tree, which help fill in much of the design. I found myself referring to the box lid often to figure out which piece of elf went where. The Piatnik quality is very good with thick, sturdy pieces, a grid cut, a fairly tight fit, and a nice matte finish. If you like a little more challenge, Christmas puzzles, or cartoon puzzles, this is highly recommended.

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