Puzzle Brand Comparison — Eurographics
This page is part of our Puzzle Brand Comparison. You can find the overview page here. SUMMARY: 63 points Eurographics is a very solid puzzle brand from Canada. They have a not-quite standard grid puzzle cut with a wide variety of piece shapes, nice thick pieces, good boxes, and a large variety of available images. They were...
This page is part of our Puzzle Brand Comparison. You can find the overview page here.
SUMMARY: 63 points
Eurographics is a very solid puzzle brand from Canada. They have a not-quite standard grid puzzle cut with a wide variety of piece shapes, nice thick pieces, good boxes, and a large variety of available images. They were dinged a bit for some moderate puzzle dust, glossy piece finish/light glare, and including nothing but the puzzle bag in the box. If you enjoy collage or educational puzzles, Eurographics is a brand you must check out. 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?
The puzzle I evaluated was “Teapots”, one of Eurographics’s collage puzzles. This box is a standard rectangular size at 10″ x 14″. This box is sturdy, both top and bottom, and has a glossy finish. This is the box I’m evaluating, though I have seen that some of their boxes are smaller and square (like for their Haruyo Morita kimono puzzles).
The front of the box is attractive with the puzzle image taking up most of the real estate, and the name of puzzle, brand, and piece count all very visible. The name of the artist is not on the front of the box. However, this is a collage puzzle for which no artist is credited. It’s likely it was designed in house. The artist name is on the front of the Haruyo Morita puzzle boxes.
All four sides have the necessary information for shelving — a small image of the puzzle, the Eurographics logo, the piece side, and name of puzzle. See my note about the lack of artist name above. The release date is, sadly, no where on the box.
The back of the puzzle box is quite nice. It has specific information about this puzzle — in the form of information on tea. In addition, there are pictures of a few other collage puzzles in the Eurographics line.
Eurographics scores well in this category. The only deduction was for a lack of release date. I didn’t deduct for the lack of artist name since it’s a collage puzzle, and they do have the artist’s name on their Haruyo Morita kimono puzzles. But I didn’t give them a bonus point for it either, since artist name is not on most of their boxes.
2. INSIDE THE BOX: 7/10
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?
Inside the box there is nothing at all except the bag of puzzle pieces.
The puzzle pieces were in good condition, fully separated, no image lift or hanging chads, etc. However, you can see some puzzle dust in the box, which doesn’t bode well.
And yes, upon dumping the puzzle onto my JigBoard puzzle dust is definitely there. You can feel it on the tops of the pieces too. I’d say this amount of puzzle dust is ‘moderate’. Not a huge problem, but a nuisance.
I deducted three points for the lack of ‘goodies’ in the box and puzzle dust.
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?
I’m going to give Eurographics full marks for this. Although actually handling the pieces, they don’t feel *quite* as thick and sturdy as Ravensburger or Gibsons, they are really fairly thick, and a side-by-side comparison (below) doesn’t reveal much difference.
4. PIECE SIZE AND SHAPE: 9/10
Are the pieces standard shapes? Special shapes? How much variety do they have? Are they large or small?
Eurographics is not-quite a grid cut puzzle. That is, the corners of the pieces do not always line up so that one piece may extend past the sides of an adjacent piece. But the piece shapes are more or less the typical grid-cut shapes. There’s a wide variety in shapes and I never thought a piece went somewhere it didn’t actually go. The pieces are a good size, about equivalent to Ravensburger.
A basic 10–this is a very good puzzle cut, but not exceptionally creative in terms of odd shapes and figures.
5. PIECE FIT: 10/10
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?
Like the puzzle cut, the puzzle fit is good but not extraordinary. You can move groups of joined pieces, but only with considerable care (or they fall apart).
A completed puzzle can be lifted by a corner for a bit, but could not be turned over or fully lifted without falling apart. So the fit is not “loose” but it’s not as tight as Sunsout and Springbok either.
The final look is flat and smooth, without any raised or ill-fitting pieces. You are always quite sure a piece fits where it is supposed to.
The final score in this category is also quite good for Eurographics. The fit is good and assembly is a pleasure. But it doesn’t have the ‘extra snap’ of a Ravensburger, the seamless look of a Jumbo, or the ‘push satisfaction’ or tightness of Springbok, so I didn’t award it extra bonus points.
6. IMAGE REPRODUCTION: 7/10
Are the colors bright and vivid? Is the image sharp or feel like a bad Xerox? How is the finish/texture on the pieces?.
In a collage puzzle, the image is only going to be as good as the source photographs. Overall, I found the image quality of “teapots” okay but not exceptional. For one thing, the teapots feel ‘underwhelming’ in the final puzzle compared to the dark lines of the puzzle cut itself. Part of this is because the background of the puzzle is white, but the overall effect isn’t something I’d care to hang up on a wall.
Also, the puzzle surface is really glossy leading to glare. You can see the windows reflected in the surface of the puzzle below.
And finally, while some teapots were sharp, others seemed like the source photo was a little fuzzy. As you can see below, the brown teapot is quite sharp but the white teapot below it is very ‘soft’ looking. (Yes, there is some blur from the camera, but you look at the areas where the puzzle piece lines are sharp but the teapot is soft, like on the white teapot.)
Deducting for the glossy surface and some less-than-sharp photo elements, the final score is a 7.
7. IMAGE VARIETY: 11/10
Does the brand have a wide variety of fun images and good artists?
Above: “Chicago Michigan Avenue” 1000 pieces, “Cookies” 1000 pieces, “Agemaki” by Haruyo Morita 1000 pieces. (click for closer view)
Eurographics carries a wide selection of images. They have photographic, collage, Asian, Americana scenery, Christmas, wildlife, inspirational, and fine art images. All of their images are good and they clearly take great care with their selection.
They’re probably best known for their collage images, particularly their ‘Cookies’, ‘Donuts’ and other ‘sweets’ collages. But it seems as though they have been broadening their focus lately to include more scenic puzzles. They also have some very unusual medical type infographics puzzles like the one below, “The Heart”, as well as educational puzzles on ‘gemstones’, ‘atoms’, ‘elements’, ‘the solar system’, ‘fighter planes’, etc. So if you like educational puzzles, you should definitely check out Eurographics’s line of those.
You can see all of Eurographics’s current images here.
As I’ve pointed out a number of times, this category is very subjective. I have given Eurographics high marks for the breadth of their catalog. And they certainly deserve a bonus point for ‘best of industry’ for their educational puzzles (I’ve not seen their like elsewhere). Their images are definitely not oft-repeated licenses. For me personally, I’m very selective when it comes to collages, because there are so many on the market and prefer cartoon and painted scenic puzzles. So I’m not a huge purchaser of Eurographics (maybe 4 a year). I’d love to see something in their line like cartoon puzzles or a “puzzle plus” concept. (Hey, Eurographics, how about licensing the Kevin Whitlark “100 a and a b” type images like “100 Cats and a Dog”? Those are both collage and cartoon and currently only with Ceaco, which does’t have great quality. Just a thought. :-)).