Review: “Christmas Pantomime” by Jim Mitchell, Falcon – 8.5/10
Publisher: Falcon (a branch of Jumbo, Netherlands), published 2015
Title: “Christmas Pantomime” by Jim Mitchell, Falcon’s 2015 limited edition Christmas puzzle, 1000 pieces
OUR RATING: 8.5/10
Box Quality: (9/10)
The box is a nice, sturdy, German style rectangular box. The front has “Limited Edition” and “No 4”, which is nice. It also lists the name of the artist, Jim Mitchell. The back of the box has more information about the artist and about this image. Click on the picture below to a larger size you can read.
The inside of the box contains the bag of puzzle pieces and nothing else.
The Image: 9/10
This is the first year Jim Mitchell has done the Falcon limited edition Christmas puzzle. He’s done a number of other puzzles for Falcon and for Gibsons. He’s a British artist who does primarily British nostalgia scenes. He has a fairly loose, colorful, and cheerful style. I like his art and have purchased most of the puzzles he’s done, so I was glad to see him doing this year’s Falcon Christmas puzzle.
The image is an interior theater scene with families enjoying a Christmas play. I like the image, but it is pretty loose (that is larger brush strokes and not a lot of fine detail), which makes it more challenging to assemble.
(Click on any of the images in this review for a closer look.)
Puzzle Quality: (9/10)
Falcon puzzles are made by Jumbo, so the quality is similar to the JVH puzzles. In short: it’s excellent quality with thick pieces and a grid cut, as you can see below. There’s not as much variety of piece shapes with Falcon as there are with, for example, Ravensburger or non-grid cut puzzles like Springbok or Sunsout. Most of the pieces are two-knob-two-hole vertical pieces. However, the fit is tight and never confusing.
This was fairly difficult for a 1000 piece puzzle. The art style is loose, not highly detailed, so at the beginning it felt like I just had a lot of brownish pieces with vague stuff on them. There’s a lot of brown–with the gold colors, flesh tones, and actual brown in the image. It seemed like I had to focus more than usual to pick out the detail on each piece and ‘resolve the vagueness’. I started with the border, then the reds in the image, then the brighter costumes. The golds and the greenery (Christmas tree, boughs) were a challenge since there’s not a lot of detail. The people in the foreground and in the stalls in the back were more challenging because there’s a lot of flesh tone and hair that doesn’t have enough detail to easily match to the picture. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if you like a little more difficulty. I enjoyed working the puzzle, but not as much as some of the other Christmas puzzles this year.
A nice edition to Falcon’s relatively new limited edition Christmas puzzle series (see our page on Christmas puzzle series). I would definitely buy more Jim Mitchell puzzles in the future, and I hope Falcon continues the LE Christmas puzzle series.