Review: “Proud Lil’ Angler” by Charles Wysocki, Buffalo Games – 8.5/10
Publisher: Buffalo Games (US), published 2016
Title: “Proud Lil’ Angler” by Charles Wysocki, Buffalo Games, 300 pieces
Finished size: 21.25″ x 15″
OUR RATING: 8.5/10
This week we’re covering the very serious topic of Alzheimer’s and how jigsaw puzzles can both help prevent it and also be used to slow progression once Alzheimer’s is diagnosed. Look for our feature article the weekend of Jul 2-3. For our reviews this week, we’re focusing on large piece puzzles, a first here at Jigsaw Junkies.
Quite a few puzzle brands offer a larger piece size. I’m checking out a few of them this week. The larger piece size is ideal for seniors, young kids, or anyone who has difficulty manipulating small pieces. And really, there’s no down side to working with large pieces, even for puzzlers who like a challenge. Putting together a puzzle is basically the same even though the finished size of the puzzle can be quite large. Be sure to check your puzzling surface to make sure you have enough room before you start.
Below you can see the relative sizes of a typical Gibsons puzzle vs the two large sized puzzles we’ll be reviewing this week.
Box Quality: (8/10)
The Buffalo Games “large sized pieces” box is the same as their regular box. It has a small square shape, which saves room on the shelf. The front is shown above. The back of the box has a generic Buffalo Games back. The Wysocki name/brand is featured heavily on the front and sides of the box.
The sides have a photo of the puzzle, the puzzle name, artist name, and piece count. The Buffalo logo is on three sides so you can shelve it facing out.
Buffalo Games boxes are not shrink-wrapped but are instead sealed with glue on all four sides. You have to cut the glue with a knife in order to open the box. A flat table knife works, though, and it doesn’t require much arm strength. The box comes with a poster which can be used for reference when assembling the puzzle. That’s particularly nice when you’re working the puzzle with another person since one person can use the box lid and the other person can use the poster.
The poster is shown in the photo below. It has the puzzle image to use during assembly and shows a few other Wysocki puzzles. The back of the poster is blank white.
The Image: 10/10
This is a lovely image with fun detail and absolutely breathtaking colors. I love the precise shades of aqua, green, and tan in this painting. It looks prettier in real life than the photos can represent. When I first saw this image on the Buffalo Games website I wished it came in a larger size! I always find Charles Wysocki images appealing, but this one is especially so with the father and son by the old woodie car, the cute fishing shack, and the lovely North Woods setting. Full 10 from me for the image!
(Click on any of the images in this review for a closer look.)
Puzzle Quality: (8/10)
You can see my brand page for Buffalo Games here. This is the first time I’ve done one of their 300 piece (large size pieces) puzzles. The quality is good, the pieces feel sturdy, and the artwork reproduction is perfect. The cut is obviously different than their 1000 piece puzzle cut, as you can see in the close-up below. It’s a standard grid-cut puzzle and doesn’t have the ‘zip zag’ pieces the regular Buffalo Games puzzles have. But there are still a good variety of piece shapes. I never had a question about whether or not a piece actually fit nor did I ever have to ‘undo’ anything, which is ideal for the large sized puzzle audience. The connections were fairly tight and you can move small groups of pieces without having them fall apart.
The larger pieces are definitely easy to handle and they have a satisfying heft as you lock two pieces together.
This is a very easy puzzle to assemble. The border pieces were easy to pick out and put together as a first step. I next did the blue sky since the pieces were also identified at a glance.
I couldn’t resist doing the father and son next, because their clothing is easy to find and they’re just so appealing. I love the Wysocki art style here with the vintage look and amount of detail.The father and son are very proud of the boy’s catch. The dog, however, looks less impressed.
There are a number of written signs around the scene which make interesting mini puzzles. The cabin’s roof is also a nice separate area to piece together.
The turquoise water and canoes are an especially pretty part of the image and quick to assemble.
The distinctive log pattern on the main body of the cabin, and the tan of the truck, keep even the more complex areas of this image very easy to assemble.
This is a stunningly pretty and easy to assemble puzzle, ideal for those who prefer something less challenging than a standard 1000 piece puzzle. The Charles Wysocki image has beautiful colors and loads of fun details. The large pieces are easy to handle and have a nice, satisfying interlock. There’s never any confusion about whether a piece fits or not. The colors and patterns in the image make for clear-cut smaller areas to assemble. Overall, this is a relaxing puzzle that is ideal for seniors, kids, and family time.