Review: “Great Dreams” by Ionut and Opitz, Trefl – 8/10
Publisher: Trefl (Poland), 1000 pieces
Title: “Great Dreams”, Photographer: Caras Ionut, Novarc Images: Sebastian Opitz
Finished size: 68.3 cm x 48 cm (26.8″ x 18.8″)
OUR RATING: 8/10
This week we’ll be looking at a puzzle brand we’ve never reviewed before, Trefl from Poland. I’ll be reviewing two of their puzzles and doing a brand comparison on them for the weekend. It’s always fun to add something new to our repertoire! So on to our first ever Trefl puzzle review….
Box Quality (8/10):
The Trefl box is a typical European box, fairly large and rectangular in shape, similar to Jumbo or Ravensburger. The box design on the front is basic but attractive.
I like the sides of the box with the half circle layout of the logo, image detail, and piece count. The short sides look very nice on a shelf. One long side has a bar code and copyright info. The names of the artist are only given in small print in the copyright notice. The year of production is not given anywhere.
The back of the box is common to all Trefl boxes and talks about the brand. In English it says:
First column: “Tradition and Modernity. We have been manufacturing our jigsaw puzzles since 1985. Thanks to our experience and constantly increasing offer, we have become one of the most recognized puzzle brand both in Europe and worldwide. Trefl-branded puzzles are produced in a polish factory exclusively. Trefl company is located in Aglomeration of Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot, which is one of the most dynamic growing area in Poland. Our collections combine both tradition and modernity.”
Second column: “We Connect Generations. We create for Children, their Parents and Grandparents. Piecing together jigsaw puzzles is a perfect way of having a great time together with the family and friends. It strengthens interpersonal ties, provides relaxation, enhances powers of observation, concentration as well as precision.”
Third column: “Quality. Our high quality materials and state-of-the-art machinery provide premium quality products. Premium quality is achieved by using appropriate thick cardboard, a special non-reflective layer, and puzzle pieces perfect fitting. We also cooperate with best artists. Last but not least, we use environment-friendly materials while producing our products.”
Inside the box:
Nothing comes inside the box except the bag of puzzle pieces. There was a small amount of puzzle dust in my bag of pieces. The pieces were fully separated and undamaged.
The Image (9/10):
This is a very striking fantasy image, which is why I chose it as the puzzle I wanted to review from the Trefl line-up. The image is based on photographs, but has an air-brushed illustrative quality to it too. I could tell from the box that this would be a harder image to work because the cityscape is fairly duo-chromatic. But I like the theme and message of the image, and it has a soft, peaceful quality to it. I’m rating the image itself highly, giving it a 9 as a fantasy image.
Puzzle Quality (7.5/10):
I’m be doing a full brand comparison over the weekend, but on the basis of just this one puzzle, I’d say the quality is “pretty decent”. Like many European puzzles, it’s a straight-up grid cut puzzle. You can see a close-up of the cut below. There is a good variety of piece shapes but they are the basic grid-cut shapes without much variation in slanted sides, larger knobs, or anything of that sort. I did find a few places where I wasn’t sure if a piece fit or not until I tried to place adjoining pieces.(click on any image for a closer view)
In addition, the thickness of the pieces is sufficient so that the pieces don’t feel bendable and aren’t easy to damage, but they are not as thick as Ravensburger, Jumbo, or Gibson, and they didn’t have that weighty feel. They are quite light. The surface is non-glare and the final finish is fairly seamless. The overall quality is somewhere between an AAA brand and a bargain brand. The piece size is average, about the same as Ravensburger. It’s a brand I’d buy again if I really wanted to do the image.
This is an easy puzzle that I did in two evenings. It felt particularly easy since I’d just finished the 2000 piece “Harbor Master“.
Day one: The first session included doing the border, then the little girl. The colors and textures on the girl are completely different from anything in the cityscape and she’s a nice, large element. Obviously her red hat is super easy to find and put togerther, but also her purple jacket, plaid skirt, and hands. The chain of the swing is also easy to piece together. The easiest elements of the cityscape portion is the sky in the upper left and that bold royal blue-black building curve in the lower right.
Day two: The second session I completed the puzzle. To complete the cityscape, it’s helpful to do the largest, most recognizable buildings first like the two buildings on the foreground. The line/grid patterns on them makes the pieces easy to find.
The lightest and most yellow parts of the fog are also good colors to key in on, putting together those sections by color. The buildings emerge out of this fog quite naturally as you match up the white and yellow pieces.
There are also some medium-sized buildings in the center of the image which are easy to find the pieces for. One building is a bit greenish and the other a bit peach.
The area in the lower left, below the girl, is dark blue with slashes of light. This area doesn’t match anything else in the image and isn’t very large, so it’s not hard to do. Despite this being a ‘non-flare’ surface, I still found a lot of these dark blacks and blues were hard to distinguish under night time overhead lights.
Overall, I’ve rated assembly 7.5. I knew going into it that the cityscape would be a bit plain to do, and it was, but I really like the image. I found more gradation and slight variety in color in the cityscape than I expected.
This is a striking fantasy image with a positive message–dream big! The Trefl brand from Poland is a grid-cut puzzle with fairly standard piece shapes and sizes. The pieces are not as thick as some Euro brands like Ravensburger or Jumbo, but thick enough to resist bending and damage. This puzzle is easy to assemble. The girl is a brightly-colored element that goes together quickly. The cityscape is not as interesting as the girl to assemble, but slight variations in color in the fog, and the recognizable buildings, keep it from being difficult. Recommended to fans of fantasy images. 8/10
Where to Get It:
This puzzle is 15% off for the next three days only at Puzzle Warehouse (through 7/29/2016). Click below!