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Review: “Winter” — Trefl, 7.8/10

Publisher: Trefl (Poland), 500 pieces

Title:  “Winter”,  Photographer: Dean Pennala, Getty images

Finished size: 34 cm x 48 cm (13.3″ x 18.8″)

OUR RATING: 7.8/10

Trefl Week

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! You can see our first review of the 1000 piece puzzle “Great Dreams” here.

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. The 500 piece box is the same height and width as the 1000 piece box, though it’s a little thinner in depth.


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 name of the photographer is 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 (8/10):

I don’t do a lot of photographic puzzles, but collages can be the exception. I love the photographs used in this puzzle, with the cool, icy, wintry feel. They’re simply beautiful and the colors are amazing. And of course I really like the collage aspect, having three separate photos in one puzzle. The only downside of this image for me is that I would have liked even more–for example, five or six of these “winter” images instead of three.

Puzzle Quality (7.5/10):

I’m be doing a full brand comparison over the weekend, but on the basis of the two puzzles I’ve reviewed this week, one 1000 piece and one 500 piece, I’d say the Trefl quality is “pretty decent”. There is no difference in quality between the 1000 piece puzzle and the 500 piece puzzle, which is good. The piece size is the same and so is the thickness. In some brands, the 500 piece puzzles can be of inferior quality, which is probably a price point thing. Not here.

Like many European puzzles, Trefl 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 such as 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, and this is caused by the uniformity of pieces. (click on any image for a closer view)

The finish, as you can see, if pretty flat and seamless and the image reproduction is flawless.

In addition, the thickness of the pieces feels “sufficient”, not hefty but not chintzy or easy to damage. The pieces are not as thick as Ravensburger, Jumbo, or Gibson. The overall quality is somewhere between an AAA brand and a bargain brand. The piece size is average, about the same as Ravensburger. This is a brand I’d buy again if I really wanted to do the image.

Assembly (8/10):

This is very easy and relaxing puzzle that I did in one sitting. The smaller size, as well as the three vignettes and the bold colors, all work together to make this puzzle quick to assemble.

I began with the border and then the winter trees image in the upper right. Becuase there is a nice bright sky blue behind the trees, and the trees have a distinctive pattern, this section of the puzzle is quite easy to pick out from the pile of pieces.

The orange sky in the section with the boat is a different hue than the yellow sky behind the lighthouse. Both those areas of sky can be quickly put together.

The brown boat and red lighthouse go together quickly. The ‘leftover pieces at the end’, in this case, are the white snow pieces. But there aren’t that many of them, and so they went in easily enough for me.

Overall, I’ve given assembly an 8. If you like 500 piece puzzles, and enjoy an easier puzzling experience, this puzzle is a good pick. For me, I would have liked it even more if it were a 1000 pieces and had 2-3 more photos in the collage because I really loved this wintry theme and wanted more. Trefl does have some 1000 piece collage puzzles which are quite nice. I show them at the end of this review.


This beautiful winter collage puzzle is a super easy and relaxing puzzle to assemble. The distinctive colors, and the three separate photo scenes, make the puzzle go together quickly.  The Trefl brand from Poland is a grid-cut puzzle with 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. Recommended for children, seniors, and anyone who enjoys 500 piece puzzles. 7.8/10

Where to Get It:

Click below for the Puzzle Warehouse page:

A few 1000 piece photo collage puzzles from Trefl that I like:


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