Review: Annual Family Reunion by Sheila Lee, SunsOut – 8.75/10
Publisher: Sunsout (US), published date 2017
Title: “Annual Family Reunion” by Sheila Lee, 1000 pieces
Finished size: 20″ x 27″
OUR RATING: 8.75/10
Box Quality: (8/10)
The Sunsout boxes are very large and square in shape. They’re oversized compared to most boxes on the market. This takes up more shelf space but also provides a nice big image when you use the box lid for reference. The name of the puzzle, and artist’s name (Sheila Lee), is prominent on the front. I really like how the artist is featured on both the front and all sides of the box.
Three of the sides are the same, showing a tiny image of the puzzle, puzzle name, artist name, piece count, finished size, and Sunsout logo. The fourth side has a bar code and no puzzle image. Unfortunately, the year of manufacture isn’t given.
The back of the box is plain white and made of a thinner cardboard.
Nothing comes inside the Sunsout box except the bag of puzzle pieces and a very small paper slip with the company url. There was a lot of puzzle dust, so open the puzzle piece bag over a surface that you can easily wipe clean. The pieces were fully separated and undamaged.
The final box score is 8.
The Image: (9/10)
When Sunsout announced their new 2017 puzzles, I was immediately drawn to this folk art image. I like how busy and colorful the scene is. It reminds me of a folk art version of a Jan Van Haasteren puzzle. With all the various outfits and hair colors, not to mention the buildings, pond, and pattern-covered tables, it looked like a fun and straight-forward puzzle to assemble. And so it was. This is clearly a hand-painted image, not a digital one, and the art style is clean, simple and appealing.
I’ve given this image a 9 score.
(Click on any of the images in this review for a closer look.)
Puzzle Quality: (9/10)
Sunsout did well in our brand comparison. You can see our full brand comparison on Sunsout here.
This folk art puzzle has the usual good quality of Sunsout. As you can see in the close-up below, this puzzle had a piece cut that wasn’t as random or varied as many Sunsout puzzles I’ve done. It is more of a ribbon cut with ends that don’t always match up. All the pieces are two-knob, two-hole instead of having more variety, like their typical puzzle. But I didn’t honestly notice this while I was assembling it but only afterwards!
The pieces are sturdy and the piece size is above average but not huge. The image reproduction and colors are excellent.
The fit in this puzzle was very snug! It was tight enough to be able to easily move groups of attached pieces, which I really appreciate. In fact, you can lift the finished puzzle by one corner and it doesn’t come apart. I was able to lift the entire puzzle when it was done.
There is a glossy finish to Sunsout puzzles, which causes glare under overhead lights at night. However, given how bright the colors are, with no dark areas at all, it wasn’t an issue in this puzzle.
Overall, I’ve given quality a 9 score.
This is an easy puzzle that took me two sessions to complete, which is fast for a 1000 piece puzzle.
As usual, I first assembled the puzzle border. The border is easy, even the sky section, because the tops of trees and kites break up the blue area.
After the border, I did the blue sky, since there is so little of it, and the two buildings, which each have very distinctive colors and patterns. I also assembled the quilt-textured tablecloths and blue pond.
The pond area with its bright blue is fast and easy to piece together. The kids playing in it are cute.
The various dress and quilt patterns around the scene are each unique and easy to identify. For example, the various blue dresses and overalls and shirts below are all unique.
The house and barn are both large separate areas that are easy to assemble without referencing the box lid.
On day two, I tackled the remaining characters. The small figures in the upper right, with the horse and buggy, were fun to identify on the pieces. The white fence is a nice, recognizable pattern too as is the dirt path.
Many of the characters are around the pond or have a grass background, but their clothing can be compared to the box lid to find their precise position.
Although there is a lot of similarly-colored green grass, there are only a few green grass pieces that don’t have any bit of character, animal, or other object somewhere on the piece.
The last thing to be assembled was the green tree. Since it’s a repeating pattern, it was slightly more difficult, but it’s not large enough to be a big problem.
Overall, I’ve given assembly an 9 score. It was fun and easy, and I loved all the colorful patterns in the image.
“Annual Family Picnic” by Sheila Lee is a bright and fun folk art puzzle from Sunsout. It’s very easy to assemble. I loved all the different fabric patterns throughout the image, both in quilts and in the character’s clothes. The farmhouse, barn, and pond add more pattern and interest to the image. The theme of a large family reunion is a nostalgic one, charming and pleasant to work on. The Sunsout quality is very good, with sturdy pieces and a semi-random piece cut. The fit of the pieces is very snug so that you can move joined pieces around without them falling apart. This would be a nice puzzle to do with kids or as a family project.
Where to find:
Click below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.