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Review: “Rocket Launch” by Uli Oesterle, Heye – 9.25/10

Publisher: Heye (Germany), published 2017 

Title:  “Rocket Launch” by Uli Oesterle, 1000 pieces 

Finished size: 27.6″ x  19.7″

OUR RATING: 9.25/10


I’ve finally had a chance to review one of the new Heye puzzles for 2017. Exciting! To see all the new Heye puzzles currently in stock at Puzzle Warehouse, click below.

View all current Heye puzzles in stock at Puzzle Warehouse

“Rocket Launch” by Uli Oesterle REVIEW

Box Quality:  (10/10)

This cartoon puzzle comes in Heye’s signature triangular box. See the front above. The two sides of the front show the central area of the puzzle, the puzzle name, artist name, Heye logo, and piece count. The triangular boxes are fun and so beautifully designed.

Top and Bottom:

Instead of having ‘sides’ like a rectangular box, the Heye triangular boxes have a top and bottom. I love to shelve my Heye puzzles top out, and the top is perfect for that. It shows a detailed close-up from the puzzle image, the piece count, and Heye logo.

The bottom has the artist name, puzzle name, piece count, dimensions, and year of manufacture.


The back of the triangular box shows the complete puzzle image, the Heye logo, and the puzzle and artist name.


The triangular boxes come with the bag of puzzle pieces, a big poster, and several catalogs. That’s a lot of gorgeous material. The bag of pieces was in excellent condition with no damage to the pieces, fully separated pieces, and a small amount of puzzle dust.

As you can see below, the poster is basically the same size as the completed puzzle.

The back of the poster shows other Heye titles out in the same year (in addition to the catalogs in the box).

The small catalog shows their current line in full color.

I’ve given the box a perfect 10 score. It’s really as good as it gets in the puzzle industry.

The Image:  10/10

Uli Oesterle is a brand new cartoon artist for Heye, and one whose other work I was not familiar with.  This image fits in the “busy cartoon puzzle” category.

The first thing that made the puzzle stand out to me in the 2017 new puzzle announcement was the colors. I like the strong purple and yellow, which are nice, bright colors to work with.

Secondly, the sci-fi theme is really fun and not one I’ve seen in puzzles before. There are a lot of humorous sci-fi movie and story references around the image, such as the Star Trek Spock, Kirk (kissing an alien, of course), and Uhura below, and the big brain from Mars Attacks!

I also really like the art style, which has very a clean, line drawings feeling. This was obviously done by hand in pencil and then colored in later.

I’ve given this image a full 10 score.

(Click on any of the images in this review for a closer look.)

Puzzle Quality: (8/10)

Heye is a premium, German-made puzzle brand that ranks very highly in our brand comparison. You can see our full brand comparison on Heye here.

This is a brand new 2017 puzzle. The quality is good in general. The pieces feel thick and have a nice matte finish. The image reproduction is excellent, as you can see in the detailed close up below. The puzzle is grid cut, but there’s a good variety of piece shapes. I never had any question about whether or not a piece went somewhere. Also, having the poster to work with is really helpful. Everything about Heye just feels like a high-end German boardgame.

I have dinged the quality score 2 points for having a rather loose fit. This is something I’ve noticed only in the past few years of Heye production. Earlier puzzles fit more tightly. It doesn’t mar the final look of the puzzle, as you can see below. But when you’re assembling the puzzle, you need to be careful not to nudge it or the sides can break apart easily, and when you transfer groups of assembled pieces  you have to use a piece or paper or move the grouping a bit at a time. I love Heye, but I would like to see them return to a tighter fit.

Overall, I’m giving this puzzle a 8 score for quality.

Assembly:  (9/10)

I’d rate this puzzle as moderate-to-difficult. It took me three evenings to complete, longer than average for a 1000 piece puzzle.


I assembled the border first and that was all I had time for in my first session. In the second session I did the blue sky at the top of the puzzle, the white rocket, and the reds.

The white and yellow of the central rocket make those pieces easy to identify. The round windows in the rocket break up the white expanse so you can tell where on the rocket a piece goes.


The top of the rocket is my favorite area. The blue sky with stars is also a small, uniquely textured section of the puzzle.


One day three, I completed the puzzle. After the large rocket, sky, and red truck, most of the rest of the puzzle consists of characters and purple-ish background machines and other elements. There are a number of things that help break this up, though, like the yellow robot, ladders, colored ropes, the ninjas in black, and so on.


For a good portion of the puzzle, though, I needed to compare each piece to the box lid to see where that character or object was located in the image. This is pretty standard with busy cartoon puzzles and is part of the fun of piecing them together, discovering all the small details and jokes along the way.


You could probably spend hours trying to identify each sci-fi reference in the image. This puzzle is a must for any sci-fi fan!

I’ve given this puzzle a high 9 score for assembly. I really loved it. The only reason it didn’t score a 10 was because of the looser fit, which I mentioned under Quality. That did impact the assembly experience a bit.


“Rocket Launch” by Uli Oesterle is a moderately difficult cartoon puzzle from Heye. This puzzle is a must for any sci-fi fan! The fun and colorful image is filled with references to sci-fi properties such as Star Trek, Star Wars, Mars Attacks! and many others. The assembly of the white and yellow rocket is straight-forward, but you’ll be checking the large poster that’s included to figure out where all the little figures go. The Heye quality is very good with sturdy pieces, a matte finish, a wide variety of grid-cut piece shapes, and a gorgeous triangular box with included poster and catalog. The fit is on the loose side, so you’ll need to use care when moving around assembled pieces. This is a wonderful instant classic from Heye. If you like cartoon puzzles or sci-fi, this is highly recommended.

Where to find:

You can find this puzzle at Puzzle Warehouse. Click on the logo below. 


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