Review: “Melodrama in the Mist” by Charles Wysocki, Buffalo Games – 9.25/10
Publisher: Buffalo Games (US), published 2016
Title: “Melodrama in the Mist” by Charles Wysocki, Buffalo Games, 1000 pieces
Finished size: 26.75″ x 19.75″
OUR RATING: 9.25/10
Box Quality: (9/10)
The Buffalo Games boxes are very sturdy and have nice packaging design. The box is small at 8″ x 8″, but it comes with a poster inside so you don’t need to depend on the image on the box lid. The front, which you can see above, has the Charles Wysocki logo, and the Buffalo Games logo. The name of the puzzle, “Melodrama in the Mist”, is also shown on the front. I love how the artist name is branded with a logo. That makes the Wysocki puzzles very collectible.
The back of the box has a generic Buffalo Games back (below).
The sides all have the Charles Wysocki logo prominent and large. The puzzle name is shown on two sides. There’s also the Buffalo Games logo, the piece count, and a picture of the image. All sides would work pretty well for shelving side-out.
The box is glued shut on the sides (instead of being shrink wrapped) and the glue has to be cut by inserting a knife down the side. Inside the box the pieces are packed loose (not inside a bag) and there’s also a poster. You can see the poster below. It’s good size, at least twice the size of the image on the box. The poster shows a few other Charles Wysocki puzzles too. The back of the poster is blank white.
Overall, I’ve given the box an 9/10. I particularly like the poster and the way Wysocki’s name is used so prominently. When the puzzle comes with a poster included like this, I prefer the smaller box because it takes up less space in my collection.
The Image: 10/10
There have been so many excellent Wysocki images, I expect new ones to somehow not be as unique or interesting. But this one definitely is! I love the mist theme, with the soft white plumes among the trees and partially hiding the houses in the background. It gives the image a fresh look and helps it stand out from other Wysocki’s. I also quite like the Colonial era houses in pastel colors and the foreground figures, which are more typical of Wysocki.
As a puzzle image, I love the wide variety of colors throughout the image and all the different textures like the houses, trees, signs, carriages, etc.
As usual with Wysocki, the art style and execution quality is exception with line art created by hand. I always love his authentic period costumes and multitude of fine detail.
I’ve given the image a perfect 10 score!
(Click on any of the images in this review for a closer look.)
Puzzle Quality: (9/10)
You can see my brand page for Buffalo Games here. This 2016 puzzle is fully compatible with the puzzles I reviewed for my brand analysis. The quality is very good. The pieces feel sturdy, the box and contents are undamaged and in great condition, and the artwork reproduction is spot on.
The cut is a standard grid-cut puzzle with a wide variety of piece shapes and even a few ‘zig zag’ sided pieces. I never had a question about whether or not a piece actually fit. The connections are average–neither particularly tight or lose. If you try to move small groups of pieces around they will fall apart unless you’re very careful. Click on the image below to get an enlargement of the piece shapes.
The final surface is fairly flat and seamless. The finish is glossy, which can lead to glare under overhead lights, but that didn’t cause a problem with this puzzle because there aren’t a lot of dark areas. Overall, puzzle quality scores a high 9 out of 10.
My difficulty rating for this puzzle is: EASY TO MODERATE. It took me a three sessions to complete it.
DAY ONE & TWO
After starting with the border of the puzzle, the first thing I tackled were the various colored houses. They are quite nice to assemble because each house has 12 or so pieces, enough to make it worthwhile, and the colors for each house is unique. It’s easy to find the house pieces in the sorting box. The center red building (a store) is larger and has lots of vertical and horizontal lines and signs to make it easy to piece together.
The red and tan building in the center is fun to assemble.
All of the houses have unique colors and it’s easy to tell a piece belongs to a house because of the horizontal board lines.
In the last session, I first focused on the bare trees because these are so striking. There are lots of trees around the puzzle, but many have different colored backgrounds like yellow or white.
I also completed all the figures in the puzzle. There are a lot of characters in the foreground which are fun to examine in detail as you assemble. The bright brown dirt paths in front make that whole section easy to indentify.
The last thing to be filled in were the various bits of greenery and paths around the scene.
Overall, assembly was terrific fun. There’s so much variety in color and texture that no one area is boring or too difficult. There’s a nice mix of being able to assemble sections simply by design and having to refer to the box (for things like specific characters or pieces of signs). And there’s plenty of fine detail to discover which makes assembly worthwhile.
I’ve rated assembly a 9.
“Melodrama in the Mist” is a beautiful Americana puzzle from artist Charles Wysocki and Buffalo Games. It’s an easy-to-moderate challenge that took me three sessions to complete. There’re plenty of unique colors and textures throughout, so one area is difficult. I love the soft pastel colors and the mist effect, which makes the image unique among the Wysocki’s. Assembling the different colored houses and all the small characters is easy, whereas the trees are a bit more difficult. The mix would make for a good family puzzle project. The Buffalo Games quality is very good with grid cut pieces and a nice box that comes with a poster. Recommended to all fans of Americana puzzles. Suitable for framing.
Where to find:
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