The Schmidt Premium boxes are sturdy and have decent packaging design. The box is large and rectangular, similar to Ravensburger and Jumbo. The front, which you can see above, has the image, piece count, and Schmidt logo. The name of the puzzle and photographer are not shown in the front.
The back of the box has a generic Schmidt back (below) which describes the meaning of “premium quality” and shows some other puzzles in the line.
The sides show the piece count, Schmidt logo, and part of the image. The puzzle name and photographer only appear in the fine print with the copyright.
There is nothing in the box except the bag of puzzle pieces. The pieces were undamaged. There was a small amount of puzzle dust.
Overall, I’ve given the box an 8/10. I like seeing the other puzzles on the back, but disliked how difficult it was to find the name of the puzzle and the lack of any extras in the box.
The Image: 8/10
This puzzle image is a photograph landscape showing a quaint stone bridge in Central Park, New York, surrounded by fall foliage. It’s a nice composition. I like the bright blues and various color of leaves, which helps assembly. It’s a calm and relaxing scene which promises some challenge with all the random leaf texture.
(Click on any of the images in this review for a closer look.)
Puzzle Quality: (9/10)
The Schmidt Premium quality is very, very good. You can see my brand comparison page here. The pieces feel sturdy and thick, similar to Ravensburger and Jumbo. The pieces have a nice, textured matte finish which eliminates glare.
The cut is a standard grid-cut puzzle, but there are a wide variety of piece shapes, as you can see in the close-up below. I never had a question about whether or not a piece actually fit. The connections are fairly snug. You can move small groups of pieces around with care. There was no lifting of the puzzle image even when repeatedly placing and removing a piece. This puzzle will last through many assemblies.
The final surface is fairly flat and seamless. Overall, puzzle quality scores a high 9 out of 10.
My difficulty rating for this puzzle is: MEDIUM. It took me three sessions.
As usual, I began by sorting out the edge pieces and assembling the border. The border has changing colors and textures all the way around, so that step is not difficult. After the border, I began with the blues. In this case, that was the pond and the small amount of blue sky. These areas are straight forward to assemble. I also did the bridge, since it is a unique texture. The bridge is not difficult because the dark “holes” in the bridge get smaller as the bridge moves away from the camera, so you can easily tell what part of the bridge a piece belongs to.
The area of sky in the upper left is the lightest of blues.
The textures of the bridge.
The blue pond water is nice and bright.
All the fall leaves are essentially random patterns and therefore more difficult to assemble. The biggest clues are the colors. On the second day, I put together the leaves in the lower right, which were yellow, green, and a light orange. The “dirt” in the foreground is a fairly large area and has a brown pebbled pattern on the pieces. This section is definitely more challenging than the bridge and pond. What remained after this long and slow session was the darkest areas of the puzzle, which are the background trees.
A close-up of the “dirt” area in the foreground.
The foreground leaves are a mix of yellow, green, and lighter orange. But it’s mainly the leaf size and the “dirt background” which helps identify this section.
On the third day I completed the puzzle. The last part to go together was the upper part, with the background trees. This is where it’s helpful to have a JigBoard you can just spin around so you don’t have to lean over the puzzle. The bright orange leaves help break this area up, but the darker tree limbs are the most challenging area.
I’ve given assembly an 8 score. There’s a lot of random pattern in this puzzle, but that’s good for those who like a challenge.
“A Stroll Through Central Park NYC” is photographic landscape puzzle with a bright fall theme and excellent Schmidt Premium quality. If you like photographic landscape puzzles, you’re sure to love this evocative image. This is a medium challenging puzzle with all the random leaf patterns. But the different colors of the leaves, the stone bridge, and the blue in the pond and sky, keep it from being too frustrating. The Schmidt Premium quality is excellent with thick, grid-cut pieces in a wide variety of shapes, a nice matte finish, and a sturdy box. Recommended to fans of photographic puzzles.