Review: “Alice in Wonderland” by Mark Brill, Sunsout 8/10
Publisher: Sunsout (US), currently in print as of January 2019
Title: “Classic Tales: Alice in Wonderland” by Mark Brill, 1000 pieces
Finished size: 20″ x 27
OUR RATING: 8.75/10
This brand new puzzle from Sunsout really appealed to my cartoon art – fantasy – collage puzzle loving soul, so I snatched it up for review. Let’s take a look!
Box Quality: (7/10)
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 is prominent on the front. I really like how the artist is featured on both the front and all sides of the box.
NOTE: I forgot to photograph the sides before giving this puzzle to a friend to do, but the sides are basically like the ones below from another Sunsout 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. 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 fair amount of puzzle dust in the bag. The pieces were fully separated and undamaged. Mainly I ding the box score for the overly large size, thin bottom, and lack of any info about the image or puzzle company.
The final box score is 7.
The Image: (10/10)
I really like the idea behind this puzzle: showing 5 scenes from a classic book, in this case: Alice in Wonderland. We get all the iconic scenes and characters, from the Cheshire Cat to the Queen of Hearts. I also like the collage aspect of the puzzle. It’s basically 5 scenes (plus two “character portraits” of the walrus and caterpillar) in one puzzle. But each scene is large enough to feel like a nice little puzzle in its own right.
The art style is cartoony/fantasy/book illustration-ish with high color. I like that it doesn’t feel too “kiddy”, like it should be a children’s puzzle. The art style works well for adults and children both.
For a puzzle image, I also particularly like the checkerboard border, which looks fun to assemble.
Full marks for this image.
(Click on any of the images in this review for a closer look.)
Puzzle Quality: (8/10)
Sunsout did well in our brand comparison. You can see our full brand comparison on Sunsout here.
I enjoy Sunsout’s random cut. It provides a more interesting and varied assembly experience and also very few “it looks like it fits but it really doesn’t” moments because the piece shapes vary so widely. You can see the variety of piece shapes in the close-up below.
This puzzle fit is snug in tightness and interlock but not too snug. I could move groups of pieces around without them falling apart. When done, I could lift the corner of the puzzle and it hangs together. This is really helpful when needing to more around partially-assembled sections of the puzzle.
The image reproduction and colors are excellent.
There is a glossy finish to Sunsout puzzles, which can cause glare under overhead lights at night. The colors were vibrant in this image with big sections of dark or similar colors, so it wasn’t an issue on this particular puzzle.
Overall, I’ve given quality a 8 score.
This was a fairly easy puzzle to assemble without any areas that were dark or harder than others.
I first assembled the border and then all of the red-and-white checkerboard. It helps that the cut of the puzzle is such that some sides have a thinner solid red edge than others, and the inside checkerboard pieces have some of the scenes on them. By looking at the box, you can tell where a given checkerboard piece goes. That’s pretty much all I got done on day one.
The checkerboard pattern in the middle of the puzzle is thinner and has no dark red edging.
In my second session I began with the bright blue sky pieces. These appear in a few different sections of the puzzle, as you can see below. The yellow clouds were a natural add on from there, and distinctive colors like the bright green grass in the Queen of Hearts section and the dots of flowers in the Cheshire Cat section.
I also pulled all the brown pieces from the central “Alice falling” image and did the middle. The white oval border around the central image made another easy texture to recognize among the pieces and it was nice to get this anchoring element in place. Alice’s blue dress and white apron were also started and finished in a few sections.
I especially liked the flowers in the Cheshire Cat section. Maybe because I’m longing for Spring!
The last session completed the puzzle. The playing cards/greenery in the “Alice flees Wonderland” panel was made much easier by the different suited playing cards that broke up the random green texture. The “Teaparty” scene had dishes, a cottage, and other elements that were not in any other panel, making that section easier.
There really was no “hard” part of this puzzle. It flowed easily and well to the last piece.
“Classic Tales: Alice in Wonderland” should appeal to fans of fantasy and collage puzzles as well as families looking for a puzzle to do with kids or those who love books in general. It’s a fairly easy puzzle, consisting of six unique scenes without a lot of repetition of color or pattern. The checkerboard edging and central white oval provide nice anchoring elements for assembly. I loved the cute/cartoony art style. It was nice to remember the various scenes from the book. The Sunsout quality is good with random cut pieces, a fit that is neither too tight nor super loose, and good image reproduction. I hope we can expect more “Classic Tales”.
Where to find:
Click below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.