Puzzle Warehouse Ambassadors' - 2023 Favorites
Hey it’s Emilee!! Let’s get one thing out in the open. Picking my favorite puzzle from the year was incredibly difficult. Getting about a dozen other puzzlers to decide their favorites was near impossible. Based on their socials, collectively we have done well over 1000 puzzles. When I asked my fellow ambassadors to try and pick their favorite puzzle from 2023, you would have thought I asked them to pick their favorite child. Every single one of them sent me at least three puzzles they couldn’t decide between.
Why is it so hard for us to pick just one favorite??? Well, we all love puzzles and have done so many incredible images and brands this year. However, I was able to compile a list of puzzles that our ambassadors loved in 2023. There’s a wide range of images, brands, themes and piece counts. Now, I didn’t share ALL our favorites because seriously we all had a hard time deciding and this blog would be way too long. However, I can say, all these puzzles would be fantastic recommendations if you are needing to refresh your wish list for the upcoming year.
One of Gail’s favorite puzzles this year was Alchemist’s Cabinet, a 1000-piece puzzle by eeBoo. This puzzle was Gail’s favorite curiosity-themed puzzle. It has a variety of fun little details such as skeleton keys, hidden treasures, feathers, pine cones, books, and of course the cute little kitty. Gail approached this puzzle a bit differently, picking out pieces for the little details. The puzzle is a part of a little collection that includes Alchemist’s Home , and Ancient Apothecary. I can understand why she picked this image. With so many fun little elements to work from, I would seldom be bored or stuck.
Another favorite from Gail was Stargazer, a 1500-piece puzzle by Anatolian, because “it is just so darn beautiful!” The puzzle has a beautiful blue and purple night sky with enough color variation that is wasn’t too difficult. As a 1500-piece puzzle it may be a bit overwhelming but there wasn’t too much of any one element which made the puzzle a lot more enjoyable. I will admit, this puzzle looks stunning!
I am so glad Jaime picked 100 Great Words by eeBoo as one of her favorites because that was a puzzle I LOVED this year. My mom and I did this one together and it was so much fun to try and use the words in everyday lingo. Jaime had a lot of fun with this puzzle and she’s not trying to “bamboozle or hoodwink you.” The puzzle is just a hodgepodge of supercilious words. (did I use that word correctly??) Luckily, the lid of the box contains all the definitions, which is fun to read as you complete the puzzle. If you are a fan of words in puzzles – you will love this one!
Mix Tape by Ravensburger is as smaller 200 piece that Jaime really enjoyed this year. This bright and colorful image was incredibly nostalgic for Jaime. The image looks nice and easy, and it gave Jaime the feeling that she was back with a closet full of mixed tapes. She put this one together without looking at the box. This helped increase the puzzling time and made it more challenging. I can see why she wants to do this one again! This is such a fun image, and a small 200 piece is always a good time.
One of Tracy’s favorites of the year is Imaginary City by Pomegranate. Tracy loved this lovely 300-piece puzzle. “The patterns and colors on this puzzle are perfection!!” I can understand the appeal. This is such an eye-catching image!! Also from my experience with 300-piece Pomegranate puzzles, they are incredible puzzles to put together. The pieces are large, chunky, and satisfying.
Lisa had several favorites from the year including The Puzzle of Positivity by Gibsons which I think I need to remember for my next Puzzle Warehouse order. If you enjoy brightly colored puzzles – this is the puzzle for you. This puzzle will brighten your day, not only because of the fun gradient rainbow image, but because of the inspirational quotes. This will give you a whole other sense of accomplishment when you complete this puzzle!
Harbor City by Re-marks is another puzzle that Lisa recommends. This image is a Folk-Art inspired 300 piece that features a beach/coastal scene. The colors are a nice mix of pastels and brighter pieces. This puzzle has larger pieces which would be fun for all ages.
The collage puzzle Bathing Beauties by artist Paul Thurlby is one of the favorites for Alyssa. She loved it so much she is tempted to put it together again to frame! This image from New York Puzzle Co is such a fun summer puzzle. Alyssa said, “The red and orange panel ended up being my favorite part of this puzzle”. This puzzle was also nostalgic for Alyssa, bringing back memories of swim practice.
Several ambassadors, including myself, did Ravensburger’s The Artist Palette this year. I am so happy Alyssa choose it as one of her favorites because this puzzle was one of mine too. Alyssa stated, “Art supplies make for such an alluring puzzle to me. This puzzle called my name as soon as I saw it. It was fun to puzzle all the colors.” I couldn’t agree more! I have done this puzzle twice this year and each time I’m excited when I dump out the pieces. There are so many different elements to work from and the larger format pieces make the puzzle entertaining to put together.
One of Amanda’s favorites from 2023 was Runaway Princess by Jacarou. “That red dress with the pink swirls in the hair, a dragon best friend, a far off castle to escape from, even down to the key anklet, everything about this image is pure perfection to me,” which Amanda writes in a blog post. The artist, Hannah Lynn captured her perfect fantasy! Jacarou puzzles are always bright and colorful with slightly wonky shaped pieces. This is “A fabulous image, a perfect puzzle build, and the most satisfying piece shapes I’ve worked with in a long time.”
For those Harry Potter fans out there you may enjoy Quidditch by New York Puzzle Co. This vibrant and saturated puzzle was a joy to do. New York Puzzle Co has some random cut puzzles which helped Amanda, “slow down just enough so that I could truly enjoy every aspect of the puzzle!” This gorgeous puzzle has beautiful teals and peachy pinks with incredible detail including a centaur watching from the forbidden forest.
Richard shared two favorites from the year. The first was, Book Club – Charles Dickens by Gibsons. This was the first time Richard experienced a Gibson puzzle and he “loved the chonky quality of the pieces and the collage illustration.” Book themes are always fun images to do. Seeing the classic book covers would make a fun puzzling time, a great option for beginners.
The second pick from Richard was Batman Collector’s Edition by Ravensburger. As always, the puzzle had, “reliable Ravensburger quality, and the illustration was printed SO crisply that it was just a delight from start to finish.” The pieces were vibrant in color and incredibly detailed. Richard shared in a blog, “Of all the Batman puzzles out there, I wanted to do this one because it features so much of the ‘rogues gallery’ – the classic roster of villains. Absolutely loved this one!” The puzzle has stunning artwork and it immerses you into the thrilling world of the Dark Knight.featuring stunning artwork and intricate details that capture the essence of the Dark Knight.
Marwa has been enjoying the new Zodiac puzzles by Cobble Hill. “The second I saw them I knew I needed to collect them all! Naturally I started my collection with the best zodiac sign out there - Capricorn.” Cobble Hill caught the attention of many of the ambassadors. – Several did one of these puzzles this year. Marwa stated in her blog, “The little details were so amazing. All those details against the stars and constellations tied the whole image together, and it was such a joy to put together!” Marwa enjoyed the puzzle so much, she ended up buying three more to add to her collection – Pisces, Sagittarius, and Gemini.
Prismatic Eggs by Galison was another favorite from Marwa. She shared, “I absolutely loved this puzzle! The colors are so rich and vibrant. It had the right amount of challenge without making it frustrating. I started from yellow and moved across and it seamlessly allowed me to follow my own path. I really did love it!” I can understand the charm to this puzzle. It’s a unique way to do a gradient puzzle. The intricate design is mesmerizing with the stunning hues and patterns.
Robin shared several favorites with me including her new all-time favorite, My Hair, My Crown by Mudpuppy. This puzzle was from a contest Robin’s daughter signed up for. She wrote, “It’s fast, it’s so sweet, it’s colorful and it’s one of my favorite brands. I love it!!” This 300-piece jigsaw puzzle showcases a captivating collage of people of color, each embracing their unique hairstyles. Let My Hair, My Crown be a reminder that every strand is a testament to individuality and the beauty of diversity. What a beautiful and fun collage puzzle!
Another favorite from Robin was In Her Strength by Goodway. “It was a slower, a more challenging puzzle. It's the kind of puzzle you can get lost doing. And it's a brand that I hadn't done before. The cut was random, which made the shapes interesting. Each color section was both difficult but rewarding. I love the colors, and the image is gorgeous.” I have never tried a Goodway. This 500-piece puzzle is a stunning piece of fine art. The intricate details and colors are simply beautiful.
The reward for, Who Sent Me the Most Favorites goes to our ambassador Phil. Honestly though, I can see why he had a hard time deciding. The puzzles Phil does are beautiful and challenging. Many ambassadors have similar styles, but Phil does more realistic and difficult images. If you enjoy landscapes, animals, and photographic images for your puzzles, you’ll love Phil’s blogs and content.
One of his favorites was Art of Music by Hart Puzzles. “It was sneaky difficult, with the shiny brass highlights running here and there throughout. I would definitely do another Hart puzzle. The pieces were good quality & the fit was okay.” Phil enjoyed this puzzle so much he wished it came in a larger piece count. For me, the darker image would be challenging but the final result is undeniably eye-catching.
Just Cat Things by Trefl was another favorite from Phil. This is an adorable 1500-piece collage puzzle. “I usually avoid collage style puzzles because I prefer simple and uncluttered (images), but this one was perfect for the moment. Why? Well, a couple of the cats look like my daughter's kitties, so I saved the completed puzzle, sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard, and plan to have it framed for her as a birthday gift.” Phil also suggested this puzzle if fur is a weakness. “This cat collage from Trefl is exactly the type of puzzle that will help.” I may have to follow his advice because fur is one of my struggle points. This image is adorable!
Dawn was another ambassador impressed by Hart Puzzles. “I hadn't done Hart Puzzles before, but l was impressed!” Hart Puzzles has slightly bigger pieces than the industry norm. Both Dawn and Phil mentioned how impressed they were with the fit and quality of their puzzles. Dawn put together, Yellowstone, which is 1000 pieces. “I really enjoy collage-style puzzles and particularly Kate Ward Thacker designs!! Great memories of Yellowstone.” In Dawn’s blog about souvenir puzzles she writes, “She (Thacker) included so many details that are fun to discover – from stickers, patches, and pendants, to a plate, belt buckles and those silver charms that I just love!”
Another of Dawn’s favorites was Mickey & Minnie Hollywood by Ceaco. Dawn wrote, “I have most of Ceaco's Thomas Kincade Disney puzzles and particularly enjoyed this one. Really loved the colors in the sky!” This image was inspired by great moments from famous Walt Disney movies. The 750-piece puzzle features Mickey and Minnie on the red carpet in Hollywood.
Okay, okay, it’s finally time for me to share my favorites. Honestly, this was WAY harder than I was expecting and now understand why everyone sent me so many options. I did my very best to narrow it down and there are at least ten I could write about. However, I do have two that are worth mentioning that I really enjoyed this year.
First up, Dr. Seuss Books by USA Opoly was probably the most memorable puzzle of the year. This was the first time trying this brand and I LOVED it. This puzzle was bright, colorful, nostalgic and the quality was perfection. I enjoyed Dr. Seuss books growing up, and this puzzle really took me back. The pieces went together beautifully, and I know several other puzzlers who have done this too and we can collectively say, this one is a blast!
My second choice is one that surprised me. I love a good 300-500 piece and anything over 1000 is incredibly intimidating. Which is why Moon Cycle by Buffalo Games sat in my collection for years untouched. It wasn’t until I was doing a challenge to complete some of the oldest puzzles on my to-do list, that I got the nerve to bring this one out. I am so glad I did!! This 1500-piece puzzle is a mesmerizing image of mountains, rainbow colors, and space. The vibrant gradient, moon stages and stunning landscape makes the puzzle much easier than I was expecting. The layers of the puzzles make it so there aren’t large sections of one thing. I did this one way faster than I anticipated and loved it so much I ended up hanging it up on my wall. I noticed this image also comes in a smaller 300-piece as well.
So, there you have it – the ambassadors’ favorites from 2023. There were so many great puzzles the ambassadors shared with me for this post, and it was tempting to add so many more to this blog. If you need more suggestions on great puzzles, make sure to check out their socials.
Thank you to those who have been reading the blogs this year & subscribing to our page!!! We love reading your comments, so let us know which puzzles you loved this year!
From all of us Jigsaw Junkies ~ Have a safe and happy New Year!
Emilee Frost @thecasualpuzzler
Love all the picks for 2023. Looking forward to 2024 to see what new images you all like.
So fun to see everyone's favorites, and how different they are!
How fun to see all the Ambassadors picks in one place! Great blog.
Such a fun blog! It really is like picking a favorite child 🤣
Love all the picks for 2023 and especially the Hart Puzzles, can't wait to try this brand. I have heard so many good things about it and I do like Kate Ward Thackers' artwork. Two of my favorites for the year they I have done are Bits and Pieces - Pumpkin Cottage - 1000 pc Artist: Joseph Holodook and Ceaco - Cat Cafe - 1000 pc Artist: Cindy Jackson - EZ 2 Hold both were so enjoyable and gave you plenty to look at.
I loved writing this blog! There were so many great puzzles it that the ambassadors sent over and it was so hard to narrow down all their choices!
Love to see some of my favorites on here. My wish list has also grown from reading this. LOL.
Well this only added to my puzzle wish list!!! I see it helped others as two are sold out ha!!
Thx for a great list of suggestions and a Happy New Year to You all.
I enjoyed this blog about 2023 favorite puzzle. Surprisingly I haven't done any of these. I want the Dr. Seuss one though. Several others look like fun.
I loved seeing everyone's favorites. I did not realize Cobble Hill had a zodiac series. This could be trouble for me since I already have too many puzzles to do.
I love to see that one of your favorites was children’s book covers!! (Dr Seuss). As a former reading teacher, my favorite puzzles are children’s books. Brings back so many wonderful memories!
I loved the concept of knowing which puzzles for 2023 the ambassadors liked the best. Emilee it was nice you included more than one favorite of an ambassador. It was hard to choose but my 2023 favorite puzzle was Ravensburger The Bird Watcher 1k pieces. I loved the image and it was easy to do.
There is such a nice variety if piece counts and images. I've added several to my wish list.
Love lists like this to get ideas for the wish list. The moon phase puzzle would intimidate me too, but I like how you talk about how it breaks down into sections and then moves along easily. An excellent thing to keep in mind when I move on to the next level of piece count.
My husband recently purchased me Moon Cycle by Buffalo Games. I cannot wait to complete it. He got me the 300 piece version. Thank you for sharing all this information and I want to check out more of these puzzles. 😊
Love all the choices for best puzzle of the year, I too would find it hard to pick! Lots of good options here though, great colourful recommendations!
I love seeing everyone’s favourite puzzles. Some I’ve done and some I have in my to do pile.
two on that list I have done and are great choices.