"Cat's Life" is terrific fun and a perfect example of the awesomeness of cartoon puzzles from Heye. It's a fairly easy puzzle to assemble. Despite the large body of the cat and the green background, there are unique little characters (fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, among others) that inhabit every inch of the brilliant composition by cartoonist Marino Degano. Each little critter has a unique outfit, expression, or action, and you can match your pieces against the large poster that comes in the box. There are many joke and puns and pure silliness to discover as you assemble this puzzle.
And now for my top picks in Christmas puzzles this year.... My criteria was: a) it can be any puzzle still in print, b) it must be available for US distribution at Puzzle Warehouse, c) I want to cover a range of piece count, brands, and art styles in my list, and d) even though it's a "top ten" list I can have as many as I want! Okay. Let's get started.
I loved shaped puzzles. There aren't that many released each year, so I treasure the good ones when they come along. This stocking-shaped Christmas puzzle is really delightful. The curved border is fun to work with and the image is filled with bright colors and patterns that keep you moving from one object to the other without wanting to stop. I love the quiet scene by the Christmas tree and the soft, painterly art style. The Sunsout quality is excellent too, with sturdy pieces and a fun random piece cut. Highly recommended.
"Christmas Village" is a lovely holiday puzzle from artist Nicky Boehme and Buffalo Games that's easy to assemble. The beautiful and nostagic wintery scene is from an oil painting, and it brings back wonderful memories of Christmas's past. Buffalo Games's quality is very good with sturdy pieces and a well-designed box. The puzzle has a grid cut with a nice variety of piece shapes including a few zig-zag shaped pieces. The panoramic design of this puzzle makes for a nice change from the usual rectangular size. No poster is included in this box, and the box image is a little on the small side, but I didn't have too much difficulty with that. Recommended to all fans of Christmas puzzles.
AIMEE STEWART WEEK: This week here on Jigsaw Junkies, we’re featuring puzzle artist Aimee Stewart. This week I reviewed two of her puzzles ("Butterfly Menagerie" and "Treasure Hunt Bookshelf"). Today we have an exclusive interview! At the end of the interview is a gallery of all the Aimee Stewart puzzles I could find. See all Aimee Stewart puzzles at...
love shaped puzzles, and this offering from Sunsout and Aimee Stewart is really gorgeous and fun to assemble. The image is filled with a variety of brightly-colored butterflies and flowers in different colors and patterns, and those are easy to assemble. The fill around them–greenery and a blue pattern–appears in small doses and wasn’t too difficult. I really liked assembling the irregular edge, especially the antenna. Cute!
You'll find lots of interesting details in this puzzle as you "treasure hunt" among the books. The fantasy image by Aimee Stewart features a rainbow of brightly-hued books and interesting elements arranged among them, such as dancers, jewels, notes, and Aladdin's lamp. The puzzle is easy-to-moderate to assemble with many bright and distinct colors. The Sunsout quality is very good with thick pieces and a fun random cut with a wide variety of piece shapes. The fit is fairly tight so you can move groups of assembled pieces around with care. The final puzzle is frame-worthy. Recommended.
If you're looking for a fall or Thanksgiving-themed puzzle, you won't find one than embodies the mood more than "Gobbler Farms". I love the large turkeys and pumpkins in this image and the bright fall colors. This puzzle is oversized with very large pieces. It's the size of many 2000 piece puzzles when done. The Sunsout quality is good, but the gloss on the pieces made some of the turkey feather highlights hard to see when I did this puzzle at night under overhead lights. The final puzzle is impressive and would look good framed. Recommended.
GOTHIC WEEK: For Halloween, here on Jigsaw Junkies we're covering gothic puzzles. I'm excited about this category because it's one of my favorites and one sorely underrepresented, in my opinion! First, what is the definition of "gothic puzzles" and how do they differ from "fantasy puzzles?" I will give you my idea of the category, and...
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