How to Pick the Best Puzzle Brands

So, we’ve posted before on how to select a high-quality puzzle based on the brand and the quality of the puzzle pieces and printing. But I wanted to give you a little more insight into what makes each of our most popular brands unique. We’ll also take a look at quality and prices.

This is to give you all some insight into each brand we carry, starting with the most popular puzzle brands. I have tested many of the jigsaw puzzles myself and have also talked with many people who love these puzzles! More will be posted later.

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Sunsout:

This brand carries thousands of different images, in piece counts ranging from 100 piece mini puzzles to 6000 piece giants. They are made from eco-friendly material in the USA. Sunsout puzzles are also on the cheaper side – with 1000 piece puzzles only $15. Pieces are both ribbon and random cut, depending on the image.

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Ravensburger:

Often touted as one of the best puzzle brands, it is probably true. These puzzles have true interlocking ribbon cut pieces – they really snap together well and don’t move around. They also use grained paper which makes the image glare-free with a nice, durable finish and great color. These puzzles are perfect for framing. Their 1000 piece puzzles are $17, and they also have great 500 piece puzzles for only $13.

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Springbok:

These puzzles are known for the fact that no two pieces are ever the same. They use random cut dies to cut their puzzle, a unique look and interesting challenge. They use 100% recycled materials and are made in the USA. They also limit the number of new puzzles each year in an effort to focus more on quality than quantity. 500 piece puzzles from Springbok are just $12.

Heye:

Heye puzzles have some of the most unique images – from gothic art to highly detailed cartoon puzzles. The pieces are ribbon cut and slide together nicely – but be careful – often times with ribbon cut puzzles pieces of similar shape and color can make it to the wrong spot. Make sure it really fits before moving on! These are top-notch quality – with 1000 piece puzzles upwards of $25 – but they are well worth it if you plan to keep and frame the puzzle. (I myself have 3 mounted on my wall from Heye!)

Aquarius:

If you’re into pop-culture, this is the brand for you. They have everything from vintage Beatles puzzles to I Love Lucy, John Wayne and Rush. Their puzzles are also printed with high-quality ink so the images are bright and crystal clear. These are the perfect puzzles for teenagers or fanatics with 1000 piece puzzles around $15.

Ceaco:

This brand is known for its low prices. You’ll find a smaller box and slightly thinner pieces than a higher-end puzzle, but the fun is still the same! These are great party puzzles or for keeping and doing over and over with the kids or family. 1000 piece puzzles are only $12 and they have great painters like Thomas Kinkade!

Love a particular puzzle brand and want to submit your review of it? Talk to us and tell us what you think and I’ll post it next week!

Question for the comments: What puzzle brand are you loyal to and why?

12 Puzzles That Will Make You Want to Drop Everything and Travel

Summer is over and fall is here, the time when we start curling up with books or hobbies and be homebodies. But if you have a look at this beautiful collection of travel puzzles that we have, featuring photographs of gorgeous places and landmarks all over the world, you’ll be rid of the homebody bug. You’ll be packing your bags, reading our travel tips and guidelines, and on a plane by tomorrow because all of these puzzles wonderfully capture some of the most popular travel destinations in the world! And of course, if you can’t afford that special trip right now – just enjoy putting together an exciting travel jigsaw puzzle from our huge collections.

AMSTERDAM – 1000 pieces. Finished size: 68 x 48 cm. $19.99

BEACON HILL, BOSTON. 300 pieces. Finished size: 27” x 20”. $14.99

BRUGES, BELGIUM – 1500 pieces. Finished size: 85 x 60 cm. $24.99

HARBOR IN PORTOFINO, ITALY – 1000 pieces. Finished size: 27” x 20”. $16.99

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Puzzles for Virgos

It’s my birthday today and I thought, how can I incorporate puzzles with my birthday? Well, it became pretty easy once I found this giant puzzle:

9000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle! This giant puzzle measures 54″ x 76″ when put together.

I decided to do a new blog post each month highlighting puzzles that fit with the key attributes of each zodiac sign, starting with my favorite—and my own—sun sign, Virgo.

VIRGO DESCRIPTION

You Virgos are the most unusual people of the zodiac and the expression ‘never judge a book by its cover’ certainly sums up your sign. Attempting to describe you, Virgo, is like throwing all the jumbled pieces of a jigsaw puzzle on a table and then trying to describe what picture these pieces make once they are put together, before you have seen the completed picture of the puzzle on the box. Like the jigsaw, you are a person of many parts, complex thoughts, and intermingling structures. Not many can truly figure you out because you live so much through your inner, private being.”
—Athena Starwoman, Zodiac: Athena’s Sunsigns

VIRGO: AUGUST 24 – SEPTEMBER 23

Element: Earth
Planetary ruler: Mercury
Symbol: The Virgin
Quality: Mutable (flexibility)
Colors: Earth colors, ochre, orange, yellow
Gem: Agate, hyacinth
Strongest virtues: Creativity, tolerance, determination
Characteristics: analytical, detail-oriented, disciplined, exact, industrious, intelligent, logical, modest, perfectionist, practical, quiet

Plenty of Pasta by Ravensburger. 500 pieces. Finished size: 19.25″ x 14.25″. $12.99

The earthy tones and practicality of the precise organizational system matches Virgo’s personality perfectly.

Cups and Saucers by Cobble Hill. 275 large size pieces. Finished size: 24” x 18”. $14.99

Analytical minds will love to tackle this one. Each cup has its own distinct design for the detail-oriented Virgo mind to process and organize as (s)he builds this puzzle.

Field Days by Sunsout. 500 pieces. Finished size: 15” x 24”. $10.99

This flower garden is colorful but still darker in tone, matching Virgo’s attraction to ochre, orange, and yellow.

Peacock Garden by New York Puzzle Co., 100o pieces. $16.99

House Beautiful is an interior decorating magazine which focuses on decorating and domestic arts: Virgo’s fortes. This intricate cover features a peacock— while usually a symbol of ostentatiousness—here it is painted in Virgo’s colors, making it appear modest.

Time Pieces by Platnik. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 26.5” x 17.4”. $16.99

Virgos are punctual and timely–probably stemming from their being perfectionists. This puzzle can showcase their obsession with time.

For even more zodiac-related puzzles, check out these creative miniature puzzles made by Pintoo, made for each sign of zodiac.

Puzzle Warehouse sponsors Memorial Golf Classic in Honor of Katee Hessler

Puzzle Warehouse sponsored a hole at the 2012 Katee Hessler Memorial Golf Classic. The event was put on by a memorial foundation inspired after 18-year-old Katee was senselessly murdered in an attempted robbery in North St. Louis County onAugust 30, 2001.

Katee grew up in St. Charles and ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. She became a victim of violence and greed. Katee’s death deeply affected everyone who knew her. Take a look at all of the photos from the event over at the Katee Hessler Foundation’s Facebook page.

World Alzheimer’s Month – Spread Awareness with Puzzles

Check out the Alzheimer’s Association’s Facebook page to learn more about how to support the global fight to find a cure.

The theme for the first World’s Alzheimer’s Awareness month is Dementia: Living Together. The goal? To reduce the stigma associated with dementia and form a community that is more friendly to those living with the disease. There are lots of things you can do to help raise awareness and help the cause to end Alzheimer’s.

1. Alzheimer’s Action Day is Sept. 21. Take a picture of yourself wearing purple and post in on Facebook and Twitter. Go Purple to spread the word! Tag #ENDALZ

2. Learn how to overcome the stigmas. Teach others. 35 million people and their families are affected by dementia.

3. Start Talking. Do you know someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia? Have you ever had a heart to heart with a memory caregiver? How do you think you would be treated if you had memory problems? Find more great questions to get you started at Alzheimer’s Speaks Blog.

4. Spend time with family members and friends affected by dementia.

Having a conversation with someone living with Alzheimer’s or dementia isn’t always easy – especially if you  were close before and the relationship has changed as memories are affected. Believe it or not, jigsaw puzzles are a great way to start the conversation. Puzzles for Alzheimer’s are made specifically for people with dementia and their loved ones. They come with only a few pieces – usually 6 or 12, and feature hand-picked images that are meant to strike up a conversation or bring back a memory.