Springbok’s Annual Image Contest

Hey Puzzle Lovers! Think you have what it takes to create a great puzzle, with the keen eye to catch the details that will be fun for everyone to piece together? We’ve got great news for you! Our friends at Springbok hold an annual puzzle image contest that lets your creativity shine – plus you could win a $500 cash prize and get your image turned into a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle!

You can enter for FREE starting on National Puzzle Day (January 29th) and the contest is open all the way until March 31st! That means you have plenty of time to take and submit as many pictures as you want!

Check out the winners from the past three years below, and read all the rules and regulations before you get started. Either way, submit and have fun! There’s nothing to lose!

2013 Winner: Ava Montalvo. Title: Sew Crafty. 500 pieces.

2012 Winner: John Razza. Title: Spicy, Hot! 500 pieces.

 

2011 Winner: Hannah Jones. Title: Colorful Canopy. 500 pieces.

 

Springbok Puzzles Celebrates 50 Years

The Springbok 50th Anniversary Commemorative Puzzle. 500 pieces. 20″ diameter.

Bright, colorful, and lively, this puzzle lives up to Springbok’s essence as it is made from selections of Springbok’s most popular images in recent years. When the company first began, the founders were specific about these qualities: Robert and Katie Lewin wanted their puzzles to feature photographic images with “brilliant color and clarity.”

Springbok touts that this “limited edition puzzle is [their] homage to the best of Springbok innovation and creativity.”

Springbok is not only a popular puzzle brand, it’s a brand we stand behind proudly. The company began in 1963, making it the oldest made American-made jigsaw puzzle factory (from start to finish, all Springbok puzzles are made right here in the US). On top of that, Springbok puzzles are made with eco-friendly materials, and they have a great line of puzzles with large pieces for Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Other unique qualities of Springbok puzzles are that their pieces are thicker than most. That’s because the Lewins wanted their jigsaws to be sturdier. They were committed to making a special product, so they also had each puzzle made of uniquely shaped pieces (often referred to as a random cut jigsaw), and they were the first to create circular and octagon shaped puzzles.

Here are 5 more puzzles that are among the most popular from our store:

Goldfinch, 350 pieces

Colorful Kettles, 350 pieces

Fruit Market, 500 pieces

Aquatic Collection, 500 pieces

Autumn Reflection, 1500 pieces

 

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?

The Best Jigsaw Puzzle Brands

Springbok, one of the best jigsaw puzzle brands

Are you looking for your next jigsaw puzzle? Need a gift for an avid puzzler? Or, are you a puzzle newbie overwhelmed by the wide variety of options? Let’s discuss some of the best jigsaw puzzle brands and what sets them apart from the rest of the crowd. A few factors contribute to the reputations of the best puzzle makers:

  1. Quality: A high quality puzzle has clean edges that interlock effortlessly and is made from sturdy materials.
  2. The image/artwork: The image or artwork is often the first thing that a puzzler notices. Are the images attractive? Clear? Unique? Does the artwork appeal to you?
  3. Challenge level: Does the puzzle offer a challenge which resonates with your skill level (or beginning status)?

With these criteria in mind, the puzzle companies most often praised for their jigsaw puzzles are Springbok, Ravensburger and Clementoni.

Springbok Puzzles has been around since 1963 and is often cited for its lovely images and high quality pieces. Springbok hand cuts the puzzle dies so that each piece sits perfectly.

Award-winning Ravensburger has been making puzzles for 25 years. Notable recognition was granted by Oppenheim and Parent’s Choice and also earned Family Fun Magazine’s Toy of the Year award. Puzzlers appreciate the accessibility of the puzzles as well as the various challenge levels that they offer.

Enjoy Clementoni puzzles guilt-free because they use recycled and non-pollutant materials. Green is beautiful, because puzzlers consistently note the high quality, vivid and clean pictures on Clementoni puzzles.

If you are still overwhelmed by these choices, just select any one of these brands, and then choose the image that appeals to you most. Whether you are an experienced puzzler, or new to the game, you can’t go wrong when you stick with the best jigsaw puzzle brands.