Monday, 29 June 2015

Statue of Liberty 3D Puzzle


I was the sent the latest 3D puzzle from Ravensburger recently and with 4th July just around the corner I had fun building it. Ravensburger do a range of 3D puzzles that use plastic pieces that interlock to make all different shapes including famous iconic buildings.






This 3D puzzle shows the USA's most famous building! The Statue of Liberty. It Includes unique hinged plastic pieces, which slot together to build a sturdy and strong "building" with no gluing required! 



This great puzzle features 108 high quality plastic pieces and measures 37.5cm tall when complete. Each puzzle piece is printed with a number on the reverse side, so you can either assemble the puzzle by eye, or just by following the numbers, which was my method. It also includes a printed base board, so it can be displayed on a shelf or table top. 


I've personally constructed other 3D Puzzles from Ravensburger and this set is quite easy and quick to do and would make a great introduction to the range. 

Friday, 26 June 2015

Minion 3D Puzzle from Ravensburger


"Ive never done a 3D-shaped puzzle before. Its really shaped like a Minion! I finished it but i don't want to put it away, I want to leave it out because I love Stuart, and its got a little stand so you can put him on a shelf"

Review by theguardian.com 


Monday, 22 June 2015

Ravensburger Minions 100 piece jigsaw puzzle



The Minions are coming and we are very excited. In just over a week, the Minions movie will be released in Cinemas and we will finally find out where these weird little creatures came from.
To celebrate the launch Ravensburger have created this fabulous Minion Movie 100 piece XXL puzzle that is for ages 6 plus.
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The large puzzle shows the three main Minion characters and photos from some of their adventures in the UK. Alison and Elizabeth sat and made the puzzle together and enjoyed trying to work out what the Minions had been up to.

As with all Ravensburger puzzles the pieces are robust and fit together nicely and the image is bright and clear. The girls had lots of funny making this one and I am sure any other Minions fans will too.
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Wednesday, 17 June 2015

What If? Elizabeth & Raleigh 1000 Piece Puzzle

I make no secret of the fact that I love jigsaw puzzles, and as a history lover, being able to mix both interests occasionally, goes down very well.  Add in a bit of comedy and uncertainty and I knew I was going to enjoy the challenge of the What If? Elizabeth & Raleigh 1000 Piece Puzzle from Ravensburger.
What If? Elizabeth & Raleigh 1000 Piece Puzzle
The What If? Elizabeth & Raleigh 1000 Piece Puzzle was my first experience of the What If? range although I have tried puzzles in this vein before.  Basically, you aren’t making the picture as shown on the box, you are making ‘what might happen next’.
As with all Ravensburger puzzles, the quality of the pieces and the graphics is excellent. You can use the clues on the front and base of the box to help you, or like me, go it alone!
I enjoyed the What If? Elizabeth & Raleigh 1000 Piece Puzzle. I find it easiest with this sort of puzzle to only occasionally refer to the box picture for inspiration and just figure it out as I go along.  With this particular puzzle the overall layout doesn’t change too much, so it would be great for someone trying a What If? puzzle for the first time.  It was fun, but wasn’t the most challenging version I’ve tried.
Spoiler alert coming up – don’t look at the following photograph unless you want to cheat!
I did like the finished picture, wouldn’t history have been different if this had really happened!
What If? Elizabeth & Raleigh 1000 Piece Puzzle
Priced at £11.99 the What If? Elizabeth & Raleigh 1000 Piece Puzzle is going to be a hit with any jigsaw fan.

Monday, 15 June 2015

WHAT IF? No.11 Elizabeth & Raleigh, 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle from Ravensburger




















Assembling a puzzle is supposed to be a relaxing pastime, isn't it?! I enjoy my puzzles, but the last one I was solving proved to be truly fiendish. Which jigsaw puzzle kept me awake until the early hours? It was What if? No.11 Elizabeth and Raleigh 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle from Ravensburger.
This was my first experience of the What If? series of puzzles, and I had no idea what to expect.
With the usual jigsaws you have an image on the box and quite often an insert to use as a reference while piecing together your puzzle.
The image on What if? no.11 shows good old Queen Bess arriving to visit her favourite Raleigh. It depicts a scene often-presented in literature and movies.
That's how the story goes: "As the Qeeen drew near the place where Raleigh stood she glanced at the ground and seemed to pause. Raleigh's quick eye saw that the ground at that place was muddy. Pushing past the guard, he flung from his shoulders his rich velvet cloak and spread it over the muddy spot. As he did so he bowed low before the Queen, his plumed hat in his hand, and the sun shining on his wavy dark hair. Looking up, he found the Queen smiling graciously and thanking him for his courtesy. Then, stepping gently on the cloak, she passed on and went on board her boat" (Margaret Duncan Kelly, The Story of Sir Walter Raleigh). 
And that's what humorously depicted on the cover of the box of the puzzle. An admiring courtier, spreading his velvet cloak for Queen Elizabeth to step on.
But what if Raleigh wasn't a true gentleman? The wicked wit of the artist Geoff Tristram has turned the well-known scene into a comic encounter.
As always, I start with the frame and work the image inwards, sorting the pieces into colour schemes: a group of purples, greens, reds, blues etc. Slowly, the faces start to appear. 











But what's that? There is at least one more person present in the puzzle rather than the Queen, Raleigh and the coach driver.
Then you realise that Elizabeth is not where she is supposed to be, if she were stepping off the coach. Why is Raleigh smiling wickedly? And why is the driver looking shocked? What has scared the poor dog?











As it happened, the imaginary scene is not what you might have expected.



While I was assembling the puzzle, I was secretly fuming at the absence of the reference image (you can request one by writing to the address on the side of the box, but maybe it could be a good idea to put one in every box, neatly hidden in an envelope, so that if you were desperate to look at it, you had it there and then rather than writing a request and waiting for a reply). I told myself: Never again will I do another What if? puzzle.
I confess, I didn't do it all by myself. My friend Jen, who loves jigsaw puzzles helped me for a couple of days, so that we finished the puzzle together.



But once it was done and we admired the job, I started thinking, well, maybe, just maybe I will be curious to try another puzzle from the series.
This jigsaw puzzle will make a marvellous gift for any puzzle enthusiast.



Have you tried any What if? puzzles? 




Review by Chez Maximka

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Ravensburger Dinosaur Puzzle with Puzzle + App Games

My boys always enjoy doing Ravensburger puzzles and recently we tried a 100 piece dinosaur puzzle which has something extra included. It is part of the Puzzle + App so once you have completed your puzzle, you can extend the topic with games and quizzes. This means that the puzzle entertains the children for longer.
ravensburger dinosaur puzzle with app
Before we got on to the app, the boys enjoyed putting the puzzle together as a team. This is 100 piece puzzle and it is recommended for 6+. It is quite tricky in some areas due to lots of similar colours, and details within the puzzle but it is good for 6+ as it is a little more challenging than some of our other puzzles, and the younger boys were still able to help out with finding a lot of the pieces that we needed.
ravensburger dinosaur puzzle piecesThe picture includes around eight different dinosaurs hidden in the scene, all of different species. There is lots of detail to look at and talk about within the finished picture
ravensburger dinosaur 100 piece puzzleThe colours are very effective too. It makes a nice and striking image, with quite a magical feel. The finish of the puzzle is matte so that it does not glare.
ravensburger dinosaur 100 piece puzzleOnce your puzzle is completed, download the Puzzle + App on your android or apple device and hold it over the puzzle, so that your puzzle can be recognised and you will be able to access the games to go along with that puzzle. The three options for this dinosaurs puzzle are panorama, which allows you to explore the puzzle picture, interesting facts, and a dinosaur quiz.
dinosaur puzzle with appThis is a fun way for the children to use their puzzle to learn more on the topic, and the puzzle and app combination appealed to my boys really well. I felt they did learn a lot of new facts from using the app, more so than if they had just completed the puzzle and then moved onto something else.
This dinosaur puzzle is available from Amazon for 8.99 and I would recommend it to others, especially around 6-7 years old.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

REVIEW: “CRAFTY YARNS” BY RAVENSBURGER, 9.25/10

 ravens_Perplexing_Yarn_box3
Publisher: Ravensburger (Germany), published 2015
Title:  “Crafty Yarns: Perplexing Puzzle No 5”, 1000 pieces 
OUR RATING: 9.25
The “Perplexing Puzzle” series from Ravensburger features collage photographs with repeating colors and elements. The idea being that the puzzle is more challenging, but the challenge isn’t in the piece cut but in the layout of the image itself.  “Crafy Yarns” is Nbr 5 in the series and was released Jan/Feb 2015.
Box Quality: (10/10)
Ravensburger does excellent boxes. They feel like a high-end board game. The box itself is rectangular and very sturdy. You can see the front of the box above. Below is the bottom:
ravens_Perplexing_Yarn_box2
As you can see, the bottom of the box is custom for this puzzle and includes information on the puzzle and on other puzzles in the Ravensburger line.
Inside the box, you get the bag of puzzle pieces, a small color catalog of Ravensburger’s 2015 colleciton, a large data sheet on the puzzle, with the puzzle image (like a small poster), and another color sheet on Ravensburger quality and guarantee.  I love that they have the series name and logo on front, back, and all four sides, making it nice to shelve the series together.
Puzzle Quality: (10)
You can see my Ravensburger brand comparison here.  Suffice it to say, the Ravensburger brand is excellent with thick pieces, a grid cut that has a lot of variety in the pieces, and a nice matte, non-glare finish. There is never confusion over whether a piece fits or not. Their patented “soft click” technology gives a little extra ‘oomph’ when fitting a piece.
ravens_Perplexing_Yarn_CU3
Click on the picture above for a close-up of the piece shapes
The Image: (8)
I generally prefer illustrated images over photographic, but I like the idea behind the “Perplexing Puzzles” series. I like that this image contains similar colors and textures dotted here and there over the picture. And the vintage yarn theme is nice. It should appeal to a lot of puzzlers.
ravens_Perplexing_Yarn_Main_SM

Assembly:  (9)
I found the puzzle quite quick and fun to assemble. I did the border, and then assembled all the ‘pinks’, then the ‘reds’, etc. Even though there are multiple balls of yarn in each color, once you have the individual balls assembled, there’s enough difference in their position or other factors that you can tell where it goes in the image.
As far as “perplexing” goes, I would rate this puzzle just a step above easy. But that was fine with me. I think some of the earlier puzzles in this series were more difficult. For me, it was a simple and enjoyable puzzle to put together in two evenings while I had the TV on.
ravens_Perplexing_Yarn_CU4
ravens_Perplexing_Yarn_CU2
ravens_Perplexing_Yarn_CU1

Conclusion:
The final score is high, 9.25. If this image appeals to you, it’s definitely a quality puzzle to buy.
Final Score:
review-yarn
Where to find: