Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Colin Thompson Lighthouse jigsaw puzzle: Review

I really enjoy Colin Thompson puzzles, they are always really fun to do and full of detail & humour. This sea themed one is in the shape of a lighthouse, with each level of the lighthouse interior filled with all manner of interesting things going on.
This 995 piece Lighthouse puzzle is huge, measuring 97 x 67 cm, and as such it is too long and wide to fit on a standard 1000 piece puzzle board.
Colin Thompson Lighthouse Jigsaw
Colin Thompson Lighthouse Jigsaw
Inside the box the pieces come securely in a plastic bag. This is not a resealable one, so when I pack the puzzle away I will use a couple of sandwich bags to tidy way the pieces.
Colin Thompson Lighthouse Jigsaw
Colin Thompson Lighthouse Jigsaw
This lighthouse shaped puzzle has a few hidden secrets, with specially shaped puzzle pieces coming together to create small shapes such as little lighthouses and starfish. These oddly shaped pieces, in addition to the unconventional outer edges of the puzzle, make the jigsaw more challenging than a “normal” rectangular puzzle. It is going to take me quite a while to finish it completely!
As always with Colin Thompson, the puzzle illustrations are weird, wonderful and witty. It is packed with intricate details and is really colourful, too. I love the way you can see fish swimming through the portholes in the walls of the lighthouse – has it sunk to the bottom of the ocean?
Colin Thompson Lighthouse Jigsaw
Colin Thompson Lighthouse Jigsaw
As always with Ravensburger the puzzle pieces are good quality, with a linen finish minimising the glare and their “soft click” technology making it easy to know when you have placed your pieces correctly. Unfortunately I had quite a few puzzle pieces that were still attached to one another slightly and had to be pulled apart, which surprised me.
I will make sure to upload a photo of the finished jigsaw puzzle when I have completed it, as I have been so busy I’ve only managed around a quarter so far! 
4 stars for this difficult, but enjoyable, puzzle.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Review: Disney Collector's Edition Fantasia Jigsaw Puzzle

If you, like me,  love Disney and Disney films, then you too will have a favourite.
Mine is Fantasia.   I love the animation and how the music fits with the same.  Ravensburger have been caught up in people’s love of Disney and have created a set of Collector’s Edition Jigsaw Puzzles.
I was sent the Fantasia one to review.  I love it.

This is one of a set of 5.   The other 4 are Snow White, Bambi,Cinderella and Dumbo

The most beautiful key scenes. from the world famous and beloved Disney classics, have been made into beautiful puzzles for you to immerse yourself into the world of dreams and wishes.

This jigsaw is a piece of film history for you to make and puzzle out, awakening nostalgic memories, taking you back to your childhood.

Each Ravensburger Puzzle is produced with the utmost care and checked thoroughly. The jigsaws are made in Germany and have an unique premium quality. The pieces are specially formulated from cardboard that has their unique Softclick Technology.   I know if you buy a Ravensburger Jigsaw you will not be disappointed.

You can find all puzzles created by Ravansburger by clicking this link

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Disney Collectors Edition Snow White 1000 Piece Puzzle

I’ll be 50 next year, but I can still remember my first trip to the cinema.  I’m not sure exactly how old I was, but we went to the cinema in Farnham, it probably doesn’t exist any more, or has been replaced with a multi screen complex.  We went to see a true Disney classic, that’s celebrating its 80th anniversary this year.  To celebrate this fact and to reminisce on a childhood favourite I’ve been completing the Disney Collectors Edition Snow White 1000 piece puzzle from Ravensburger.
Disney Collectors Edition Snow White 1000 Piece Puzzle
The story of Snow White is known the world over and as soon as I looked at the images in this jigsaw puzzle I started humming away to myself.  The soundtrack of my childhood coming straight back to me.  The film, to me, is as magical today as it was when I first saw it over 40 years ago.
Disney Collectors Edition Snow White 1000 Piece Puzzle
The Disney Collectors Edition Snow White 1000 Piece Puzzle features all the main characters from the film.  What’s not to love about the lovely seven dwarfs.
Which one have I not included in the collage above? Can you remember all of their names?
As I’m always saying, the quality of Ravensburger puzzles is second to none.  The puzzle image is always perfect, and the pieces are made of a good quality card and are precision cut for a perfect fit.
Disney Collectors Edition Snow White 1000 Piece Puzzle
As I was completing the Disney Collectors Edition Snow White 1000 Piece Puzzle I loved putting the film reel clips together, remembering the wicked witch and her alter ego the wicked stepmother, the woodcutter and of course the red apple, which caused so much trouble.
Disney Collectors Edition Snow White 1000 Piece Puzzle
It wasn’t just the dwarfs that loved Snow White though, all the forest animals did too, and many of them get included in the Disney Collectors Edition Snow White 1000 Piece Puzzle.  From rabbits and deer to the birds, so many memories came flooding back as I completed this jigsaw.
Aimed at anyone aged 14 and over, this puzzle has been a joy to complete, and I know I’ll enjoy making it up again in the future.  My great-niece is due to be born next week, her Mum is a huge Disney fan so hopefully one day, the three of us might complete it together.
Disney Collectors Edition Snow White 1000 Piece Puzzle
Priced at £12.99, It would make a great present for a Disney fan!

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Back to School with Ravensburger

It doesn’t seem long since School Sports Day, and here it is, almost Back To School time!  In fact, I know some students are already back to school.  We homeschool year-round so our home most often looks like a classroom, but I thought it would be fun to reminisce with the children about how my classroom looked at school compared to theirs at home.   We’ve done this with great fun putting together this Teacher puzzle!
Happy Days at Work - The Teacher, a Castle View Academy homeschool review
Ravensburger kindly sent us a copy of their 500 piece Happy Days at Work – The Teacher puzzle for our compare and contrast project.
I started this puzzle one night while waiting for Phil to move some things off his PC onto an external drive as I needed the drive for my own work.  Phil’s PC had crashed and self-wiped the hard drive and he was majorly stressing about it and I was trying my best to stay calm as this was the latest in another run of bad luck we’d been having (this same week I came close to losing at least a month’s worth of blog posts and our car quit).  I took advantage of this wait by taking a big breath and starting to sort out the edge pieces from the centre pieces on our Puzzle Handy.  I’m so predictable with this, aren’t I?
Starting The Teacher at Castle View Academy
I had virtual assistant work I needed to get to, and the night was getting late.  But I concentrated on the puzzle and drank a cup of tea.  Waiting patiently, and glad I had something to make me slow down and focus.  Somehow Ravensburger always knows just when we need a good puzzle to take our minds off our troubles!
After Phil was done with the drive, I started my work for the night after I slid the Puzzle Handy under the sofa and out of the way.  I knew that if I left it out the kids would find it in the morning and be distracted from their school work by putting together a classroom…how ironic, really.
Happy Days at Work - The Teacher at Castle View Academy homeschool
A couple of days later we returned to the puzzle and Kallista helped me sort out some of the internal pieces into piles:
  • Art display wall
  • Book shelf
  • The trees and outdoor pieces
  • The hamster cage
We put some of the Teacher puzzle together together.  It’s nice doing a puzzle on your own, but it’s also nice to have company.
Phil was home ill part of last week and taking things easy.  So he joined us to finish the puzzle.  It was a nice way to spend a little time together, even if he wasn’t feeling his best.
As we put this puzzle together we all chatted about the similarities between a school classroom and our homeschool:
  • We have a clock on the wall.
  • We have art on our walls.
  • We have displays and information on our walls.
  • We have lots of books in different areas.
  • We have a teacher that reads to the children.
How do homeschool and public school classrooms compare, Castle View Academy
We also compared how our home was different to this puzzle:
  • We don’t have desks.
  • We don’t have lots of kids.
  • We don’t have a chalk board.
  • We don’t have a class pet.
Happy Days at Work - The Teacher puzzle, completed by Castle View Academy

Thursday, 31 August 2017

American Flag Sneaker 3D Puzzle *review*

Our latest Ravensburger puzzle review is for the cool American Flag 3D Sneaker. Made of 108 unique and strong plastic pieces which lock into place (no glue needed) it also doubles up as a handy storage pot.

The puzzle is aimed at children aged 8 years+ (and adults too!) Each piece is numbered on the back so you can follow those or make the puzzle by eye if you fancy more of a challenge.

Charlie managed to make it from start to finish in about 30 minutes without any assistance. He struggled a little with getting the base pieces to lock properly at the beginning but persevered and got them to click into place.

When finished the sneaker measures approximately 21 x 8.7 x 13.4cm.

He's really pleased with the final result and now wants the others in the range. We've had a lot of Ravensburger 3D puzzles over the last few years and the finished product is always impressive and sturdy.

Take a look at the Ravensburger website for more great products in the 3D range.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Beautiful 3D Cinderella Puzzle Review

I have a longstanding love for Disney’s Cinderella. As the oldest child in a family with working parents, I always had more responsibilities and chores than my siblings, and at a young age, my granny started calling me Cinderella, and well, I’ve never slept in the cinders next to the fire (unless you count camping under the stars!) or had two ugly step-sisters take over my home (though I do have two daughters, and now I mention it, it rarely looks like my home anymore!) When I was asked if the girls would like to review the Ravensburger Cinderella Puzzle, I said YES! But actually, I was lying. I had no intention of sharing it with them. Personally, I think the Cinderella Carriage looks gorgeous on my windowsill!
Cinderella Puzzle
The Ravensburger puzzle comes in a box with instructions, and 72 puzzle pieces. I was really surprised to find they were plastic puzzle pieces, but in retrospect that makes perfect sense, since they are curved into a ball! In the box there’s also a base for the ‘ball’ to sit on.
The puzzle pieces are numbered on the back, which feels like a bit of a cheat at first, but considering the puzzle is meant to be for children and it’s still quite challenging, even with the numbered puzzle pieces, so that’s good. We started off putting the puzzle together just using the numbers, but then realised that actually doing so with the help of the pictures was quite necessary.
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The Cinderella puzzle pieces also have arrows on them, to show you in which direction they go. This might seem odd, but they go in a sphere, so once you’re building it, it all makes sense!
I found the hardest part of the puzzle was actually putting the base together (without looking at the instructions) it took us ages!
Ravensburger Cinderella 3D Puzzle
The completed puzzle is beautiful, though the girls wanted to remove part of it so that they could put their dolls inside and use it like a princess carriage for their dolls. I put a stop to that train of thought as the next thing would be missing puzzle pieces, and as I said – this is my puzzle, target market of children aged 6 – 10 notwithstanding!
The only thing that bothered me, just a little bit, about the puzzle was the lack of continuity between the images. Fore example the mouse on one side of the wheel isn’t on the other, but the pumpkin in. The bird on one side isn’t on the other – or visible from the other wheel. Also, Cinderella is visible outside the carriage on the one side, but on the opposite side there’s a random dog, and you should be able to see Cinderella’s dress from the back through the window, but there’s nothing there.  It’s not the end of the world – I only have the Cinderella side visible on my windowsill anyway, but it’s just a point to note. Cinderella Flaws
Every now and then my Gran reminds me that Cinderella got to go to the ball, and I will too… I’m not in much of a hurry for Prince Charming, but wouldn’t mind those gorgeous glass slippers, and a ride in this beautiful carriage!
You can purchase this 3D Ravensburger puzzle from Amazon
Review by Diary of a First Child 

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Ravensburger What if? no 16 The Wedding - Review

This Ravensburger’s Jigsaw is from the What if? collection and suitable for the upcoming months as it's called ‘The Wedding’.
The photo on the front depicts the Bride’s ideal day.
Everybody is getting on……. and

… the Groom is delivering his speech.  But what if? …….
This is an unusual jigsaw with the picture on the front depicting the dream day but the actual puzzle is the Groom’s idea of an Unforgettable Day.     There is no picture to show you the finished puzzle.     So you need to use your thinking caps to find out what sort of day was had.
The artist of this piece is Geoff Tristram, who has been a professional artist for over 35 years.  During this time he has created imagery for many prestigious companies and brands including Penguin books, Hodder and Stoughton, Royal Doulton, Trivial Pursuit, Reeves, Winsor and Newton and many many more.  Geoff has also designed album sleeves for UB40, postage stamps for Charles and Diana’s Royal Wedding, Miss World, the Winter Olympics and World Cup Football plus advertisements for Jeremy Clarkson and Jonathon Ross.  He has even appeared on BBc’s World Snooker Finals, interviewing top players whilst drawing caricatures of them.  Geoff is also a successful author, writing comedy novels, featuring his alter ego, David Day, and gives humorous illustrated talks to clubs and societies across the UK .
When you choose a Ravensburger Puzzle you will experience quality.    With over 100 years of tradition, their wealth of experience and unsurpassed attention to detail makes them the world’s most popular puzzle brand.
The premium quality jigsaw provides a unique experience resulting from 40 years of on-going development and an exclusive manufacturing process which uses their own specially engineered cardboard and linen-finish paper, to ensure sturdy, glare-free puzzle pieces with virtually no dust.
Ravensburger’s latest Soft-click Technology guarantees a 100% interlocking mechanism for the world’s most optimal fit of individually formed pieces. This results in a smooth puzzle.