When something looks too good to be true- it is! I’ve seen these boxes of multiple puzzle packs in a store, some with very charming pictures of animals on them, and was tempted by the price but hesitated. Glad now that I didn’t buy any. Came across two different boxed sets being given away locally, and I figured what the heck, I’ll see if they’re any good.
Surprise: they’re not. Like the Animal World puzzle, these don’t have any manufacturer info on the box, just says made in China. The first box I opened, doesn’t even have titles for the ten puzzles, no poster or picture guide. (If it once had that, the paper’s lost). The images on the box are fairly small and my box came with a big surface tear across the top so four of the pictures are ruined there anyway. So most of them I assembled without any visual guide. I did go to the trouble of looking up the paintings the puzzles came from, wanting to at least give the original artist credit. Couldn’t find two of them. Eight of the puzzles in this box are from Abraham Hunter paintings, one by Derek Hansen and one by Mary Pettis. Funny thing, I’m not terribly keen on the Abraham Hunter pictures in this set- they’re either very soft and indistinct (think Thomas Kinkade) which makes a pretty picture, but is so hard to put together as a puzzle- or they’re so bright and vivid they look unreal. However searching for the painting titles I saw a lot of his artwork online, and found that I really admire his plein air paintings especially the ones of woodland animals and deer.
Anyway! As for this set- the quality of the actual puzzles is poor. Not quite as bad as Animal World- the pieces weren’t actually falling apart. But they’re thin, rather small (except for the two 100-piece puzzles which were decent size) and literally all the same basic shape- two knobs, two indents, absolutely no variety.
Tons of false fits. I can’t count how many times I rearranged the sky or tree foliage in these puzzles trying to get it right. The fit is loose too, so any kind of shifting, or accidentally dragging my sleeve over the board, and everything got messed up again. Moving an assembled section to another spot was tricky- usually I had to do it piece by piece.
So why did I bother to do them all? I’ve got covid. Most days with fatigue and headache that worsened by activities like reading or using a computer screen. Gets really boring shut up in a room by yourself. So I put on music and did bad puzzles. My head all dull so I didn’t really care if I actually enjoyed them or not- it was just a way to pass the time. I will be posting reviews about the individual puzzles too, this is just an overview.
Right now I am on day 9. Seventh day in quarantine (which started on day 3 of being sick, when I realized what it was), and still testing positive. Hopefully tomorrow my test will be negative- I’m feeling much better now and the fever has abated but can’t see my kids until I know I’m not contagious, sigh. I’ve completed seven of the ten puzzles in the box and am working on the eighth. It’s actually kind of enjoyable now. I’d stop and do some nicer puzzles but I’ve become determined to complete them all, just to make myself do it.