Review: Castle of Horror

Castle of Horror by Jean-Jacques Loup – Heye – 2000 pieces

This puzzle has been calling me for some time, so I decided I might as well get on it since Halloween is here! 🎃

I’ve been having difficulty puzzling lately and am not able to spend as much time as I’d like enjoying my puzzles. In addition, this gorgeous puzzle was very large and I had to assemble it sideways on my smaller board. I wasn’t feeling well enough to get out the larger board by myself, so I worked with the smaller one. It was difficult for me working a puzzle sideways, even more difficult than I anticipated. I guess my little old lady brain couldn’t get accustomed to the odd vantage point. Because of these things it took me an entire week to complete this puzzle!

The artwork of Jean-Jacques Loup makes me smile, he had an irreverent sense of humor and for me that is part of what makes his puzzles so much fun to assemble. The naughty bits put a little smirk on my face, and I’m always wanting to show them to my hubby to make him smile as well. There were plenty of naughty bits in this puzzle, so I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone underage, or anyone who has children that like to assist. 😈

This puzzle had the usual great Heye quality, with one exception – the fit was looser than I’ve had with any of their other puzzles. It wasn’t horribly loose, but you could easily upset a large section with your arm or sleeve if you weren’t careful. A bit disappointing, but otherwise the quality was very good.

There are so many fun things to discover in this image, it was a treat to put together. It’s full of Halloween spookiness – including witches, ghosts, bats, vampires, demons, and much more. It’s a great puzzle for the holiday – Happy Halloween! 🎃🎃


  • Title:                  Castle of Horror
  • Artist:                Jean-Jacques Loup
  • Brand:               Heye
  • Piece count:     2000 pieces
  • Size:                  Approx. 27 x 38 in. (69 x 97 cm)
  • Purchased:      New


  • Board:               Very good
  • Cutting:             Very good, some hanging bits of paper
  • Image:               Excellent
  • Box:                   Excellent, triangular box
  • Fit:                     Somewhat loose, upset if bumped
  • Puzzle Dust:     Moderate amount
  • Piece cut:          Grid cut
  • Piece shapes:   Good variety
  • Finish:               Matte finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Very good,  recommended

Trick or Treat Hotel

Trick or Treat Hotel by Charles Wysocki – Buffalo Games – 500 pieces

I absolutely loved this puzzle from beginning to end. I love Halloween, and mom finding this puzzle at the thrift store just a few days before the holiday was excellent!

This image was not as difficult as I assumed it would be, and it turned out to be one of my favorite Buffalo puzzles I’ve ever done. Wonderful image by Charles Wysocki with so many creatures and critters to find! The fit was perfection, not too loose or too tight and the end result is almost seamless.

I found that as I assembled more and more pieces I was slowing myself down to make the puzzle last a little while longer. It was coming together too quickly! It was too much fun to speed through, so I had to take it easy and enjoy the journey.

This is one puzzle I’m not going to want to donate, it’ll be fun to assemble next year when Halloween comes around again. I highly recommend this puzzle, two thumbs and two pumpkins up! 👍🎃👍🎃

Songbird Menagerie

Songbird Menagerie by James Hautman – Buffalo – 300 pieces

Another quick 300 piece puzzle mom and I did when I was visiting. We work together pretty well, and there’s lots of great conversation, teasing, laughing, and high fives – it’s the best!🤗

This puzzle was fun, quick, beautiful, and wonderful quality to boot! The fit was excellent, the image is lovely and calm and the pieces felt thick and sturdy. Sometimes I’m not in the mood for the larger piece count Buffalo puzzles (1000 and 2000), although I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because all the pieces are squarish and they all look so similar, or maybe it’s because I can be unreasonably picky. Who can tell? I find that I don’t feel the same way about the 300 and 500 piece counts of Buffalo puzzles. My brain is so weird sometimes!

This is a great puzzle to work on with someone else, I know I loved working on it with my puzzle buddy. 😎

Dragon Rider

Dragon Rider by Lynton Levengood – Ravensburger – 100 pieces

What a gorgeous puzzle, and how disappointing that there’s a piece missing! Such beautiful artwork by Lynton Levengood, it is an absolutely stunning puzzle.

Ravensburger kid’s puzzles have the same excellent quality as their adult puzzles, yet another reason they’re my favorite puzzle company. The pieces are always thick and sturdy and feel good in your hand. The image reproduction is excellent and you can see above how well they fit together, it’s almost seamless.

I’m bummed that this one isn’t complete, my little “grandson” would have loved it. Oh well, I suppose it’s better than if I gave him an incomplete puzzle; it’s very frustrating for him when he can’t find a piece. At least I’ve got enough smarts to be sure and check them first. 🙂

Wouldn’t most kids (especially little boys) love to ride a dragon? I would. I need to ride side-saddle though, and the dragon has to promise to spew fire on a few places that have earned my wrath! Oops. Got a little off track there. Apologies. 😇

If you’ve got a little one who loves dragons, I highly recommend this puzzle! (Be sure you find one with all the pieces though)

Review: Mickey & Minnie Forever

Mickey & Minnie Forever – Mega Puzzles – 300 pieces

Here’s another puzzle that mom and I did together. There’s something about this image, the colors, the silhouette of Mickey, the comic strips in the background – I can’t properly put it into words, but this image makes an excellent puzzle and makes me happy.

I haven’t done many Mega Puzzles brand, but this one seemed to have better quality than others I remember. The pieces were on the thin side, but very sturdy and fit together remarkably well. The image reproduction is a bit shiny, but detailed and clear. This is the second of this brand in the past month that I’ve worked that has larger pieces, it seems that the larger pieces are better quality than the average 1000 piece size. Hmm. Interesting.

The assembly was more difficult than I thought it would be, but it was no match for the 2 puzzle princesses who were working on it. 😉 I will give credit to mom though, she did more of the work than I did – she’s the best!

I’m slightly re-thinking my attitude towards Mega Puzzles. I’d like to find a regular 1000 piece and another with larger pieces so I can compare them side by side. I’ll let my thrift store sensei know what her next mission is. 🛒


  • Title:                  Mickey & Minnie Forever
  • Artist:                Disney
  • Brand:               Mega Puzzles
  • Piece count:     300 pieces
  • Size:                  Approx. 27 x 19 in. (69 x 48 cm)
  • Purchased:      Used, thrift store


  • Board:               Good, somewhat thin but sturdy
  • Cutting:             Good
  • Image:               Very good
  • Box:                   Average
  • Fit:                     Very good
  • Puzzle Dust:     Small amount
  • Piece cut:          Grid cut
  • Piece shapes:   Good variety
  • Finish:               Somewhat shiny finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Good,  recommended