I normally do not buy Galison puzzles new, many people love them – I do not. I don’t care for the chipboard they use, the feel of it in my hands, the lack of variety in piece shape, etc. …. they’re just not my pile of pieces. I’ve done a couple of reviews and actually really enjoyed them; but the more of their puzzles that I completed, the further down they went in my mental list of puzzle companies. I don’t mind if I get them from the thrift store, but I do not buy them new.
While puzzle shopping recently, I wavered. My resolve weakened and I gave in because I adored the image so much – I was willing to put up with all the things I dislike about their puzzles for such a fantastic and interesting image.
Once the box was opened, however, I got mad. Both at Galison for the quality and myself for giving in and buying it. I opened the bag of pieces, and there were SO many still attached. Now, when I say that you might be thinking “There are always a few pieces attached, what’s the big deal?” That’s true, it usually isn’t a problem at all – but that is NOT what I’m talking about here.
There are probably at least 200 pieces of the 1000 piece puzzle still attached, and they’re that way because the die didn’t cut all the way through. So much so that if I tried to get them apart I would damage them. In theory I could get an exacto knife and cut them apart, but it would probably take me an hour or two sitting at the board working on this puzzle before I could even start sorting it. It shouldn’t take all that work and effort on my part just to be able to start assembling a puzzle!
*200 pieces is a generous estimate, it’s more like between 250-400 pieces still attached in groups of 2, 3, 4, and 5*
You can see in the picture that the pieces are not cut through, on many pieces you cannot see the piece shape from the back. If you look at the box you can see in the bag still that there are many, many more attached. These are just the ones I grabbed from the top of the pile, I wasn’t searching them out, they are everywhere in the bag. Everywhere.
Not only were so many pieces still attached, many of them were damaged – because a properly cut puzzle will break apart when it’s being packaged. But since these pieces weren’t cut through they were smashed together with some force when being put into the plastic bag and into the box. They’re bent, the chipboard is split apart in some places, and the image is coming off where that happened.
It’s the worst quality brand new puzzle I’ve ever opened. Ever. And you know I’ve opened a LOT of puzzles.
For only the second time in my life, I returned a puzzle to the store. The only other time this happened was with the Ceaco advent calendar in 2019. Usually I just deal with bad quality, let the company know so they can make improvements (hopefully), and get on with my life. But this one actually pissed me off – I REALLY wanted to assemble this puzzle, the image was so amazing – and there was no way it was going to happen with such horrid cutting. If 25-40% of the puzzle is already put together for me, it wouldn’t feel like I’d actually assembled it myself. So very disappointing.
In addition to returning the puzzle, I contacted Galison’s customer service to let them know how disappointed I was and the specifics of the problem in the hopes they could work with their manufacturer to improve the brand’s quality. I let them know that the puzzle had already been returned, and specifically that I was NOT looking for a replacement. Two times in my email I stated that I was letting them know what was wrong only in the hope that they would work to improve quality, not for a free puzzle. They offered one anyway – which is good customer service I suppose, but I said I didn’t want one.
They sent a link to the form to be filled out for a replacement puzzle. Which even if I wanted to I cannot fill out. I stated twice in my email that the puzzle had already been returned to the store where it was purchased; so I no longer have it, obviously. The form you have to fill out requires both the ISBN and batch numbers from the puzzle – I already said I took it back! Even if I wanted a replacement I no longer have that information. Grrrr.
I was going to show you a picture of the image, letting you see how cool it was and why I bought it even though this brand isn’t a favorite; but decided against it. I think the artist is awesome, and the image is really great; it’s just too bad it was licensed to a company that made such an awful puzzle. Besides, the artist’s image doesn’t need to be associated with a horrible review, it wasn’t their fault at all.
Galison has joined Ceaco on the banned list. They won’t be getting any of my money again. Ever. 🚫
LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR CRAPPY PUZZLES!