Dogs with Jobs

Dogs with Jobs by Eloise Narrigan – Galison – 500 pieces

Quite an adorable puzzle, which helped make up for the lack of variety in piece shapes and sharp white backing. This was a gift received quite some time ago, I’m not even sure when – and it seemed like it was time to get it assembled.

Eloise Narrigan is an artist I haven’t seen in puzzle images before, and she has such a wonderful imagination and aesthetic; each charming image of a dog and the job they hold was so entertaining. I’ve picked some of the silly or unique jobs that truly made me smile. Notice that the line drawings around each dog are connected to their professions – what a fun puzzle image!

Indie Yarn Dyer? This one made me laugh out loud, I wish I’d looked closer at this puzzle before I concocted the backstories for the dog selfies; it would have helped me come up with some truly bizarre and hilarious jobs for them!

Balloon artist – that must be difficult with paws and nails – I bet they have to get their nails cut or filed down quite often. And the thought of the long, thin Dachshund blowing up long, thin balloons to twist into shapes makes me giggle. Love the balloon dog line drawing as well. ‚̧

Of course whatever job the Boston Terrier had would be shown here – they’re our favorite breed here at My Jigsaw Journal. A DJ is a perfect job for that breed, they’re so fun and energetic.

This puzzle was more fun than I thought, and seeing all the great job titles and fun line drawings around each one made for an entertaining assembly. Many thanks to whomever gifted me this puzzle (Penny, I think). Please don’t take offense, more than a few people gift me puzzles and it’s just been so long and my memory is shot; I cannot recall for certain who gave this to me. ūüė•

No More Galison Puzzles For Me….Ever

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. ūüöę

LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR CRAPPY PUZZLES!

Review: MOMA Frank Stella (Firuzabad)

Firuzabad
MOMA Frank Stella (Firuzabad) by Frank Stella – Galison – 750 pieces

MOMA Frank Stella is a gorgeous geometric puzzle that caught my eye immediately, and I was so happy to be able to assemble it for review. The image is fantastic for puzzling, and I enjoyed the assembly very much!

I was happy to see that on the Galison website most puzzles have a picture of the actual assembled jigsaw so that you can see the shapes of the pieces. You can clearly see that this puzzle doesn’t only have one piece shape; in fact, it’s a random cut. Even better!

This puzzle had very good quality; the pieces are a good thickness and fit together well with an excellent variety of shapes. My one issue was that many of the edge pieces didn’t connect together, they merely sat next to one another until interior pieces made connections. I saw when initially sorting the puzzle that this would be the case, and didn’t try to start with the edges as I normally would to avoid unnecessary frustration.

Blocks of color in a puzzle make me very happy, so you can imagine how much I enjoyed this assembly! It was a Goldilocks assembly; not too hard, not too easy – just right! This was after one day of work…

Firuzabad 1

Color by color is how this one was put together, and it made for extremely fun puzzling! The colors are bright and beautiful, the shaped aspect made it more interesting, and the overall assembly was highly entertaining.

Firuzabad 2

I loved this puzzle, and if the image looks like one you’d enjoy it’s highly recommended!

Details:

  • Title:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† MOMA Frank Stella (Firuzabad)
  • Artist:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Frank Stella
  • Brand:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Galison
  • Piece count:¬† ¬† ¬†750 pieces
  • Size:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Approx. 24 x 16 in. (61 x 41 cm)
  • Purchased:¬† ¬† ¬† N/A, sent for review

Quality:

  • Board:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Cutting:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Image:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Excellent
  • Box:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Excellent
  • Fit:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Puzzle Dust:¬† ¬† ¬†Small amount
  • Piece cut:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Random cut
  • Piece shapes:¬† ¬†Very good variety
  • Finish:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Slightly shiny finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Very good, recommended

 

I received this product at no cost in order to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are truthful and 100% my own.

Review: Ideal Bookshelf – Universals

Ideal Bookshelf
Ideal Bookshelf: Universals by Jane Mount – Galison – 1000 pieces

Ideal Bookshelf: Universals was a completely entertaining puzzle that I couldn’t seem to walk away from – just…..one…..more……piece!

This is my kind of puzzle image, it’s a collage (of sorts) full of bright, fun colors. For me this type of picture is the wonderfully engaging and I have a problem stopping to do other mundane things like sleeping and eating. The pieces of one book lead to the next, and they’ll be so easy to find – I can’t stop just yet!

Galison puzzles have very good quality. The pieces are a good thickness, thinner than some brands, but very sturdy and difficult to bend. The fit is very good and holds together well; and the image reproduction is crisp and clean with no blurring or fuzziness. They have a great catalog of images to choose from, you can click the link above to see their current lineup of puzzles. (There’s a new puzzle very similar to this image that I would LOVE to assemble called Bibliophile Books Club Darlings – looks like great fun!)

My one issue with this puzzle was the lack of variety in the piece shapes, all the pieces are what I call ballerinas (the standard 2 prong/2 hole shape). There is enough variety within this shape to be sure you’re not placing pieces where they do not go, but I normally prefer puzzles with a little more variety. Having only one shape makes large areas of one color or pattern more difficult to complete….

Ideal Bookshelf 1

You can see above where I separated the pieces by “long” ones and “fat” ones, and had to try them one at a time to fill in the polka dot book. In the puzzle community we call this using “brute force”, it’s something most puzzlers have done at one time or another. I do it a little differently though; instead of picking up each piece and trying to fit it into place I pull the piece from the assembled section and try it against all the pieces I have lined up. I find it much easier and less time consuming, and therefore it seems a little less frustrating.¬†The only books in this image that I had to do this for were the red polka dots, and the dark blue “Book That Makes Me Look Smart”.

Even with the lack of variety in shapes I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle and would definitely assemble it again. It had enough challenge to keep things interesting, was easy enough to not feel tedious, and the image is beautiful and bright. If this image turns your page, it’s absolutely recommended – two book stacks way up! ūüďöūüďö

Details:

  • Title:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Ideal Bookshelf
  • Artist:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Jane Mount
  • Brand:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Galison
  • Piece count:¬† ¬† ¬†1000 pieces
  • Size:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Approx. 20 x 27 in. (51 x 69 cm)
  • Purchased:¬† ¬† ¬† N/A, sent for review

Quality:

  • Board:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Cutting:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Image:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Excellent
  • Box:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Excellent
  • Fit:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Puzzle Dust:¬† ¬† ¬†Small amount
  • Piece cut:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Grid cut
  • Piece shapes:¬† ¬†No variety, all 2 prong/2 hole
  • Finish:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Slightly shiny finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Very good, recommended

 

I received this product at no cost in order to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are truthful and 100% my own.

Review: Rainbow Marbles

IMG_4960
Rainbow Marbles by Julie Seabrook – Galison – 500 pieces

I am a fan of color blend puzzles like this image; unfortunately, this one was a bit disappointing for me. When mom brought her recent thrift store purchases for me to look at and I saw this one I was so excited to start assembling it. I love the image! Galison puzzles, sadly, have just the one piece shape – what I call ballerinas (2 prongs, 2 holes). The lack of variety made this puzzle more difficult and less entertaining for me. And I wanted so much to like it! ūüėē

Many people are only concerned with the image itself, and the puzzle doesn’t need to have premium quality to entertain. I am sometimes the same way; if the image is fun for me I can overlook quality issues that might drive me crazy with an image that, for me, is less entertaining. Rainbow Marbles is perhaps the exception that proves the rule – although I love the artwork on this puzzle, it was still a disappointing assembly for me because of the piece shape. That said, I am still recommending it for others who might only be looking for a great image.

Galison puzzles have good quality board that is thick, and the pieces fit together well. The image reproduction is excellent, with sharp focus and no blurring or fuzziness and a slightly shiny finish. I don’t normally comment on boxes unless they are exceptional in my opinion, but the box with this puzzle was extremely sturdy and well made. The lack of variety in piece shape may be problem for some, but if the image is one that you like it may not be a concern for you.

All reviews are just opinions. I try to at least be as objective as I can, and even though a puzzle image or quality may not be my taste, I try to give a detailed accounting of those things that I feel other puzzlers may want to know. We can’t all love the same puzzles for the same reasons. If variety in piece shape isn’t as big a deal for you and you love this image, I’m confident in recommending this puzzle. It’s got good quality, and it really is a beautiful picture!

Details:

  • Title:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Rainbow Marbles
  • Artist:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Julie Seabrook
  • Brand:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Galison
  • Piece count:¬† ¬† ¬†500 pieces
  • Size:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Approx. 20 x 20 in. (51 x 51 cm)
  • Purchased:¬† ¬† ¬† Used, thrift store

Quality:

  • Board:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Cutting:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Good
  • Image:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Excellent
  • Box:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Sturdy
  • Fit:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Very good
  • Puzzle Dust:¬† ¬† ¬†Moderate amount
  • Piece cut:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Grid cut
  • Piece shapes:¬† ¬†Poor, no variety
  • Finish:¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Slightly shiny finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Good, recommended

Rainbow Marbles was assembled in August, but got lost temporarily due to my old lady brain or medication fog. Usually once I finish a puzzle and take pictures I do three things; 1) the image is put onto the completed puzzles page for that month, 2) I start a new blog post page and put all pictures there also with a few notes about the assembly (and puzzle info if I’m writing a review), and 3) I add the pieces and puzzle to the running total for the year.

I’ve usually got 2 weeks worth of puzzles already completed and waiting to be written up and posted, so I didn’t really notice that I messed up one of those steps. When I thought I was starting a new blog post page, I clicked the wrong button and started a whole new page for the site (like one of the monthly completed puzzles pages). Since puzzles normally don’t get published right away it was saved as a draft, but not with all the other post drafts of other puzzles.

It wasn’t until last week when I was starting to write up new site pages for brand reviews that I noticed this little guy hanging out in the site pages drafts where he wasn’t supposed to be! How could I have missed this for 2 months? And if I hadn’t decided to start writing reviews of puzzle brands how long would it have been before I found this little guy? Heaven only knows!