Pig House

Pig House
Pig House by Susan Sturgill – Great American Puzzle Factory – 550 pieces

I hemmed and hawed about assembling this puzzle, it’s probably been at my house for two years, perhaps even longer. It’s a thrift store find of mom’s that looks like a fun image, but with it’s muted colors I knew that it would be difficult. Of course you never know until you get to assembling, but it turns out I was right; the truly random cut and muted colors made it quite a challenge.

The Great American Puzzle Factory is no longer in business, but I don’t think it could have been because of their quality. I’ve done several of their puzzles, and they’ve all been very good. The pieces were very thick, with an excellent variety of shapes and an excellent fit. The image reproduction is very good as well, the muted colors seem to be true to the original artwork.

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La Pension Porcinee – the pig boarding house. I love the whimsy of the artwork and the simple and silly things all the pigs are doing. One is out walking the poodle, and there is a piglet blowing bubbles on the front steps while two old timers are in rocking chairs on the porch.

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Bath time – cleaning up with a big bottle of Hogwash – love it!

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Two honeymooners, expressing their love for one another while a cat hides under the bed. It’s not something you think pigs would be doing – traveling from Cincinnati! 😉

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Here we see the deliveryman bringing “food” into the kitchen. I’m certainly glad I don’t live close to this boarding house!

This puzzle is 34 years old – from 1986. It seems odd to me that the year I graduated from high school is that many years ago. That can’t possibly be. My math must be wrong. Right?

Coral Reef (The Moving Puzzle)

Coral Reef
Coral Reef by Lambert and Samborski – Great American Puzzle Factory – 294 pieces

This is a VERY interesting puzzle that I found in the trunk of my mom’s car. She bought it at the thrift store, but didn’t have a chance to show it to me before she went into the hospital. It was extremely entertaining, and she would have loved working on it with me; I would have loved working on it with her too.

It’s called The Moving Puzzle, and is made by the Great American Puzzle Factory. On the box it says “The never-ending, always moving jigsaw puzzle!!” On the back of the box it tells you that there are two ways to approach this tricky image. You can assemble the picture so that it matches the image on the box top, then change your picture by moving the pieces from top to bottom, left to right and so on. Or, you can pick any piece and build your puzzle from it, all the pieces will fit together and the image will grow in all directions, it doesn’t have to be a rectangular puzzle.

I assembled it the first way to begin with. The picture above is the puzzle assembled as it is on the box top; then I started moving things around…

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Then I moved many things around and changed the puzzle to be rectangular again, I’m showing it next to the original way it was assembled so that it’s easier to see the differences…

 

It’s a pretty cool concept, and it was fun to move things around and make the image change. I will say though that everything doesn’t always line up exactly right. If you assemble it to look like the box top the image is fine. When you see where things can move and start changing the puzzle the image doesn’t always line up perfectly. (Just an observation from a puzzle nerd who looks closely at those things 🤓)

At only 294 pieces, it would be great for kids too. This one will end up at the school my daughter works for, and I hope those children enjoy it as much as I did.

It’s a great quality puzzle; the pieces are extremely thick and the colors are lovely with very nice image reproduction. There is only one piece shape, and I cant really comment on the fit because they really only snug up next to each other, they don’t interlock. It wasn’t much of a problem for me because my puzzle board is covered with fabric, but if you work on a slippery surface it would most likely be quite frustrating.

Mom always found the most interesting puzzles when she went thrift store shopping. If you find a Moving Puzzle, give it a try – it’s a different puzzle experience, that’s for sure.

Travel America

Travel America
Travel America – Great American Puzzle Factory – 1000 pieces

No, the “smoky” look isn’t the picture, it’s the actual puzzle. It had very odd coloring in my opinion, but I’ve seen a lot of odd things in puzzles in my time. 😉

This puzzle wasn’t as entertaining as I’d hoped, but they can’t all be fantastic. The quality was fair; the pieces were thick enough and fit together extremely well. But the image reproduction was fuzzy and smoky and altogether weird. I’ve never really come across a puzzle like this from any brand. Interesting.

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The artwork made for quite a challenge, everything was so muted and smushed together.

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There were a lot of blue pieces, but luckily there were plenty of things to break up the monotony. The grid cut was offset, so you couldn’t rely on piece size to see if they lined up, which made the ocean sections a bit more challenging.

I’ve never worked a puzzle with this odd coloration before, it was….something.

Rock Around the Dock

Rock Around the Dock
Rock Around the Dock – Great American Puzzle Factory – 750 pieces

Love the bright colors and fun atmosphere of the artwork. I wish they’d given the artists name somewhere on the box. It had a great fit, and was very entertaining and more challenging than it looks.

Great American Puzzle Factory usually has very good quality, although I have found a few puzzles of theirs that were less than optimal. This was a great one though, with a fun random cut, very nice fit, and stunning colors.

All of these parrots were having a great time! Good thing too, cause I had a great time assembling it. It’s a very different image than your usual jigsaw puzzle, and that was part of the fun. 🙂

Seeing Double

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Seeing Double by John Speirs – Great American Puzzle Factory – 100 pieces

This is an interesting kid’s puzzle with a twist, you’re seeing double as one side of the attic looks like a mirror image of the other. But there are 14 differences between the two sides. Your job is to assemble the puzzle and then find what’s different.

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The quality of this puzzle is very good. The pieces are a nice thickness and they fit together very well with a good variety of piece shapes. The image reproduction is good, but the finish is slightly shiny which caused a bit of glare and made working the top portion of the puzzle difficult under artificial lights.

This puzzle seems like it’s a bit old, but I wasn’t able to find any information about it online. Great American Puzzle Factory does have a series of these “puzzles within a puzzle”; some finding hidden images or like this one, finding differences.

My brain wasn’t firing on all cylinders when I put this one together, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to find all the differences on my own. I did find one of them right away, while assembling the edge, it’s right underneath the wording….

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There’s a mustache on the man on the left, but not on the mirror image on the right. Basically it’s really the only difference I was able to find on my own, for the rest I just used the answer sheet.

It was a little difficult for a children’s puzzle, the top was quite dark which made it harder to see and put together. I think it’s a good thing when kids puzzles are a little challenging though, if they’re too easy they can become boring. The missing piece was a bummer, but it was still a good quality puzzle and a fun assembly.