Review: Castle of Horror

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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! 🎃🎃

Details:

  • 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

Quality:

  • 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

Puzzleworld

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Puzzleworld by Kozyndan – Heye – 1000 pieces

In the mood for a puzzle that’s a bit of a challenge? Puzzleworld! I thought this puzzle would be interesting and fun, and it was – but I had no idea how challenging it would be! All the puzzle shapes obscuring other puzzle shapes, wow.  It was a challenge but I did it. 🙂

This image caught my eye while I was putting together an order and needed to be sure I was spending enough money to get free shipping. Heye quality is excellent and the image was so different and compelling that I added it to my shopping cart without much thought at all. Super entertaining purchase!

It took me 4 or 5 days to finish this one, a bit longer than normal for a 1000 piece puzzle, but not too much. The background of puzzle shapes makes for an interesting assembly and makes you pay attention. I enjoyed it very much and was proud of myself when I finished it! You can see especially in the top right corner the puzzle shapes in the background, it looks like a jumble of squiggly lines – it’ll definitely keep you on your toes.

Heye puzzles have great quality in my experience, although I think this particular puzzle may have been at the end of a run. The piece shapes are a bit more obvious than normal (although with this image that actually seems pretty cool) and several pieces were not cut all the way through. It didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the puzzle much, and I’ve had enough experience with this brand to know that it’s not the norm. They still have an excellent catalog, the pieces are sturdy with a nice variety of piece shapes, they fit together well and have beautiful image reproduction. It’s gonna take more than one slightly sub-par puzzle to make me change my mind about this brand – I’m a fan!

 

 

Noah’s Ark

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Noah’s Ark by Jean-Jacques Loup – Heye – 2000 pieces

After the rocky start with the all white border it was fun and challenging (but not too much) and I ended up as I usually do – proud of myself! It looks amazing and I really enjoyed it.

As with the Emergency Room puzzle it is slightly overwhelming when the border is assembled, and I have a few minutes of doubt about where to start and how difficult it will be, etc. But once I forget all that and jump in and start working and it all ends up flowing together wonderfully. I’m not sure why I keep trying to psych myself out, perhaps my brain is slowly being cooked by hot flashes and becoming damaged? Next I’ll probably forget the number 12 or that underwear goes on the inside of my clothes. 😐

There are lots of interesting goings on in the inner workings of this ark, and Noah certainly has his work cut out for him. There’s a skeleton in with the tigers, and they look alarmingly quite satisfied. 😮 The beavers are chewing through the wood, the monkeys are everywhere, and the camels have gotten into the wine! There is also an interesting guest bunking with the cheetahs…..

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It’s nice that we live in a time where knowledge is so readily available – I had to google the difference between cheetahs and leopards to be sure which one was sharing space with the pink panther. I had it right, I just wanted to be certain.

As always the artwork by Loup is detailed and amusing and makes for an excellent puzzle image.  And as usual the quality of the Heye puzzle is very good, with the only small problem being the slightly loose fit.

I love the Heye puzzles and they have the best catalog of cartoon puzzles around; there are always plenty of Heye cartoons on my wishlist. I’ve still got the 2000 piece Apocalypse to assemble, another Loup puzzle that will mostly likely be just as much fun as this one!

If you’ve got the room to work a 2000 piece puzzle I would definitely recommend this one, just don’t talk yourself out of it like some people – that’s just crazy! 😉

Tarzan

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Tarzan by Mordillo – Heye – 1000 pieces

Every time I saw this puzzle when I was “window” shopping I thought that this would be so much fun – I was so right! 🙂 This assembly was almost like assembling a collage puzzle, you could grab all of the blue moose and put that together, which leads to the orange rhino, etc. It was as much fun as I’d hoped!

Unfortunately this was a regular boxed puzzle and not one of Heye’s triangular boxes, so there was no poster. But that’s my only tiny complaint about this puzzle. With a regular box you don’t really need a poster, but I enjoy them so if given a choice I’d prefer to have one. Excellent Heye quality, the pieces feel thick and snap together satisfyingly. You can see from the picture that the pieces fit together well and the shapes are not glaringly obvious in the finished image.

Heye really does the cartoon puzzles extremely well, and I haven’t had one yet that hasn’t been great. This image from Mordillo is adorable and funny and made for a great puzzling experience. If you’re a fan of cartoon puzzles I definitely recommend this one, I absolutely loved it❣

Holy Whiteness Batman!

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Noah’s Ark by Jean-Jacques Loup  – Heye – 2000 pieces

I’m old enough to remember the Batman television show from the late 60’s and all the weird things Robin used to say (although in my defense I watched the reruns – the show was cancelled before I was born). When I stopped to think about a title for this post, Holy Whiteness Batman just popped into my bizarre, aging brain.

I don’t normally post about a puzzle in progress unless it’s the world’s largest puzzle. 😉 But this thing threatened to get the better of me yesterday and I wanted to show that I won!

I started working this 2000 piece puzzle and the edge pieces were all completely white! I love this image and have been looking forward to assembling this puzzle, but the edge on this sucker put me to the test.

The edge was started confidently, I knew it would take more time than usual, but didn’t think it was going to be a problem. Started from a corner and kept on going until I had to stop because I was almost running out of space on the board. All the pieces appeared to be placed correctly but obviously were not. A 2000 piece puzzle by Heye is normally about 50 pieces across and I was up around 58 or 60 pieces. Yikes!

Thankfully when I was sorting the puzzle I had pulled pieces for certain sections to work on first. So I decided it was time to stop working on the edge for a bit and perhaps it would be a good idea to assemble the words at the bottom. Then once those were assembled I would be able to begin again with the bottom edge and would have pieces to fit them into.

It turns out that was a good plan! Once the words were complete it was obvious what I had started was either the top edge of the puzzle, or it was the bottom – entirely wrong! Once the bottom row was properly assembled, the rest seemed to go much more quickly. With a couple of small sections removed from the edge I started on, I had most of the top row complete as well and only had the sides left to do.

Even then it seems that some of pieces are almost identical and seem to fit where they do not. Once I thought I had the correct piece I pulled it out of the way and kept on checking the rest of the pieces to be sure there wasn’t another one that might fit. Good thing too, as several times I was wrong and another piece fit even better. I’m hopeful that the edge is assembled correctly, but I won’t know for sure until I have the inside border assembled – luckily I pulled these pieces as well! If I’ve screwed it up I will know today and will be able to fix it quickly (I hope) and without much fuss.

This is not a problem I have had before with Heye puzzles, but I have also not assembled one of their puzzles with large sections of one color. To be fair, I was on pain medication yesterday so that may have been part of the problem, but I can’t blame it all on that. I looked very closely at the first part I had assembled and it looked like the pieces fit correctly! I still love Heye quality, but I know now to be careful when there is a lot of sameness and/or when I have had to take my pain meds!

I’m still looking forward to the assembly of this puzzle, and even though day one was a little stressful I think it’s going to be great fun!