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

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! 😉

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!

 

 

 

Emergency Room

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Emergency Room by Jean-Jacques Loup – Heye – 2000 pieces

Would you believe this is only the 2nd 2000 piece puzzle I’ve ever assembled? It’s true! My only other 2000 piece was the World of Books by Ravensburger. Then I decided why not kick it up a notch and try a puzzle 20 times bigger than that? I’m off my rocker, I know, but in an adorable way. 🙂

I have to be honest, I was intimidated by this puzzle once I had the edge assembled. I thought, “where in the world do I begin?”, and “this is going to be difficult!”. The image is packed full of people and trees and shrubs and there’s so much going on! There is a lot going on that’s for sure; it’s a Loup puzzle, there’s always plenty of stuff going on! I even considered putting it back in the box and leaving it for another time.  That’s how much I was almost dreading this puzzle. I thought to myself that it was too overcrowded and it wouldn’t be a very enjoyable assembly and that perhaps I’d be in a better mood to do it at some other time.

It sounds ridiculous that a person who just finished the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle would be intimidated by this 2000 piece thing. But I was, then I decided to just jump in and start doing something, it didn’t matter where I started I just had to begin. So I started out small and assembled the buildings on either side of the hospital itself. That wasn’t bad at all, so then I pulled and assembled the roofs, and it just went on from there. Trees, pavement, ambulances, they all got done in time and it turns out I was completely wrong to be intimidated and I enjoyed this puzzle so much!

This was my first puzzle by Jean-Jacques Loup, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It became less and less intimidating with each piece I added. Even though there was a LOT going on I was still able to pull out small sections to assemble without having to refer to the poster constantly, I appreciated that. This puzzle was a bit naughty with some nudity and adult humor, but I found it amusing (cause I may be an adult, but I refuse to grow up) I was glad to see it wasn’t only female nudity, there was a naked man trying to escape from the psychiatric ward. 😉 Thumbs up for equality!

I have a few other Loup puzzles by Heye yet to assemble, and I think after this one I won’t be so intimidated by them. I can’t wait to assemble them actually!