Imagination

Imagination by Robert Williams – Mr. Bob Puzzles – 525 pieces

Oh my. This puzzle. What a FANTASTIC image for puzzling! I had the best time putting this one together, and I’m sorry that it isn’t still being produced because it was an amazing assembly and I loved every single piece. 💖

Even though I picked it out myself, sort of, (told hubby which images of Mr. Bob’s puzzles I liked best), when it arrived I was a little scared of the image and thought it would be really difficult. It was put away for a while, then – well, you know. Finally, it was pulled out from it’s place in the to-do pile and….HOLY GUACAMOLE was it fun! I was completely wrong about how difficult it would be. It turns out this is, in my humble opinion, a perfect image for a jigsaw puzzle.

You may not think so looking at it, and to be honest neither did I at first. To me it is beautiful art, but I thought it would be an extremely demanding assembly, especially with the deceptively difficult cut of Mr. Bob’s puzzles. It wasn’t. It was the perfect amount of challenging. I know I am repeating myself, but this puzzle was the best, most entertaining puzzle I’ve done in quite some time. Click the link above to check out their website if you’re interested, they have many unique images that you won’t see anywhere else, and they are excellent quality wooden puzzles.

As usual, it began with pulling all the whimsies while laying out the pieces. There were some special ones in this puzzle – hubby asked them to put the name of my blog in the whimsies! (He must have remembered when they cut my name into a puzzle and I said “Wouldn’t it be cool to have the name of the blog cut out in puzzle pieces?” What a sweet, thoughtful husband I have!)

Having thick wooden pieces means that you can cut out wonderful shapes; and part of the fun is seeing them – and the interesting shapes of the pieces around them. Mr. Bob’s logo and his silhouette are cut into every puzzle, along with a whimsy of Australia. The rest of the whimsies are different depending on the image of the puzzle itself.

When using lasers to cut wooden puzzles the only real limits are the designer’s imagination. (Plus, they can cut out fun things like the name of a puzzle blog!)

How cool is that? So cool! But I have to tell you that even without these words in the puzzle I would still be in love with it. The colors and textures, the movement, the lines running through it, the fabulous quality, the perfect amount of challenge – everything worked together to make for the most pleasurable puzzling this professed puzzle geek has had in a quite a while.

Love, love, LOVED IT! 😍


Mr. Bob’s Puzzles has grown significantly since I reviewed two of their puzzles two years ago – almost to the day! It seems like much more time has gone by; through our email correspondence I feel as if I know Mr. Bob himself personally and we’re old friends. After my reviews I gave suggestions to improve their products, and it was unbelievably well received; they truly wanted to make the best puzzles they could.

I encouraged him to put more of his own artwork on his puzzles: because I adore his digital art, it is most definitely my pile of pieces! This puzzle is one of his creations, and it made for such a fun assembly that I couldn’t stop gushing to him about it. I’ve done several of Mr. Bob’s puzzles, and the ones I’ve enjoyed the most have been the ones with his artwork; Save the Whales, Art City, and now Imagination joins the club.

Last year Mr. Bob’s Puzzles received an order for 53,000 custom puzzles from a major Australian corporation as gifts for their staff – it called for renting a new, larger space, establishing a bank of laser cutters, and a production facility to cope with the higher output. They got them all produced and shipped in about three months – on time and on budget. Bob tells me that it amounted to cutting around 8,000,000 pieces (approximately 375 miles of laser cutting)! 😮

Well done everyone at Mr. Bob’s Puzzles, you’re going places! And we knew you when…

Art City

Art City
Art City by Robert Williams – Mr. Bob Puzzles – 1001 pieces

I love unique and interesting images, and there’s nothing like this one anywhere but at Mr. Bob Puzzles. The colors, the movement of the artwork, it’s just astounding and I absolutely adored this puzzle and the assembly!

The first thing I do when I get a wooden puzzle is to look through all the pieces to see the shapes, hopefully whimsies, and get a feel for the colors and the image. This one definitely didn’t disappoint. Not only where there plenty of whimsical shapes, there were a lot of words too – so fun!

Art City whims 1

I didn’t even notice when I was going through them that “ciao” is spelled wrong, in fact if I hadn’t received an email from the company I probably never would have realized it! They were horrified at the mistake and have offered to fix it immediately. Honestly I don’t think I’ll bother, it makes it more interesting I think. 😉

Art City whims 2

The whimsy pieces have a roaring 20’s feel, jazzy and fun and they made for fun surrounding pieces too.

Art City 2

The image made for a difficult assembly, but it was the lovely kind of difficult that keeps you engaged and engrossed.

Art City 1

This woman taking a picture with her iPhone is the artist’s way of bringing the image into the present as many of the whimsy pieces suggest older times. (Or so Mr. Bob tells me 🙂 )

This assembly was absolutely the right amount of challenging, but not too difficult as to make it frustrating. The cut of the pieces seems mostly regular, but it is quite deceptive and not at all as easy as it looks. If it were too easy it wouldn’t be much fun at all, so thankfully these puzzles have struck an excellent balance.

Even with the shipping from Australia, I’ve found Mr. Bob Puzzles to be relatively reasonably priced; with the exchange rate for the Australian dollar shoppers in the US start out with a bit of a discount already. And with the wildfires in Australia I also like the idea of sending some of my puzzle money down there.

Review: Save The Whales

Save The Whales
Save The Whales by Robert Williams – Mr. Bob Puzzles – 515 pieces

There aren’t enough words in my vocabulary to describe how much I adored Save The Whales. It made for the most enjoyable puzzle assembly and to say I loved just doesn’t do it justice. This puzzle was such great fun!

This is the second of two puzzles I was sent for review from Mr. Bob Puzzles, and I am quite impressed with the quality. The pieces are thick 4.5mm wood, and the fit is not as loose as some other wooden puzzles. The pieces have a good hand feel, and the cut is deceptively challenging; it looks easy, but it most definitely isn’t. They also have been infused with essential oils, giving them a lovely, relaxing scent. The whimsy pieces fit the theme of the puzzle, and range from quite large to very small. I knew what to look for this time, and found all the pieces that spell out the Mr. Bob logo on the first try! 🙂

Save The Whales whimsies

I did find that this puzzle had a quite a few pieces that had the image ever so slightly lifting at the edges, and relayed this information to the Mr. Bob team through emails. The 100 Icons puzzle didn’t have this issue at all, so I wanted to let them know that there was something different about Save The Whales. They believe they may have “overdosed” some of the pieces with the essential oils, and that’s what caused this problem. Easily remedied with careful application of the oils, or if the customer prefers it the puzzle could be scent free. (I for one love the added scents, and found them to be pleasant and relaxing.)

I also gave some feedback on the whimsy pieces; some tails on the sea creatures were quite thin, and to prevent breakage and image lift the suggestion was made to thicken them. I was pleasantly surprised at how eager the team was to hear suggestions and make changes to improve the quality of their puzzles. As an avid puzzler it’s nice to see that a company is striving to make the best puzzles they can; I appreciated their willingness to address the small issues that I found.

There was one more suggestion I had for the team, and that was to please put more of Robert Williams’ artwork on their puzzles. Robert is the “Bob” in Mr. Bob Puzzles, and I think his artwork is just beautiful! I was drawn to this image right away, it reminds me of the artwork of Edward Kinnally, which I also adore. It’s just my opinion, of course, but I certainly hope they consider my suggestion. 😉

There was only one in process picture, I was having too much fun to stop and take pics. To be honest, the only reason I took the picture was for a post about the progress of my assembly. The colors and the movement of the image was quite compelling, and once I got to assembling it was difficult to walk away and leave the next piece undone. It must be easy to find, don’t leave yet, just one more piece…

Whales IP

The bottom line for me is that this puzzle was completely engrossing, entertaining, and both beautiful and beautifully made. I had so much fun putting it together that even though I want to frame it and hang it as artwork, I took it apart. Hubby is planning to make me a custom frame, but I really want to assemble it again; there aren’t many puzzles I can say that about! 🐳

If you’re a wooden puzzle fan I absolutely recommend giving a Mr. Bob puzzle a try. They have some stunning images to choose from, and they’re well made and very entertaining. As an added bonus, depending on where you live, the exchange rate could give you a discount right off the bat – as of today the Australian dollar only costs 68 cents American!

Details:

  • Title:                  Save The Whales
  • Artist:                Robert Williams
  • Brand:               Mr. Bob Puzzles
  • Piece count:     515 pieces
  • Size:                  Approx. 23 x 17 in. (54 x 43 cm)
  • Purchased:      N/A, sent for review

Quality:

  • Board:               4.5mm wood
  • Cutting:             Excellent
  • Image:               Very good, some slight image lift
  • Box:                   Excellent
  • Fit:                     Excellent
  • Puzzle Dust:     None
  • Piece cut:          Grid cut, whimsy pieces
  • Piece shapes:   Very good variety
  • Finish:               Slightly shiny finish, lays flat

Overall Rating:      Excellent, highly 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.