Ravensburger one of the biggest name in jig saws are always a hit at Christmas and not just with the kids, here I am looking at a pair of offerings featuring favourite pets in large quantities, Dogs in one and Cats in the other.
When you try to count the number of dogs in an image – several times – and keep getting a different number you either give up counting or you go very strange, I did the former and found completing the jigsaw quite therapeutic. This is a 1000 piece puzzle that has somewhere near to one hundred dogs on it, quite a lot of Labradors some German Shepherds, Huskies and several Dalmatians, not being a dog expert I will stop there before my limited knowledge lets me down.
I am fairly certain that when I started talking about Christmas items six weeks ago most thought I must have lost my marbles, here in the sixth of my series I tell you about a new game from Ravensburger and perhaps the best known board game of all Monopoly.
‘Reveal the secrets of the speaking animals and find the thief!’ is the tag line on the front of the box. It is a game for two to four players and the stated age is from ‘7 up’. You need to find a missing ring as it protects the Kingdom from the evil wizard who is on his way. Who has stolen the ring find that and you have solved the simple version.
I know we are at the height of summer but the round of Christmas offerings are already happening, the two jig saws I am talking about here were actually shown at the Toy Fair to the trade last January for sale for this Christmas.
Still with memories of the 5000 piece offering that defeated me early this year I reverted to the other end of the scale with a 100 piece ‘XXL’ puzzle. This is aimed at 6+ with the average piece size being around 6x3.7cm. The overall puzzle size is 49x36cm and features Dr Who and Amy Pond along with something that looks rather like one of my school teachers as well as a Dalek and what I think is a stone monster in a very blue scenario.
While most seem happy to say YES when completing a 1000 piece puzzle me included I started my quest before Christmas on two larger offerings a 3000 piece one eventually completed, meant time to start a 5000 piece offering.
Of course even these are tiny in comparison to the 32,000 plus pieces in the world’s largest jigsaw that they produce. See last paragraph. For me anyhow a 2000 piece jigsaw is at the very least ‘a challenge’, it also has an awful lot of various shades of blue.
Two items from Ravensburger, first a puzzle what they are best known for but it has rather unusual twist in its look. Second something most puzzle fiends will require a unit that allows a part finished puzzle to be stored away.
On the face of it his 500 piece puzzle would not be a great test of the more expienced puzzler, the first problem is the subject its Tower Bridge at Night so there is a great deal of blue grey and black, however there is another twist. It glows in the dark so the finished item is quite likely to need to be displayed possibly behind glass as a picture.
First an assortment of puppies and second a single cat, the latter doing what cats do best sleeping. Both these puzzles are delightful and are from the 1500 piece range, I am certain both will be very popular with puzzle doers.
It is landscape in shape and 80x60cm in size. This image is made up of eight boxes seven of which have a single puppy and the eight has two puppies. In theory this makes it easier to complete as the blue areas around each puppy give you distinct areas to work with. However the drawback is there is a lot of the single blue colour. The image is by Greg Cuddiford. However it would have been nice to know a little about each of the puppies.
Although they do other things Ravensburger are best known for jigsaws. Here I am looking at two offerings, the first The Bizarre Bookshop a 1000 piece conundrum and second a 1500 piece map of the World circa 1594.
This premium puzzle has the Ravensburger softclick technology so if the pieces do not seem to fit they certainly are not meant to go with each other. A Landscape offering roughly 70x50cm and its such an intriguing image.
With Christmas no longer a distance away, time for serious thought. Here first a game suitable for either two players or solo. Second another of Ravensburgers great jigsaws maybe a gift for someone on their own to enjoy.
The recessed game boards are 22x22cm with a playing area of 14x14cm that is exactly the same size as 16 labyrinth tiles (four by four) that fit in the space. Although the tile faces are cardboard they fit in red and blue plastic holders so to protect them from wear. If you add two magicians, sixteen 7x7cm object cards and the book of rules (24 pages in six languages) you have the contents of the box. It is based on a game by Prof. Dr. Max Kobbert that is now over twenty years old.
Brace yourself ready or not Christmas is not that far away. Here two items for the kids and no doubt the best way to cope is a little at a time. First a tradition Jigsaw from Ravensburger and second a new twist on the Rubiks Cube.
This is apparently the twelfth limited edition puzzle produced by Ravensburger. I cannot talk about any of the first eleven as I have not seen them. This is a delightful puzzle of 1000 pieces and for me anyway quite difficult because of the amount of snow. It is created from an original watercolour painting by Roy Trower who studied graphic art at Norwich and graduated in 1984. It is one of Ravensburgers Premium Puzzles featuring their softclick technology.
First an ingenious device called the Deco Mandala Designer and second something say it very quietly educational from the History of Art series, that dare I say is fun as well as educational what used to be called Edutainment.
This is stated to be for age 6-12 what worries me as certainly an ‘over 18’ is that I enjoyed using it immensely with one exception its pink!! As stated it is two tone pink and around 35x35x6cm. You are provided with a range of stencils and the object is to make a design on paper using one or more of the provided stencils. However here is the clever bit you can repeat the design as many times – within reason – as you like.
Perhaps what Ravensberger are best known for in the toy and games market is Jigsaws and here I am looking at two such offerings. To me two things matter the quality of the image and the quality of the pieces, both are excellent.
This has an idea new to me two 500 piece jigsaws in the same box. Don’t worry they are packed separately as otherwise even the real puzzle experts would be pulling their hair out. This box (ref 14093) has two different Riverside Cottage pictures and while 500 pieces is probably the level for a bright child they can be fun for older people two. Ravensburger have been making puzzles for very nearly 120 years and unlike some they make sure no two pieces are alike.
Here I am looking at a traditional board game which is great when several of you have an hour or more to spend around a table. The other offering is for the Nintendo DS Lite multiple versions of the Rubics Cube.
This is a board game from Ravensburger one of the biggest names in games in the world. Certainly a game for the family it is stated as age 10-99 and for 3-6 players. Timing is given as 45 minutes but maybe because those who tried it were all novices we found it took at least an hour. The contents of the 37x27x5cm box are the game board, six player tokens, eighteen starting cards, 127 transport tickets. One travel log and a baseball cap. The board is 66x40cm (stored in the box folded in four).
Not perhaps obvious items to be put together but either or both could make a great present. The first something for that frustrated drummer I am sure you will have heard or Air Guitar but how about Air drums? The second a twist of a jigsaw that is made in the shape of a globe.
Not a skin in sight, it is basically a pair of drumsticks with thin leads going to a small box, while there are a couple of smaller boxes that is it. Insert 4x‘AA’ batteries in the box and start learning the movements and hear your efforts either from the inbuilt speaker or once you have things perfected pipe it out through external speakers. Annoy the neighbours without even ever bringing anything larger than 43x26x6cm cardboard box into your home.