This Santa Has Arrived Puzzle was sent to me from overseas - Wiltshire UK. I was contacted by Wentworth Wooden Puzzles to see if I would like to sample and review a couple of their Christmas images. They are celebrating Christmas early this year and I would be (extremely) happy to accommodate them with the activity.
They sent me two puzzles:
1. Santa Has Arrived - 250 pieces
2. Joyeux Noel at 206 pieces and borderless.
Overall Experience: Great
Cut Quality: Great
Board Quality: Great (wood)
Shape Cut: Random
Image Quality: Great
Hardest Area: snow tracks
Puzzle Dust? none
Finish Quality: Smooth
Box Quality: Great
Sealed Pieces Inside Box: yes, cloth material bag
Was this purchased new? no
Price: Received from Wentworth puzzles
Recommend Level: High
Time: 2.5 hours
I did not do my usual sorting routine as this is a 250 piece puzzle so laying the pieces out as shown below, face-up is good enough.
Above is a sample of the Christmas whimsies that Wentworth puzzle is famous for. They are beautifully cut in details with little ink marks to enhance them. The snowman, telephone and building clearly shows the lines.
The above image shows the combination of front/back pieces inside the box. Below is a photo of what I considered to be edge pieces however some pieces are difficult to determine for sure.
Just above you can see the shapes of the edges/border some of which have a straight edge and some have a sharp corner edge. In the photo below, I continued to build on the image and still did not complete the border.
Comparing the image above and the image below, that's how long it took be to complete the border of the puzzle.
The following is a work in progress photo. There I have completed a good majority of the most coloured areas basically leaving the whitish snow and tracks.
After the puzzle was completed I turned it over to see the back, as it is always with Wentworth wooden puzzle, it's just as fun to see the whimsies on the back as it is the image on the front. The following 8 images shares those whimsies.
Can you find the following whimsies?
The Wentworth Santa Has Arrived Puzzle is a such beautiful Christmas puzzle and the image is by Artist, Richard MacNeil. The wood quality is outstanding which is another one of their traits. The highest level of quality comes in the packaging too.
For instance, the quality cloth pouch that keeps the puzzle pieces safe with the draw-string closure.
The secure outside packaging upon quick delivery.
Inside is your delivery notice details in case there is an issue with your purchase.
There is an enclosed 'Returns' Form.
Also included is a brochure on their hand-designed wood puzzles and their personalized custom puzzles.
Last, but not least important, is the information on the back of the box. Wentworth goes to great lengths to maintain its product quality while preserving the environment in every aspect of production. I can certainly appreciate that.
I have always recognized Wentworth Wooden Puzzles as the 'elite' of wooden puzzles, filled with class and superiority. They are the 'better known' wood puzzles and customer loyalty combined with continued top quality, they should maintain the lead among the plethora of wood jigsaw puzzle companies on the market these days. This kind of 'leadership' comes with a price, however it is well worth it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - With her self-published book and over 300 jigsaw puzzle reviews, Linda has established herself as a prominent social media marketing influencer and jigsaw puzzle-preneur. If you want to send Linda a quick message, visit her contact page here.
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About: Wood Cut vs. Cardboard Jigsaw Puzzles
Exploring the Differences
Jigsaw puzzles are a beloved pastime, offering hours of entertainment and relaxation. While cardboard puzzles have been the traditional choice for many years, wood cut puzzles have gained popularity in recent times. In this article, we'll delve into the differences between assembling a wood cut jigsaw puzzle and a cardboard jigsaw puzzle, with a particular focus on the modern-day laser scroll cutting machines used in wood cut puzzles and their role in creating accurate whimsies.
1. Materials and Durability
The most apparent difference between wood cut and cardboard jigsaw puzzles lies in the materials used. Cardboard puzzles are crafted using thick, sturdy cardboard layers, while wood cut puzzles are made from high-quality wood, often sourced sustainably. The use of wood imparts a distinct tactile and visual appeal to the puzzle pieces, providing a unique and durable puzzle experience.
2. Precision and Interlocking Mechanism
Wood cut puzzles are known for their precise cuts and interlocking mechanisms. In the past, these puzzles were hand-cut, requiring skilled artisans to carefully shape each piece. However, with advancements in technology, modern-day wood cut puzzles are crafted using laser scroll cutting machines. These machines use precise laser technology to cut intricate shapes, ensuring a snug fit between the puzzle pieces. This precision enhances the overall puzzle-solving experience and allows for seamless assembly.
3. Whimsical and Irregular Pieces
One of the standout features of wood cut puzzles is the inclusion of whimsical or irregular puzzle pieces. Whimsies are specially shaped puzzle pieces that are not part of the traditional puzzle image. They can take various forms, including animals, objects, or unique designs. Laser scroll cutting machines are instrumental in creating these whimsies with accuracy and intricacy, adding an element of surprise and delight to the puzzle-solving process.
4. Artistic Appeal and Collectibility
Wood cut puzzles are often chosen for their artistic appeal and collectible nature. Many wood cut puzzle manufacturers collaborate with renowned artists to create exquisite puzzle images. The combination of high-quality wood, precise cutting, and stunning artwork elevates the overall aesthetic and makes wood cut puzzles highly sought after by puzzle enthusiasts and collectors.
5. Puzzle Size and Complexity
Wood cut puzzles are available in a range of sizes and complexity levels. Smaller puzzles with fewer pieces are suitable for beginners or those seeking a quicker puzzle-solving experience, while larger puzzles with thousands of pieces offer a more challenging endeavor. The use of laser scroll cutting machines ensures that even intricate and complex designs can be accurately reproduced, allowing for a seamless assembly regardless of the puzzle's size or difficulty level.
6. Environmental Considerations
Wood cut puzzles often boast eco-friendly credentials due to the sustainable sourcing of wood materials. Many manufacturers prioritize using wood from responsibly managed forests or utilize recycled wood, making wood cut puzzles a conscious choice for environmentally conscious puzzlers.
Embrace the Unique Experience
Whether you choose a wood cut or a cardboard jigsaw puzzle, both offer their own unique experience and appeal. Wood cut puzzles impress with their tactile feel, precision, and whimsical pieces, while cardboard puzzles provide affordability and a wide variety of designs. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on personal preferences and the type of puzzle experience you seek.
So, whether you're captivated by the elegance of wood cut puzzles or prefer the classic charm of cardboard puzzles, there's no shortage of delightful options to explore. Embrace the differences and enjoy the wonderful world of jigsaw puzzling, one piece at a time!
(ChatGPT, personal communication, June 20, 2023)