Jigsaw Puzzle Recommendations?
June 21, 2011 10:14 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for interesting jigsaw puzzles that are not the fine art, landscapes, kittens-inna-basket types I keep finding at the game store.

We are due for a new jigsaw puzzle at my house, but I can only seem to find cute animal or scenic nature scene of scenery puzzles, which are not really our bag. Does anyone have a good resource for more interesting puzzle options?

For example, we have a couple of these great Studio Ghibli ones. And we have a Charley Harper print one, which, it's true, counts as art, but is more up our alley than paintings of landscapes and whatnot.
posted by little cow make small moo to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (23 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: A friend recently gave me this Edward Gorey puzzle that might be up your alley.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 10:18 AM on June 21, 2011

You might try Archie McPhee. I bought their sardine can puzzle at a local toy store, took it on vacation, and it ended up being put together and taken apart three times in one week.
posted by Gilbert at 10:23 AM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: National Geographic puzzles

Ravensburger seems to make a lot of non-cutesy puzzles.
posted by desjardins at 10:33 AM on June 21, 2011

Ravensburger and Springbok WIN at puzzles. They make the greatest "Where's waldo" style cartoons, unusual collections of of objects, and other enticing images. Add to that the quality is miles ahead of what the other companies are selling, and you don't really need to consider anyone else's catalog.
posted by whatzit at 10:45 AM on June 21, 2011

You might want to try dedicated puzzle stores like Puzzle Warehouse, Serious Puzzles and/or Puzzles For Sale. Happy puzzling!
posted by Falwless at 10:45 AM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: Try the shops of museums for modern and contemporary art. I've seen some great puzzles at MOMA and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. I bought my partner a puzzle based on Doug and Mike Starns' Bamboo installation on the roof of the Met last year at the Met's online shop; as they say in Boston, it is WICKED HOD.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 11:05 AM on June 21, 2011

Alternatively... try this.
posted by AlliKat75 at 11:07 AM on June 21, 2011

I love Buried Blueprints puzzles, which you can find relatively cheaply on Ebay.
posted by eunoia at 11:09 AM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: European brands (like Ravensburger mentioned above and Clementoni ) make excellent ones - I have a 5000 piece interior painting of St Peter's Cathedral, a 9000 piece of another Old Master (which I can't recall right now) .

I also like these japanese watercolour ones and landscapes by Shinya Uchida.

My favourite however (varnished and framed) was a 800 piece Rosetta Stone without any straight edges from The British Museum.
posted by infini at 11:16 AM on June 21, 2011

Whoops, sorry I missed your bit about "not fine art" - Ignore my first two suggestions but do go through the websites
posted by infini at 11:17 AM on June 21, 2011

We've enjoyed doing the Tooniverse puzzles from Ceaco. I found our first one at Target. The puzzle pieces aren't as high quality as Ravensburger, and the finished projects aren't anything you want to frame on the wall, but they are cheap, quite funny, and keep you busy for a few days.
posted by apparently at 11:18 AM on June 21, 2011

Puzzle Warehouse (linked to above by Falwless) has Heye puzzles. Try the ones by Loup and Mordillo.
posted by Logophiliac at 11:48 AM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: Liberty Puzzles makes REALLY cool wooden laser cut puzzles with neat shaped pieces and nice pictures. They aren't cheap, but they're really cool.
posted by TheCoug at 12:33 PM on June 21, 2011

Response by poster: Ooh, these are great so far! I had looked some at Ravensburger but I will visit it again.
I do like the Edward Gorey ... so we're not anti-all-art, I was just a little tired of the blander artsy offerings at the game store. The Rosetta Stone also very cool! I am liking some of the vintage posters and maps, too.

Wow, I might skip the Ravensburger Ed Hardy one, though.
posted by little cow make small moo at 12:37 PM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: Pomegranate makes the all-time best puzzles. The boxes they come in are very strong; not the usual cardboard-flimsy type. ( I care about such things. )
posted by BostonTerrier at 1:02 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also, you need to try for us the Tenyo Jigazo Puzzle (as seen on amazon, gizmodo, reddit, but I don't think I saw it on MeFi anywhere yet)
posted by whatzit at 1:21 PM on June 21, 2011

Thank you so much for the link to those gorgeous Studio Ghibli puzzles! I just had to immediately order a copy of the "Holler at the sky, Totoro!" one.
posted by coraline at 1:37 PM on June 21, 2011

I highly recommend the ones that look like a Where's Waldo. It's fun to search out weird little details to figure out where a piece goes. And there's lots of amusing little scenes tucked in.
posted by duien at 2:05 PM on June 21, 2011

TheCoug is correct. If you like puzzles, you MUST have a Liberty. Everything about them is delightful. The packaging, the smell of the wood, the inventive shapes, the designs. And they're difficult enough to keep you occupied for quite a few days.
posted by booth at 3:50 PM on June 21, 2011

Does Jackson Pollack qualify as fine art?
posted by philip-random at 3:59 PM on June 21, 2011

You ABSOLUTELY need to check out Chris Yates' Bafflers. They're beautiful handmade wooden puzzles, and some are layered. He makes new puzzles nearly every week.
posted by RisforKickin at 11:40 PM on June 21, 2011

Maps! I recently finished the 9000 piece one here. It's beautiful. Plus you learn about geography while you do it (or in this case, about medieval misconceptions of geography).
posted by lollusc at 12:12 AM on June 22, 2011

Seconding Chris Yates' Bafflers. They are gorgeous, quirky, and deceptively challenging.
posted by gwyn at 8:50 PM on June 23, 2011

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