Jigsaw puzzles of crowd scenes
October 9, 2020 10:36 AM   Subscribe

I like puzzles, and I especially like crowd scenes with a lot of people or creatures doing things. Like Where's Waldo, but not necessarily that artist. Can you recommend some good ones that I can buy online?
posted by blnkfrnk to Shopping (17 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
If you like cartoon-ish drawings, Jan van Haasteren is a well-known jigsaw puzzle artist. Google will give you an idea of his style and probably webshop options in your country.

The Wasgij brand is another option - they sometimes have twists like "don't puzzle what you see on the box, puzzle it from this perspective instead". I have literally just finished a puzzle where the box shows a cartoon-ish scene from ancient 'Greece' and the puzzle shows a modern version of the same scene.
posted by rawrberry at 10:52 AM on October 9, 2020 [3 favorites]

The ABSOLUTE BEST is Pierre the Maze Detective. We have the first two books (of three)--ostensibly for our six-year-old, but I could spend hours with them. I'm 45.

On edit: Sorry, I thought books, not jigsaw puzzles--but check out the books anyway! You won't be disappointed!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:52 AM on October 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Ugh, my idiocy continues, but Pierre the Maze Detective jigsaws are available. I'm logging off for the day now!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:56 AM on October 9, 2020

I bought a couple puzzles from Pomegranate a few years ago for family holiday time. Their selection was awesome and the puzzles were good.

Here are a few with some almost crowds just from a real quick scroll: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
posted by phunniemee at 10:58 AM on October 9, 2020

I have and like the Michael Storrings Cuba Jigsaw Puzzle from Galison

The Coronation Of Napoleon by Tomax
Norman Rockwell: Crestwood Commuter Station, by Pomegranate
New Yorker Cover, Main Street
18th Century History Scene, by Sunsout
On the Midway, by Sunsout
Piccadilly Circus, by Ravensburger
Boise State stadium scene, by Dowdle

If you find an artist you like, they usually stick with the same formula. Company sites (Galison, Pomegranate, Ravensburger, White Mountain, etc.) and online stores (Serious Puzzles, Puzzle Warehouse, Target, Amazon, etc.) often have search by theme (for everything after Cuba above, I searched for people; celebration; main street; cities) or artist. Jigsaw puzzles have gotten so popular this year; be aware that some puzzles shown as sold out (formerly a mid-December to early January phenomenon) on one site may be available elsewhere.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:28 AM on October 9, 2020

I absolutely love the Peter Brueghel painting "Netherlandish Proverbs" and there are a number of puzzle versions, as well as other Brueghel crowd scenes if he scratches the itch.
posted by babelfish at 11:34 AM on October 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

I have this one and had so much fun doing it:

It's got the same image on both sides, but rotated 90 degrees. The pieces are mostly unique enough that the rotation just made it more fun.

The brand is Buffalo Games but it doesn't list an artist on the box. I couldn't find it on their website, so they may not be making it anymore, but googling leads me to used listings for a whole series of them that I'm now tempted to buy.
posted by natabat at 1:12 PM on October 9, 2020

We recently put together one of three puzzles we received from The Magic Puzzle Company that you may enjoy. They were a KickStarter project that unfortunately (for you) is over and has begun shipping to backers, but they will offer to the public soon, you can sign up for e-mail updates.

It was a very entertaining and interesting twist on the traditional puzzle, with lots of little people, creatures, and easter eggs to find. Highly recommend for the avid jigsaw enthusiast.
posted by SquidLips at 1:44 PM on October 9, 2020

Years ago there was a collection of puzzles called Buried Blueprints I loved to do and some of them had that Where's Waldo feel. They seem to be mostly out of print but available on ebay if you don't mind used. Prices are $ to $$$ (apparently some are collectable?)
posted by pointystick at 4:08 PM on October 9, 2020

Some of Charles Wysocki 's puzzles might work for you.
posted by Text TK at 6:49 PM on October 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

The reddit for this is Wimmelbilder
posted by cogat at 1:15 AM on October 10, 2020

Seconding Jan van Haasteren. His puzzles do remind me of Where's Waldo. They have a LOTS of cartoon people doing LOTS of related activities. He has also designed a ton of puzzles, so if you like one, there are more.
posted by pangolin party at 5:16 AM on October 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thirding Jan van Haasteren. In the US at least, ebay is the best place to get them right now - prices vary widely.

Also, there seems to be a brand called Heye, that features cartoon crowds running around doing crazy things.
posted by bluesky78987 at 7:21 AM on October 10, 2020

Wanted to recommend Jan van Haasteren also. Doing his the pharmacy at the moment. Lots going on there.
posted by mirthe at 10:16 AM on October 10, 2020

Here are some Springbok puzzles I like that fit your description. They are out of print but you can find them on eBay:

Allgauer Skating
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 2:06 PM on October 10, 2020

Hallmark released a Space Station puzzle (ebay link) you might like. It doesn't seem to be available on their website anymore, but I saw it a couple months ago so it's possible they might restock.

Colin Thompson's puzzles from Ravensburger are also great if you like lots of little details.
posted by gennessee at 8:06 PM on October 10, 2020

I'm working on this 2000 piece Star Wars Battle of Hoth puzzle right now and it's a lot of fun. Fairly difficult but definitely counts as a crowd scene and is full of silly stuff you can't easily see on the small box image, like snowboarders, ice sculptures of stormtroopers, a guy with a lunchbox, etc.

I do a ton of puzzles and Buffalo Games makes pretty solid ones in terms of piece fit and quality.
posted by freecellwizard at 5:23 PM on October 12, 2020

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