Monday, 29 April 2019
"Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying."
Arthur C. Clarke
Earlier this month the whole world was astonished to see the first picture of the black hole at the centre of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. It is 55 million light-years away from Earth. It is an exciting and scary sight.
In the last few weeks galaxies and stars were pretty much on my mind, as I was working on a new stunning Map of the Universe 1500-piece jigsaw puzzle from Ravensburger.
If you enjoy challenging jigsaw puzzles, this is one fiendish puzzle, and I say that as a compliment.
It took me many days to complete, and when the last piece of puzzle was slotted in, I felt like celebrating.
This is an amazingly detailed image of the Universe, with galaxies, solar system, stars and constellations.
The colour palette is restricted, there is a lot of black, with small fonts and thin-line images.
Typically I start with finding the frame pieces, and once the frame is established I build inwards.
With this puzzle, I found it quite tricky to begin with the frame, as the pieces were all black.
My tips would be to start sorting by whatever jigsaw pieces with colour you can find, and assemble the bigger wheel with months in it.
This is the work in progress:
Then it's the turn of the inner circles. Gradually build in the corners with the Spectra, Galaxies, Stars and Solar System.
It might help if you have a knowledge of the map of the Universe, and move the pieces to their approximate locations (I'm not one of those clever people, alas).
The fonts for names vary, some are easier to read, some need a magnifying glass to read (I got one in the Poundland).
Like all Ravensburger puzzles, this jigsaw puzzle is made from strong premium grade cardboard, with linen finish to minimise glare on puzzle image.
The drawings of the constellations are beautifully executed.
My younger son and I are reading Greek Myths at the moment, and he was interested to see the names of the characters like Hercules, Orion, Pegasus, Centaurus, Andromeda etc.
This puzzle could be a great educational tool.
The attention to detail is astonishing. It's a true work of art.
This beautiful puzzle will make an excellent gift for any jigsaw puzzle fan. Work on it on your own, or as a family project, and learn about the mysteries and beauty of the Universe.
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Age Range: 12 years+
Manufacturer’s Description: The story of Dumbo, the circus elephant, was created in 1941 and is one of Disney’s shortest full-length films. Here the cute elephant with the huge ears is enjoying a lovely bubble bath, watched over by his only friend, Timothy Q Mouse.
Rating: (5/5 stars)
Review: With the live-action adaptation of Dumbo in the cinemas, it is the perfect time to get nostalgic about the original, created in 1941, and still one of the best classic Disney movies. This jigsaw is a lovely celebration of Dumbo and is a really enjoyable puzzle.
The jigsaw is packed in an attractive Collector’s Edition box – Ravensburger have released a whole selection of jigsaws in the Disney collection, and they all look beautiful.
I started by sorted out the edge pieces as per normal, and fitting them together on this puzzle is certainly a challenge, as it is all blue with stars! I liked the extra challenge this presented, as it made the puzzle a little more difficult than it would be otherwise.
The finished puzzle shows a scene from the classic film, with Dumbo enjoying a bath while Timothy Q Mouse looks on. Further scenes from the full-length cartoon are featured on a section of film strip at the top of the design, which is a really lovely touch.
I really enjoyed putting this puzzle together; it is a really lovely scene from the film, and it is a colourful and attractive image. As is pretty standard for the 1000 piece size, the finished puzzle measures 70 x 50cm when complete.
I have come to expect a high quality of jigsaw puzzle from Ravensburger, and this puzzle doesn’t disappoint – the linen finish really cuts down on glare, especially in bright sunlight – and the cardboard is sturdy. None of the pieces had to be pulled apart, they were all well cut, and the ‘soft click technology’ ensures you know that you have the right pieces when you fit them in place.
The other classic films featured in the Disney collection are Little Mermaid, Jungle Book, Cinderella, Fantasia, Peter Pan, Bambi, Beauty & the Beast, The Lion King, and Snow White. Each of the puzzles has a ‘hidden Mickey’ somewhere in the illustration – can you spot the Dumbo one below?
Five stars for this beautiful puzzle.