Monday, 24 August 2015

Ravensburger Puzzle Review – Happy Days Tenby

Ravensburger recently sent me one of their puzzles to review. It has been about 12 years since I last tackled a puzzle with more than 50 pieces and didn’t have a Disney Princess on it. This puzzle was a huge 1000 pieces and was entitled ‘Happy Days Tenby’.
The puzzle is part of the Happy Days series from Ravensburger, and the painting of Tenby’s famous harbour is by artist Kevin Walsh. I love the picture as there is so much detail and colour to it. Which is a good thing when you are tackling a puzzle.
First thing we had to decide was where to actually do the puzzle. I didn’t really want to do it on the dining room table, so we borrowed a large folding table from my mum. I must admit it was the perfect size, and meant we could tackle the puzzle from the comfort of the sofa.
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On opening the box the actual pieces are contained in a sealed bag. There is also a leaflet giving some information on the artist, plus an additional picture of the scene. This is a must when 2 people are tackling the puzzle together. Upon realising the enormity of the challenge, I quickly set to work. Obviously I started with the outer pieces, and then worked on the different colour houses, boats and then the hardest bits which were the sky and the sea.
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The puzzle was well crafted, and thankfully all 1000 pieces were there. I started on the Thursday evening and the final piece was put in on Monday morning. Husband actually thought it would take me weeks to finish it, but I proved him wrong and did it in a few days. Despite not touching a puzzle for all those years, I really enjoyed doing it. I found it relaxing, and kept my hands busy in the evenings. Which is a good thing because if your hands are busy they keep out of the biscuit tin ! And above all a sense of achievement. A sense of achievement that the whole family shared, as husband and the kids got involved too.
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I will definitely not leave it another 12 years before tackling another puzzle. Thank you to Ravensburger for supplying the puzzle for the purpose of this review.

Monday, 17 August 2015


The Artist
We admire the work of self taught, photo manipulation artist, Aimee Stewart. Stewart uses digital painting and photo image editing techniques to produce imaginative designs. The artwork used to produce these puzzles is detailed and colourful. The colours are rich, bold and bright, and the composition of her artwork is striking because of this. Stewart’s style and what she can achieve artistically fits the Ravensburger brand very well.

Fairytale Fantasia
Tiny little magical creatures and characters from a fantasy/fairy tale world, hence the puzzle title, sit around large books on four rows of book shelves which are topped with a mystical night sky. Among the Antiquarian bound books with titles written on the book spines, many with cursive writing, there are worldly wonders from land, sea and sky featuring. These will slowly be revealed as you piece together the jigsaw. The theme is an enchanted, mythical version of the world, and, much of those beloved, traditional storytelling elements from our childhood memories are there too. A red haired girl in a long, gossamer dress tied at the waist with a green ribbon has climbed the library ladder and is making a selection from the top shelf. This puzzle is quite challenging to do, and the difficulty level is high. The artwork is jam packed with detail and the strong primary colours have only slight variations so it is hard to ‘get your eye in’ to start with and difficult to find all those little scenes within the large one. Starting, as always, with the edge bits in place as a frame, and then singling out all the book titles was the best way to organize a way to go forward with it. We found it useful to have a second picture available as two worked together on the puzzle to complete. Nearing the end however, it was easy to pin point pieces because the colour and design is almost in squared sections of pattern because of the nature of composition, and so, following inspection using the picture as a guide, it was possible to drop upon pieces relatively quickly.
Gloriously vintage
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Glorious Vintage
This jigsaw is deceptively rather difficult to execute, so will be challenging, which is kind of the idea for an enthusiastic compiler. Beautiful artwork with colour tones that are muted and more blending, rather than colours being bold and sharp and easily identifiable. Present once again is the minutest and tiniest of exquisite detailing packed in four shelves, rectangular blocks or bands -with the first band along the bottom being a floor setting and the top band having a sky backdrop and the two middle strips having objects packed into room settings, it is all very unusual, but is true Aimee Stewart in artistic style. Lots of wine bottles, and glasses, jars, and other pouring vessels, plenty of fruits and vines; little figures in vintage clothing, b/w photography. The feel is vintage, fashionable, whimsical and enchanting.
The Product
Anyone who knows Ravensburger will know their puzzles are premium. These boxed puzzles both have 1000 well engineered cardboard and precision cut pieces inside – (materials responsibly sourced). Also included is a leaflet with the Artist biography and a further picture for reference in every box. This jigsaw is rectangular on completion. Not suitable for children under 36 months (small pieces). From 12 years to adult. RRP £11.99

Monday, 10 August 2015

Science X - Fuelling Future Cars

Kids are naturally curious and want to explore. What better way to encourage their inquisitive minds, than with a Ravensburger Science X kit. Each box contains lots of interesting and engaging activities, specifically designed so kids can conduct the experiments themselves, whilst learning something. Perfect for children aged 8 and up,

Ravensburger have now added a new set – The Science X Fuelling Future Cars

Children can now build their very own electric Mercedes-Benz car with Science X!
The set contains 9 amazing activities to help kids discover the future of automotive engineering with easy to use materials and richly illustrated.

Who knows – they might just discover the next viable fuel source!

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Twirlywoos My First Floor Puzzle, 16pc

For those of you that haven’t seen it the  Twirlywoos is a childrens programme on Cbeebies featuring colourful creatures from  Ragdoll Production’s Anne Wood, the woman behind such hits as Teletubbies and In The Night Garden.

The CBeebies series of  11-minute episodes about four fruit tea-loving bird-like characters started back in February this year.

Described as; Silly, fun and full of surprises, Twirlywoos combines stop-frame animation and live action sequences set in the real world. 

This My First Floor Puzzle shows the adorable antics of four characters: Great BigHoo, Toodloo, Chickedy and Chick. 

Developed and designed especially for toddlers aged 2 years and over, this fun-to-learn jigsaw puzzle is made from super-thick, double laminated card. With 16 large, sturdy pieces (just right for the age group). This simple yet colourful puzzle is a great way of introducing key pre-school activities, such as colour identification and simple counting skills.

As usual another great product from the guys at Ravensburger and very well priced at under a tenner.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Review of Bugs in the Kitchen by Unicorn Mummy

Ravensburger -Bugs in the Kitchen Game Review
Review by Unicorn Mummy

As a family, we all enjoy family time. One of our favourite things to do is playing games together. Last Christmas during Black Friday, I spotted on Amazon -Bugs In The Kitchen by Ravensburger, the game uses a HexBug Nano, which is a robotic bug. You may have seen the HexBug sets you can purchase.
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The object of the game is the first player to receive 5 tokens. You get these by catching the bug in your kitchen. To start the game you set up the board following one of 4 layouts. If there are less than 4 players you barricade your kitchen with traps so the pesky little bug can’t come in your kitchen.
Then you turn the HexBug on, the vibrations make the bug run around, he must start in the centre square.
bugs 1
Each player then takes turns to roll the dice. You can either roll a fork, knife, spoon or a question mark. Depending which object you land on, you turn the matching utensil on the board, and try and get the bug to go towards your kitchen corner, or you can be extra cunning and block your opponents. When the bug lands in your kitchen, you receive a token and show your winning face (see below). Then reset the utensils to the chosen layout and start again.
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As a family, this is one of our favourite games. The game is fast paced so no boredom in sight, or hours waiting for the game to end. Total time is about 15-20 minutes. The moving bug adds to the excitement and changing layouts makes each time we play different. The battery has still lasted on the HexBug, and we do play this game often.
Bugs In The Kitchen is also ideal for children playing on their own, as the game keeps them interested and the instructions and rules are simple to follow so quite often this is a favourite when friends come after school.
Take a look at Ravensburger Website for their other games and puzzles. We are very excited for the new Tsum Tsum puzzle and will be keeping an eye out for this.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Happy Days - Edinburgh

We were really excited to try one of the latest puzzles from the Ravensburger Happy Days range - the Happy Days, Edinburgh

This lovely puzzle captures a busy day outside the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh. The scene has locals and tourists making their way along Princes Street, together with all the cars and buses, jostling for position on this busy road. 

The picture also shows a little girl that stops to say "hello" to the piper's cute white Highland terrier, who seems happy just to sit by his master and watch the world go by. There are plenty of bright colours and interesting details for puzzlers to discover and enjoy as they assemble the scene.

As is usual for any puzzle from Ravensburger its made to really high standard and the pieces fit together excellentally

Monday, 20 July 2015

Country Cottage Collection no9 - Delphinium Cottage

This month I have been completing a different Ravensburger jigsaw puzzle. Delphinium Cottage is number nine in the cottage collection of 1,000 piece puzzles, available for RRP £11.99.
delphinium cottage
Delphinium cottage like all the other Ravensburger puzzles that I have completed, features the softclick interlocking puzzle pieces which lock together to form a seamless picture, with great colours and amazing details. The picture for the Delphinium cottage is made up of a mixture of photographic images and some hand drawn parts, with sweet birds and colourful flowers as well as the cottage and its cheeky family of Labrador dogs.
I enjoyed this months puzzle challenge, and found it took me between 3 and 4 hours to complete. I thought from my first look at the puzzle pieces that it would be difficult to finish, as there seemed to be vast amounts of grey and white pieces. It was easy to pick out the bright colours of the flowers to complete first, and once the outside words and border was complete the rest of the puzzle fitted swiftly together.
delphinium cottage ravensburger
There are 8 other cottage collection puzzles available from Ravensburger and feature bright pretty country cottages with roses, birds and butterfly’s. The boy enjoyed helping me with a few pieces and at age 9 was pretty good at finding the right places. The Delphinium cottage would make a perfect gift, and certainly brightened up my rainy Sunday afternoon. I only wish my cottage garden looked this good!
Review by The Soup Dragon Says