‘The World of Frida Kahlo’ by Laurence King Publishing

Here today with a beaut.

So, I’d been eyeing this puzzle for a few months but wasn’t convinced I should pay twenty bucks for it. It’s cool enough but I’m not a hardcore Frida fan or anything. I did an Amazon search for the publishing company hoping they might have different puzzles that I liked more. (Which, by the way, they do indeed have an awesome puzzle line-up).

I ended up finding a fluke of a bargain, because this puzzle was categorized in the Game category and listed for $5.71. Obviously I hit Buy Now, and got this baby on its way to me.

First off, the box is beautiful. Just gorgeous. This box is all in service to the art and image of this particular puzzle.

“The World of Frida Kahlo” by Laurence King Publishing

The composition of the cover is so pure and gorgeous. It lets the design and the materials do all the talking. Typically I would make unimpressed-face at a box lid that doesn’t have the piece count or puzzle size or company name on any of the sides. But here, the little outtakes pulled from the puzzle and used to frame Frida Kahlo’s name look fantastic– this feels like an artist and a publisher that made a mini ode to Kahlo in the form of a puzzle. Right? Like it’s not about the technical specs, it’s about Kahlo herself.

Spot on. Top marks all around.

Here’s what’s inside.

A rather sizable poster. Not always a big fan of really big puzzle posters, this one is definitely verging on too big, but then again the back totally justifies it. The back has an awesome annotated copy of the puzzle art full of details about Kahlo’s life, her struggles, themes in her art and explanations of various elements that Laura Callaghan included in this puzzle and why.

Cool. So far everything has impressed me. Now down to what REALLY matters. The pieces.

Quite minimal puzzle dust.

“The World of Frida Kahlo” by Laurence King Publishing

The pieces absolutely pass my initial scrutiny. They are thick with clean edges, a bit of sheen on the sides tells me they should have adequate adhesive. The surface is smooth with a semi-matte finish. Like if we were buying paint this is maybe eggshell? In any case, it looks good without killer glare. After sorting I found a few pieces with minor damage, but what you see in the pictures is the total extent of it. Of course we all prefer no damage but there’s nothing here that feels like a letdown.

Really the only nit pick I would have is that the piece cut is all standard puzzle shape. Two outies, two innies. Varying the number of outies and innies really makes for a better experience. In mah opinion.

Time to put this thing together!

My approach for this one was to sort by color family, with a few exceptions for specific items; this works well when you have lots of small, distinct sections of color. It’s too tedious to sort out each little section up front so you group color families together for rapid sorting, then when you tackle that group it’s very easy to quickly pull out the pieces for one little part. I worked in the following order of precedence: edges–>blue family–>pink family–>brown family–>white family–>green family. Then everything else was leftover.

“The World of Frida Kahlo” by Laurence King Publishing

This is a much laxer approach than single-speck sorting where you essentially ignore any context at all and sort strictly upon color; for example, the tile floor on the bottom left corner. In single speck-sorting that would have been sorted into the greens because of the table and the vine. But here I take note of its context as the floor of the bright blue room– it’s an easy tile pattern to recognize so I just sort all those orange pieces into the blue pile.

With the initial sorting done this puzzle was an absolute breeze and a joy to complete. It came together crazy fast. Like, I didn’t time myself, but I took that picture of the puzzle dust at 9:50 AM, and the first photo of the finished puzzle at 2:03 PM. And between those two times I ate lunch, ran two loads of laundry, and helped my kid with their math….

“The World of Frida Kahlo” by Laurence King Publishing

So yeah, that might legit be the fastest I have every completed a 1000 piece puzzle. But there’s so much going on in the image, I really loved that it’s got the gentle fun of a breezy puzzle without the contrived feel of grid puzzles. (I love me some grid puzzles. No hate. But we all know going in they’re gonna be so easy.)

“The World of Frida Kahlo” by Laurence King Publishing

Final thoughts?

I heartily approve. Laurence King Publishing has got it all going on here. Beautiful box and presentation (bonus points for the extra effort made on the poster). Quality, sturdy pieces with a fine finish. Minimal puzzle dust. Minimal false fits. It’s all you can ask for in a puzzle. I have a small quibble, which is that the fit of the pieces is a bit loose. But that is really it. No other complaints.

At MSRP of $19.99 it is a priced as a premium puzzle, and the quality more than lives up to the expense. There are plenty of brands out there selling 1000 pieces for the same price that absolutely do not have the whole package, or even just the piece quality to match. No doubt more puzzles from this company will be making it into my collection.

On the headphones: Episodes 2-4

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: