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I bought one of these for my son, I have always liked the idea of having a globe of some sort and thought that it would help my son with Geography and working out where all the different countries are within the world.
I bought this Ravensburger Globe from our local Toymaster and I paid £16.99 for it, this was a few years ago so I don't know how much they cost to buy nowadays. It came in a box with a plastic stand and a leaflet with instruction on. Enclosed in a bag were 540 individual pieces of quite hard plastic puzzle. Each bit has a number on which is meant to help you position them in the correct place. The rigidness of the pieces is good when you start off but when you get halfway up the globe it can make it more difficult to put together, the last few bits are a nightmare to get in without making the whole thing fall apart.
The numbers, while you would think this idea would make it easier to build, it is in fact the opposite, the numbers do not go round the globe in a sensible pattern, they go round in small circles which is just confusing, my son and I ended up putting it together without this aid to help us.
This puzzle is a good idea to help give an idea of where different countries are although they labelled on the globe in such small letters, it is very hard to read them let alone know where they are. This isn't the kind of puzzle that once you have completed it, makes you want to take it apart and do it again but it is a clever and interesting puzzle to do. I will admit due to the amount of sea, and all the blue pieces looking the same, my son did lose interest in this fairly quickly.
I have taken this apart once since the original completion of it, and after much complaining and wishing I had left it alone, it has stood on its plastic stand on top of the wardrobe ever since. I am glad it was bought but it is a bit redundant now, I have tried to use it to show my son where certain places are but it was very hard to work it out as the writing of names is very small. A good item to complete and then look at, it is also easy to dust so that is also a bonus.
A couple of years ago while doing a pre-Christmas trip to Smythes toy shop in the Meadowhall Retail Park I spotted a Ravensburger Puzzleball in the form of a globe for £25.00. I popped it in the trolly as I thought it would make an ideal extra for my son who was 14 at the time.
My eldest son has always enjoyed building models and playing with Kinnex and Lego Technics but at 14 was starting to feel too old for that sort of present. I felt the puzzle ball would combine his interest of making things with his interest in Geography.
The puzzle ball consists of 540 plastic pieces; each piece is numbered on the back to aid building. The pieces themselves are quite small, but the plastic they are made of is very strong. The pieces are curved so as to make a globe when finished building.
A degree of patience is required when building the globe and you can set about the task in one of two ways. The hardest way is for the puzzle purists and that is to start fixing pieces together using the positioning of the landmasses as a guide and slowly build the globe fixing areas together till you have a whole.
The alternate way is to flip all the pieces over and separate them into numbered piles; we put 20 in each pile and then set about fixing them all together. Sorting the pieces out takes a long time and at first you seem to be making no progress compared to those who just start piecing the globe together, but eventually as you go round and round fitting the pieces together you soon see the globe being formed.
As the globe is formed it becomes harder and harder to fit the pieces together without flexing and breaking what you have already built and a massive amount a patience is need to fit the last few pieces in as the opening is very small, the last piece is the most difficult to get in position and requires a small amount of manipulation with a pencil to gently click it down.
Once finished you are left with a globe a bit smaller than a football that can be displayed on the stand. Ours also came with a metal frame, like a banana hanger, that the globe could be sat in enabling it to be turned to be viewed.
I found the resulting globe to be quite accurate and my son and I enjoyed building it. A few times along the way he was surprised at the position of some countries.
The globe is quite tough and has been on my sons' bedroom shelf for over three years, it has needed very little maintenance, only when it has fell off the shelf has it needed a repair.
At the time of purchase I thought £25.00 for a jigsaw was a little excessive but I found the quality of the puzzle pieces to be without fault and the ease at which they fitted together excellent. My son has had many years of enjoyment out of the globe as a bedroom ornament, it was not something he ever desired to take to pieces and rebuild, but I still recommend it to puzzle enthusiasts young and old.
The Puzzleball is not suitable for children under the age of 14 due to small pieces, which seems an appropriate age guide as even I found it frustrating at times. I would also advise building it out of the way of pets with a penchant for eating small bits.
The Puzzleball can be found for £23.99 on amazon.co.uk and from other good toy retailers.
Thank you for reading.
It's always great to discover a child's toy that's fun, educational and lasts more than five minutes, and this Puzzleball certainly fits that description. It's a plastic 540 piece puzzle that once made becomes a nice decorative item; Ravensburger now include a metal stand in the box (as well as the pictured plastic one) that transforms the puzzle into a fully rotating 22cm diameter traditional globe. At the rrp of £25 this is a good buy; my eight year old was lucky enough to be bought one of these for her birthday, and so impressed was I by this toy that I have since bought one for a gift when they were on offer for £15 from Amazon.
In the box you get the 540 puzzle pieces, 2 stands and also simple and clear instructions. There is also a 2-D picture of the globe and a template should you need to refer to them for assembling the puzzle the traditional way - ie looking at the pieces and trying to work out where they go. The puzzle can also be assembled by a somewhat easier method, which I have to own up to being the one we have always used with puzzle balls; prior to owning this we have worked our way up through 60 and 240 piece puzzles. To make things easier Ravensburg have printed numbers on the back of each piece of puzzle. By finding the numbered pieces in order and following the little arrows that show you which direction to go for the next piece you can make the puzzle with relative ease. Even by following this method it still takes quite a long time to construct the puzzle ball - the two poles, ie the very last row are already assembled. The only difficulty we really had making this was inserting the North Pole which was tricky, though not impossible.
Making the puzzle is quite an education in itself, there is quite a lot of detail on the printed map, as adult I'm always surprised by how much the world has changed, and I enjoyed finding the places I had been as I built this with my daughter. I don't think I had quite realised how far this country is in the Northern hemisphere before having to wait to fit in the UK at number 501 and 502 respectively, and having the globe in front of you is a very powerful visual reminder of how vast the oceans are and how small our country really is. Everything on the globe is clear and the colours are bright and well printed. The Globe once assembled has quite a glossy finish and spins well when on the metal stand for easy reference. The puzzle pieces have a triangular pattern that make up bit pentagons - I assume it must be computer designed but it's really a thing of beauty. The only criticism I would make of this puzzle, (apart from the fact that it's far too tempting to "cheat" when you are making it) is that the transfer on one or two of the pieces is a bit off kilter on the ends of a couple of the pieces, but this isn't really noticeable once it is assembled.
Once built the puzzle ball can, in theory, be disassembled and made again; personally I would be a bit loathe to do this as firstly it's not terribly easy to take the pieces apart and also I don't really enjoy making the same puzzle twice. This one probably took us 2-3 hours to make by the time we had sorted out all the mixed up pieces.
We really like the finished globe which is sturdy and well made with a surprisingly smooth surface, though you can see the joins. Most importantly we really enjoyed making it so much so that like I said at the start I have bought one for a gift. Should you be interested in buying this then I would say it's suitable for a child to do with help from age 7 or so, but the manufacturer's recommended age of 12 is probably accurate. They also make a children's version of this with less pieces (180), as well as a metallic and historical versions of this one. I highly recommend this item and it was, I think, a great buy.
*** Ravensburger ***
~ About the company ~
Ravensburger first started off life as a publishing house in 1883. Just one year later, the company diversified into games, and at the turn of the century broadened the range to include activity books, art instruction manuals, and well as children's games. The classic card game Happy Families was among the first. 1912 saw the German company began to export its goods to Western Europe and Russia; since then the company has gone from strength to strength and is now the primary manufacturer of puzzles around the world.
Since the advent of television, and more and more technology in our homes, jigsaw puzzles are becoming less popular than they once were. To keep up with the changes, Ravensburger had to do something different to attract a new generation to their toys and games. First of all game the 3D puzzles where you made a puzzle the traditional way on a flat surface, and then afterwards you re- constructed the jigsaw by slotting it into a frame to make a three dimensional version featuring the character in the initial puzzle.
~ Puzzle Ball ~
Puzzle Ball revolutionised these 3D puzzles. Never before has a puzzle been a spherical shape. Due to issues with stability these puzzles have to be manufactured from plastic, and although they do slot together, they do so by little clips rather than interlinking circular lugs.
At 540 pieces, the Discover the World puzzle is aimed at the adult market, with the smaller children's puzzle balls starting at 54 pieces, and moving through to 104, 180, 270 and finally this one. My daughter started off with a 104 piece puzzle ball featuring her favourite Bratz doll characters Christmas 2009 and seeing how much fun and enjoyment that puzzle gave her, Santa last Christmas decided to go straight for the big one.
~ Price, Where to Buy and How to Construct ~
Being spherical, what is the obvious design for it? A globe of course, and wanting this present to be educational as well as fun, this is what was decided upon. At a full price of £24.84 from Argos (December 2012) it may seem an expensive price for a jigsaw, but this is a superb quality item, and being of plastic construction, it can be dismantled and reconstructed many times without it suffering any ill effects. Although we haven't dismantled this one as yet, we did so on many occasions with her smaller model.
You can construct this like a traditional jigsaw and search and add each piece as you find it. On smaller puzzle balls you are given both the bottom most and uppermost pieces as a solid section (which would normally cover about four singular pieces) to start you off or indeed finish the puzzle nicely, but on this Globe, the pieces are the same size throughout.
~ Age Recommendations and the Puzzle ~
This puzzle is aimed at children/adults of age twelve plus, and for them working this puzzle would be quite a challenge. My daughter is only eight and as such, she did require a lot of help during construction, not only with finding the matching the pieces, but also holding it without putting too much pressure on the structure while adding the next piece. There is a lovely quick way of building this up though without the challenge - all the pieces are numbered.
At first we started off doing it by following the numbers, fit one to two, and then add three etcetera, but just until we got the shape of the puzzle going. I would recommend this technique if you are giving it to a child under the recommended age, but after a while, my daughter loved seeing the globe grow and began to enjoy the traditional way of completing it.
This was indeed a challenge and it was completed over several evenings, possibly even a week. My daughter at eight years old found roughly about an hour at a time ample to do this, and any more she certainly would have begin to lose interest. Older children and adults would have the concentration skills and patience to sit for longer periods I would expect.
~ Size and Assembly ~
At 22 cm's diameter this is a larger sized globe, and would make an ideal display feature. I do love the way a duo of stands are included. The main display one angles the globe at a tilt as one would expect on a traditional globe of this nature. The stand is chrome effect and is self assembly. This is easily done, and was indeed completed by my daughter. You simply push the chromed metal ends into some black plastic sections that hold the whole structure together. A second stand, for either displaying or for placing the ball on while in construction, is a blue platform with a dimple in which to rest the ball. I do like this feature as children could view the World from any angle, rather than trying to view the South Pole through the rather strange angle of the tilt.
~ My Thoughts ~
This is a lovely educational toy, both for learning the art of patience, and the geographical aspect, and I wholly recommend it for learning and reference. The quality is superb and will sure to be a part of my daughter's education for a long time to come. We will at some point dismantle our globe, and put it back together but for the time being it is on display and has become a focal point in our living room. The high price point is a little off putting, but there is a smaller child's version available to buy if you should require a similar item for someone younger. If you think that this is a puzzle, a learning tool, and something a bit different to run of the mill jigsaws, I think this is excellent value for money.
~ Other information ~
The company and a list of other products of this nature can be found online here: http://www.ravensburger.com/uk/start/ind​ex.html
Thank you for reading my review, which may also be posted on other sites.
I was bought this be my father last christmas and i did see the novitly fun in it as a teen i did like the puzz 3D building. But my was this a challenge more that that.
To start with lets get the boring information out of the way. its a 540 piece jigsaw basically but with a twist, its a actual globe of the earth with each part fitting to create that nice roundness. The piece are nice and strong out of durable plastic and the ball does measure about 22 cm in diameter. and if your not geographically strong like me, its got handy arrows and number on the reverse to help you put them in order. There are two ways you can disply your finished item, If you get that far, there a nice round stand to sit it upon or theres the actually globe fittings to use it as a globe. To my surprise as well, the land mases glow in the dark which was very eerie the first time i noticed.
Now to the fun part, Building it. This is more an adult toy than a kids or teens. It states 14 plus, but by heck, you need some patiences with it. It very time consuming and took me about five to 7 hours over a few nights when my son wasnt around to break it. On the most part it is easy to do just fiddlely. But the realy challeng is the last ten or so pieces. You will end up knocking more out before you get them in and does become very fustrationing to say the least.
Anyhow, if you like a bit of a puzzle jigsaw challenge this is a nice buy.
The world globe is a puzzle made up of 540 pieces that when put together obviously creates the earth's globe with all the geographical information.
When I saw this in the shop on offer I thought it would be a good addition to our puzzles collection but also it could be combined with teaching the kids (and me) about the countries of the world.
When we go on holiday and the kids ask those questions that would be quite simple to most people such as 'Whereabouts is it?' 'What countries do we fly over?' 'How big is that country' I seem to stutter and get all flustered because my geography knowledge is about as good as my history - virtually non-existent!
Instead of getting just a normal globe I thought we could purchase this and have a bit of fun with it as well along the way. After it is all complete we can then keep it up on the stand that comes with it and use it for future reference.
The pieces are made of shiny plastic and are slightly curved so once you put them together they become rounded to make the globe shape. The stand that comes with it can be used to push the pieces together as this has a slight dip in it and this helps to shape the fitted pieces.
My only gripe which would be the same with all puzzle balls is that once you get near the end and there aren't many gaps it can be hard to connect them in as you cannot get your fingers in behind them. You have to just try and place them in the correct place and gently tap it in. If this is done to hard then the piece will fall inside and you then have the trouble of trying to get it back out.
Also you have to be gentle as a few times we have pushed it and it has come apart. This can be quite annoying but we just put it back again.
The great thing I have found with these puzzles (as my daughter also has a Tinkerbelle one) is that the pieces are numbered on the back. This was a great help to us when we got stuck around all the blue areas and when we were unsure whether we had the right piece.
Overall it took us about three days to do it in a few sittings and we were very proud of our end result and it sits on our sideboard ready for the blank expressions I give on geography questions. I alongside my children have learnt a few things since having this and apart from that it looks great too.
We have knocked it down and done it a couple of times since having it when we have sat there and wondered what we could do on a boring wet afternoon.
I recommend you buy this rather than a normal globe as this is more entertaining. I think the price is a bit steep at around £20-£30 if you buy it at full price but you can get a 240 piece which is about half that price and you can also get a child's 96 piece version which doesn't have as much information on it and is more colourful. You can also get the same puzzleball with a V stand which is slightly dearer but you can turn the world around easier I think.
I have always wanted a globe, I don't really know why, I just have and my Fiancée has always wanted to brush up on her questionable geography skills and so buying a new house seemed an ideal time for us to splash out on the The World Puzzleball.
The World Puzzleball is a 540 piece jigsaw puzzle made up of slightly curved pieces that when clicked together form a football sized globe. It also comes complete with a little stand that keeps the World on its axis and enables you to rotate it. The stand also keeps you or anything else from having to touch or exert any pressure on the assembled globe. We have already had to make a few emergency repairs when it has been knocked or over-enthusiastically touched!
The pieces themselves are sturdy enough and are made out of a good quality plastic. They also have to really be clicked into place. The problems come when clipping large assembled sections together or when trying to put the final piece in the puzzle. We ended up having to employ a set of tweezers to finish the job.
None of that is the manufacturers fault though, it is just the nature of the beast and there isn't much that they could do about it being difficult. Just as there isn't much that they could do about most of the Earth being covered in blue water. It is no surprise but the Oceans were the dullest and most difficult bits to put together, luckily though the pieces are numbered on the back if you decide that you want to cheat.
Overall we had great fun putting it together and I got my globe whilst she learnt where Peru is. It also makes a nice quirky living room decoration and pretty much everyone who has visited us has commented on it. I felt that it was expensive at around £20 but I never thought I would enjoy putting it together as much as I did. In total it took the two of us 4 or 5 hours over two sittings.
Ravensburger- The World Puzzle Ball
My Boyfriend's family got this one Christmas and I have to say it was an excellent present. It is probably because it was different from what puzzles are normally like. It was fun, entertaining and it was quite addictive to be honest. We left this out on the table and we found ourselves going back to it and trying to work out the way it went.
This puzzle has 540 pieces which seems a lot but it is not because if I remember rightly, each piece has a number on the back which makes it a lot easier to put together. This is a puzzle of the world so once it has been done it is quite useful for adults or children but it may be fun to break up and do it another time as a sort of challenge! Once this is done it is actually really strong and the plastic pieces fit in wonderfully. It is like a work of art. It looks just like the globe but in different pieces, I see this an achievement which is great!
This was bought from W H Smith for around £20.00 but I have to say it was really worth it because it did keep the whole family entertained for hours and it did look really good once it was done. The only thing I would say about this is that it can be a bit frustrating if someone breaks it up after you have spent about a day trying to get it right so guard it safe!
This makes an excellent present and definitely gets all the family together- brilliant!
This is the 540 piece "world" puzzle ball from the famous puzzle maker Ravensburger, This ends up as a detailed geographically accurate globe that can be displayed on the plastic base that is included or there is a magnetic hanger from which the globe can be displayed.
I have reviewed other puzzle balls from the same maker but not one this large!! this really is a beauty, the pieces as usual are crafted from tough plastic and all are curved obviously to enable you to make the ball shape.
Unlike most regular puzzles the pieces are numbered and have arrows on the inside to help put it together, obviously you could ignore the numbers and try it without them.
There is also a guide inside which is basically a disc you wheel along a toothed ruler which shows you how it should look, i presume this is meant for those who do not want to use the numbers.
This is fun even using the numbers as it takes some skill and effort to get the pieces to mesh together nicely,took me and my lot a few hours to do but was a real laugh and kept us from the dreaded television!!
Shop around as i bought mine second hand from e-bay for a fiver all in!! a real bargain and there are lots of them out there.
The strong and durable plastic puzzle pieces fit together very well, to ensure a secure ball once complete.