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Little Man is mad on puzzles, especially ones featuring his favourite characters. He mostly had standard sized puzzles, but my Mum & Dad had a great Fireman Sam Floor Puzzle at their house that he loved to play with so I decided to get one for us to play with at home. Giant Floor Puzzles are quite pricey compared to their smaller counter parts, normally around a tenner - so when I saw this Toy Story 3 on in the Play.Com Easter sale for £5.99 I couldn't resist it.
When the puzzle arrived a few days after ordering it was a slightly different picture to the one I had ordered (and to the one pictured here) It still had Buzz, Woody, Jessie, Rex and Bullseye but they also had some of the new characters from the film including Lotso, Baby and my favourite - the Fisher Price Phone ( I had one of the originals of these!)I was quite pleased with the picture on the box even if it was slightly different to what I had ordered, but everything else was the same.
The puzzle is by Ravensburger, who make a lot of Little Man's smaller jigsaws. Having bought him a few puzzles in his time I have found Ravensburger's quality to be the best, and this puzzle is no exception. Made of quality layered card, each piece is tough and hard wearing and would be quite hard to bend or damage. We have had 6 months of fun with this, and my son is quite boisterous with it - he likes to build it and run his cars over the track pattern at the bottom, but our puzzle still looks pretty much the same as it did new. We have had a few minor drink spills too, but the glossy card makes it easy to wipe clean. I think the only thing that would cause it serious damage would be to submerge it in water, so unless you like doing your jigsaws in the bath then you are pretty safe!
It is a 60 piece puzzle, aimed at children aged 3 and over. When we first got it Little Man was not yet three, but jigsaws are something we like to do as a family and all the character ones tend to be for over three so this wasn't really an issue. To start with we used to do it together on the floor, but since starting at nursery his puzzle ability seems to have improved greatly, so he no longer needs Mummy's help to do this one! The pieces are quite chunky and it is easy to identify what part of each character they are , and Little Man sits there and picks out all the pieces of his favourite characters quite easily now.
Fully assembled the picture measures 69 by 49cm, so although it is big it isn't massive and could be assembled on a table if you don't have a great deal of floor space. Our living room is not that big, but we have ample space for this.
I am really pleased I got this puzzle for Little Man, especially at the bargain price we did, and he still gets it out a few times a week. I would recommend it for any fans of Toy Story or just jigsaw puzzles as the puzzle is nice enough if you were not familiar with the characters. This puzzle is currently available on Play.com (now with the correct picture) for £8.99 delivered.
My sons aged 2 and 4 are Toy Story nuts, and any present that is bought for them with this branding is guaranteed to be a hit. This one so much so, that they demanded it go with us in the car to Grandmas house when we went to stay there.
Ravensburger have made a very good jigsaw. I thought with it being 60 pieces there is no way i could leave my two to do it alone. But, they have already done it so many times that they can manage this one between them with a bit of collaboration. (Thank the lord, no arguing for a few minutes about whose turn it is to be in charge of Buzz Lightyear.)
The pieces are quite large, and the picture is made from so many bright colours for the characters. The characters are so recognisable to my two that they find it really easy to first sort through the pieces to find which go with each character, and then assemble it from there.
For once, it actually features a scene that is recognisable as being a part of the Toy Story 3 film. You can see in the background the toy storage crates from the nursery at Sunnyside daycare centre. So much of the merchandise does not have this.
The only thing that might have been nicer is if it also featured some of the new characters from this film, or at least included Hamm and Mrs Potato Head, as my two have noticed they are missing.
Because it is Ravensburger, it is well cut so the pieces lie flat and slot together well, and also they are made from a hard cardboard rather than wood. My only advice is keep away from water as that will make the pieces disintegrate if they get wet. Also, clear a big space, as you will need some room to work around it. We usually sit on the floor to work at it and this works well.
This has been the jigsaw puzzle they have gone back to the most and I have been impressed how the motivation of their favourite characters has improved their jigsaw assembly skills.
Well worth getting if you have a Toy Story nut too.
(Some of you may be relieved to know we don't have that many more Toy Story items for me to review. ;-) Thanks for reading.)