Top 5 Reasons to Choose Cobble Hill Puzzles

Avid puzzlers are aware that there are many, many puzzle brands from countries all over the world. Do you have a guess as to how many puzzle brands exist? Give it a guess and read on...

There are many brands that may sound familiar to you like White Mountain Puzzles, Ravensburger, SunsOut, Springbok, Schmidt, Jumbo, Heye, Falcon, Eurographics, Eeboo, Educa, Dowdle, D-Toys, Clementoni, Ceaco, Buffalo Games, Bits and Pieces..whew...and the list goes on... but how long does this already loooong list go? Did you guess?  Well, based on the turnout from the annual World Puzzle Days puzzle competition, we know that there are at least 372 different manufacturers represented in this contest! That's a lot of puzzle brands to choose from (and we guarantee you that there are still more than that). So thank you for indulging us in our Top 5 reasons why we think you should at least consider Cobble Hill as your go to puzzle brand.

What makes Cobble Hill puzzles a great choice?

Quirky pieces. A lot of great puzzle companies use the traditional ribbon cut puzzle pattern;these are squarish puzzle pieces that line up in straight rows and columns. Random Cut puzzles are very different. There are no predictable patterns.  No tidy grid. We take our puzzle people on an adventure with quirky random shaped puzzle pieces. Our pieces have irregular bodies and beautiful curves, creating an enjoyable and uniquely different pattern that can be admired after it's assembled. We like to think that our pieces represent the diversity of people on the planet and we welcome you into our world.

Adventure with Cobble Hill's quirky random cut puzzle piece shapes (1000pc and Family Pieces 350 see here)
Textured paper. Puzzles are a very tactile and sensory experience. Our textured linen print paper not only replicates an artist's canvas, it provides a practical benefit.  The textured linen print paper reduces glare from artificial lights unlike a glossy or flat finish. With less glare, it is easier to see the details on each puzzle piece that you're searching to put in place. We even chose to wrap the puzzle box in linen paper, as well as the reference poster that we started including with out puzzles after our 2018 box redesign.  We believe you'll enjoy the elegant, cloth-like finish textured feel of our puzzle pieces between your fingers.

Textured linen print paper reduces glare from artificial lights and feels luxurious.

Truly Original Photos. The Cobble Hill Creations team designs Truly Original Photo (TOP) puzzles in-house making them unique to our brand.  While we do license enchanting scenic and wildlife images, we strive to offer you a different puzzle experience with our collages.  It's no coincidence that many of our TOP puzzles are also our top sellers! Our 2010 Teacups puzzle and 2012 Doughnuts puzzle have been best sellers since we first introduced them into our line up.  One of our most successful "experiments" was created in collaboration with artist Shelley Davies in a studio over four months. The project is known as the Rainbow Collection.  There are seven 1000 piece puzzles that can be enjoyed on their own, but when all seven are assembled, they seamlessly align to create a 7000 piece 15.5 foot rainbow! All our photography is expertly captured by JoAnn Richards of Works Photography.

As challenging as this was, it's a lot easier than our animal photo shoots! Thanks JoAnn for putting up with us.

Puzzle board. Our Creative Team spends countless hours meeting with licensing agents and artists to find those desirable images that evoke emotion and connect with the puzzler. So naturally, we want to print those lovely images on a thick high quality puzzle board to ensure the puzzle pieces feel sturdy when your fingers sift through the puzzle pieces and get snapped into place. The European blue board quality has a blue ribbon thickness that outlasts the flimsy and squishy puzzle pieces from an unequal brand. Knowing that many of our puzzlers collect our puzzles to be enjoyed again and again, we wanted to make sure that our puzzles, and our box, could stand the test of time and look good on your shelf.

Quality blue board that is thick and durable so you can share your puzzles with all your friends

Earth friendly. And last, but not least, from the box packaging to the biodegradable bag, all materials are recyclable and environmentally friendly making you feel good about choosing our puzzles.

Cobble Hill puzzles are recyclable from the box to the shrink wrap plastic.
The cherry on top is our customer service. Every reputable puzzle company has a program for taking care of puzzlers who have an issue. Sometimes a puzzle piece goes missing because of a hungry dog or maybe it was never in the bag.  Regardless, we want to take care of you so that you can fully enjoy your puzzle and feel confident that Cobble Hill cares.

Our Customer Care Team is confident that any puzzler with an issue will be 100% satisfied with our service, which is reflected in our social media testimonials.  Like many puzzle companies, we don't own the factory where the puzzles are manufactured, so you are a part of our quality control team.  And while we wish that there were never any disappointments, the factory employees are human. We can't always control what happens at the factory, but we can control how we respond to you.   We're thankful for our puzzlers who let us know how we're doing - for better or worse - we're in this with you!

If you enjoyed one of our puzzles, please find the puzzle image on our website and write a review so others can enjoy it too! Thank you!

We look forward to satisfying your next Cobble Hill craving!

Random Cut vs Ribbon Cut

Wackadoo! Quirky! Diabolic! Peculiar! Off the wall! Bizarre! Wacky... and the list goes on.

These are just a few of the adjectives that we have heard to describe Cobble Hill puzzle piece shapes. We like to think of our Random Cut puzzle pieces as pleasingly adventurous!

So what are Random Cut puzzle pieces?  These are puzzle piece shapes that do not look alike.  Pieces can be short and fat, long and skinny, curved, square, small or big.  When assembled, they do not conform to standard grids creating neat little rows and columns. Nope. Random Cut puzzle pieces take you on an exciting adventure!

Random Cut pieces can curve and move in diagonal directions, there's no uniformity or pattern (More Ice Cream)
Over the years, we have found it interesting that there are two complete opposite schools of thought when it comes to Random Cut puzzles.  Some puzzlers find our Random Cut puzzle pieces shapes to be more challenging, while others find that it makes puzzling simpler.  Huh?  We haven't scientifically figured out what makes one seek out Random Cut puzzles, while others are repulsed by them. We do have some theories that we'll test out in another blog!

Ribbon Cut puzzles create a consistently predictable pattern. Each piece has a uniform squared off shape and the pieces line up in a strip, creating an even grid pattern.  These puzzles are quite common in the jigsaw world and popular with European brands like Ravensburger, Clementoni, and Heye. Traditional is a good adjective for these puzzles, and there is nothing wrong with traditions.

Ribbon cut puzzles line up in straight grids and rows.
Everyone has their own way of assembling puzzles. Some like to start with the frame. Others refused to look at the image. And some prefer to sort every piece before beginning.

While we think the difference in puzzle piece shapes is clearly obvious - the reason why puzzlers gravitate towards one style more than the other - is not.

Cobble Hill Creations - Truly Original Puzzles

It's quite nice that there are a lot of communities on the world wide web communing about puzzles.  Have you ever seen a conversation like this one on social media?

Sam: "I just finished this "Ice Cream" 1000 piece puzzle from Cobble Hill! It was so much fun to do with all the neat piece shapes and colours. Highly recommended!"

Pat: "Oh, I have that one too, but it was from Ravensburger! It is a fun one."

Conversations like this are real. However, what puzzlers may not realize is that a lot of Cobble Hill puzzles are "Truly Original Photo" (T.O.P.) puzzles.  This means that they were created in-house by our design team and photographed with our local studio partner. So it is not possible to have completed the puzzle in another brand. That is what makes some of our puzzles incredibly unique!

(When you do see an image in several different brands, it's because the artist or licensing company licensed the work to various companies either at the same time or in different years - all depending on the negotiations for back to our T.O.P. puzzles)!

Our design team is daydreaming about inspiring puzzle themes as we speak...or as I write and you read. We're constantly processing feedback from puzzlers about themes they want to see for our collages and dreaming up the logistics of making them happen!

Let's look at our Ice Cream puzzle for an example. Our Creative Art Director, Allegra Vernon, learned how to make an ice cream dough.  Why a dough? Because if we tried to use real ice cream, it would melt at the photoshoot under the hot lights before we could even finish!  So, on photoshoot day, a few of us rolled up our sleeves at the studio and scooped dough making sure to create that desirable rippling affect.  

Allegra Vernon, Creative Art Director and dough maker - far left. Linda, me, the blogger. Photographer, JoAnne, far right.

                                           The strawberry ice cream dough and for stability sake, half-cut ice cream cones

                                          See the ice cream rim and ripples! Looks so real and delicious!

Testing the shot for composition and lighting

Checking the computer for the best images

With toppings!

The important part of the photoshoot was to get enough great images of the ice cream before adding toppings. This way, we had options to create a puzzle with or without toppings. We chose to do both, in different piece counts! Voila!

Family Pieces 350 puzzle by Cobble Hill Creations
Family Pieces 350, with toppings
Ice Cream 1000 piece puzzle by Cobble Hill Creations
1000 piece, wihthout toppings

Now that's how one satisfies a #CobbleHillCraving. Thanks for reading our post. If you would like to see more Truly Original Photo puzzles, please check our website under Shop By Artist, "Cobble Hill Creations". Puzzle on!

Puzzle Bloggers

There are many different bloggers out there talking about everything from chicken noodle soup to the latest tech gadget. But, there are also bloggers who focus on one main theme - like jigsaw puzzle bloggers.  They may have different reasons for why they do what they do, but they all love jigsaw puzzles, so they write about it. We're going to mention a few Cobble Hill favourites that we enjoy and why we recommend them.
Jigsaw Puzzle Hobby.  We enjoy this puzzle blog because the person who runs it, Linda Richard, is so rooted in the puzzle community and really has a passion for puzzles. But, she doesn't just enjoy puzzles for herself, she actually wants to connect puzzlers together so that they can all enjoy the hobby together. Her website is full of reviews for various brands with a lot of different themed puzzle images. You can get great honest reviews from her with wonderful photos of her process for assembling the puzzles. Not only does she review them, but as an enthusiast and entrepreneur, she has created a Puzzle Hobby Tracker that allows puzzlers to keep track of the brand, how they rated the puzzle, the picture of it, how many pieces, notes and more!  It's available on her website for sale as a download, so you can start keeping track of your memories right away!  Beyond reviews of puzzles, she'll give you information on accessories and things like how to preserve a puzzle with or without glue, boards, lighting, etc.. You can really gain a lot of knowledge from reading through all her links.  But, we also recommend joining her Jigsaw Puzzle Hobby group on Facebook. She'll often host fun closed group events, so if you join the main Facebook page, you'll stay up to date on other upcoming events that you can join for more fun with other puzzlers.  Linda is definitely an All-Star puzzler, so we hope you enjoy her website and Facebook groups.
Recommended if you are looking to get rooted into a puzzle community and learn more about puzzles.
Jigsaw Junkies. This is probably one of the first puzzle blogs that we followed years ago. Jane does a great job of giving reviews for a lot of different puzzle brands and she'll point you to Puzzle Warehouse to purchase puzzles that you might enjoy after reading her review, so you're never lost on where to find the puzzle.  You'll also find puzzle deals, like Buy 2 Get 1 Free, which is always a great perk for a puzzle addict!  If you're the kind of person who enjoys lists, you'll appreciate her many Top Ten lists that may be by brand of puzzle or by season.  However, one of our favourite features about her website is the Brand Comparison chart and write-ups. She breaks down the puzzle brand into various scores for Box, Piece Thickness, Piect Fit, Image Variety, etc.. You can see a summary sheet as well as more details for each brand. The ratings include puzzles from Europe and North America, as well as a few from Asia. She'll also post about new puzzles that a company releases for the year, so if you're on the hunt for something you haven't yet seen, check those posts.
Recommended if you are looking for puzzle deals and an overview of puzzle brands.
My Jigsaw Journal. If you love puzzles or are just starting out in this "life in pieces", you'll love reading Stacey's posts. Her blog's headliner is, "A jigsaw puzzle blog for passionate puzzlers written by a puzzle geek". We like her blog because it's a no fuss website with down and dirty information about puzzles that she assembles each month. The top of her website lists completed puzzles for the year, if you want to get a snapshot of what she has done for the month. However, if you want more in depth information for puzzles, then be sure to check out her Archived Posts for more details. She does a great job of giving you the pleasantries, but she may also throw out some puzzler vocabulary that you have never heard of like, "ballerinas" (2 prong, 2 holes). One of her amazing feats is the completion of Ravensburger's 10 scene Disney puzzle with over 40,000 pieces! Yikes! And in 2018, she has already completed over 88,000 pieces and over 200 puzzles, which does not include the massive Disney puzzle. She's an accomplished puzzler and we think you'll enjoy her down to earth writing style.
Recommended if you are looking for a good read and variety of images.