Reviewed by David Savage
After a stressful day it’s good to relax and unwind. There are many ways to do this; some like to sit and watch television, I like to read, and my mum likes to do a jigsaw. Jigsaws are an excellent way to challenge yourself and get the brain working. They come in all shapes and sizes, and whilst my mum loves doing traditional jigsaw on the table, she also likes something that is a little bit different and loves the Ravensburger 3D jigsaw puzzles, especially the London landmarks (she already has Big Ben and Tower Bridge from the buildings range). So, she was absolutely delighted when Buckingham Palace turned up for review as well as one for the kids – LOL Surprise Sneaker.
The Ravensburger 3D puzzles are not made of cardboard like standard jigsaws that we all know, they use unique hinged plastic pieces which slot together to create a solid 3D structure, and no glue is required.
The Ravensburger Buckingham Palace 3D Jigsaw has 216 pieces, of varying shapes and sizes, to create a 3D model, measuring 38 x 12.3 x 10.9cm, of probably the most famous residence in the world.
Buckingham Palace has been home to the British monarch since 1837 and currently home to Queen Elizabeth II who has reigned for 67 years (she is now 93 years old). Originally built in 1702 as a large townhouse before being acquired by King George III in 1761, it spent the next 75 years getting bigger and bigger and evolving into the palace. The building boasts imposing dimensions, concealing a 77,000 m² interior behind the 108 m long, 120 m wide and 24 m tall limestone façade. It truly is a magnificent building and a big tourist attraction in the heart of our capital city.
My mum couldn’t wait to get started. There are two ways to assemble the palace:
- by eye, just like you would a regular jigsaw (by far the hardest way)
- by numbers, each piece is numbered on the back so you can assemble in number order (the is the easiest way)
As my mum loves her jigsaws, there was no way she was going to build it by numbers. Although she knew she had the option of using the numbers if she needed a nudge in the right direction. While there are not a massive number of pieces, it took her a couple of hours to build as she preferred to challenge herself and build by eye, and the sense of accomplishment was plain to see when she had finished. It now sits nicely with the other two London landmarks on a shelf (she now has her eye on the Night Edition of the same puzzles that use LED technology to light up the puzzles in different colours).
She found it a bit of a challenge to do without using the numbers but found that the plastic pieces were very sturdy and seem very durable (more so than cardboard pieces). The completed puzzle is sturdy, looks good and is very high in detail and quality (including the Beefeaters and the Union Jack flying above the palace).
The Ravensburger 3D Buckingham Palace has an RRP of £19.99 and is available to buy from Amazon here.
We also received a smaller 3D puzzle for the kids (aged 7 and 10) to try. A 108 piece 3D puzzle of a sneaker featuring LOL Surprise characters Bhaddie, Queen Bee, Rocker and Kawaii Queen. Any LOL Surprise fan will love this. And as I have since been told, LOL isn’t Laugh Out Loud, in the case of these collectible mini dolls it’s Lil Outrageous Littles! Who knew?
While Buckingham Palace is aimed at 10 years plus, the LOL Surprise sneaker is for 8 years and up. It still offers the same challenge with building by eye or by the numbers printed on the back. But it does have a difference, once assembled it can be used a pencil pot on your desk. Once completed, it measures 21.3 x 8.7 x 13.4cm. What LOL Surprise wouldn’t want that? And for me, it represents much better value than the LOL Surprise eggs and collectible mini dolls.
The Ravensburger 3D LOL Surprise Sneaker has an RRP of £14.99 and is available to buy from Amazon here.
Both of these 3D puzzles have been great fun and really enjoyed by our family, with ages ranging from 7 to 67. It is clearly a range of puzzles that can challenge all ages, and we also have a couple of mini 3D Minions jigsaws which are suitable for ages 7+ in the house. You do have to be fairly nimble with your fingers but they pieces go together extremely well. They are both very high in quality and are very durable (they should last a very long time, even if you choose to dismantle and reassemble time and time again).
Unlike other jigsaws, these models can be displayed on a shelf or desk and look great. Both would make ideal Christmas gifts for fans of jigsaws or someone with an interest in building models. At under £20 each, they are excellent value for money, a great way to keep your mind active and a fantastic stress reliever.