Friday, 13 February 2015

The Red Box (1000-piece puzzle from Ravensburger)

When I was young, one of my Mum's friends had a red lacquer box from China. It travelled with her aunt from Shanghai who left the revolutionary Russia with the wave of immigrants, only to come back later to the Soviet Union in the 1950s. There was a big Russian community in Shanghai. She didn't bring much with her, some silk robes and a beautiful red lacquer box. I remember looking at that treasure box with great awe. It was so exotic and almost magical, all those compartments revealing their secrets. I recently revisited my childhood, while solving an amazingly intricate puzzle The Red Box from Ravensburger.

1000-piece puzzle
The Red Box puzzle

The Oriental design has been created by a talented illustrator Colin Thompson, well known for his unique and original style.
Like all Ravensburger puzzles, The Red Box comes in a sturdy cardboard box. The puzzle pieces are also made from strong durable premium grade cardboard.
I kept postponing the work. Since the complete puzzle measures 69.9 x 49.7cm, I had to find a clear table space. I have been looking into buying one of those foldable puzzle trays, now that would have been very handy. In the end, I used a desk upstairs to build my puzzle without it being disturbed by all the toys. You should see my working table with the laptop, it's all laden with papers and toys, there's absolutely no space for a puzzle of this size.
As always, I first try to find all the pieces to build the frame, and then slowly sort out the colours and assemble separate pieces.

The design shows a magic oriental red lacquer box, with lots of drawers. You find all sorts of hidden treasures inside, as well as some mystic mini-figures.
You'll see a beautiful Blue Willow patterned piece and a red lantern, a golden koi carp, elegant old pieces of china, a smiling Buddha and much more.

I loved spotting weird little creatures, a kind of trolls and magic animals which often populate the Northern European illustrations of Moomins and Findus & Pettson series.
There is a very handy print of the overall picture which is very convenient for reference.

I am half-way through with my puzzle, so it's still very much a work in progress.
As with all Ravensburger puzzles, it is a pleasure to play with.

This puzzle will make a great gift for any puzzle lover. Or perhaps you might give it to someone for Chinese New Year which is celebrated on 19 February.

Next day update: once kids fell asleep, I spent a good couple of hours, finishing the puzzle. I swear all night I had puzzle pieces dancing in my mind. But oh boy, what a satisfactory feeling when the last piece was slotted in.

Ravensburger 1000-piece puzzle

Disclosure; I received the puzzle for the purposes of reviewing. All opinions are mine.

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe how fast you do these, it takes me months! Lovely picture on the puzzle