The puzzle I’m reviewing here was manufactured in 2002. It’s a Ceaco brand and the name is “Earth Wizard’. It’s a 550-piece puzzle and its dimensions are: 24” X 18”. The added attraction for this puzzle is that it will “Glow in the Dark”.
It’s an older puzzle, true, but oldies can still be goodies. My daughter had gifted my oldest son with this puzzle years ago, because he likes that sort of theme.
Out of the Box:
Upon unsealing and opening the box, I discovered that the puzzle pieces were also packaged inside a sturdy plastic bag. Before opening the bag though, I did notice that there was some puzzle dust inside the box.
This particular puzzle sat on a shelf for about 15 years before ever being unsealed and put together. It also traveled across the country by U-Haul several times, so it must have gotten a bit shook up along the way. That may have caused there to be more puzzle dust than normal, but honestly, a little puzzle dust doesn’t bother me.
I dumped the dust in the trash and opened the bag, then dumped the pieces into the box. Next, I distributed all of the pieces out of the box and onto puzzle board and sorting trays. Once all of the pieces were out of the box, there was even more puzzle dust:
So, while it doesn’t bother me, if it bothers you, at least you are aware of how it can be with at least some older puzzles that do a lot of travelling.
I had the thought to measure the thickness of the pieces, and near as I can figure, they are about 1/16” thick:
So, they may be a little on the thin side, but that’s okay as long as the do the job they are supposed to, and they did.
Lack of Quality:
Truly, the only thing that bothered me was that on several of the pieces, there was part of the backing from the connecting piece filling the blank area(s):
To me, that just smacks of poor quality, but in the end, it really didn’t matter, because all of the pieces went together well and the puzzle was completed with no sign of anything amiss.
I had the thought too, sometimes a new puzzle will have pieces that are together when you first take it out of the box. I always just take them apart, because it feels like cheating if I don’t put each piece in place myself. Anyway, due to the jostling this puzzle went through, maybe that caused some pieces that were together to come apart and lose some backing. I mean, I want to be fair, and something like that may have been the cause.
Assembling the Puzzle:
Since I have a day job and not much free time evenings and weekends, it ended up taking about 6 – 8 hours over the course of 3 days to do this puzzle. I didn’t actually set a timer or note the exact times, but given that I only had certain parts of the days to work on it, I think that’s a fair assessment of the time it took.
Starting out, my oldest son and I worked on it, but then other family members joined in here and there. Mostly, it was myself and my oldest son, though. The assembly went really well. It was easy to distinguish the colors, and the pieces fit together easily, as they should.
Does it Glow:
One thing we were all curious about was: Would it truly glow in the dark? I found the answer to that is…Yes! Now, I had to leave it out under a light and let it charge for several hours, but then, yes, I could see the parts that glowed, which are the lines of magic from the wizard and the vertical gray lines in his robe. Here is the completed puzzle:
In spite of the few negative qualities, this puzzle was a lot fun to assemble. Most of my family got in on it, which made it even more enjoyable.
Puzzle dust = yes
Thickness = 1/16”
Quality of pieces = most were good, a few were bad
Easy to connect = yes
Enjoyment factor = great
So, do I recommend this Ceaco Earth Wizard 550-piece Glow in the Dark puzzle? Yes! I love jigsaws, and I loved working this one.
To one and all, Happy Puzzling!