Review: Frida. Art Puzzle 1,000 pieces. #JTWJP

The Journey Through the World of Jigsaw Puzzles is a series of non-typical reviews describing my personal impression on doing jigsaw puzzles of different manufacturers. You can read about the whole idea of these non-typical reviews here. Today I’m going to take you to Turkey where Heidi Toys, the owner of Art Puzzle, is located.

I usually have quite a dilemma which jigsaw to do first. Although I know I have to choose 1,000 pieces box for the purpose of this series, I still found it really hard to pick just one of over 120 different boxes. I chose ‘Frida’, 1,000 pieces.

Frida Kahlo in the eyes of Alfredo Arreguin

Most of you have probably heard about this Mexican painter who was famous for her 140 self-portraits. She used to say, ‘I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.’ Critics call her artwork ‘Naïve Art’, although to my unprofessional eye it looks like ‘folk’.

The picture on our puzzle box is not one the famous self-portraits of Frida Kahlo. The author of the painting is Alfredo Arreguin, American painter of Mexican descent. He studied art at the University of Washington and became one of the most recognized Latin artist.

So, we have a painting of a Mexican artist painted by an originally-Mexican-Seattle-based artist and transformed into a jigsaw puzzle of an Asian manufacturer. What an extremely interesting mixture!

The box

Box dimensions are regular 14.6 x 10.6 x 2.2 inch. It is covered in plastic foil for protection. The picture on the box is not hidden under any other print which makes it a good hint while assembling the pieces. Its dimensions are 12.2 x 8.7 inch.

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There is a logo of Art Puzzle and Heidi, the catalogue number, the name of the author, the size of the puzzle picture, and the bar code on the side of the top cover of the box. At the back of the box the manufacturer has put an advertisement of sorters, puzzle mats and pads. The printing is impeccable on top while at the bottom it has some scuffs, although it has never been used before.

Inside of the box there is only a plastic bag with puzzle pieces. No additional information about the author which is quite disappointing. Especially when the brand’s name suggests that ‘Art’ is a main theme of their products.

The quality

To evaluate the quality during our Journey we are going to need a kitchen strainer. Yes, a tool everyone can find in their kitchen drawers. An extremely useful accessory for sieving the dust.

Some of the Puzzle Maniacs are able to guess the manufacturer based on the amount of dust (especially its blue shade). And I must say Art Puzzle has a lot of it.

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The puzzle pieces are a bit less thick comparing to Ravensburger and the cutting is something that bothers me a little. I found a lot of uncut elements and at least 2 examples of delamination.

The texture is meant to prevent light reflection which is unlikely to be entirely eliminated. Colour reproduction between the box and the puzzle pieces does not raise any objections.

Art Puzzle products have a very typical cutting which forms some sort of a net. There are no extraordinary shapes. Each element has 1-4 tabs and blanks which fit rather loosely so it is almost impossible to move our picture between places. The complete picture is 26.8 x 18.9 inch.

Overall pleasure

Frida Kahlo’s face, colourful mosaic, Mexican masks, and butterflies were something that made me choose this exact puzzle box from the start. I knew I would have a great time doing this jigsaw.

I always start from the frame which helps me evaluate the quality of the cutting. I didn’t have any problems with the elements. Assembling the frame went smoothly, separation of the remaining elements was quite intuitive: different piles for the face and hair of Frida, different pile for butterflies, birds and skulls, and mosaic. Such a varied picture made it pretty easy for me to put together. It took me little time to assemble separate parts to the frame, and soon after the whole picture was done.

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Was it a challenge? I can certainly say that the mosaic may be a little laborious but overall I think that neither the details nor colours are too difficult to make the process too complicated.

Manufacturer’s offer

The Art Puzzle offer is quite surprising. I expected more of a classic painter’s artwork but there are more paintings by contemporary painters. You can find reproductions of Klimt, Munch, van Gogh as well as colourful fantasy artwork by Ciro Marchetti, paintings by Josephine Wall and Dominic Davison or even pictures that show Michael Jackson.

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The brand manufactures jigsaw puzzle up to 3,000 elements. You can choose from the whole series of products such as jigsaw in a shape of a clock (which you can actually hang on the wall), panoramic puzzles, glowing in the dark puzzles, velvet puzzles, and even wooden puzzles.


I have a mixed feelings about Art Puzzle. I enjoyed doing this picture very much. Frida Kahlo was a very controversial artist and the painting of Alfredo Arreguin makes us experience the real art. Not easy and quite exotic but also extremely interesting in its simplicity.

On the other hand we have uncut and loose elements, examples of delamination and quite a lot of dust (which is a feature and not a defect). Apart from that the quality is good. Product mix is varied so I think every Puzzle Maniac will find something for himself.

And so the first stop on our Journey has come to an end. I have already started to do another jigsaw puzzle of a different Turkish manufacturer. Stay tuned for more.