I Assemble The Mandalorian Out Of Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces…

the mandalorian jigsaw puzzle by buffalo games & puzzles star wars boxI have a bit of a love-hate relationship with jigsaw puzzles. Most of the time I enjoy the slow, detailed process of puzzle assembly, but every so often there’s a moment when I swear that a piece is just missing and that somehow the company omitted that piece from the box. Of course, somehow it does all work out in the end and I’ve never yet had a puzzle actually missing a piece, but the doubt is real. 🙂

When Buffalo Games and Puzzles asked me if I would be interested in trying out one of their licensed jigsaw puzzles and that they had Marvel and Disney licenses, I jumped at the chance. They sent me an Amazing Spider-Man puzzle and a Star Wars puzzle, The Mandalorian, toting Grogu (aka “Baby Yoda” though he isn’t actually Yoda). I really loved the series as a breath of fresh air in the Star Wars franchise, so it was a natural for a first puzzle to solve.

Overall, I’d describe myself as an intermediate jigsaw puzzle solver, so my ideal is 300-500 piece puzzles. I’ll occasionally tackle a 1000 piece puzzle, but it’s not my preference: too many pieces and I’m likely to run out of interest sooner than I will actually achieve a solution.

Let’s start with an “unboxing”:

mandalorian jigsaw puzzle - buffalo games & puzzles - unboxing

As I imagine is common with most puzzlers, I started by building out the frame. The bright sunset area on the lower left proved quick to assemble with its bright colors and pattern too. I think it took me longer to spread out all the pieces and flip them all to image side up than to build out the frame:

mandalorian jigsaw puzzle - buffalo games & puzzles - frame

Then it was time for the grind of doing the puzzle, during which time I exclaimed to my daughter at least twice that “I’m pretty sure that the piece for this spot is missing from the box!” just to later find the piece. Go figure.

There is a tiny endorphin hit every time you do find and place a piece, and I think that’s what keeps jigsaw puzzlers going through the hours of false attempts and moments when you stare blankly at the piece in your hand, with no idea where it fits. Often the pattern is your cue, but that’s unreliable and even with this puzzle, you can see that there are many areas with almost no differentiation between parts.

I worked by picking regions to solve, slowly building from the edges inward. After maybe a dozen hours of worrying that I was losing my sanity, I finally got to this point:

mandalorian jigsaw puzzle - buffalo games & puzzles - solved

Puzzle solved! It came with the poster on the left too, if you wanted to pin it to your wall. It also helped identify the approximate location for individual pieces with unique aspects, like the bullet loops on the Mandalorians’ weapon strap across his chest.

Overall, I found the puzzle to be well made, brightly printed, and rugged enough to survive wrong inserts and subsequent removals (you other puzzlers know exactly what I mean), though I did occasionally find I had put a piece in the puzzle incorrectly and had to stand and really stare at it to recognize the fault. Having said that, they did add one interesting flair with the puzzle cutout style, as shown in this close-up:

mandalorian jigsaw puzzle - buffalo games & puzzles - close up

Can you see what I called “wings”? An interesting variant on the standard “tabs and blanks” (tho I prefer to call them “slots” or “holes”), though my favorite is when there are unique and unusual shapes embedded in the puzzle.

Overall, good fun, a great image to work with, and time well spent. This particular 500-piece puzzle is listed as costing a modest $10.95. Check out their puzzle library for yourself if you’re into solving puzzles too!

Disclosure: Buffalo Games & Toys sent me a couple of jigsaw puzzles in return for this writeup. Thanks, BG&T!

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