The best jigsaw puzzles to gift in 2023Reading Time: 3 minutes
Jigsaw puzzles are also a great way to take a break from screens, so anecdotally, they seem fairly popular with people who spend all day staring at one. This makes them a great gift idea, and we are here to help with a bit of guidance.
As a rule of thumb, smaller piece counts are for children, beginners or people looking for a puzzle snack. Jigsaw puzzles with 1,000 pieces or more typically require more time and experience, not to mention space. That said, there are several other factors that can make a puzzle more or less difficult, so don’t hesitate to check out reviews, too.
Another important word of warning is that like other hobbyists and collectionists, puzzle lovers can get pretty specific in their tastes. What’s fun to one will be a never-ending bore to another, and the difference can be hard to explain to the uninitiated.
The best retro puzzles for nostalgic nerds
Nostalgia is a big sale driver for puzzles; and these days, it doesn’t just mean old trains and vintage cars: It also means floppy disks and VHS tapes. Here are a few options along these lines:
- Floppy Disk Frenzy, a 500-piece puzzle by Imagination Puzzles
- Computer Talk, a 500-piece vintage Springbok puzzle and rare find you’d have to chase on eBay and the like
- Tetris, a 750-piece puzzle by Ceaco
- Classic Cameras, a 550-piece puzzle by Eurographics that comes in a camera-shaped tin can
- E.T., a 500-piece puzzle by Spin Master sold in a Blockbuster-branded VHS case
Supporting entrepreneurs and indie creators
Some brands have been making puzzles for decades, and that’s very cool. But we have a sweet spot for emerging brands and innovation, so here are a few picks from young businesses you may want to boost:
- The Busy Bistro, a 1,000-piece mystery puzzle by the Magic Puzzle Company, a Kickstarter alum, with original art by Oscar Sun
- The Astronaut, an 800-piece puzzle by Emma Repp for Jiggy Puzzles, a company you may know from Shark Tank
- Techno Dystopia, a 1,000-piece mystery puzzle by Evermade with a hidden message
- San Francisco, a 150-piece mini-puzzle by Micropuzzles, a small business and brand created in 2018 that also offers a subscription box
- A Tinkle in Time, a 1,000-piece puzzle by Exploding Kittens featuring a cat in his TARDIS-like litter box
- A limited-release metal puzzle from Lazels
The best robot jigsaw puzzles
We love (and fear?) robots, and so do artists; that makes for great puzzle artwork:
- Thankfulness, a 1,000-piece puzzle by Roz Chast for the New York Puzzle Company
- Upcycled Robots, a 100-piece puzzle by eeBoo
- Robot Factory, a 2,000-piece puzzle by Pintoo
- Queen – News of The World, a 500-piece puzzle by Rock Saws, for Queen fans too, but not for kids!
The best space puzzles
Space is another theme that makes for great puzzle gift ideas:
- Spaceship, a 1,500-piece puzzle by Mathias Adolfsson for Heye
- Rocket Launch, a 1,000-piece puzzle by Oesterle for Heye
- Deep Space, a wooden puzzle by Wentworth Puzzles available in 40 and 80 pieces
- Colors of the Moon, a 500-piece puzzle by Galison
The best geeky puzzles
Geek culture isn’t the same as tech culture, and not all of us are geeks. But let’s be honest: If we had to do Venn diagrams, there would be a strong overlap between, say, startup people and Trekkies; or tech founders and Lego fans! So these are for them. Also, cats:
- Star Trek Cats, a 1,000-piece puzzle by Jenny Parks for Chronicle Books
- You Were the Chosen One, a 2,000-piece Star Wars puzzle by Buffalo
- Lego Minifigure Puzzle, a 1,000-piece Chronicle Books puzzle
The best science puzzles
Science puzzles also make for good gifts, and some of them can be done with kids too:
- Periodic Table of Elements, either by Eurographics in 300 pieces or 500, or by Re-Marks in 1,000 pieces
- Women in Science, a 500-piece puzzle by by Rachel Ignotofsky
- The Laboratory, a 368-piece escape puzzle by Ravensburger
- Belvedere, a 1,000-piece Clementoni puzzle based on one of M.C. Escher’s impossible constructions.
Happy gifting and happy puzzling!
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