Beware the Grand Puzzle Master: My Life With Puzzles


Making puzzles is so cash, yo.

You may not know this by looking at me but I love me some puzzles. I’m talking literal puzzles here by the way, not like word puzzles or mind puzzles or something. Physical “connect one piece to another” puzzles usually sprawled over a foldout card table for a month or more. Why do I love puzzles? Because they’re so simple, yet they’ve done a lot over the years to throw some curve balls my way. Want to hear more? Of course, because what else are we gonna talk about? E3? I don’t think so!

Puzzle Me This

When I was a kid I had the usual handful of wooden puzzles that all kids typically owned. While I certainly had the obligatory wood puzzle with basic shapes like a car or a house, I had a few that were a little cooler. My grandma had dinosaur wooden puzzles that where actually huge chunks of wood that fit together to make the shape of a brontosaurus or something. Those were extremely cool, and I keep looking and seeing companies like Melissa & Doug doing the same sort of thing. Then again, they seem to love wooden toys, so it only makes sense.

Okay, maybe my grandma's puzzles weren't this cool.

I found myself always checking garage sales for puzzles once I became a little older, constantly searching for the next coolest puzzle ever. While I found a few Ninja Turtle puzzles, some of the cooler simple puzzles I found were G.I. Joe puzzles that interconnected. There were four puzzles with like two or three hundred pieces each and though each was contained to its specific picture, the four puzzles connected together to form one giant puzzle. Sadly I only found three of the four, but the effect was still very cool to me.

My parents had a great many advanced puzzles in their closet that would make it out every so often for a family puzzle session. These were extremely difficult puzzles with pictures such as a piece of hay in a stack of needles, a pile of fun-sized candy bars, or just a puzzle that’s front picture was purposefully designed to mislead you as to what the actual picture was. There were also the occasional 3D puzzle, but those were a one-time build before just setting them on a shelf or something.

Everyone tries the 3D globe puzzle at some point in their life or another.

Probably the most epic day of things related to puzzles occurred when my father and I were at a mall and happened upon an all-puzzle store with a guy standing behind the counter that had to be the Grand Puzzle Master. Naturally, he looked like he hated his life. What made this better were the three Puzzle Geeks challenging him with asinine puzzle-related questions. One walked up asking if they had any puzzles without edge pieces, to which the Grand Puzzle Master said they had a selection in the back corner. The next geek tried his luck with the question, “Do you have any puzzles with extra pieces thrown in to trick the puzzler?” Obviously they did, and they were on the shelf behind the geeks. The last guy thought he had him with the ultimate, “Do you have any blank puzzles?” The Grand Puzzle Master reached below the counter and pulled out a blank puzzle box. The Puzzle Geeks were defeated and the Grand Puzzle Master sighed his sad little sigh.

Still, none of these could possibly compare with the massive floor puzzles I found one day at a hobby shop. Did you know you can get a puzzle with 18,000 pieces in it? I don’t know why you’d want it, but you can get it from Ravensburger, and if that isn’t even enough, there’s a 24,000-piece puzzle as well. That’s ridiculous.

Behold the behemoth of puzzles. I kind of want this now.

That’s all I can say about puzzles for the moment though, mostly because I don’t currently have any. I wish I did, but sadly there is no space in my apartment to make a puzzle. Some day, but not today. In the mean time, what about you? Are you a puzzle fan? Or do you just hate puzzles? Let me know with a comment. I dare you to challenge the Grand Puzzle Master.


About Author

Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.

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