Children's toys and games, festival fun, Giftwares, jigsaw puzzles, Product reviews
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Review of a Limited Edition Ravensburger Christmas Puzzle 2013 (1000 pieces) entitled The Santa Express

The Artist
The illustration is by Ray Thrower, whose bright and colourful artwork has become synonymous to many themed Ravensburger jigsaw puzzles. Because of this you will no doubt recognise Thrower’s unique style. He uses mixed medium to produce evocative scenes, not just of Christmastime, but other themes too.

The Theme
The legend behind the Santa Express is that little children take that steam train ride, over hills and through valleys, giddy with anticipation, to see Santa Claus himself. And it is their arrival at the station which is depicted in this scene. This illustration has many of the elements presented to us at Christmas time. Traditional imagery of the festive season feature including carol singers, Victorian lanterns and snow capped houses and the trees. Santa is there with the smiling eyes. It is the kind of illustration that sticks in a child’s mind and sparks imagination.

The Product
The Santa Express is, as stated, a premium product, and has the “softclick” technology – self explanatory by the very name. The manufacture has produced a well engineered cardboard, precision cut, to allow the best interlocking to be achieved. Pieces have a chunky, robust quality about them and the paper tops are compactly attached. The finish has a soft sheen and it almost looks as if each component has been hand painted.

The Details
1000 pieces makes this a puzzle that is too complex for young children to compile alone. So this is a puzzle from 12 years and up, and, of course, it is fun sharing the experience with family and friends. It is an activity one can undertake almost as an aside while doing other things. It can be something you do over hours, days, or weeks. It is a relaxing past time; time absorbing. The Santa Express puzzle would make an ideal gift for an individual (of either gender) or a token style gift for a family. RRP £12.99. Available from Amazon.

The Promoting
The joy of puzzle making is to engage in the compiling of it, to enjoy the building of the picture, and to appreciate, for a short time or long time after, all that which is revealed on completion. There is a certain amount of pride felt in the finished achievement! The beauty of it too, is that next Christmas you can do the whole thing all over again. Alternatively, you could start a new puzzle collecting hobby, and add each Ravensburger Christmas Edition to your collection on their release, year upon year. For further information and to view the extensive range of Ravensburger puzzles and games visit the website.

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