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Ravensburger Neuschwanstein Castle 3D Jigsaw Puzzle (216 Pieces) Review

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A 3D jigsaw puzzle of the real-life famous German national landmark the Neuschwanstein Castle that looks like it comes straight out of a fairytale. The caste was built in the latter part of the 19th century by King Ludwig II who never got to see its completion and is positioned on the summit of a hill in the Bavarian Alps. This 3D jigsaw puzzle is part of a series of historical buildings and monuments from around the world that Ravensburger has produced.

The jigsaw has replicated the real-life castle in a lot of detail although it is not quite a 100% exact replica it does capture the feel and look of the castle in its representation. When the jigsaw is completed anybody who is familiar with the famous castle will instantly recognize what it is at first glance however it isn't photo-realistic but more a cartoon impression of the castle. This is a 3D jigsaw puzzle so you will get the exterior view of the castle from all sides and from above but it will not give an interior view of what the many rooms look like which is a big part of the experience when you go to visit it in real life. The pieces of the jigsaw are flat with a picture stuck on them so this takes some of the realism and detail away from the jigsaw and does make it feel a little 2D in places. However as the jigsaw is large in size it means that more detail can be put into it and more of those details can be seen such as the artwork on the building like the paintings and engravings, the brickwork, the window styles and even some plants that are growing up the walls of the building.

The puzzle has 216 pieces that slot together with no glue or tools needed and therefore less mess will be made with the result being more fun and less frustrating experience. There are parts of the building that fit together like a regular 2D flat jigsaw which is different to a lot of other 3D jigsaws and does freshen the challenge of assembling it up. The pieces are also made from plastic that should keep for a long time as long as they are properly stored away when finished with, used as they are intended to be used and reasonable care is taken when using them. One of the best attributes of this 3D jigsaw is the pieces fit and slot into each other pretty easily without much force this means that there is less chance of the pieces bending or breaking and leading to the puzzle not working. There are some pieces that hinge in the middle and are corner pieces of the building and these could liable to snapping so extra care should be taken. The individual pieces range in size but some are quite small and therefore not suitable for small children as they could potentially be swallowed.

The puzzle when completed is large in size and when separated has a lot of pieces that take up a lot of room so it will require a large flat clear surface area like a table to fit on and keep track of all the individual pieces when assembling it. Unlike a lot of 3D jigsaws, it is relatively easy to fit together different complete sections of the castle but some of the smaller pieces can be fiddly to place into position but with a bit of patience and practice they should eventually fit together and anyone with experience of doing these 3D jigsaws will have little trouble. The puzzle when all put together is robust so all the pieces will stay fixed together but when displaying it should still be placed somewhere that nobody can bump into it and potentially knock it off whatever it is placed on as if it did fall off a table it would come apart.

The other purpose of the puzzle other than to construct it is that when you have put it all together you will have a very attractive puzzle to show off that is probably the most attractive of any of the historical buildings or monuments you can get in 3D jigsaw form but due to its size will have to find space big enough for it in terms of height and width for it to fit. The only real criticisms of the puzzle in terms of appearance are that it isn't quite a 100% accurate replica of the castle with some details either missing or different and the surrounding trees and the hill that it is placed on are not included which are when you go to see it very much a part of the experience.

An additional benefit of the puzzle may be that it encourages the user to have a greater interest in historical monuments and history in general or that it inspires them to be an architect so this puzzle can be educational as well as a puzzle and it could likely encourage the user to research further the history and the facts of the castle.

Although this is intended as an individual puzzle this could easily be done as a group activity such as in pairs that could be a parent-child activity or with a friend but any more than a pair will mean those taking part will not have much to do.

Replayability is low as this is the sort of puzzle you will only do once as the puzzle has only one solution and is straightforward to do. It also does not offer any additional challenges other than the main one and it isn't really the kind of puzzle you would try to do in a faster time so you are basically putting together a puzzle that you will either put on display or dismantle when completed and likely never use again.

The level of difficulty for this puzzle is not particularly high in terms of assembling it because with the aid of the picture on the box it is fairly obvious where the pieces go and would be an ideal entry point for anyone looking to get into 3D jigsaws or possibly construction puzzles in general. The only real issue or challenge is getting some of the pieces to lock together but putting the whole jigsaw together should only take an afternoon or a few fours for most people. It is, therefore, playable as previously mentioned for jigsaw novices as there is even an instruction manual that can help you put the numbered pieces together, which have little arrows on the reverse side of them to aid you, if you get stuck which I would say is unlikely. If you want to make the puzzle more challenging then you could try to do it without the aid of the picture on the box or you could set yourself a time limit in which you have to complete it within a set time like 2 hours.

In conclusion, this is a puzzle that can be for those who are not particularly puzzle or jigsaw enthusiasts as it is fun to assemble and is not complicated to solve. If a person doesn't have the opportunity to visit the castle in real life then it offers an alternative way to get an up-close view of what it would look like or if a person has visited the place then it could be an ideal souvenir that will give a good and pretty accurate impression of the exterior of the castle. When it is finished in terms of the challenge then it could make a nice decorative piece that could be shown off in the home to friends and family so it has use beyond the challenge itself.




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