It is no secret that I love puzzles. You may remember my post regarding my 3000-piece puzzle. Before my spare time was taken up with blogging and sports you could always find a puzzle on my dining room table. Sometimes my hubby would sit and help and sometimes the kids. When I had a chance to review the Ji Ga Zo Puzzle by Hasbro I figured why not? I could always use a good puzzle.
Little did I know how intriguing this puzzle was going to be. Yes, I read the concept of the puzzle before I accepted the review:
Ji Ga Zo is revolutionizing the puzzle category! This awesome puzzle has 300 pieces that you arrange to create any face — even your own! Start out with any digital image and upload it using the Ji Ga Zo software. The software figures out the placement of each piece and builds a unique icon map. Then, it’s up to you to arrange the pieces according to the icon map and watch your own special image come together! These 300 pieces are specially created with unique colors and shading that let them interlock to create almost any face image you upload.
Interesting concept but can one really pull off such a thing? A different puzzle every time? A puzzle where you can select your own subject. It was definitely worth giving a try.
The kids and I sat down this weekend to give it a whirl. Honestly, this has become one of my favorite items I’ve been able to review. Right up there with my Custom Photo Blanket by Photoweavers blanket and Luminess Airbrush System. The best part of this puzzle was the interaction and participation with my kids. Buddy was unable to join us due to his school trip. He was instead “Dueling Dragons” and visiting “Hogwarts” up in Orlando at Islands of Adventure. However Nick, Honey, and I worked together on it. It is a puzzle that my 5-year-old was able to help us with, that is my number one reason for my extremely high opinion of this puzzle.
Honey can do a puzzle, no doubt about that, she LOVES puzzles. 100 pieces however is the highest right now she can do on her own, and even then she tends to get a little frustrated and ask for help sometimes. The Ji Ga Zo is 300 pieces. Before you begin you upload a photo using their special software and it prints you out a map or key to build your puzzle.
Looks kinda weird huh? Doesn’t make much sense unless you see the puzzle. Note: Whatever you do print your map in color. The pieces are color-coded with symbols so the color will help you find your pieces faster. Basically, you just follow your map, finding the colored piece with the correct symbol. Then you flip it over and place it on your grid, making sure to match the symbol and place it the same way. Some symbols are upside down or right side up, turned to the right or left. You must follow the key and place them correctly to get the desired effect. Here is our first puzzle, a photo of Honey.
Now of course the puzzle isn’t dead on clear as can be, kinda hard to achieve an exact shading replica with only 300 pieces. However looks pretty darn neat if I do say so myself. It took us about an hour to do the puzzle which is a good time to keep both of the kids interested and focused on their task. We had such a fun time looking for the symbols and passing the board around to each other. Just see how intense they were on putting it together.
After our first puzzle we decided (later on in the evening) to try it again just to prove how you can make different faces with this one puzzle. Nick of course was more then willing to allow me to do his photo next.
Yep worked just as good the second time around. I HIGHLY recommend this puzzle for any age. It was a great family activity and I truly enjoyed working with my kiddos. It was great to see them working together each trying to find the correct symbol. We each took a corner and worked our way in, though Honey preferred helping with the finding more than she did completing the puzzle.
Two thumbs up to Hasbro for a great product! Of course, I expect nothing less from such a wonderful brand.