Puzzles are something that my family has enjoyed even before the pandemic made them all the rage again, so I was certainly intrigued when I heard about Puzzle Culture, a quarterly subscription box centered around different puzzles from Dawn Walsh. I received a copy of the Fall Box for review purposes.
What Is Puzzle Culture?
Puzzle Culture is a quarterly subscription box that contains a 1000 piece puzzle with art from an indie artist that you can only get from Puzzle Culture, as well as 3-5 additional gifts highlighting the current theme. Quarterly boxes are $34.99, or a full year is $124.99. Past boxes are available in the shop as supplies last. There is an additional shipping charge.
What Comes in a Puzzle Culture Box?
Unboxing subscription boxes is always super fun. The Fall Box has a “Skeleton Garden” theme and contained the following items:
- 1000 Piece Puzzle “Blossom & Bones” with artwork by Natalia Maroz
- 3D Gothic Butterfly Puzzle
- Set of 2 Stainless Steel Skull Ice Cubes
- Mini Ceramic Skull Planter
- 3D Skull Desk Organizer.
Overall, it was a fun little variety of items. The big puzzle is always the most exciting, but the smaller puzzles looked like things our ten-year-old might like to help with a bit more, and the part of me that was once a pirate in the SCA loved the little skull items too. I’ll now go into more details on the contents themselves.
1000 Piece Puzzle “Blossom & Bones”
The coolest part of this box was naturally going to be the big puzzle itself. Natalia Maroz created a gorgeous image of a skeleton half emerged from the ground with a ribcage bursting with brightly colored flowers. Trees and greenery frame the skeleton along with a handful of butterflies.
Putting it together was a decent challenge and took 20+ man-hours between my husband, myself, and our ten-year-old. There are definite areas to focus on, but the ribcage and flower area blends in with itself and took some time to sort out. The butterflies, skull, and larger flowers were the first areas where we had the most success after assembling the frame. (We’re frame first puzzlers.) The pieces were thick and solid and fit together nicely. The completed puzzle measures 19.68in x 27.55in (50cm x 70cm), so you’ll want a decent workspace or one of those puzzle tubes to roll it up between puzzling sessions. The quality of the puzzle and the artwork are on par with some of the bigger puzzle names out there and should definitely appeal to puzzle aficionados.
3D Gothic Butterfly Puzzle
This one listed kids’ ages, but it’s very fragile and needs to be handled with care. Our kiddo couldn’t quite do it on his own, and we found the order you put things in place mattered a good deal. The end result is really cool though. Creative types might enjoy coloring sections of it with the kind of markers that work on black paints before assembling for some added fun.
3D Skull Organizer
I really liked this one. It was a lightweight wood that was fairly easy to put together with clear instructions. The art on it gives off definite Day of the Dead vibes and I let my oldest kid claim this one for storing pencils and pens on his desk. I think this was my favorite of the additional gifts in this box.
Steel Skull Ice Cubes and Mini Ceramic Skull Planter
These were fun items for not being puzzles in themselves. The steel ice cubes feel like something we should set out when our gaming group can meet in person again. GMs cool their drinks with skulls, right? If not, I’m pretty sure ours might think they now should. While I’m not the type that plants things in mini planters, I love to repurpose them, and this one is the perfect size to put rings or a necklace in on my nightstand, which is what I will likely purpose it for.
Overall, I think puzzle fans will enjoy getting one of these boxes for themselves or to gift to a puzzle fan that you know. Given how fast puzzles have sold out in the last year with people staying home a lot more, getting yours via subscription box where you have your copy reserved may be the best way to secure some fun new activities for yourself without paying flipper prices. You get a decent selection of puzzles and gifts for the price range, and I love that indie artists are getting featured in the big puzzle. The box itself is probably good for the middle-school-and-up age range or so, but older elementary school kids may like to help with parts of it as part of a family activity.
Where Can I Get a Puzzle Culture Box?
Prices start at $34.99 for one month and go to $124.99 for a full year quarterly subscription (shipping fees not included). You can place your orders for a new box here. If you want more puzzle options, check out the shop for previous boxes and a limited run box designed just for kids here. If that’s still not enough, Puzzle Culture is working on crowdfunding a monthly box option here.