I’ve covered Ravenburger puzzles quite a few times because I love the quality pieces and the different lines they offer. While the Villainous line had been heavily associated with the antagonists from Disney movies, in games and puzzles, Ravensburger has also debuted characters with Marvel bad guys as well. Since we are big Marvel fans in this house, I got excited to check out some of these new themed titles. Ravensburger sent me several puzzles to review and this month I’m going to cover the Villainous Thanos Puzzle and Villainous Ultron puzzles.
Both puzzles easily hold up to the Ravensburger reputation of quality pieces that snap together really nicely. I was even able to lift a puzzle by the edge to peek under it in order to try to track down a stray piece and return it to the felt mat we were building on without destroying it. The artwork is always gorgeous and the scenes are really fun to put together as a result. These are the details that have me coming back to this brand over and over again.
Villainous Ultron (MSRP $24.99)
Overall, this was actually a trickier puzzle than I expected, and I was a little caught off guard because I’ve often thought of myself as pretty good at puzzles. What makes this collage scene so tricky is the fact so many areas are slightly different shades of metallic grey, so sorting out what piece is from what area is not as easy as one might expect. Selecting anchor points, what I call places that are easy to piece together and anchor the puzzle building, was trickier.
Ultron pieces were easier to find, but his section is so big it’s almost too overwhelming a place to start in. We finally settled for starting with places like the colored blasts and areas with green or blue in the background. Those pieces were easier to locate, not too overwhelming in amount, and we’d also start getting a feel for what shade of metallic was in that area (good lighting is a must for this puzzle). When we got to Ultron himself, we sorted pieces by shape and did more of a match-by-shape option.
The puzzle is designed for ages 14+, and I want to say two adults put a good 15-20 hours into assembling this one between us. Our 11-year-old is pretty decent at puzzles because he has high spatial reasoning skills, but most of this one intimidated him a lot unless he came across a pile of similarly colored pieces that had been set aside already. At 27×20 inches, it’s a decently large scene, so make sure you’ve got the space to spread it out for assembly. The nice thing is, as a 1000 piece puzzle, it does tend to work with lots of standard-sized puzzle mats/trays. You may want one for this, as this is not really a single afternoon puzzle sort of deal. If you like a solid but not ridiculous challenge, this might be the one to pick up.
Villainous Thanos (MSRP $24.99)
After making like the Avengers and being decently humbled in our early stages of dealing with Ultron, the Thanos puzzle was next. I really liked the number of hero characters incorporated into this puzzle, especially Gamora and Captain Marvel. I went in preparing for another similar challenge, but this one was actually a little easier.
The Infinity Stones and different character background areas made it a lot easier to sort out what pieces went to what area. The yellow area and Thanos’s armor did try to blend together in places, but I did have an easier time figuring out how to work on the puzzle and approach things. The armor was the last section, although some of the smoother areas we had already been able to put together as well as the edges that had a bit of glow to them.
The rest we did end up taking the sort by shape and test out method. As compared to the other puzzle, this one was closer to 12-15 hours to complete. It’s still in the 14+ age range challenge, which does seem about right to us, although a solid puzzle kid with enough patience to sort pieces may still be able to take this on. Like the other puzzle, the final size is 27×20 inches, and you’ll want a workspace that isn’t interrupted or a puzzle mat/tray for this multi-day challenge.
In our complete picture, you may note one missing piece. We were not sure if this was an error on our part of the fact we live with kids and two dogs and sometimes a stray piece getting knocked off a table can go on a little journey of its own. We try to avoid it, but, you know, life with kids and pets is not always cooperative in this regard.
Overall, this is a fun puzzle line with amazing mural-styled art pieces. Marvel fans will really love all of the characters incorporated into these puzzle scenes, and puzzle enthusiasts should appreciate that some decent hours are going to need to be logged in to piece these together. Amazon carries both, with Ultron for $22.10 and Thanos for $24.95. Other gaming stories may also carry these online or in-store.