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Sorting 101: How to sort your puzzle pieces

Building a 3D jigsaw puzzle is pretty straightforward: take all puzzle pieces out of a box and with the help of the reference images provided on the box, assemble them into several distinct sections. Once they are all completed, follow the instructions and join them together in 3D.

Today, we’ll take a closer look at the basics to make sure you get off on the right foot: sorting your puzzle pieces.

It’s probably the least favourite step in the process, the one some may refer to as the ‘let’s-get-on-with-it-so-I-can-assemble-my-puzzle-like-now-now’ step. While we understand the excitement of starting a new project and the anticipation of building something beautiful and impressive, the sorting phase is an important one. Cutting corners here might seem like the quicker option, but ultimately, it may slow you down and cause unwanted effects on you and other participants like frustration, headaches and even words intended for a mature audience only. But taking the time to properly sort your puzzle pieces at the beginning of your project can have a big impact on your assembling speed and overall experience. Being methodical goes a long way!

Sorting boils down to putting your puzzle pieces in different categories. In other words, the more categories you have, the easier it gets to make your way through your workspace and find THE puzzle piece you’re looking for. So, let’s look at a few different aspects of a puzzle piece that can help you categorize them.

1- Colours

It’s pretty self-explanatory and simple. Create one category for every colour found on your puzzle. Gray? Over here. Red? That’s with the others. Green? In a small pile over there. Some 3D puzzles, due to their specific design, might have similar colours and hues. Separate them as best as you can in distinctive categories as well. Brown, brown-ish, browner, light brown works fine. Or wake up the paint colour enthusiast sleeping within you, go crazy and have some fun! Roasted chestnut, amber, midnight brown, burnt wood… You get the drift! As long as you and your puzzle buddies understand each other, it’s all good.

Puzzle pieces sorted into main colour categories.

2- Illustration

Look at your puzzle pieces and find particular elements to help you sort them. Some can be easily recognizable like windows, leaves, bricks, flowers. But others might be more abstract, like straight lines, fuzzy pebbles, swirly thingies, preventing you from discerning their exact position on your 3D puzzle. Stay calm and sort them as well with similar ones. They’ll reveal their true purpose later on.

3- Shape

With a regular jigsaw puzzle, the pieces with a straight edge form a single outline, the proper border of your puzzle. Since a 3D jigsaw puzzle is made of multiple small sections assembled together, these sections will be composed of pieces with straight edges, tenon or mortises (a.k.a the regular square shapes and gaps). Pieces with only loops and sockets or keys and locks will form the inside of some sections.

Tenons and mortises corner piece of a puzzle section, with multiple assembled puzzle sections behind.

4- Subcategory

Examine your current categories and see if they can be broken down into smaller connecting groups. Some windows have yellow curtains and others blue? Sort them. Some cobblestones are clean while others are mossy? Sort them. The bricks are either plain or with a gutter or gray foundation? Sort, sort, sort.

White / Pale colour category sorted into smaller subcategories using the illustrations and the different shades of colour.

5- Details

Pay attention to the details on the illustration. They can reveal surprising hints and welcomed clues that will help you sort your pieces and assemble them. For example, the Empire State Building is mainly made out of windows. While a realistic depiction of the famous New York skyscraper, it can be daunting even for an experienced puzzler. So, we added two different hues (sky blue and sunset pink) in the windows to help you to… that’s right… sort them.

Different hues of colours (blue and pink) in the windows of the Empire State Building 3D puzzle.

6- Orientation (extra tip)

This is more of an advice than an absolute must, but try to be mindful of the orientation of your puzzle pieces in your workspace. For example, window pieces should show curtains going downwards, not upwards. The brick wall pieces with a vine creeping up should all have their tenons and mortises on the same side. This will make it easier for you to associate details and, in the end, pieces together.

7- What about the red dotted pieces? (more information)

Although the red dotted pieces aren’t part of your final puzzle, they still play an essential role in the manufacturing process. They are what makes it possible to have a 3D puzzle, holding the pieces together just like wooden forms would during pouring concrete. During the sorting process, organize the red dotted pieces into their own category, keeping a sharp eye out: some good pieces might have a removable red dotted part that is sticking to it! Keep them aside until the end of your build so you can double-check in the case you’d be missing a puzzle piece. Don’t worry; sorting mistakes can happen, even for the best of us!

You now have a range of tips and tricks to help you out. No need to follow them all at once. The idea is to try to remember a few and slowly but steadily integrate them into your workflow. Remember… practice makes perfect. The more you sort, the quicker and smoother the whole process will become, almost second nature and you’ll be assembling in no time.

Happy puzzling!

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Covid-19 Update

The current Covid-19 pandemic is one of the biggest hardships the world has ever had to face in the past years. The measures in place, including confinement, have various impacts in the past few weeks on everybody around the world.

At Wrebbit 3D, we’ve deployed measures (reduced work hours, extensive sanitizing of equipments multiple times per day, working from home to name only a few) to ensure the health and safety of our employees, business partners (transportation, distribution, online retailers) and of course, every single puzzler.

On behalf of the entire Wrebbit 3D team, we salute the courage and resilience of everyone around the world. We are grateful that in some manner we can hang out together, remotely, and help you keep busy and spend quality time for a few hours or days during this period. While we wait for things to slowly get back to normal, we invite you to heed all instructions from the Public Health Department in the hope of seeing you soon and in good health!

Take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Stay home, stay safe, and happy puzzling!

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Benefits of 3D puzzles

Wrebbit 3D Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle Assembly

Many times we are looking for inspiration to give a gift to a child that is no longer a child. We rarely find good recommendations or ideas online for gifts to give to a future teenager that they can enjoy playing all by themselves or surrounded by family.

3-dimensional puzzles, or 3D puzzles, add an extra challenge to traditional puzzles for several reasons, but they also have amazing educational benefits for children and teenagers.

Wrebbit 3D Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall Assembly

They can:

• Improves visual memory and concentration
• Develops patience, long-term results and self-esteem
• Encourages problem solving
• Improves the ability to see and make geometric association between pieces
• Develops mathematical logic, classification and association
• Improves spatial orientation
• Improves fine motor skills

Wrebbit 3D Harry Potter Madam Malkin Assembly

3D puzzles allow us to create a 3-dimensional structure. It is an ideal activity to do as a family and it is proven to have very positive effects on social relationships.

Depending on the number of pieces, they are indicated for different age groups. There are different levels of difficulty. We would recommend that having experience in these types of game is something that helps a lot, and if we do it as a family game night, working as a team, then the task is even easier and very enriching. You will find that it opens the communication valves and can lead to reinforcing the bond and trust between family members.

Here are some tips to assemble the 3D Puzzle on your family game night:

1. It is essential to separate all of the pieces and make a good classification. Sort the pieces by colours, shape, and type of drawing.

Wrebbit 3D Harry Potter Hogwarts Astronomy Tower Assembly

2. It is advisable to first choose the pieces with borders to create the frames of the structures

Wrebbit 3D Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall Assembly Floor

3. Follow the building sequence on the instructions in order to assemble the walls and general structure.

Wrebbit 3D Harry Potter Hogwarts Astronomy Tower Assembly

4. Have ample space to be able to place all the pieces and assembled sections face up in order to search well.

Wrebbit 3D Harry Potter Hogwarts Astronomy Tower Assembly

Teamwork makes the dream work for an amazing end result!

Wrebbit 3D Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall Assembly
Wrebbit 3D Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle Assembly
Wrebbit 3D Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle Assembly

Happy puzzling!

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Downton Abbey : We’ve been expecting you

Wrebbit 3D Downton Abbey 3D Puzzle on table

Welcome to Downton Abbey, a place where the lives of the aristocratic parallel those of domestic servants, proving that anything can happen.

This period-drama set at a real life castle, its proper name Highclere Castle, to worldwide fans simply Downton Abbey, charmed millions during six pillar seasons. With tireless followers asking for more, it made perfect sense for the iconic drama to pick up where it left off and make its debut on the silver screen as a major motion picture. How could we not want to replicate a return to the Abbey when so many loyal fans wish to be standing at the front door of this golden 18th Century masterpiece?

What started as the mirrored design from the beloved series, has now taken on new heights amid all the buzz surrounding the theatrical release. As the Crawley family take their seats at the famous dining room table and faithful butlers and servants assume their roles, we have taken our place too so to speak! Even Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) seem to approve!

Hugh Bonneville and Laura Carmichael pointing at the Wrebbit 3D Downton Abbey 3D Puzzle at a press junket in Hamburg, Germany.

Hugh Bonneville and Laura Carmichael with Wrebbit 3D’s Downton Abbey 3D puzzle at a press junket in Hamburg, Germany. Source: @bonhughbon on Instagram.

All around the globe, events were planned leading up to the release of the movie and showcased die-hard fans’ knowledge of the Crawley family and of course Downton. In Montréal, the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel held afternoon teas à la Downton Abbey complete with a Quiz Night for fans to dress up in their best period attire and get the chance to win our 890 piece 3D jigsaw puzzle replica of Downton Abbey and bring a little piece of magic back home.

Dressed up fans looking at Wrebbit 3D's Downton Abbey 3D puzzle at Fairmount Hotel in Montreal

Dressed up fans looking at Wrebbit 3D’s Downton Abbey during a special event held at the Queen Elizabeth Fairmount Hotel in Montreal, Canada.

Fans weren’t the only ones to get an exclusive and immersive experience prior to the release. In Germany, the press junket was held in a magnificent location worthy of Downton Abbey itself. Before their interviews with cast members, journalists could experience first-hand grandiose decors mimicking noble’s quarters in the press rooms.

Downton Abbey cast members with Wrebbit 3D puzzle

Phyllis Logan, Laura Carmichael, Sophie McShera and Hugh Bonneville at press junket. Hamburg, Germany.

On opening night, several theatres around the globe added a special flair to opening night by inviting fans to show up dressed as a favourite character and to recreate the debonair Downton Abbey! We wonder how many Mr. Carsons were present vis-a vis Lord Granthams…

A few days after a tremendous box office performance (with whispers and rumours of a sequel already in the air), a special charity auction held on Ebay UK had Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham) showcasing our 3D puzzle with his autograph and those of Allen Leech (Tom Branson), Phyllis Logan (Mrs Hughes), Michael Fox (Andrew Parker) on the box for a lucky bidder to win.

Wrebbit 3D Puzzle Downton Abbey CHairty Auction Hugh Bonneville

Hugh Bonneville showing off the autographed the Downton Abbey 3D puzzle for the charity auction. Source: @bonhughbon on Instagram.

For three full months, from the ramping up of anticipation around the release of the movie up to its worldwide acclaimed box office success, the Walkers Shortbread Cookies company, in conjunction with Focus Features, held a sweepstakes featuring our Downton Abbey 3D puzzle as one of the prizes.

Even though the fans will have to wait to find out if the rumours of an upcoming sequel to the movie are confirmed, they can still rekindle a Downton Christmas tradition. The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC is hosting the Downton Abbey Exhibit throughout the holiday period (up until early April 2020), allowing fans an exclusive behind the scenes peek of life at the Abbey, complete with costumes and props. …and yes, our version of Downton Abbey is among gift shop finds!

We will have to agree that aristocracy can still hold a small place in our world….at least in 3D jigsaw puzzle form! Bring Downton home and experience it with your own beloved family and friends!

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Essen Spiel 2019

Essen Spiel Fair logo with Winterfell 3D puzzle

Ask anybody to name one thing that October and Germany have in common, the chances that the answer will be “Oktoberfest” right away are quite high. While being the obvious answer for the vast majority of people, for Wrebbit 3D and many gamers, October and Deutschland (Germany) are associated with something that could be described as a cornerstone of worldwide entertainment and the embodiment of the play spirit : Spiel Messe.

With thousands of game enthusiasts attending the four day event, Spiel in Essen, Germany is one of the largest table top and hobby game conventions in the world. This year around 209,000 board gamers, roleplayers, puzzlers and fun aficionados walked through 6 Halls and hundreds of booths to play with family, friends and fellow gamers.

Large crowd waiting for Spiel Essen 2019

People waiting by the West entrance.

Every year, the importance of attending Essen Spiel keeps growing. For us, it is one of the greatest opportunities to meet new fans and 3D puzzle addicts from Germany, Europe and all over the world in person, as well as friends, acquaintances and « regulars » (you know who you are !). After all those years, it’s really starting to feel like home.

For our fourth participation at this thrilling convention, we set up a few tables to have people sit down (a rare luxury and a welcomed offer after walking the vast halls for so long !) and join us in assembling Weasley Wizard Wheezes and the Daily Prophet, Madam Malkin’s and Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream, The Knight Bus, Fire Station 3D puzzles. Some puzzlers sat down for a few minutes, assembling the flat section of a door, a wall or a roof. Others really committed to the build, getting off their chair only once the last piece was placed and every puzzler looked and admired the finished building with a proud and broad smile.

Woman assembling the Fire Station, Urbania Collection.

You can never have too many hands! Team assembling the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and Daily Prophet.

We also had a Gewinnspiel (giveaway game/contest) for folks to try to win a 3D puzzle of their choice. You can always put your name in a ballot to win, but being creative and having fun doing it is even better. Enter the “Visual Rally” game. The Visual Rally is a series of questions related to our 3D puzzles, where answers can be found by meticulously observing the puzzles themselves or the boxes. This year, we had multiple collections displayed, like Castles and Cathedrals, Classics, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey. Curious to try it out ? What’s the colour of the car in front of Downton Abbey ? Search our website to find out !

Participants of the Visual Rally.

We had so many participants and the contest was such a great success that we couldn’t resist… We drew a total of 10 winners over the span of four days ! Those who didn’t win but where still present for the draw got a limited edition Ford Anglia 3D puzzle as a consolation prize.

Gewinnspiel during Spiel Essen 2019

And the winner is…

Even though these are four intense days (six, if you count the setup up and dismantling time as well), our brains are always working, always bubbling with ideas and interesting concepts. We’ve scribbled a few of them down during the fair and while traveling back, we are already planning a few things for next year. Want to know what they are? Well, first of all, we’re thinking about doing something that would have the magnitude of…

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New website : more than a new look

Finger browsing wrebbit 3d puzzle new website on tablet on table

We had to do it. It was past time. So we did. We made a brand new website.

We had our website, wrebbit3d.com, for 7 years. During those years, our focus was keeping you up-to-date regarding new products (The Knight Bus, King Arthur’s Camelot, New York – World Trade, etc…) and introducing our new collections (Urbania, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, etc…), along with having developed special projects (Eiffel 125th Anniversary World Tour, Coloured instructions). A few things were tweaked here and there, but we encountered some limitations with the old platform regarding improvements. So we decided it was time to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch.

Come to think of it, we’ve been working on this new website for a few years now, gathering ideas and interesting features alike. For the past few months, we’ve started the construction of the new website, shaping it to become what we had envisioned years before. We are really happy to tell you that phase 1 is completed, and excited to finally share it with you. Here’s a quick glance at some of the improvements we’ve made.

1. Welcome home

New website means a new appearance, a new look. We changed fonts, icons, images to highlight our essence. We feel at home on this new platform, and we hope you’ll feel the same way too.

 

2. Products are resource hubs

It seemed to us that all information relevant to a specific product should be on that specific product page, right ? Right. So when you search for a particular product, you’ll find high resolution images that you can zoom in to help build your 3D jigsaw puzzle ; assembly instructions (majority available in colour) and a link to what we sometimes refer to as our « domestic pet insurance » (say your cat had the brilliant idea to hide puzzle pieces somewhere in your home), our state of the art customer service that offers all the options to order a missing piece.

 

3. Responsive design

Yup. It’s done. No more pinch-to-zoom on tablets and mobiles. It is retired… for good. You will now experience the website in an adaptive format that will best suit the device you’re browsing on.

 

4. Resource menu

The second most important page after the products is the Resource menu, regrouping all the things you might need for the best 3D puzzle experience: Store locator, FAQ, Tips and Tricks, Instruction guides and Missing or Lost pieces form.

 

5. Tips and tricks

We’ve added this new page to enhance your puzzling sessions. Currently, you’ll find the basic steps on how to assemble a 3D puzzle and for all you visual folks. a video (available in multiple languages) with the same information. And that’s only the beginning ! For your benefit, we’ll add additional tips and tricks that we’ve developed with the years of experience working with 3D puzzles. Have your own special trick during your 3D jigsaw puzzle sessions ? Share it with us, and we might add it here for the interest of other puzzlers. We’re all in it together after all !

 

6. Suggestions funnel

Over the past few years, we’ve received a lot of suggestions for new 3D jigsaw puzzle designs. We always add them to our suggestion list so we can consider them during our brainstorm and designing sessions. On our new contact form, you’ll find the specific subject « Suggestions » to help you share all your cool ideas with us.

 

These are just a few of the improvements we’ve made on the new website. Many of them are hidden behind this new look and you’ll probably never be directly aware of them, but will improve your experience. We’ve meticulously checked all pages twice, thrice, some even more to make sure everything was working properly. If you spot anything acting funny that could be improved, or just a nice feature you think would be nice and benefit your experience, drop us a line and we’ll check it out.

Now, it’s time to discover this new website on your own. Read, search, browse and, above all, enjoy !

Welcome home.

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Montreal Comiccon 2019

When our schedule permit, we love exhibiting at conventions and fairs. It’s always fun to meet puzzlers in person. We’re able to exchange a quick word, get feedback or ideas and share the enthusiasm around a common interest : challenging 3D jigsaw puzzles! While in recent years we focused on conventions happening in Europe, this summer we were able to be part of one right in our own backyard; Montreal Comiccon 2019.

Fans could get their hands on 3D puzzles from the Game of Thrones series and Harry Potter universe. We were also really excited to be there for our exclusive worldwide pre-release of our two newest 3D puzzles to attendees, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and Daily Prophet from the Diagon Alley Collection. And just in time for theatrical release in September 2019, the Downton Abbey 3D puzzle.

Game of Thrones – Winterfell 3D puzzle, 910 pieces.

During the Comic Con, we witnessed a wide variety of reactions from attendees: some looked on with amazement, others stomped their feet in excitement, many silently mouthed the ever popular « Oh my God ! ». We loved it all ! As part of the developing team, working for months on a new 3D puzzle, to experience these reactions firsthand is an instant heart warmer. We are sincerely grateful for these feedbacks and moments shared with you!

The Montreal Comiccon was also host to a few famous names you might recognized, namely Tom Felton, James Phelps and Oliver Phelps… Ring a bell yet ? Actors from Harry Potter movies, playing Dracon Malfoy, Fred and George Weasley… It’s coming back now ? Good. Some of us had the pleasure of meeting James and Oliver briefly in person. Highly recommend if you happen to attend a convention to listen in on a Q&A panel or get in line for a meet and greet. Genuinely good people.

Wrebbit 3D Team with Oliver Phelps and James Phelps Actors playing Fred and George Weasley in Harry Potter movies

From left to right : Giosi Tortorici, James Phelps, The Burrow 3D puzzle, Jean Théberge, Weasley Wizard Wheezes and Daily Prophet 3D puzzle, Oliver Phelps, Claude Alary.

All in all, we had a great time there ! We’re seriously considering participating again next year. In the meantime, we’re heading back to the office to work on new and exciting 3D puzzles for 2020. We’re looking for more OMGs, lip bites and broad smiles. It’s kind of addictive, you know ?

Outside links:
Montreal Comiccon
Tom Felton Instagram
James Phelps Instagram
Oliver Phelps Instagram