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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