Kirppu-Thor, 2022-08-10

The title is a play on words, because flea market in Finnish is “kirpputori”, but here the last part “tori” (market) has been replaced by Thor, a god in Norse mythology. The image is from a children’s book in the Tatu and Patu series (I wrote about Tatu and Patu here).

Kirppu-Thor by Aino Havukainen & Sami Toivonen, Peliko, 1000 pieces. Completed on August 10.

Busy images often lead to me spending too much time looking at the box, but here it was more “Ooh, I just saw the other half of this lamp”, followed by a happy reunion. This was a perfect image, and I enjoyed it immensely despite crappy Peliko quality with false fits.

Piitles, 2021-05-21

I’ve arrived safely in Helsinki, and am now quarantining at home.

A cartoon version of the famous Abbey Road album cover with the Beatles. If you were to write down what “Beatles” sounds like to a Finn, you might end up with “Piitles” (especially if pronounced by a Finn). The background is completely different from the famous album cover.

Mauri Kunnas is most well known for his children’s books, but before those, he used to do cartoons for a youth music magazine called Suosikki (“Favourite”), and later he did an entire book about the Beatles.

Piitles by Mauri Kunnas, Peliko, 500 pieces. Completed on May 21, 2021.

[Over the Rooftops], 2021-01-16

Another nameless Peliko puzzle. Since there is no title, I don’t know from what city this is, but I think it’s in Finland, since Peliko is a Finnish brand. One website had it listed as view over Turku, but there are houses like this in many Finnish cities, most of them built in the 30’s and 40’s.

Anyway, as a puzzle, this was very enjoyable even though Peliko quality is not that good, but the image was great.

[Over the Rooftops], Peliko, 500 pieces. Completed on January 16, 2021.

Tassula, 2020-12-28

An image by Finnish author and illustrator Mauri Kunnas, who makes children’s books where all the characters are dogs. Tassula could be translated as “Paw Town”. It wasn’t exactly an easy image, I ended up relying on the box image quite a lot.

Tassula by Mauri Kunnas, Peliko, 500 pieces. Completed on December 28, 2020.

Lots of funny details, though ๐Ÿ™‚

[The Dogs of Winter], 2020-03-07

I was not exactly looking forward to this (I got it with a lot of other puzzles), and it turned out to be quite difficult. It wasn’t helped by the fact that the quality of Peliko puzzles isn’t all that great, but mostly, the problem was the image. After I had spread out the pieces only the pink tongue jumped out at me, but after I had connected those four pieces I was a bit like “Now what?”.

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[The Dogs of Winter], Peliko, 1000 pieces. Completed on March 7th, 2020.
At first, I couldn’t even tell what pieces were part of the dogs, but when I looked at them long enough, I began to see the difference between white dog pieces and snow pieces. I enjoyed the puzzle a lot more than expected. At this point I was pretty pleased with myself:

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The snow on the bottom half was pretty easy, but the final 200-250 pieces, the blurry trees in the background, turned out to be quite difficult. I ended up sorting according to shape but there were still variations in colouring, so it wasn’t like I had to resort to brute force. There was no title for the puzzle, as happens a lot with Peliko.

 

Blue Thoughts, 2020-03-25

I really enjoyed this! It’s my second 350-piece Peliko with three different piece sizes, and I was expecting to have the big pieces on top like last time. What I didn’t think of was that the first puzzle was portrait format, whereas this is landscape, so instead, I have the big pieces on the left. I like the way the smallest pieces are in the bottom right-hand corner, and the further away you get from the large, sleeping goat, the larger the pieces become ๐Ÿ™‚ Definitely more fun than I expected.

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Blue Thoughts, Peliko, 350 pieces. Completed on March 25, 2020.

 

The Star of Africa, 2019-11-12

This puzzle shows a board game that every Finnish child has played since it was released in 1951. There are round markers that are distributed on the red dots, and one of those represents the Star of Africa, a diamond, and the object is to find the diamond and bring it back to your starting point (for which you may choose Tangier or Cairo). In addition to the diamond, you may find lesser jewels that can be sold, and then you can fly, or take a boat, to get around faster. You can also turn up a robber and lose all your money. It’s a game of luck, not of skill.

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The Star of Africa, Peliko, 350 pieces. Completed on November 12th, 2019.

As you can see, there are three different piece sizes, with the big pieces on top and the small on the bottom. The small pieces were really tiny. The quality isn’t that good (as usual with Peliko), but it was still great fun. I’ve played the game countless times as a child, and later as an adult with various children. I especially remember how the 3-4-year-old son of some friends had a meltdown after losing all his money to a robber, sweeping the entire game onto the floor. I remember thinking this is one way Finnish children learn to deal with disappointment, I’m sure I’ve done the same as a child ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s also possible to play without the robbers.

Even though the game represents lovely childhood memories to me, it has been pointed out that it can also be seen as an example of European colonialism, with Europeans robbing the wealth of Africa.

The Sleep Puzzle, 2019-09-22

I rarely buy children’s puzzles, but occasionally I get some when someone sells puzzles as a bundle. This puzzle features Tatu and Patu, who are the protagonists in a popular series of children’s books in Finland. In fact, only one of them is present in the actual puzzle, and he seems to be having a restless night.

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The Sleep Puzzle by Aino Havukainen & Sami Toivonen, Peliko, 108 pieces. Completed on September 22nd, 2019.

In the top left-hand corner, you can see both Tatu and Patu. I’ve actually read some of the Tatu and Patu books (to my brother’s children), and they are pretty entertaining.

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He was reading The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler.

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On the other side of the puzzle, there’s “the world’s most boring bedtime story”. I had to use two pieces of cardboard to flip the puzzle and ended up redoing part of it anyway, the fit is definitely not tight. I read the story, it’s about someone called Silverhair, who goes into the woods to pick blueberries and ends up at a house belonging to some bears. He deliberates endlessly whether to eat some of the porridge he finds already served at the table and how much money he should leave for it and so on. Eventually, he makes himself a cheese sandwich instead, leaves two euros for the bears and goes home. The end.

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The Groke, 2019-01-18

The Groke is a rather complex Moomin character. On the one hand, she is threatening and scary, but she also represents loneliness. Everything she touches freezes. She longs for contact with others and warmth but is unable to form relationships. She doesn’t speak.

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Here she is seen gliding through the forest, and you can see the ice forming around her.

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Some forest creatures hiding.

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These two seem less scared.