Puzzling Out the Pandemic: ‘The Iron Giant’ Jigsaw Puzzle from Mondo

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‘The Iron Giant’ puzzle box. Image by Mondo.

With so many of us sheltering in place during this pandemic, it’s no surprise that we’ve seen a huge resurgence in a popular hobby: assembling jigsaw puzzles. There’s been a real demand for new and interesting puzzles, especially with them disappearing from stores almost as fast as toilet paper.  It’s lucky timing that Mondo’s Puzzle Party puzzles were recently released. As you may recall from my preview article back in April, these are popular artist-created movie posters that have found new life as 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles.

Enter ‘The Iron Giant’

With art by DKNG from a 2016 poster from the film of the same name, The Iron Giant when completed is 19″x27″. It retails for $20 and as of this writing is currently sold out, but I’m told they’re expecting reprints and do have several other puzzles currently available on their website.

When you open the box, you’ll find all the puzzle pieces sealed in a bag, as well as a mini poster that you can use as a guide while assembling the puzzle.

Puzzle pieces. Image by Paul Benson.

The puzzle pieces themselves are of a very nice quality, and cut precisely. The print on the front is vibrant, with a bright white finish on the backs of the pieces.

Lots more puzzle pieces! Image by Paul Benson.

Assembling The Puzzle

First things first…if you’re relatively new to assembling puzzles, then you may want to look into getting a set of puzzle trays to help sort and store the pieces while you work on the puzzle. These inexpensive trays will not only make building your puzzles more enjoyable, but they’ll keep any stray pieces from ending up on the floor or in a pet’s stomach. I’m using the Becko Stackable Puzzle Sorting Trays but there are many brands and shapes out there.

Becko puzzle trays and lid. Image by Paul Benson.

When you’ve got a rectangular jigsaw puzzle as with the Puzzle Party puzzles, it’s generally good practice to start with assembling the border, as those pieces are easy to identify due to their flat sides.

Assembling the border. Image by Paul Benson.

One thing I quickly discovered is that some of the pieces have shapes which are very similar, but don’t quite fit. I had to take caution to make sure that the fit was precise. Thanks to the quality of the puzzle cut, this wasn’t at all problematic once I realized that I had to take a little extra care in fitting pieces together.

Once the frame was assembled, I had to decide where next to proceed. I chose to work on the lower part of the puzzle where the movie title was.

Working on the puzzle. Image by Paul Benson.

As you can imagine looking at the illustration, this ended up being a very challenging build. To not get frustrated, when I hit a mental dead-end working on the puzzle, I’d shift gears to build a different area. After completing the bottom part of the puzzle, I moved to working on the moon at the top:

Working on the moon. Image by Paul Benson.

And once the moon was complete, I had a good jumping off point to start building the Iron Giant himself. Once he was built, I moved on to the areas of night sky, and finished the puzzle by putting in the clouds. You can see my build progress in this slideshow:

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And finally, here is the completed The Iron Giant in all its glory:

The finished puzzle! Image by Paul Benson.

‘The Iron Giant’: Final Thoughts

This was a very challenging puzzle! Especially so as I was trying to build it in relatively short order rather than proceeding at a leisurely pace. I also had to take a bit of an enforced break in the middle of my build to playtest the prototype for a board game (you may have spotted it in the background of one of my photos). But all the while I was playtesting that game, in the back of my mind I was craving a return to working on The Iron Giant. Yes, the build could be occasionally frustrating…but the frustration was all worth it when I fitted in that final puzzle piece and had a beautiful completed image laid out before me.

The Iron Giant is a jigsaw puzzle with gorgeous artwork that will put your puzzle-making skills to the test. I found it incredibly satisfying to build and look forward to making more Mondo puzzles in the future.

As I mentioned before, this particular puzzle is currently out of stock, but keep an eye on the Mondo website for them to reprint and restock. And many other puzzles are currently available, including some like Gremlins and Spider-Man VS Doc Ock which were previously sold out. Head on over to the Games & Puzzles section of the Mondo website to get your puzzle on today!

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7 thoughts on “Puzzling Out the Pandemic: ‘The Iron Giant’ Jigsaw Puzzle from Mondo

  1. Hi Paul, I’m having extreme difficulty with this puzzle, especially the bottom border, where the colors of the pieces offer no help in determining the order. None of the photos on your post are showing up for me – could you check to see if you can get them to show up so I can see what I’m doing wrong? Thanks for your help!

  2. Hi Alex-
    Sorry about the photos- GeekDad moved to a new server and a lot of photos for a lot of reviews didn’t make it over in the transfer. We’re working on a solution but I’ll try to manually get the pics back up for you to help with your build.
    I had a lot of trouble initially with the bottom border myself. What you need to be careful about is that the fit is exact (so that they go together very easily). Also, I found that adding the next layer on top of the border helped, as I found that I’d switched a couple of border pieces and adding those pieces on top made it obvious.
    Finally, be patient- this is a VERY challenging puzzle, but it’s gorgeous and I was happy to build it…I just wish I could have taken my build at a more leisurely pace but I wanted to get the review done!

    1. Thanks, Paul. Yeah, I have been having some success with the next row up and matching it with the bottom border, but I haven’t quite gotten there. Thanks for your help!

      1. Finally finished this after returning to it every now and again over the past month. Might be one of the toughest puzzles I’ve tried because of the similar colors throughout the puzzle. Getting the Mondo Back to the Future Delorean puzzle soon – wonder if it will be similarly difficult.

  3. Congrats on finishing! Yes, it’s a challenging puzzle…though I’m currently reviewing one which I’m finding even harder, a Frazetta Conan the Barbarian puzzle. The BttF one looks like it will be a challenge, as well…let me know how it goes!

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