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Today’s modern age of innovative technological innovation has brought many sophisticated challenges along with it.
At some point you’ve got to “buck the trend” and find something different to do, other than playing on a PlayStation console or scrolling through an endless stream of YouTube videos.
Keeping the mind stimulated is great for mental growth, which is why I wanted to write an article for football fanatics that offers a way of breaking the monotonous cycle of technology use in our lives.
So, I’m going to be detailing the best football puzzles that one can buy for a rewarding brain challenge.
The aim is to strive for that warm buzz of excitement (dopamine hit) you feel right after completing that complex jigsaw!
Alright, let’s get down to it.
Without further ado, here are my top football puzzle suggestions:
Manchester United Old Trafford LEGO Puzzle
Ravensburger Allianz Arena 3D Puzzle
Jumbo, Jan Van Haasteren Soccer Puzzle
Paul Lamond Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Puzzle
Schmidt Spieler Football Stadium Finale Puzzle
The Manchester United Old Trafford LEGO Puzzle arguably wins on this occasion as the meticulous attention to detail that the designers paid is nothing short of impressive. More so, its modular makeup allows for easy transportation without breaking the entire structure apart, which is not typically the case with flat two-dimensional puzzles.
1. Manchester United Old Trafford LEGO Puzzle
Some will no doubt argue that a LEGO set is not the same as a jigsaw puzzle because the latter only produces one result as opposed to the former, which can have many outcomes.
However, I’m of the view that because this product is a 1:600 replica model of Manchester United’s Old Trafford football stadium, it fits under the classification of a puzzle.
The set comes with a total of 3,898 pieces and allows for the construction of the finest parts of the ground which include:
- The player’s tunnel
- A statue of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson
- The Stretford End
- The dedicated Sir Bobby Charlton Stand
- The Munich Clock
LEGO building bricks meet the highest safety and quality standards within the toy industry as their components usually undergo rigorous testing before being given the public sale green light.
Users can also rest easy knowing that the stadium building instructions can be found digitally as well as within the written instruction manual that accompanies the puzzle set.
Lastly but not least, this puzzle is suited to the older teens who are above the age of 16 due to its complexity, but younger ones can still get involved nonetheless.
2. Schmidt Spiele Football Stadium Finale Children’s Puzzle
- Children's puzzle, 150 pieces
- Motif: 43.2 x 29.1 cm
- Recommended age: from 7 years
The company behind this puzzle piece – Schmidt Spiele – is a German game publisher well known for crafting together a number of engaging board games that are of German style.
Cardboard material has been used for the 150 puzzle pieces and the aim here is to match the image that comes displayed on the box cover.
It’s a great option for the younger age demographic of 3-year olds and above, as the product has colour consistency in a lot of areas.
And what’s even better is that this puzzle – being 1 or more player suitable – allows for multiple participants to work in combination and assemble the entire structure together.
If you’re after an alternative that will give you more bang for your buck, then take a look at the .
Produced from high quality cardboard, it comes at a slightly lower price and with a whopping 1000 pieces, which is 850 more than the previously reviewed puzzle made by Schmidt Spiele.
3. Paul Lamond Games FC Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 3D Jigsaw Puzzle
- Children's puzzle, 150 pieces
- Motif: 43.2 x 29.1 cm
- Recommended age: from 7 years
Next up we have this masterpiece of a stadium design by Paul Lamond Games!
They produce high quality games and puzzles for children who are of pre-school age and older.
Most football observers will be aware of the stadium renovations currently taking place in Spain, with Real Madrid playing their games at their Alfredo di Stefano training ground whilst the Bernabeu is rebuilt.
It’s a massive undertaking that involves a lot of labour and man hours.
So, Tottenham Hotspur fans in particular are likely to relish this lightweight challenge of putting their famous White Hart Lane Stadium back together, as this three-dimensional puzzle comes with 75 pieces that can be combined without the need for big or small scissors, tools or factory glue.
In terms of age suitability, this puzzle is geared towards those with seven years of life under their belt and slightly older.
Finally, the estimated amount of time that the average person would need to set aside for this puzzle undertaking ranges between 3 to 5 hours, although an allowance for an additional hour or two is quite reasonable due to the relative uniqueness of this stadium structure.
Fans of other English teams will also be quite pleased at the fact that Paul Lamond Games have designed other stadium puzzles.
The alternatives include:
- Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium – different brand
- – different brand
4. Ravensburger Allianz Arena 3D Puzzle
- With this 3D puzzle from Ravensburger adults and children aged 8 and over experience a unique, three-dimensional puzzle experience and can create the Alliance Arena, the 'Living Room of FC Bayern Munich' with numbered plastic parts
- The 216 custom-fit plastic puzzle pieces and 11 accessories can be easily puzzle together thanks to Easyclick technology and illustrated instructions (English language not guaranteed) and the finished decorative object holds without glue
- Ideal activity with guaranteed success - thanks to illustrated coloured instructions and numbered puzzle pieces. Promotes spatial thinking and fine motor skills
The final football puzzle I’d recommend is this miniature stadium replica of Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena.
Ravensburger is a very reputable German game and toy company that have been manufacturing some of the finest puzzles known to man.
Founded in the year 1883, they have grown from strength to strength, having developed more than 1000 consumer products.
The puzzle they’ve designed here features 216 curved plastic pieces and 11 extra accessories, that combine to create a beautiful real-life illustration of the German side’s field of dominance.
Additionally, the seamless integration of easy click technology into each piece means that a sturdy stadium structure can be built without the need for gluing or sticking.
What’s particularly great about this product is that it works well as a birthday or Christmas gift for children in the 8 to 15-year age bracket.
Buyer considerations for football puzzles
Let’s look at each of these factors in turn.
A high quality cut basically refers to how the piece shapes have been constructed.
Look out for pieces with sharp or smooth curves as these complement each other well.
The last thing you would want is a wobbly structure that breaks off once it’s put together to completion, especially with the three-dimensional puzzle models that are available today.
At the end of the day, starting and eventually finishing the puzzle is all about having fun.
The product you’ll select will depend on your own personal taste to some extent, as uniquely crafted designs can catch a person’s attention over a more conventional layout.
When it comes to football puzzles, look out for options like stadiums and famous landmarks as the complexity involved in compiling such sophisticated structures makes these types quite enjoyable to build.
Another conundrum to consider concerns the choice of material, especially when comparing the usual options of cardboard and wood.
The latter is preferred for its longevity and durability and also due to the fact that there are a limited number of ways in which cardboard can be sculpted.
Degree of difficulty
The more the number of pieces there are to put together, the harder the puzzle, right?
Just think about how long it would take to restructure a glass that shattered into a couple of pieces, as opposed to one that broke down into hundreds of tiny fragments.
The latter would likely add greater complexity due to the fact that many more glass pieces of different shape and size would be involved.
But the opposite can also be true.
A larger piece count doesn’t always equal a challenging puzzle, as the difficulty of the puzzle is more closely associated with repetitions in specific colours or patterns that are present within the image that’s being put together.
Ultimately, at some level it’s important to consider whether you’ll want to build a 100-, 500- or 1000-piece puzzle.
Some individuals simply can’t stomach the though of losing a single component as that would greatly impact the reusability of the puzzle, because with missing pieces it cannot be completed a second or even a third time.
The table below – sourced from a puzzle website called JigThings – puts this all into perspective from an age group point of view:
What makes a good puzzle game?
A person should be able to feel a significant sense of achievement when a puzzle is completed.
It should put your critical thinking skills to the test and evoke the thought that a solution was developed and implemented.
But even at the initial stage of deciding whether or not to purchase, a person should feel invited and attracted to the challenge of solving the puzzle based on the choice and pattern of imagery on the packaging.
Here’s a great video which takes a look at the qualities that make up good puzzles:
Picking a winner is not as easy as it looks.
Although the Manchester United Old Trafford LEGO Puzzle emerges victorious based on the strength of its product offering, it comes at a pretty steep price especially when you consider the fact that puzzle solving is something that people only tend to do in their leisure time.
If you’ve got any other puzzle suggestions feel free to include them in the comments section beneath.