Advantages Well made, colourful and up to date jigsaw
Disadvantages Picture on box too small, just a tad too pricy
I willingly admit that when I opened my Maps International parcel courtesy of another consumer review writing website, I was slightly underwhelmed. A 500 piece world map jigsaw. I do actually like jigsaws - I like them a lot; as children (and in spite of a ten year age gap) my older brother and I would spend hours of companionable silence completing immense jigsaws, the more difficult the better. I like maps too: I could spend hours flicking through an atlas and I own several. And I own a world map jigsaw. It's ancient and the box is battered but it has been much enjoyed.As an educational tool for younger people, though, my old map isn't much cop. Well, it's OK for history, but not much good for contemporary geography. Maps International's world map jigsaw is, on the other hand, bang up to date. Most importantly to me all the countries of the former Yugoslavia are there - even little Kosovo, the world's youngest country - but this map is also up to date in terms of the names of the countries too so where my old jigsaw says Burma, this one says Myanmar (Burma).
The completed puzzle measures 24 x 36 inches, or if you are very continental or have youth on your side, 609 x 914 millimetres, which sounds pretty big but you have to remember that this jigsaw only has five hundred pieces; usually I wouldn't consider a jigsaw of less than one thousand pieces worth clearing the table for. The individual pieces of this jigsaw are big - and I mean big! Each piece is just over an inch across! While I don't mind the size of the pieces (but I prefer smaller pieces) they could do with being a little bit thicker to make them that bit more sturdy. The backing is an off white colour which looks OK, but it does mean that this jigsaw doesn't have that special feeling you get with more traditional green backed jigsaws (yes, I'm a jigsaw nerd).This is a political rather than a physical map though it does pick major rivers and, where space allows, such as for larger countries like Russia, some mountainous areas. The main purpose of a political map is to define boundaries so each country is given a different colour from its neighbours. The name of each country or territory is in emboldened capital letters and the typeface used is simple and clear to read. The capital city is always shown, and then as many major cities as possible in each country, depending on what the size of the country allows. The position of cities is indicated with a red dot or a red square depending on the population of that city; a useful key to the east of Chile explains how that works.
In terms of helping youngsters understand where countries are in relation to one another this map is ideal and the use of the bright colours helps kids see more clearly where boundaries are. The colours are lovely and bright and pretty much match those on the picture of the map given on the front and back of the box. On the other hand, because this is a political map rather than a physical map, the relative sizes are shot to pieces so Greenland looks to be two thirds the size of the whole continent of Africa whereas it is, in truth, one tenth of the size.
|Value for Money|
|Playability & Enjoyment|
|Design & Presentation|
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Pages: 1, Edition: 1, Toy, Maps International
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Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 business days