If you’ve recently noticed an uptick in the number of jigsaw puzzles poking from beneath your mates’ couches, or you seem to be stepping on more stray puzzles pieces in your share house, you’re not alone. Dovetailing with the rise of stay-at-home activities such as tending to plants and Netflix-and-chilling is the growing number of millennials doing jigsaw puzzles.
Husband and wife team Chris and Mel Tantchev – who started Australia’s first book-subscription service, Bookabuy – noticed this too. So they’ve founded a new personalised puzzle-subscription service so puzzlers can spend time finding their corners rather than trawling toy stores and op shops for new puzzles to challenge them.
“I’ve always loved doing jigsaw puzzles, but over the last year or so we noticed a lot of our friends were starting to get into them too,” says Mel in a statement. “There were pictures of puzzles popping up in our social feeds and half-finished puzzles on our friends’ tables. We did some research and realised puzzles weren’t just making a comeback in our inner circle – there’s a steady trend of puzzle sales going up around the world.”
Puzzle Post subscribers can have jigsaws sent to them monthly, every three months, every six months, or once a year depending on their level of enthusiasm. They can select what degree of difficulty they’d prefer (500 pieces for beginners, 1000 pieces for the more experienced and more than 1000 pieces for expert puzzlers). And if they’re tired of putting together boring landscapes or old paintings they can specify categories that interest them, which will inform their next puzzle arrival. There’s “art” and “flowers and gardens”, “cars”, “food and drink”, and “fantasy”.
The couple’s favourite puzzles this month depict the Beatles during their Sgt Pepper’s phase, some very cute tigers, a kitsch map of Australia and Mickey Mouse (Disney puzzles are $10 extra).
“When we launched Bookabuy four years ago we had no idea it would be so successful,” says Chris. “But I think its success is a testament to the fact people still love that real-life, tactile experience that digital just isn’t able to replicate. Whether it’s a paperback or a jigsaw puzzle, our customers love receiving a parcel at their door each month and the anticipation and excitement of not knowing what’s inside.”
Puzzles cost between $35 and $63 per month and subscriptions are available on an ongoing or fixed-term basis.