Neuschwanstein castle is one of the 3D puzzles available from Ravensburger RRP £34.99 for ages 12+.
From the moment I knew I was getting this puzzle to try I was excited, just like I was many years ago when I first discovered that Walt Disney had based his fairy-tale castle on this famous German castle. I hoped that this Ravensburger 3D puzzle would transport me back to my childhood obsession of having everything with Neuschwanstein castle on it. Postcards, posters, and even a very early foam style jigsaw puzzle.
Neuschwanstein castle is so well know now that this puzzle would have to be pretty impressive to live up to the real castle. The puzzle box says that there are 216 pieces to this puzzle, but it is worth noting that this number is just the jigsaw pieces that make up the square part of the castle. In addition to this there is a base, towers gates, gable ends, turrets and lots of connecting pieces. The box also contains a detailed instruction booklet in full colour to guide you through the assembly process.
Starting by sorting and assembling the jigsaw pieces. I did this by number with help from the boy, we soon had walls. this didn’t take long at all, and it was by far more complicated putting all the different parts together. If you want you can assemble the puzzle pieces by picture, but this would be far more difficult as they look very similar. We have assembled other 3D models before and Neuschwanstein followed the same principles of small teeth at the bottom which locate into groves in the base shape. What makes the Neuschwanstein castle puzzle different is that the base is not a true oblong, and has infact a slight turn to it. This was very cleverly done with one edge being slightly shorter and when fitted into the base kinked the shape slightly.
By far the trickiest part of the build is the top roof support and roof itself. The boy made a few attempts to complete this part of the construction before handing over to me. I too found this very difficult to assemble as you have to remember the walls are made from puzzle pieces, and prone to fall out if pushed too hard. You also have to be careful not to dislodge the two front towers as these have to be added before the roof, as I found out.
The remaining small buildings, towers and turrets all slotted together easily, and although these parts are not numbered it was pretty easy to work out which ones belonged together. The only disappointment we had with this puzzle was some of the L-shaped locking clips on the front part of the puzzle had already broken off in the box. Some were also very fragile and broke off in construction. This didn’t seem to affect the final construction as there are roof parts which hold the walls together.
The finished model is magnificent and certainly does the Neuschwanstein castle justice. The finished castle measures 39 x 23 x 38cm and is the largest 3d puzzle we have completed. The details on the pieces for the building are beautifully coloured and shaded giving the model a realistic feel. It looks true to the original castle with the shape and colours including the pink brick entrance. The boy was a little disappointed that there weren’t more puzzle type pieces, and we think the front gable and even the gate could have been constructed this way.
The Neuschwanstein castle would make a fantastic gift for any puzzle fan and even the ones like me who collect everything Disney! Have a look at my Amazon affiliate link below for more technical specifications.