Sean Minton holding up new "Betty Crocker Cookbooks" collage puzzle at Toy Fair
Known among other things for its 1,000- and 500-piece “collage” jigsaw puzzles, White Mountain Puzzles showed many of the 90 new puzzles in its 2018 catalog at last month’s Toy Fair, including collage entries “Things We Collect” (everything from baseball cards to model trains and vinyl records), “Betty Crocker Cookbooks“ and “World War I Posters.”
But the releases in the collage category are hardly haphazard.
“We have a ‘puzzle panel’ of puzzle enthusiasts on Facebook, and an email list,” noted White Mountain partner Sean Minton. “Some send us ideas and we come up with others, and then we contact everyone for ideas and send out surveys every six weeks or so to gauge the appeal of potential releases.”
Via Survey Monkey, White Mountain sends out 20-plus images; in January, the survey went to over 6,000 enthusiasts.
“We have a scoring system, and analyze the results and feedback on submissions from our more hardcore clientele--as well as the images we create in-house,” said Minton.
Other fresh White Mountain product on display at Toy Fair included a new series of puzzles using the “Seek & Find” tag, the first being the 1,000-piece “Retro Kitchen”: Puzzle artist Lois Sutton actually created two sets of artwork depicting the well-stocked mid-20th century-themed kitchen in full party preparation mode.
“There are 22 hidden images in this puzzle that are not shown on the box illustration,” explained Minton, adding, “We provide a list of the hidden elements inside the box.”
Among these hidden elements are such common kitchen objects as a spatula and a thermometer.