Don't miss out! Get the best events & activities in your inbox weekly...
Submit Event
View Newsletter

The Springbok Puzzle - Then and Now

Vintage Springbok Puzzles and Current FavoritesThe Joy of Springbok Puzzles

In 1963, Springbok Editions was founded by Robert and Katie Lewin.  Inspired by Waddington circular puzzles of London, the Lewins founded Springbok Editions, and began producing die-cut puzzles in the United States. 

The story is, that Mrs. Lewin drew the designs for cutting dies herself, making each puzzle unique in pattern.  Every piece in the puzzle die is an individual shaped cut.

From inception, Springbok puzzles have been known for high quality pieces that interlock securely, and state-of-the-art lithography. 

The precision made interlocking pieces work so well, that Springbok puzzles can actually be lifted up in one piece upon completion without falling apart.

I've enjoyed countless hours putting puzzles together.  While they are all fantastic in their own right, I'm particularly drawn to the whimsical art of Bob Martin. 

My earliest memory of his work would be that of Verticalville, a 1977 500 piece puzzle that  I still own and bring out to put together from time to time.

Verticalville (500 pieces)

photo credit: Stacey Sao

The comedic detail of this puzzle is second to none - and it's truly one of my favorites, that put Springbok on the board for me.  Bob Martin has created the art for about 10-12 springbok puzzles that I know of. 

The Sovereign State of Euphoria (1000 pieces)

Bob Martin Springbok Puzzle: The Sovereign State of Euphoria Stacey Sao

photo credit: Stacey Sao


Mountainside Park (1000 pieces)

The Global Games (1000 pieces)

photo credit: Stacey Sao

Computers: The Inside Story (1000)


Space Station (1500 pieces)

This one has been elusive to me - I haven't landed this one yet.   It's also the less desirable 1500 pieces, since my Jigthings puzzle board only fits 1000 piece puzzles.   (This also makes the panoramic puzzles a bit more challenging to work on). 

If you are in the market for a puzzle board - I highly recommend Jigthings boards.  They come if really handy for freeing up space.  I use my dining room table for puzzling, but if I need to use the table for other things, I just pick up the board and put it somewhere else.

JIgthings puzzle boards come in three sizes (500, 100 and 1500). As I mentioned, I have the 1000 piece board because that is the size puzzle I most often put together. 

Verticalville II (700 panoramic)

Oh Christmas Tree  (700 panoramic)

A Short Round of Golf (500)

Popstown (500)

A close second in Springbok puzzle favorites would have to be the Coca-Cola puzzle line.  Not sure why these are so satisfying, but I've haven't found one I didn't love.  There is always a puzzle going at my parents' lake house and quite often it is a Coca-Cola puzzle.

photo credit: Stacey Sao

In addition to Bob Martin cartoon & Coca Cola puzzles, Springbok is well know for their stunning landscapes and photographic puzzles as well.  


photo credit: Stacey Sao

Of all of the puzzles that I've done over the years, the two most difficult springbok puzzles that I've encountered were, without a doubt, this flag puzzle and this sunflower puzzle.  I know I have photos of the completed puzzles somewhere, just have to dig them up. 

I remember picking up this flag puzzle and thinking, oh this should be pretty easy.  WRONG.  Incredibly difficult.   And 1500 pieces.   

I can't pinpoint which one was actually more difficult, so we will call is a tie.  

Here's a smattering of some of the puzzles that I completed over the pandemic lockdown.  







The scene above is a 500 piece puzzle and didn't take too long to put together.  I mostly go for the 1000 peice puzzles, so unless otherwise noted, the puzzles shown here are all 1000 pieces.

The red cardinal was a mystery puzzle, (a promotional item that springbok often gives away when you buy over $50 worth of puzzles).  A mystery puzzle just comes in a bag with no box, and no indication of what the picture is going to be.

I can generally guess what it is by looking at the colors of the pieces in the bag, and then scrolling through the website to see what the closest match is.  (But you didn't hear that from me).   ;)


A Brief History of the Springbok Brand

In 1963, Springbok Editions puzzles retailed for $3.50 when the industry average retail price for a jigsaw puzzle was less than $1.00.

The success of Springbok Editions led to an offer and eventual acquisition by Hallmark Cards, Inc., headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1967. From 1967 to 2001, Hallmark manufactured Springbok puzzles and sold them exclusively in Hallmark stores in the United States and Canada.

In 2002, Hallmark Cards made the decision to discontinue the manufacture of their 34 year old line, Springbok Puzzles.

The successful puzzle line's devoted following embarked upon a letter writing campaign urging Hallmark to continue production and the integrity of the product line.

As a result, Hallmark decided to enter into a long-term relationship with Allied Products Inc. When Allied Products acquired the rights to the Springbok product line, Allied had no prior die cutting or laminating experience.

Allied Products acquired the specific machinery and technical expertise necessary to maintain the high quality standards the devoted Springbok puzzlers demanded, and we are indeed forever grateful.

(history source: Springbok Puzzles)