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72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon May 7, 2012
Product Packaging: Standard PackagingVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
With only 180 pieces, this Ravensburger Globe Puzzleball is plenty challenging for an experienced adult puzzler, if it's assembled from the outside. However, the easy way to assemble it, is to find the numbers on the white backs of the pieces, and then put the pieces together in sequence, starting at one of the poles. The plastic pieces lock snugly together, so it's easy to construct the globe, which sits on an included stand during construction or for display.

Because I wanted a bit of a geography refresher course, I chose to put the globe together without a picture (there is none in the box, but any world map will do). I started with the continents, which were easy to locate, because of the green and brown colors. Naturally, the hardest part was assembling the blue ocean pieces--especially because I couldn't remember where the islands of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans belonged! Is Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific, or the Indian Ocean? Assembling the ocean pieces is made easier by colorful little drawings of native birds, fishes, and animals that are sprinkled across the seas, close to the appropriate continents.

The pieces are NOT all uniquely shaped, although each piece is unique as to shape and color combined. I made some mistakes, so had to take some of the puzzle apart to retrieve pieces that fit except for color. You can avoid this by checking the numbers on the backs whenever a couple of pieces don't look quite right, or don't quite want to fit together. As an aid to assembly, I used "magic tape" to hold not-yet-supported pieces together. This puzzle took me about 4.5 hours to assemble "the hard way", and it was a lot of fun.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Product Packaging: Standard PackagingVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having put together two other Ravensburger Puzzle Balls (Times Square 270 Piece Puzzle Ball and Underwater World 40 Piece Puzzle Ball) with my 4.5 year old son, I thought this 180 piece Puzzle Ball would be a quick and easy build. Unfortunately, it was not so.

My son and I started assembling the puzzle ball using the same method we used to assemble two previous puzzle balls - I was sorting pieces and he was putting the puzzle together. However, the puzzle kept falling apart and we had to switch. My son sorted and laid out all pieces in front of me well ahead of me getting to them. The area that includes pieces 69 through 75 was especially frutrating as those pieces just would not stay together.

While some pieces won't stay together, others were difficult to attach. During the build, the ball would fall apart at a lightest application of force when attaching stubborn pieces. I spent well in excess of 15 minutes attaching the last piece. As I was applying the pressure to attach the last piece, surrounding or other random pieces kept falling out. The frustration level was so high that I was ready to smack the ball against the floor.

The included assembly stand helped to hold the puzzle for the assembly of the last few rows, but it was absolutely useless in the beginning because pieces kept falling off and I had to hold the ball in the palm of my hand to keep it from falling apart. A child with small hands would not have been able to hold this puzzle like I did. An hour later I was finally done, and, by that time, my son had lost all interest long before.

The final product looks like a small globe. It is colorful and spins easily. Unfortunately the fun was drained from this toy by unnecessarily difficult assembly. I like challenging puzzles, but this one is annoyingly frustrating due to poor design or manufacturing quality. It seems like a few other reviewers had a similar experience. I do not recommend this toy to anyone. It is not challenging as a puzzle because pieces are numbered. It is nothing else but a small globe when assembled. The assembly is frustrating.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2015
I know this may seem young, but he absolutely loved it and put it together with no problems. He was very happy. It is a planet, a map, and a puzzle all in one, three of his favorite things.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Product Packaging: Standard PackagingVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First, as several other reviewers have noted, this isn't really a "puzzle" in a genuine sense, although it has the look and feel of a jigsaw puzzle turned 3-D. However, it's really more of a sequencing exercise. Each piece is labeled with a number on the back (1 through 180, although the first several and last several are already permanently joined to create the North and South Pole areas). One simply has to assemble the pieces in chronological order, following the arrows to place each subsequent piece, which builds the puzzle up from the South Pole to the North Pole in rows. Theoretically I suppose it would be possible to assemble the puzzle as a standard puzzle (minus edge pieces, of course), but fitting the pieces together could be quite challenging. In fact, that was quite challenging even when doing it in the prescribed order.

My five-year-old daughter and I tackled this "puzzle" this weekend. Because she is well below the minimum age for this product, I anticipated that she would struggle with it. But I didn't anticipate how much even I would struggle with it. The first few rows seemed to go smoothly enough. They tested her patience, but she was able to do it. But as we got closer to the middle bulge, the pieces didn't want to stay in place. I thought it was just a matter of my daughter's lack of manual dexterity and patience, but then I too had trouble with pieces falling out until they could be shored up by later pieces. At times I ran out of fingers to temporarily brace all the pieces that were falling out.

In a bit of a switch, as we got past the center bulge and started building back toward the North Pole, the pieces got surprisingly hard to fit together. It took a bit of muscle to snap each piece into place - more muscle than my daughter was capable of. The good thing is that by this point you don't have to worry so much about pieces falling out, although it does happen at times.

Fitting in the final piece is perhaps the most challenging of all, since you can no longer access the inside of the puzzle to support it. We had to make several efforts before we managed to insert it tightly enough without knocking out other pieces.

On the plus side, once assembled, it does make a nice sturdy little child-sized globe that actually fits on the base and rotates. The colors are bright and attractive and the globe is up to date, at least as of the present date. My daughter enjoys spinning it and looking at the different countries, cities, oceans, etc. I believe we will find a nice safe place for it and just leave it assembled until she is old enough to wrestle with it herself, should she ever want to take it apart.

Overall, this is a great concept, it just needs a bit more tweaking as far as the execution goes. I was disappointed because it doesn't seem like it's quite up to the usual Ravensburger standards of quality, but with some patience and perseverance it can be done.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2014
This is a nice concept and is actually cute when fully assembled. However, it took an adult to put it together. My 6 year old was relegated to sorting pieces.

This is only a puzzle in the sense that the pieces are shaped like puzzle pieces. They are numbered and you have to put them together in order, no deviations, or the darn thing won't stay together. Not much guesswork there.

Overall, once assembled the globe is surprisingly sturdy, but not very big, about 10 inches high. It comes with a stand that allows it to function as a globe which is nice, just don't poke too hard or the whole thing could collapse! The pieces are made of plastic and numbers are printed on the back of each piece as well as an arrow indicating where the next piece in the sequence should be attached (you would think it would be obvious, but it's not). It is not a puzzle you want to assemble over and over again so I question it's staying power in our toy collection. It is definitely for an older child with much fine motor coordination because you have to hold the partially assembled puzzle carefully and at odd angles when putting it together. Sadly, don't think I would buy another one, although this company makes many different versions of the round puzzle. Nice novelty though for a Christmas gift and got a good lightning deal in December.


So, the intact assembled globe has been residing in the playroom for awhile now, but yesterday I was cleaning and it fell to the ground, and puzzle pieces exploded everywhere. While, as I mentioned earlier, it is sturdy enough to move around, it was unable to withstand a fall to the "earth". I am now remembering what my trepidation was for keeping this puzzle and displaying it, because now there are pieces everywhere and the only way for me to be sure that all the pieces were picked up was to count each and every one of them...all one hundred and eighty of them! Cause, you know, this thing is worthless if a piece is missing! Anyway, the experience is just one to think about when considering displaying the finished product.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2012
Product Packaging: Standard PackagingVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a great toy once put together and it's really cool/unique that all the puzzle pieces curve together. I guess, the drawback is that you put it together by following the numbers on the back of each puzzle piece and the arrows. So, essentially if you can count and have the time and are willing to spend it tediously snapping piece after piece together than this is for you. I guess it can be split up between 2 kids to do together or a parent/child which would be a nice way to hang out and achieve something at the end. I just thought it would take more brain power than having to organize all the pieces by number. There are a LOT of pieces, so it would take FOREVER if they weren't numbered so I'm not offering an alternative method--just if you're thinking it's like other puzzles where you are trying to match the pieces to a photo--it's not. BUT they pieces are sturdy and the fact that they aren't flat but curve around to make the globe IS pretty cool. I would say age range is def. 8-10 approx.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 9, 2014
I rated Ravensburger Children's Globe 5 stars because we really enjoyed putting this together as a family. It took us about a hour of taking turns to complete the 180 pieces. It was fairly easy because of the numbers labeled inside and arrow pointing to the direction of placement.

The completed 3D globe is so cool and is now being displayed on my child's desk. We would always have the great memory of working together and enjoying ourselves while creating this beautiful globe. Although the only drawback is a that sometimes because of the cut out, the writings or features are not very clear. Overall, this Childrens Globe is a very nice educational toy that we always plan to keep and use!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2013
WE love it. my grandson had a great time putting it together and now it sits greatly on his desk
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2011
We got this thinking that assembling a globe puzzle would be both fun and educational. The way the puzzle has to be assembled defeats both purposes.
The pieces have the picture on one side, a number on the other. Unlike most puzzles, where you find parts that match, and put them together, in this one you have to assemble the pieces by following the numbered sequence, otherwise you can't assemble the globe. You have to assemble the bottom first, and work your way up row by row.
This defeats the educational purpose (I was expecting the children to look at names of countries and/or look at pictures of landmarks to figure out where in the world each of those was located - instead they have to find the numbered pieces sequentially).
When it is put together, it looks OK, but the base is very flimsy (different from what is shown in the picture), and the globe doesn't rotate all the way without getting stuck.
It seems the puzzle will collapse the first time someone bonks it lightly - and re-assembling it is not something I'm looking forward to doing.
Good idea, but the concept doesn't tranlsate well on a 3d puzzle.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Product Packaging: Standard PackagingVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My grandson and I spent some nice quality time together getting this puzzle ready to start.
My grandson who is 9 1/2 is a master at puzzle making. He has done a 3-D global puzzle before, not plastic with not too much difficulty.
However, this time he was very frustrated trying to keep the pieces from not falling after it was in place.
I was ready to take a picture afterwards but we never finished this project.
I asked him yesterday if maybe we could do it this summmer and he responded that it was a very frustrating puzzle.
I'll take that as a NO!
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