For their latest ‘Nostlagic Britain’ range of puzzles, in UK shops from January 2010, Ravensburger used John Bull Magazine cover illustrations sourced through the Bridgeman archive, epitomizing domestic life in England from the 1950s.
The images, put together in a montage design for two puzzle packs, illustrate happy housewives, children playing with chestnuts and the much loved Routemaster bus, reliving carefree childhood memories as well as feeding into the current retro trend.
Just what is it about those images..?
Cornée Marlow from Ravensburger provides further insight into the appeal of 1950s illustration.
What was it about the 'John Bull' images that caught your eye?
"With over 125 years experience with puzzlers, Ravensburger know that the traditional puzzler is quite particular about the type of images they are looking for in a jigsaw puzzle. The image needs to be appealing, yet highly detailed to give enough variation between pieces. We particularly liked the John Bull images, firstly because the book covers make nice images, secondly because of the childhood associations. We hope that puzzlers will relive those carefree times once more."
What is the demographic you are targeting for these puzzles?
"The majority of people who complete puzzles are women aged 40 and up, who either do the puzzles themselves or buy them to complete with the family. Puzzling is a traditional hobby passed on from one generation to the next and something in which the whole family can participate. By choosing images that fit into not just one, but several key image criteria, we hope that these puzzles will appeal to a great number of puzzlers. For example, the 2 x 500 piece puzzles can be classed as illustrated images, or nostalgic, or images of transport or even traditional occupations."
So the puzzles are not just aimed at those with childhood memories of the 1950s?
"Mostly, but not exclusively. Certainly these people will have a closer connection to the images, but with retro being in vogue at the moment, we hope that these images will also appeal to a younger audience."