The New Tavern Puzzles are Here!

March 5, 2013 11:33 by kelly

I travelled with my family on many a cross-country road trip as child, often stopping at a [certain unnamed chain] restaurant that happened to be conveniently placed right off the various interstates around the USA. Now, while I don't particularly recall the food, what I DO remember were the PUZZLES! At every stop, we'd all scramble for the twisted metal at every table well before reaching for the menus. Who could free the ring from the horseshoes first?! Really, who needs food when you have a puzzle?


Fast forward to 2002 and the inception of (Okay, that's not really a fast-forward, being that it's currently 2013, but... you get what I mean) The very first puzzles we carried when we started our shop, deep in the woods of Maine all those years ago, were precisely those iron disentanglement puzzles I remembered fondly as a child - Tavern Puzzles!


Now, eleven years later, Tavern Puzzles still remain a staple of our puzzle shop. And, each year brings renewed excitement as a fresh puzzle design is unveiled. This year, however, imagine our elation when Tavern Puzzles revealed not one -- but TWO sparkling new metal disentanglement puzzles! 


So now, without further ado, our puzzle compadres, we present them to YOU!

Genuine Article - a Group 8 Tavern Puzzle (that means the super-most-extreme-difficulty!)

The object of this puzzle is to remove the shuttle hanging from the middle bar. Without, of course, using excessive might (no sledgehammers or hacksaws!). Tavern Puzzles, as with all disentanglement puzzles, are solved with finesse, not force!


Captive Heart - a Group 1 Tavern Puzzle (that means the easiest to solve - perfect for beginners!)

The object of this puzzle is to remove the heart from between the two horseshoes. Even with beginner tavern puzzles, they always look easier than they are!


So, are you a fan of Tavern Puzzles? Do you remember metal disentanglement puzzles from your childhood?


Today is National Puzzle Day!

January 29, 2013 11:24 by kelly


We're psyched here at - this is a big day! What day IS it? January 29th - National Puzzle Day!!! A  day to celebrate all things puzzle: brain teasers, jigsaw puzzles, cryptograms, tavern puzzles, Rubik's cubes, crossword puzzles, acrostics, sudoku, anagrams ...


Of course, every day here is puzzle day. Today's just extra special.


For us, we'll be working on puzzles all day (and eating candy). And for you...  


Take 20% Off Your Order at TODAY! No minumum order amount - just enjoy!



Could be the perfect time to pick out a jigsaw puzzle and get your whole family involved in solving - it's a great way to bring everyone together for a shared activity.


Chocolate Sensation - 400pc Family Style Jigsaw Puzzle (multi-size pieces so everyone can work together!)


Do you have any plans for National Puzzle Day? Let us know - we'd love to hear! 



Coupon PUZZLEDAY expires 1-31-2013 at 3am EST.



Cyber Monday 10% Off at All of our Retail Shops!

November 26, 2012 23:25 by kelly

This is Cyber:


And THIS is Cyber Monday:


So, let's say you were wanting to travel into - or out of, as the case may be - the Matrix. You'd want to choose the first picture, and this blog post probably won't help you. 


But, let's say you were waiting to buy that perfect thing from one of our Serious Shops.

Like... a Don't Break the Bottle Corkscrew wine bottle puzzle:


Or, maybe a big Squishable Narwhal:

(Many thanks to for this rad photo WITH a Rubik's Cube! How perfect is that?)


Or a bottle (or four) of Third Street Organic Chai:


Then, you'll want to choose the second picture, and quickly! Wait no longer. No longer than 11/29/2012 at 3am EST anyway, because that's when our 10% Off Sitewide Cyber Monday coupon expires. Go Cyber. Go Serious on Cyber Monday. Visits the New York Toy Fair 2011

March 5, 2011 12:19 by kelly

A couple weeks ago, we bundled up in our winter gear, piled into our car, and headed up for a day in the Big Apple to see what’s new on the puzzles, games, and plush horizons.

The New York Toy Fair is always exciting, and this year was no different!
TF11 treated us to amazing Lego sculptures:

Mega Blocks creations:

giant flexible balance beams:

TV-screen backpacks:

life-like bobblehead dolls:

and the "world’s largest puzzle":

a 32,000 piece jigsaw!

We’re happy to have discovered several awesome games and new jigsaw puzzle lines which we’re anxious to add to our websites in the coming weeks and months. Make sure to check back often, we’ll be featuring our newest items on the front page of!

Earth-Friendly Puzzles

November 11, 2010 18:39 by kelly

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

~Native American Proverb



We’re all trying to be more kind to the earth – and for good reason: when we leave this earth to our children, we want our earth to be as beautiful – or even more beautiful – than when we were children.  To this end, many companies are taking a greener approach to their manufacturing processes than ever before.  We at are happy to announce that even your favorite pastime – puzzling – can be more earth-friendly!  We proudly carry several brands of eco-friendly puzzles:



1) ImagiPLAY


Naturally Safe…
Thoughtfully Produced…
Thoroughly Fun…
Toys With Integrity

 ImagiPLAY wooden puzzles are earth friendly and child safe. Made from plantation-grown, sustainably harvested, chemical-free rubberwood, these unique wooden puzzles are hand-painted with safety-tested paints & stains. Each puzzle is heirloom quality, and makes a beautiful, distinctive, and earth-friendly gift.

Majestic Oak – 9 Piece Eco-Friendly Wooden Puzzle




2) TDC Games


Green Pieces collection by TDC



TDC’s Green Pieces collection is a series of four 500 piece photomosaic jigsaw puzzles that are embedded with actual wildflower seeds! When you are finished with your puzzle, instead of throwing it away, you can actually PLANT the puzzle pieces to offset your carbon footprint!  TDC’s jigsaw puzzles’ board and packaging is made from 100% recycled paper, printed with 100% soy-based inks, and does not come wrapped in plastic. These awesome earth-friendly puzzles are made right here in the United States!

Green Pieces: I Need A Hug – 500 Piece Earth Friendly Photomosaic Jigsaw Puzzle




"Eco-Friendly" Collection by TDC


TDC’s 1000 piece Eco-Friendly puzzle collection features 8 poster-sized puzzles with original artwork from artists like Dale Klee and Linda Picken. Each jigsaw puzzle is made from recycled, renewable, biodegradable materials, and soy-based inks, and are printed and manufactured in the USA!

Linda Carruth’s Jungle Dew – 1,000 Piece Eco-Friendly Jigsaw Puzzle




3) Serendipity Puzzle Company 



ALL of Serendipity Puzzle Company’s jigsaw puzzles are made from 100% recycled material with 80-93% post-consumer content. Serendipity uses Forest Stewardship Council certified paper, ensuring it comes from professionally managed forests. In the printing process, water-based coatings and soy-based ink are used. In addition, Serendipity has reduced its packaging by 33%, their puzzles are easily recyclable, and are made in the U.S.A.

Frog Business - 1000pc Shaped Jigsaw Puzzle by Serendipity Puzzle Company


4) Buffalo Games




Each jigsaw puzzle made by Buffalo Games uses 100% recycled paperboard with 90% post-consumer content for both the box and the jigsaw puzzle itself. BGI puzzles are recycleable, and are made in the U.S.A.


The Living Seas: Turtle Play - 1000pc Jigsaw Puzzle by Buffalo Games




What to do about missing jigsaw puzzle pieces

September 30, 2010 16:19 by adam

Jigsaw Puzzle Missing Piece Guide

A complete step by step guide to obtaining that dastardly missing piece!
(last updated 9/30/2010)

If you have even a moderate amount of experience with jigsaw puzzles, you've probably encountered the horror of realizing that your beloved puzzle is nearly complete... all except for a MISSING PIECE! [noooooooooooo!]

Fear Not! -- Follow the instructions below and your chances of finding or replacing the culprit jigsaw puzzle piece will be quite good.

STEP 1 :: The Oh Duh's
It seems silly, but it's so easy to misplace or overlook a missing piece.
  • Double, triple, and maybe even quadruple check your box to verify the missing piece isn't in there. It's possible the piece could be stuck in the flap or a corner. It could have happened during production, packaging, or transport.

  • Do a thorough search of the room or any rooms that you have used for opening, constructing, glueing, transporting, storing, or even thinking about the jigsaw puzzle. Check under chairs, inside open garbage cans, between the rug & molding; don't be afraid to scour the surroundings for the missing piece.

  • If you've vacuumed recently, check the vacuum bag or garbage can. If you have pets or small children, then your boundary for scanning and searching is far far wider!

  • It could be a practical joke -- a tricky spouse or a child keen on finishing the puzzle may have absconded with the missing piece in the hopes of laying the final piece. Or, they could simply enjoy rendering you confounded on your hands and knees looking for a tiny piece of cardboard. Either way, don't rule out the possibilty of hijinks.

  • And, lastly, make sure that all of the pieces you've placed so far belong where they are. It's very possible that a piece you've already placed may not actually go there. In that case, you're probably missing a different piece -- not much help here, but it will be important later if you're trying to get the right replacement piece.

STEP 2 :: Catch your breath, and start to accept the possibility that it's... GONE...
So you've looked high and low, here and there, in and out, and you've come up with squat. Don't lose hope, there are several avenues left to locate a replacement piece for your puzzle.

If you believe you've lost a jigsaw puzzle piece and it can't be found, or that your puzzle is defective and the missing piece was never there (quite rare, actually, due to the jigsaw puzzle production process and stringent manufacturer standards, but it does sometimes happen) -- then your best course of action is to contact the manufacturer to see about a replacement piece. This is best for most folks because you've already constructed the puzzle and you know which piece you need. Many popular jigsaw puzzle manufacturers have anticipated that you may need a replacement piece and have therefore created programs to replace individual pieces.

There are some caveats, however. Depending on the manufacturer and the specific puzzle design, it's possible that multiple cutting dies were used to produce the same puzzle design, so, it's possible that pieces from same design will not actually fit your puzzle. Manufacturers often replace or rotate cutting dies for reasons such as service, sharpening, or production availability. If this is the case, you still have some options, though. For example, may just replace your entire puzzle.

Before you continue, determine the following:

  • Who is the manufacturer of your jigsaw puzzle? (Just check the box.)

  • Which piece is missing?
    On most standard jigsaw puzzles you can simply count from the top, and obtain the the number of rows to your missing piece. Then, count from the left to get the number of columns to your missing piece. You will probably need these coordinates to indicate exactly which piece is missing.

    Now, find your manufacturer below in the list and follow the instructions provided:

    Manufacturer What to do...


    Phone: 800-232-7427
    Inquire about obtaining a replacement piece.

    Buffalo Games

    For a defective puzzle* or missing puzzle pieces, follow the instructions below:
       1.Cut out UPC code from the box
       2.Include one of the puzzle pieces
       3.Write the description of the problem on a piece of paper
       4.Include your return address
       5.Mail to:
          Buffalo Games
          220 James E. Casey Drive
          Buffalo, NY 14206

    (Allow 6 to 8 weeks for processing)

    It's possible they will not ship you back just one piece but will instead issue a replacement of the whole puzzle or a voucher for a free puzzle.
    *If your puzzle is obviously defective, miscut, or doesn't match the box, AND you purchased your puzzle from, contact us and we'll be happy to replace your item directly.


    Web: goto
    Email: click here to send an email
    Inquire about obtaining a replacement piece.


    For a defective puzzle* or missing puzzle pieces, follow the instructions below:
       1.Write your name, complete shipping address, phone # and email address on a plain piece of paper. Also include the puzzle name and item number (found on the side of the box) and include a brief description of the problem.
       2.Cut the UPC code from the box.
       3.Place the UPC code and info from step 1 in an envelope.
       4.Mail to:
    CEACO Quality Control
    C/O Edaron, Inc
    100 Appleton St.
    Holyoke, MA 01040

    (Allow 6 to 8 weeks for processing)

    They will usually send you a replacement puzzle but if that puzzle is no longer available, they will send you another product of equal value and size.
    *If your puzzle is obviously defective, miscut, or doesn't match the box, AND you purchased your puzzle from, contact us and we'll be happy to replace your item directly.


    Email: click here to send an email
    Inquire about obtaining a replacement piece.

    Cobble Hill

    Phone: 250-592-7374
    Inquire about obtaining a replacement piece.


    Phone: 877-568-7257
    Inquire about obtaining a replacement piece.


    Online Piece Replacment Program:
    Click here to submit a lost piece request.

    FX Schmid

    See Ravensburger

    Great American
    Puzzle Factory

    Online Form For Replacment Parts:
    Click here to submit a lost piece request.

    Geo Puzzle

    Phone: 920-475-2002
    Inquire about obtaining a replacement piece.


    Phone: 520-741-1315
    Email: click here to send an email
    Inquire about obtaining a replacement piece.

    Melissa & Doug

    Phone: 800-718-5365
    Email: click here to send an email
    Inquire about obtaining a replacement piece.

    New York Puzzle Company

    Phone: 580-789-9535
    Email: click here to send an email
    Inquire about obtaining a replacement piece.


    Phone: 877-303-1684
    Email: click here to send an email
    Inquire about obtaining a replacement piece.


    Online Customer Service Form:
    Click here to submit an inquiry.

    Phone: 800-886-1236
    Inquire about obtaining a replacement piece.


    Email: click here to send an email
    Inquire about obtaining a replacement piece. This email address is specifically for missing pieces.


    Online Customer Service Form:
    Click here, to submit an inquiry.

    Phone: 866-270-0552
    Inquire about obtaining a replacement piece.


    Phone: 816-241-8881
    Inquire about obtaining a replacement piece.


    Phone: 866-352-7300
    Email: click here to send an email
    Inquire about obtaining a replacement piece. This email address is specifically for missing pieces.


    Phone: 800-292-7676
    Email: click here to send an email
    Inquire about obtaining a replacement piece.

    White Mountain

    Phone: 800-548-8009 ext. 19
    Email: click here to send an email
    Inquire about obtaining a replacement piece.

    STEP 3 :: For Customers
    If you're having difficulty communicating with a manufacturers or getting a satisfactory solution to your issue in either Step 1 or Step 2, AND you placed your original order for the item with, then you may contact us and we will try to provide a proper solution or assist you with replacing the missing piece.

    Please be prepared with your order # so that we can locate your order in our system.

    STEP 4 :: A not-too-shabby last resort
    You're at the end of the line, and there's still a fairly reasonable solution! You can order missing jigsaw puzzle pieces from The Jigsaw Puzzle DoctorTM. It's a paid service that will actually construct your missing piece! Their prices are extremely reasonable considering how cool the service is. For as little as $9 USD, plus s&h, they'll make your missing piece and send it to you - how neat is that?! [ is not affiliated with the Jigsaw Doctor]

  • introduces a paper catalog!

    August 31, 2010 12:16 by kelly

    We’re excited to announce that we have created a paper Serious Puzzles catalog!

    Just in time for the holidays, it features a selection of our most favorite brain teasers, jigsaw puzzles, 3D puzzles, puzzle boxes, and more! 



    You can view the catalog online (though ALL of our puzzles are always available for browsing & purchase right at

    Or, if you’d prefer to receive your very own glossy copy, just shoot us an email at

    Make sure to include your mailing address!  :)

    Company Mission Statement Updated

    August 24, 2010 10:30 by adam

    Our Updated Mission –

    At, we pledge to deliver a supreme all-around customer experience. From beginning to end, we will strive to exceed our customer’s expectations. We will generously provide customer service that is responsive, courteous, knowledgeable, and friendly. We promise to quickly and accurately fulfill orders, in most cases on the same day they are ordered. It is our duty to use efficient and environmentally-friendly practices and materials. Our shopping portals will be well-designed, easy to use, and secure. Our website checkout system will offer our customers a variety of convenient shipping and payment options. Our stores will dominate their niche markets by amply representing the best and latest products those markets have available. Our prices will be competitive, transparent, and straight-forward. We will continuously work to develop and maintain superior inventory levels. Our facilities will be neat, organized, and safe for all.

    Why the updated mission?

    Upon doing some thinking about the difference between "customer service" & "customer experience", I wanted to make sure that we included the broader concept of all-around customer experience in our mission. I wanted to impress upon our customers and our staff that we care deeply about all aspects of our customer's experience.

    What you do and how you do it matters – (A message to our staff)

    It has been said that all businesses are in the customer service business. I think “customer service” is often thought of narrowly, though – just as the set of services provided by the customer service department. It’s true that “customer service,” in this sense, is extremely important. However, it's important to note that only about 10% of our customers contact our “customer service” department (either to resolve an issue with an order, ask questions about our products or services, or place an order over the phone). But ALL of our customers have a CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. is in the customer experience business. Customer experience is the bigger picture. It’s the start-to-finish experience that a customer has with our company, from the moment they land on our website to the point they discard the empty box from their order. Perhaps even further, it’s to the point they’re sticking the scoop in their can of chai, or when they’re telling their friends about later that week. Customer Experience is everything a customer might encounter with our company. This is precisely why what YOU do is so important. The company promises an experience and YOU deliver it. Whether you’re on the phone with a customer, checking an expiration date, or making sure a box is packed neatly, you are an integral part of our customer experience. Every customer WILL have an experience, and we get to decide together how it will be.

    After nearly 10 years -- we're still growing!

    August 24, 2010 10:13 by adam

    Serious Shops Earns A Position On INC 5000 makes the cut for the 2010 annual INC 5000 Ranking! has earned the position of 1643 on the 2010 Inc. 5000, Inc. Magazine’s annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America!

    The online listing is here:
    2010 INC 5000 List Rank #1643
    #86 in Retail!
    #39 In Philadelphia!

    Serious Shops visits Toy Fair 2010

    February 18, 2010 10:49 by kelly

    Adam, Dan, and I headed up the NJ Turnpike for an exciting trip to New York City to visit the New York Toy Fair being held in the Javits Center in Manhattan. This was Serious Shops' third year (and best yet!) visiting NYTF.


    NYTF is a fantastic place to meet up with some of our current vendors, find new products and toymakers, and even catch an early glimpse of the next big thing in the toy world. Of course bringing home toy samples for the kids (and ourselves, of course) is a major plus!


    The highlight this year had to be getting my photo taken with Robert Pattinson - you know, Edward Cullen from Twilight? 


    Okay, it was just a cardboard cutout, but cool, nonetheless, right?!


    We visited the amazing Lego display:


    Best item of the show had to be the prototype of the soon-to-be released Rubik’s Slide puzzle on which we’ve spent the last few days mastering the easy level. 


    I’m sure it will be a big hit this holiday season! Great brain teaser!

    We collected catalogs, tested out puzzles, watched a skateboard demo, shook plenty of hands, walked what felt like miles of aisles, ate super-expensive mediocre food, saw some really unique toys, puzzles, & games, and overall had a really fun, productive time!

    Next up: choosing which products to add to our line-up this year.  Stay tuned for new additions like Heye and EuroGraphics jigsaw puzzles!  I’m already looking forward to next year.