The following places, night markets, toy shops and bookstores, are where you can buy the jigsaw puzzles in Taiwan. At first, these places are the only places you can purchase. When the Internet started to be popular, people can also buy them on websites. There is a brand named ‘Pintoo’, it is not only the first one sold on the Internet but also the first one who runs the exclusive agency of jigsaw puzzles in Taiwan.
- Night markets
During early periods, jigsaw puzzles were available the most in any night markets. They sold with the aluminum-frame. At that time, the printing quality was just all right. Sometimes the quality of individual pieces was a little rough, but the price was so cheap that parents were willing to buy for kids. The selections were usually scenery; there were no illustration or wasgij for alternative.
Recently, it is still available in night markets. Distributors start to sell jigsaw puzzles that were made in Japan and few made in Europe and in USA. As for local brands, the parity is in the majority.
- Toy shops
In Taiwan, the primary selling of toy shops are toys, especially the ones from Japan. Jigsaw puzzles are the secondary. Most of the shops provide Japanese jigsaws except for a few specific shops.
- Exclusive Agencies
Generally speaking, the commodities in exclusive agency are largely from Japan such as Tenyo, Apollo-Sha, Yanoman,… etc. The patterns are mostly illustrations or famous cartoon characters e.g. Disney or Snoopy. People accept these offers the most and these patterns are the biggest markets as well.
Among the exclusive agencies, the one called “Renoir” is the best. It is the first jigsaw puzzle chain shop. It cooperates with the most successful chain bookstores “Eslite”. It always comes with “Eslite”. Renoir pays attention to the decorations inside the stores. They want to make jigsaw puzzle delicate, even if the store is small.
The distinction between Renoir and other markets, Renoir gives up the Japan ones which are most accepted. They sell European brands for instant Heye , Educa and Jumbo. Since 2005, Renoir has started to manufacture their brand of jigsaw puzzles. The works of the illustrator Jimmy are their main products. After a while, they start to cooperate with other Taiwanese artists and the fine works which are authorized by the National Palace Museum.
According to the price and authority, Renoir is pretty much like LV or Coach. Puzzles are not just a puzzle or a just a toy. Renoir pushes the puzzles into a luxurious product. If you like one of their products, you can only buy in their shops. They rarely authorize their own series to other distributors. As a customer, their shops are the only places you can get. Unlike Japan ones, they control their own prices as well. The biggest problem of Japanese jigsaws is that the prices are too confused; even they are the most accepted. Therefore, you can imagine that the published price of each Renoir product is never cheap. The price is so close to the fine and luxury ones made in Japan. For example, a 1000-piece product costs NT 1280 (Euro 32). Even if you have the highest membership discount of 20% off, it is still expensive.
- Online platforms
Different from real shops, Yahoo and Ruten provide another way for selling when the Internet is more and more general. On the whole, the prices are cheaper than the real shops. Take ‘Pintoo’ as an example, they run their business on the Net at the beginning.
Pintoo has its own website and cooperate with 7-11. This way, they provide the most convenient way to their customers. After made the order via their website, you only need wait until the next notified text message from 7-11 and pay plus pick up item.
It is believed that Renoir was the first company which held the jigsaw puzzle games in Taiwan. Because their shops are all over Taiwan, the games are from north to south. The type of games was individual at first. They entered the marathon type later. The jigsaw puzzles for competitions are special-made. If you joined the marathon type, they would make all the team names inside the puzzles, that one would be the opening one for the competition. Last year 2010 was the 20th anniversary. But since then, they paused all the activities. They don’t have any activities so far this year.
Pintoo started the first game this year. But the model is different from Renoir. The eliminations and the finals are on the same day. When you join the game, you will get a contestant card, of course, the card is made by a 40-piece puzzle.
Generally speaking, the material is paper. However, the material of Pintoo is plastic. Therefore, it takes a long time to finish a product. This is also another reason that they are well known by their 3D-puzzles or sphere puzzles. In fact, Pintoo is a subsidiary brand of 3D-JP company. People are interested in the unique texture of plastic puzzles very much. The information among puzzlers makes plastic ones so popular. The famous bloggers is also another reason that makes it a hit in a short time.