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"The room behind the shop" (editorial) - Puzzle manufacturers: Apollo - Appleone - Artbox - Beverly - Epoch - Road - Tenyo - Yanoman - more history

Jigsaw puzzle manufacturers


On this page: Box contents - Apollo website - Identifying Apollo puzzles - Special orders

Apollo is a long-established manufacturer of puzzles and educational toys, founded in 1924. The name is sometimes written as Apollo-sha - the appended "-sha" just means "company". In 2011, Apollo became a subsidiary of Epoch, and while the brands are separate, the Apollo name is mostly used for smaller puzzles, so most of the themes and topics are spread across the two brands. Both Apollo and Epoch branded puzzles now all appear on the Epoch website, but for the time being the old Apollo website described below is still in place.

Box contents

Box contents

In days gone by you opened a jigsaw puzzle box, and inside were just the pieces! But Japanese puzzles come with various extra bits and pieces. The assumption is that you will only do the puzzle once, then glue it together for wall mounting, to impress your friends.

Contents (figure)

1 Pieces: bag includes (green) voucher towards a free puzzle, and card for a replacement piece if you lose one. Please keep this until you have done the puzzle.

2 Bag containing sachet of puzzle glue and spreader

3 Instruction leaflet

Doing the puzzle

Ignore the strict instructions to do the edge pieces first: put the bits together in any order you like. If you want to display the puzzle, you can use the glue to stick it together. Spread a sheet of clean but unwanted paper under the completed puzzle, with the puzzle the right way up. Then pour the glue over the front of the puzzle: spread it out with the spreader, so all the joints get neatly filled with glue. It should dry with a nice glossy finish.

Disclaimer: I have very limited experience of gluing puzzles - I usually break them up to do again some day. But I have had some success with trompe l'oeil murals!

Please note: Actual box contents may vary. If you find any discrepancies, please let us know.


Apollo is now part of the Epoch group, and Apollo brand is now being used mostly for smaller puzzles, but these are all included on the Epoch website. This is the original Apollo website, which may be useful for some other Apollo traditional toy products, such as block puzzles:

The small numbers in parenthesis show the approximate number of puzzles in each category. (These are not updated in real time, and may be inaccurate.)

Masterpiece graded: Puzzles (47)

Masterpiece series: 108 pieces (58) - 216 small pieces (11) - 300 pieces (133) - 450 small pieces (28) - 600 very small pieces (7) - 1053 very small pieces (45)

Peanuts (Charles M. Shulz's ever-popular Snoopy and gang): 1000 pieces (3) - 300 pieces (9) - 108 pieces (8)

Christian Riese Lassen: Puzzles (9)

Detective Conan (TV anime series): 1000 pieces (1) - 500 pieces (1) - 450 small pieces (2) - 300 pieces (1)

Apollo also have a large range of Educational toys: here is a list of the main links - you will need to experiment with clicking the coloured links at the bottom of the second level pages (which are all images, so machine translation services are no help, unfortunately). Please ask if you are looking for specific children's puzzles, for example for learning hiragana or katakana.

Panorama puzzles (three-panel simple puzzles) - Children's puzzles (click the piece counts, from 10 to 63)

Icons used on the Apollo site for puzzle features
icon108 pieces iconCombination 450+70 pieces
icon108 large pieces icon600 very small pieces
icon216 small pieces icon950 pieces
icon300 pieces icon1000 pieces
icon300 pieces + paper hologram icon1000-piece calendar puzzles
icon450 small pieces icon1053 very small pieces
icon450 small pieces, double-sided icon1053 tiny pieces, double-sided
icon500 pieces icon2014 pieces
icon500 large pieces

(Updated October 2016)

Please note: Manufacturers tend to rearrange their websites from time to time, so I cannot guarantee that the above links will work. Please let me know if you find them broken.

Identifying Apollo puzzles

Code for 'P20A01'

Imaginatorium Shop item codes for Apollo all begin with 'P' (because 'A' means Appleone), with the first two digits indicating the number of pieces (in 100s: '03' = 300, '09' = 950, '10' = 1000), followed by the puzzle code. The original codes are similar, but have no leading zero, and a hyphen: thus 9-03 becomes P0903. Some of the original Apollo codes also include a katakana 'a' character, which we show as 'A' - this does not have any obvious meaning.

Special orders


Details of the puzzles you want (including product codes if possible)

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