Apollo is a well-established manufacturer of puzzles and educational toys. The name is sometimes written as Apollo-sha - the appended "-sha" just means "company".
- If you have a piece missing from an Apollo puzzle, we may be able to help.
- A little more history on the manufacturers page.
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.
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 website: http://www.apollo-sha.co.jp/ (This index page is not very helpful, because there are no thumbnails, but it does show new puzzle releases.)
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 (90)
Christian Riese Lassen: Puzzles (9)
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 real help, unfortunately). Please ask if you are looking for specific children's puzzles, for example for learning hiragana or katakana.
Cube puzzles (block puzzles) - Panorama puzzles (three-panel simple puzzles) - Children's puzzles (click the piece counts, from 10 to 63) - Wooden shape puzzles (click the logos at the bottom: Dick Bruna, Thomas the Tank Engine, etc)
Icons used on the Apollo site for puzzle features
(Updated May 2014)
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.
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.