The Artbox brand is manufactured by the Amada Printing Manufacturing Company; from mid-2005 the marketing operation has been split off as a separate company called Ensky. For historical notes and some more details, see 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.
2 Missing piece postcard (Details on request)
3 Sachet of jigsaw puzzle glue (principal ingredient polyvinyl alcohol - PVA)
4 "Mystery object" (glue spreader)
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. (Some people say it's best to do this on a sheet of glass, which the puzzle won't stick to.) Then pour the glue over the front of the puzzle: spread it out carefully with the mystery object, so all the joints get neatly filled with glue. It should dry with a nice glossy finish. It is a good idea to practice on a small puzzle before you try this on a really large one.
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 slightly - if you find any major discrepancies, please let us know.
The Artbox website is here: http://www.ensky.co.jp. There are now two index pages. The first, "Puzzle topics", has a list of all the characters appearing, unfortunately not in any obvious order (they are arranged in Japanese phonetic a-i-u-e-o order). The second, "Puzzle types", lists the different sizes of puzzles, and variations such as the "crystal" translucent puzzles. The following links lead to the first page of products for each character, with page navigation at the top and bottom if there is more than one page. Click the thumbnail for details.
The small numbers in parenthesis show the approximate number of puzzles in each category. (These may be missing or out of date; the Artbox catalog is updated frequently, and categories often come and go.)
Ensemble stars (13) - Idolish 7 (1) - March Comes in like a Lion (2) - Puzzle and Dragons X (2) - Time Bokan 24 (1) - Kirby's Dream Land (14) - Mr. Osomatsu (5) - And your name is... (6) (Remake of famous radio drama) - D.Gray-man HALLOW (2) - Nintama Rantarō (1) - The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (1) - Mob Psycho 100 (2) - Gijinart (2) - Pop in Q (1) - Monster Hunter Stories: Ride On (2) - Tiger Mask W (1) - GeGeGe no Kitarō (1) (Animation by Mizuki Shigeru) - My Hero Academia (3) - Cat humour (2) - Age 12 (1) - Digimon Universe: Appli Monsters (2) - Rilu Rilu Fairilu (2) - Kamen Rider Amazons (1) - Bakuon!! (2) - Studio Ghibli (223) (Shows all of the Miyazaki animations) - Sanrio characters (12) - Godzilla vs. Evangelion (3) - World scenes (2) - Tonkatsu DJ Agetarō - Aggressive Retsuko (1) - Kamiwaza Wanda (1) - Sansha San'yō (1) (Manga) - Dōbutsu Sentai Zyuohger (2) - Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club (1) - Assassination Classroom (4) - Gintama series (6) - Yo-Kai Watch (30) (Role-playing video game) - My Neighbor Totoro (90) (Miyazaki animation) - Dragonball series (32) - Kiki's Delivery Service (35) (Miyazaki animation) - Magician PreCure! (5) - Mask of deceit (Game) (2) (Original title: Utawareru mono - itsuwari no kamen) - All out! (2) (Rugby manga) - Isobe Isobee Monogatari - Ukiyo wa Tsurai yo (1) (Ukiyo-e style manga) - Kantai Collection (5) - Haikyū!! (20) - Himouto! Umaru-chan (1) - Hatsune Miku (10) (Vocaloid character) - Yowamushi Pedal (3) - Ace of diamonds (2) - Uta no Prince-sama maji love 1000% (2) (Uta no Prince-sama series) - Funasshi (2) (Also misspelt as "Funassyi") - Splatoon (4) - Hello Kitty (3) - Pocket Monsters (8) - Kamen Rider Ghost (3) - Digimon Adventure (2) - Garo (TV series) (1) - List of Mario games by year (8) - Is the Order a Rabbit? (7) - Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash (1) - Rilakkuma (21) (relaxing bear ) - Doraemon (14) - Rasmus Klump (4) - Love Live! School Idol Project (24) - Seraph of the End (2) - One Piece (99) (TV animation) - Sailor Moon (16) ("Crystal" means the anime series; not all translucent puzzles) - Bakemonogatari (1) - Natsume's Book of Friends (5) - Naruto Shippuden (4) ("Hurricane Chronicles") - Shaun the Sheep (2) - Shuriken Sentai Ninninger (1) - Ultraman Ginga series (2) - Gaspard et Lisa (11) (French animation characters) - Cardcaptor Sakura (3) - Fujiko F. Fujio characters (14) (Creators of Doraemon and others) - Sumikko-gurashi (3) ("Living in the corner") - Girls und Panzer (2) - PriPara (2) - Attack on Titan (6) - Kuroko's Basketball (7) - Aikatsu! Idol Activity (1) - Laputa, castle in the sky (22) (Miyazaki animation) - Monster Hunter series (1) - Spirited away (12) (Miyazaki animation) - Crayon Shin-chan (3) - When Marnie Was There (5) (Studio Ghibli animation) - Ressha Sentai ToQger (1) - Puzzle and Dragons series (2) - Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger (1) - Whisper of the Heart (8) (Miyazaki animation ) - Nausicaä (9) - Princess Mononoke (13) (Miyazaki animation) - Ponyo on the cliff by the sea (11) (Miyazaki animation) - The Borrower Arrietty (3) (Miyazaki animation) - Howl's moving castle (11) (Miyazaki animation) - Rascal the Raccoon (1) - Grave of the Fireflies (1) (Studio Ghibli animation) - From up on Poppy Hill (2) (Miyazaki animation) - Porco Rosso (7) (Miyazaki animation) - The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2) (Studio Ghibli) - The wind rises (2) (Miyazaki animation) - Ghiblies (1) - CLAMP (3) (Manga artist group) - Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters (1) - Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger (1)
Spherical puzzles (15) - Crystal (104) - Under 100 pieces (8) - 100-199 pieces (88) - 200-299 pieces (36) - 300-499 pieces (150) - 500-999 pieces (57) - 1000 pcs and over (126) - Mini-puzzles (161) - Large pieces (76) - Other puzzles (4)
(Updated December 2016)
The Artbox product codes all start with the piece count, then a hyphen, then a code number: e.g., 1000-29 is a 1000-piece puzzle. Imaginatorium Shop item codes for Artbox all begin with 'N' (for "Ensky", as none of the letters in 'Artbox' was available!) followed by a condensed version, with the first two digits indicating the number of pieces. So the above is N1029, then N03xxx means 300 pieces, N20yyy means 2000 pieces, N95zzz means 950 pieces, and so on.