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Jigsaw puzzle manufacturers


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

Epoch is a general toy and hobby manufacturer, considerably larger than the other puzzle companies. They have a very wide range of puzzles, partly as a result of various acquisitions of other puzzle companies, most recently Apollo (from 2011). There are some more comments on their history on the manufacturers page.

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 Most important - the pieces

2 Advertising

3 Instructions: how to do the puzzle, or order a catalog (¥1000) from Epoch

4 Missing piece card (details on request)

5 Warning about gluing the puzzle. Avoid spreading the glue in a single direction, because this may make the puzzle stretch slightly so that it won't fit in the standard frame. Check the size as you are applying the glue, using circular strokes, and being careful to avoid uneven distribution.

6 Service card; marked "Available only in Japan"

7 Foil sachet of puzzle glue

8 Sponge for spreading glue

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 sponge, 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 slightly - if you find any major discrepancies, please let us know.


The Epoch catalog is large, and easy to navigate using the links below; the "Genre" links are index pages leading to the topics within them. Since Apollo became a part of the Epoch group in 2011, Apollo and Epoch brands have been progressively integrated, so there is now no practical difference.

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.)

Puzzle index (not easy to navigate from unless you can read Japanese) - Latest puzzles

Puzzles by genre

Art: Christian Riese Lassen (76) - Kentaro Nishino (1) - Harai Kayomi (10) - Morita Haruyo (14) - Western classics (33) - Auspicious painting (4) - Fantasy art (22) - Scenic fantasy (4) - Peter Motz (1) - Horaguchi (7) - Sasakura Teppei (6) - Fish illustrations by Tomonaga Taro (1) - Western country paintings (9) - M C Escher (3) - Fairyland art (8) - Matsuo Hiromi illustrations (4) - Flower illustrations by Redouté (3) - Senbon Umishima (3) - Ukumo Uiti (3) (Manga artist styling his name as "ukumouiti") - Muumegu (2) (Cute animal illustration) - Western landscape classics (3) - Kimura Ryoko (2)

Characters: Disney (89) - Detective Conan (38) - Peanuts (55) - Minions (14) - Jurassic World (5) - Thomas the Tank Engine (1) - Evangelion (1) - DreamWorks Trolls (2) - How to Train Your Dragon (2) - Peter Rabbit (3) - Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (2) - Sumikko Gurashi (1)

Flowers: Flower colour therapy (6)

Transport: Trains (4)

Scenic: Views of Japan (72) - Temples (8) - Waterfalls (1) - Gardens (1) - Castles (10) - Mt. Fuji (10) - Tokyo tower (2) - Railway journey (4) - Illuminations (8) - Wonders of the World (22) - World heritage (10) - World views (16) - Colourful street views (6) - Beautiful gardens of the world (12) - Famous sayings (4) - Mystic views (6)

Living things: Kittens (20) - Cat photos by Iwagō Mitsuaki (17) - Puppies (14) - Pandas (2)

Artists: BTS (19) - Brittany Wright (4)

Puzzles by piece count

70 pieces (16) - 108 pieces (84) - 216 small pieces (16) - 100 large pieces (4) - 300 pieces (165) - 450 small pieces (5) - 1053 super small pieces (54) - 500 pieces (95) - 1000 very small pieces (2) - 2000 super small pieces (47) - 1000 pieces (129) - 1500 small pieces (1) - 2016 very small pieces (36) - 3000 small pieces (16)

Icons used on the Epoch site

Puzzle piece icons show the number of pieces, and just a few examples are shown here. There are also many variants on the tatsujin ("Expert") logo, which all refer to the (quite complicated!) system of grading that Epoch has developed.

icon3000 small pieces iconGlow-in-the-dark
icon2000 tiny pieces iconMetallic
icon1000 pieces iconHigh quality printing
icon300 pieces iconHigh-gloss finish
iconExpert (tatsujin) iconCrystal (translucent plastic puzzle)

(Updated August 2021)

Identifying Epoch puzzles

Epoch product codes are five digits: 11-322, 48-7973, 23-081 and so on. The first two digits usually indicate the price and number of pieces, but not in an obvious way. Some puzzles still have a red "Apollo" logo, rather than the green "Epoch".

Special orders


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