Frame-Tray Puzzles from Western Publishing (1979)

Company: Western Publishing | Release date: 1979 | Where to purchase: eBay

The venerable jigsaw puzzle was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2002, a testament to its all-ages play value and enduring popularity as a challenging pastime, especially on a cold winter day.

Frame-tray puzzles are aimed at young puzzlers and are often promoted as helping children develop coordination and motor control. Each puzzle consists of a small number of large, die-cut, interlocking pieces that fit securely inside a pre-fitted frame. The frame helps guide children with puzzle piece placement and doubles as easy stackable storage. The reward for one’s puzzle building efforts is a picture that can be carried around and proudly displayed.

Western Publishing was one of the largest manufacturers of inexpensive, mass-produced frame-tray puzzles. The company sold products under a variety of different brand names, including Whitman, Golden, and Merrigold Press. Over the years, the puzzles included favorite characters from comics, TV shows, movies, holiday scenes, animals, and educational maps.

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