Puzzling pastimes

TN News

Email Print

Tran Quoc Trung played with mud as a kid.

Born in 1973 in the south-central province of Binh Thuan, Trung sculpted cars and trucks out of thick earth that he dredged out of a backyard pond.

Today, the director of the Ho Chi Minh City-based Tia Sang Company manufactures cardboard jigsaw puzzles.

Trung said many people of his generation, born around the end of Vietnam War, viewed life as a mere struggle for survival.

Growing up, their drive to earn and save money linger despite the fact that life has drastically improved.

"Toys are not always made exclusively for children," he said. "Adults nowadays have the right to play as well, instead of just worrying about making money."

Jigsaw puzzles, he argues, are a great way to spend leisure time.

As HCMC becomes a more crowded and exacting place to live in, people are increasingly looking for fun activities to engage in with family and friends.

Jigsaw puzzles are an excellent team-building exercise and a good way to foster patience, he says.

Trung feels he's struck a crucial balance, by becoming the city's puzzle baron. His job allows him to make a decent living and play all day.

Moreover, the Tia Sang Company has taken the puzzle a step further. They can now make custom jigsaw puzzles out of customer photographs.

He's heard good things from couples who have had fun reassembling wedding photos.

Trung claims that one customer even proposed marriage by presenting his fiancé with a jigsaw image of their first meeting.

Meanwhile, the Tia Sang Company is cranking out cardboard jigsaw puzzles for all ages - from just 12 pieces to more than 1,000. Retail prices range between VND14,000 (US$0.72)VND80,000 ($4.1) per set.

Standard puzzles feature cartoon characters and beautiful landscapes. You can pick them up at stores across the country, including the Co.opMart supermarkets, Fahasa and Phuong Nam bookstores.

Busy customers can have their Tia Sang jigsaw puzzle delivered to their doorstep by ordering them online at www.vietnampuzzle.com. Customers can also order by calling (08) 6 253 7875 during working hours.

Custom photo jigsaw puzzles vary in price, from VND80,000 ($4.1) for a 26x38 centimeter puzzle to VND460,000 ($23.6) for an 80x110,000 centimeter puzzle.

More Arts & Culture News