Jigsaw Puzzle Kids OEM Jigsaw Puzzle Wooden White Label

A $10 puzzle can keep you
busy for 10 to 15 hours.

Nagendra Raina: It's yoga for your mind.

Narrator: And all 3 million
puzzles in this factory

could mean 45 million
hours of staying busy.

And that return on investment

is why there's been a
resurgence in puzzling

among younger generations

and people stuck at home
during the pandemic.

Nagendra: Category of
jigsaw puzzles has grown

at a rate of about 25%
over the last five years.

And Buffalo Games has shouldered 80%

of those growth dollars.

Narrator: That's Nagendra,
the CEO of Buffalo Games,

the largest puzzle maker in North America.

Nagendra: We sell in over 30,000 locations

across US and Canada,

and we're selling to Walmart, Target,

Amazon, Barnes and Noble,
Kroger, and others.

Narrator: But this whole process

only got harder during the pandemic.

Because puzzling wasn't considered

an essential service, the
New York state mandate

closed this factory in March,

and Nagendra had to furlough
some manufacturing personnel.

Nagendra: We were shut down
for two excruciating months.

Given our agility, given that
we are a nimble business,

we were able to modify
some of our supply chain,

and we started getting
product from overseas.

Narrator: But the team
was able to continue

designing puzzles from home.

So when the Buffalo factory
was given the green light

to start manufacturing again...

Nagendra: We were humming from day one.

Narrator: Today, due to the coronavirus,

Buffalo Games is facing
the largest demand spike

it's ever seen.

The company went from selling 1 million

to 2 million puzzles a month.

So how do they make sure no tiny piece

falls through the cracks?

Well, it all starts
with the puzzle design.

Buffalo Games has six full-time designers.

Some of the puzzles start
as sketches in-house,

which are then digitized.

For other puzzles, designers build upon

famous works of art, like this one

from artist Charles Wysocki.

Here's the artist's original image.

Rebecca Carden: So, if you
move across, you can see

some of the things that we've added.

We've added this anchor.

We've added a beautiful
sailing ship in the background.

We're definitely not trying to change

the original intent that
Wysocki had for his piece.

What we're trying to do is create

a more engaging puzzling experiencing

and to give those puzzlers
those incremental victories.

Narrator: Once they've got a design,

the team will print it out

and overlay a cut pattern on top.

John Bell: To see how the image is gonna

break into individual pieces.

Narrator: They're looking
to make sure there's no,

say, giant unsolvable sections of blue.

John: You don't want to
have an important element

of the image cut off at the wrong spot.

Narrator: And it's not an easy task.

John: 1,000-piece puzzle,

all 1,000 of those pieces would be unique.

Our teams will look at each of those cuts

just to make sure that it's got the right,

the width and the angles
to really give you

that satisfying snap.

You can actually pick up our puzzle,

and the pieces will hold
together when you complete it.

Narrator: This team created
500 new puzzle designs

in a matter of months

to meet the demand during the pandemic.

Nagendra: And that's
about two to three times

of what we would have
done in a normal year.

Narrator: Once a ChinaJigsaw Puzzle
design is approved,

it heads to manufacturing.

Here, everything from
250-piece classic images

to 2,000-piece "Star Wars"
characters are cut up.

The biggest puzzles can
take about 30 hours to make,

from an uncut image all the
way to a finished puzzle.

First, that uncut puzzle image

comes in from the printing
company in Canada.

David Rice: This is about a
week's worth of puzzle board.

Narrator: That puzzle image is
glued to a cardboard backing

so it's sturdy.

David: The mounted images are put aside

until the glue is fully
cured, usually a few days,

before they're forwarded
on to the cutting presses.

Narrator: Then it's time for
the puzzle images to be cut.

David: This is one of
our cutting workstations.

We take our puzzle mount images
that are ready to be cut,

they'll feed through the
other side of the machine,

get cut into 1,000 pieces.

We trim away the scrap automatically.

Narrator: That scrap is
launched from this machine

into a recycling bin.

What's left are thousands
of puzzle pieces.

They get blown apart and dropped into

an awaiting box underneath.

That box is folded together

on the other side of the factory.

David: This cutter cuts
boxboard into box planks,

the main component of the puzzle boxes.

Narrator: So, how does Buffalo Games

make sure no piece gets lost?

David: Each puzzle, after it's cut,

goes through an automatic
inspection system.

Cameras are placed on the discharge

of the cutting press to make sure

every single piece has been cut clean

and available for packaging.

This is the finished puzzle

on the discharge of the cutting press.

Narrator: All of those puzzle boxes

are sealed up, stacked,
and packaged together.

David: This machine is
our automatic case packer.

Automatically sorts the different images

into the corrugated case,

getting it ready for shipment.

Narrator: Then they're
sent across the street

to the warehouse to await delivery.

David: This is about 400,000
puzzles in the facility.

That's a couple weeks' worth of shipments.

These are put in our warehouse

and then packed out to our customers.

Health screen all people visiting

and entering the facility.

We had to make modifications
to our production schedules.

I also had to redesign a few work centers

to maximize social distancing
throughout the workplace.

Narrator: Even with all the pivots,

Buffalo Games couldn't work fast enough

to meet the demand of millennials

and pandemic puzzlers.

David: With the increase
in demand this year,

we've been running the
factory the full year,

both before and after
COVID, at 100% capacity.

Nagendra: We wish we had the product,

because we think the actual demand

would have been about tenfold.

Narrator: And even with
a two-month shutdown,

Nagendra says the company will still

double its sales for 2020.

Nagendra: As a result of
COVID, we believe there's been

a massive influx of new
customers into the category.

I'm talking about families
that may have puzzled

10 years ago, but there are people

that have never puzzled in their lives.

But I think there's going
to be a robust demand

for these products for
a long time to come.