What Did I Buy?

October 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM 4 comments

It started innocently enough. My mom pulled a wooden Playskool puzzle out of storage and presented it to my son. He was 16 months old at the time and the text on the front clearly read for ages “3 to 6.” The first few times he attempted to complete it he needed some help. My mom and I initially showed him how the puzzle fit together, but within a day or two he could place most of the pieces in the correct locations.


From that point on the early Melissa and Doug puzzles were too easy for him. Matching the shapes, animals, letters and numbers wasn’t a challenge. He still enjoys putting his old puzzles together, but he prefers puzzles with lots of pieces or a variety of puzzles in one box like Who Am I.

He attempted this 28 piece jigsaw puzzle a few months ago, but it was too difficult for him to complete. Actually I should drag it out of storage and let him to try again. Maybe enough time has passed for him to put it together. He can complete similar puzzles on my iPad.

Unlike a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces look relatively similar in shape and size the shape of each Playskool puzzle is very unique. It’s much easier to figure out how to rotate the pieces to fit on the board.

I’ve fallen in love with these old puzzles from the 1970s. In fact, I scoured the Internet in search of a few that my son might like. Search for vintage Playskool puzzle and you’ll find pages of results.

I decided to buy my son a couple. Yes, I know I just posted about buying only one gift for my son’s birthday. I thought about asking the relatives to buy some for his birthday, but I had a feeling they would have trouble finding ones that met my requirements. I searched for vintage wooden puzzles containing at least 10 pieces with cute and colorful designs. You have to look carefully at these types of auctions as some of the puzzles are really beat up after 30+ years. Since these are second hand I also didn’t want to spend a fortune on them.

After watching a number of different auctions I realized I could get more bang for my buck if I bought a bunch of puzzles all at once. The puzzles are heavy and shipping can cost quite a bit on an item like this. I ultimately won eight puzzles in one auction and purchased three others as buy-it-now options. The three individual puzzles were all ordered from the same seller and I asked for combined shipping.

Honestly I overpaid for the three separate puzzles. I purchased the three puzzles one night and then won an auction two night’s later for the other eight. If I had known I’d win the second auction I certainly wouldn’t have purchased the first three. Eh, live and learn. In total I paid roughly $45 for all eleven, which included the cost of shipping.

All told that amounts to just over $4 per puzzle, which beats almost any price I could find in store or online. $45 seems like a ton of money to spend on used puzzles, but hopefully my son will get a lot of use for them and when he’s finished I can always try reselling them on eBay.

I don’t regret the decision to buy them, but when I completed the PayPal checkout I was shocked by the final tally. $4 per puzzle seems like a great price, but $45 for used puzzles seems like a lot of money.

Entry filed under: spending money. Tags: .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. april  |  October 22, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Smart kid! Kuddo’s to you for encouraging and challanging him. Beware on the older puzzles however, some may contain lead paint.

    • 2. One Frugal Girl  |  October 22, 2013 at 12:23 PM

      I hadn’t thought about the lead paint. Thanks for mentioning that. I’ll probably run a test against them to make sure they are safe.

      • 3. Anikka  |  January 12, 2017 at 2:31 PM

        I know this is old but did you ever test these for lead? My mom sent some for my son and I’m nervous about lead paint on them. Thanks!

  • […] eBay. Unless I’m looking for a vintage toy I prefer to shop elsewhere. I bought a couple of playskool puzzles for my son’s birthday and a 1960s Lite-Brite for Christmas. Unfortunately, I overpaid for […]


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