Usually I love Melissa & Doug products, their chunky puzzles are durable and appealing. I used to order them for the classroom when I taught in an early years setting.
I now have a 13-month old baby who loves 'That's Not My...' books, and I thought this would be a similar idea, matching shapes and pictures and exploring textures at the same time. Good concept. I decided to order it as a gift for a friend's baby, but unfortunately when it arrived it was very poor quality, with glue and bady cut pieces of fabric for the 'feely bits' as well as damage to the actual picture itself, it looked as though sellotape had stuck onto it and pulled off parts of the background.
It was obviously new as it was cellophane wrapped, but shabbily made. I didn't want to give it to my friend's baby, as it looked so unappealing, but gave it to my daughter instead. She liked the puzzle itself, taking the pieces out and using her finger to touch the textures, so on the whole, it's a good design, but I felt it wasn't worth the price and WOULD NOT recommend it as a gift.
This was bought as a gift for my 1 year old's birthday, as I thought he would enjoy the textures and colours. However, the quality is terrible and it is not hard-wearing in the slightest. There was not one piece that wasn't easily damaged. Obviously babies like to put things in their mouths and the textured parts of the animals were so soft that he was able to actually bite fairly large chunks out completely. Within weeks it needed to be thrown away. Even the lion's mane started to come away from the piece and this animal was hardly played with. The pieces are also very shallow, with nothing to grip onto to remove them, so even without the issues mentioned above, it is very hard for little hands to remove them from the board. Not recommended at all and a possible choking hazard.
I'm not sure why there are negate reviews on this product. This is meant to be for 18 months+ in age. We purchased this and another similar puzzle from Melissa and Doug for our son and he is now 21 months. He has outgrown the "large peg puzzles" and thoroughly enjoys these and plays them them on a regular basis. As he has outgrown the need to put everything in his mouth, this puzzle is still in perfect shape. I highly recommend this for anyone 18 months+ looking for a good puzzle that will teach them animals and hand-eye coordination.