How It Started vs. How It's Going: Blue Kazoo and Tetris®

Who doesn’t love a good origin story? How someone or something came to be, whether it’s a person you admire, your favorite video game, or perhaps, the maker of your go-to jigsaw puzzle, is always worth exploring, if only for the reminder that we all start somewhere. With the official launch of our Tetris® puzzles, we’re revisiting how Tetris came to be, and Blue Kazoo too. We’re not comparing ourselves to Tetris or anything, but we do have a few similarities—Tetris was created by one guy and Blue Kazoo was created by two guys, Tetris was inspired by a puzzle and we make puzzles, we both exist for people’s enjoyment… you get it.
How It Started: Tetris
The year is 1984. While working in the USSR as a computer programmer, Alexey Pajitnov often programmed games to test new equipment using simple tasks, and in his spare time, created the very first version of Tetris! It looks like this.
The original game consisted of a rectangular playing field and seven Tetriminos made from square brackets. It was a simple concept, but even then, the game made for an addictive pastime. With the help of a colleague, Tetris was ported to the IBM PC. After sharing it with some friends, it became an instant hit. Tetris quickly spreads to all of Moscow, then greater Europe, and later, the U.S. When Nintendo’s Game Boy launches in 1989 and comes packaged with a new portable version of Tetris, it’s game over (pun intended). Thirty-five million copies are sold. 🚀
How It Started: Blue Kazoo
The year is 2020. Abraham Piper and Josh Sowin take their love of creative absurdity and ridiculous perfectionism, and create a slightly off-kilter craft jigsaw puzzle company called Blue Kazoo. (Why is the logo red, you ask? A better question is, why not??) They make puzzles of everything from planets to gradients to Abraham’s colorful abstract art, and they look like this.
Their recipe? High-res imagery, puzzle board that’s nearly 2mm thick, a glossy finish on every piece, and quality packaging. The puzzles also double as affordable wall art. 🖼️
How It’s Going: Tetris
Now one of the best-selling video games of all time, Tetris has been released on over 50 platforms, making it one of the most ported games in history, with over 220 official variants of the game released. Some of them look like this.
Today, the Tetris game can be found on nearly every gaming platform from smartphones, consoles, tablets, computers and even in-flight entertainment! Modern Tetris games use a "bag" system which determines the sequence in which Tetriminos will appear in the game. Additional modern updates include a Hold Queue that allows a player to hold a Tetrimino for later use, the ability to Hard Drop a Tetrimino, the appearance of a Ghost Piece that shows you where the Tetrimino currently in play will land and a Next Queue that previews up to six Tetriminos (compared to early Tetris games which only previewed one Tetrimino). Basically, the game continues to explode and the love for Tetris is everywhere. In 2023 the biopic Tetris is released on Apple TV+, aaaaand The Tetris Company partners with a pretty cool puzzle company… Blue Kazoo?… You might have heard of them. 🤷
How It’s Going: Blue Kazoo
Now led by a small team of creatives and puzzle lovers, Blue Kazoo is a purveyor of beautiful (and weird, but good weird) premium puzzles that are also fully biodegradable, packaging included. The boxes are designed to be displayed on the shelf and the puzzles are designed to be framed or played with for years and years. And years. They’re made with FSC-certified black cardboard (meaning it’s sustainably sourced), printed using plant-based inks, and have a 2mm thickness and satin finish, plus, they leave behind zero puzzle dust. They look like this.
In 2023 we partner with The Tetris Company to make the best Tetris jigsaw puzzles in the world. We’re pretty proud of them and know that this is just the beginning… ✌️
Grab the world-famous Tetris puzzles for yourself, or rack up your karma and give them to someone special. 🫶