Founded in 1919, we have been entertaining generations for almost a century and are proud to have such a rich, British heritage. We are as devoted as we were on day one to providing fun family pastimes for all ages.
What makes our jigsaw puzzles different from other brands is the high quality of the materials we use. Our jigsaws are manufactured from blue-backed puzzle board that is made from 100% recycled materials and cut thickly to ensure each piece slots satisfyingly into place.
We commission a wide range of talented artists to paint our jigsaw puzzle images, all of whom have distinct styles and themes to ensure there’s something for everyone in our varied puzzle collection. Our dedicated following of jigsaw enthusiasts grows every year and even includes Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II!
1903 - Where it all Began
In 1903, Harry Percy Gibson obtained an unsecured loan of £500 from the Royal Bank of Scotland in Bishopsgate, London. This generous sum enabled him to start a business, which at that time was called ‘The International Card Co.’ Trading from offices in Aldersgate Street, he supplied high street retailers with a range of products including card games and postcards.
The Gibsons Founder, Harry Percy Gibson
1919 – HP Gibson & Sons is Born
‘The International Card Co.’ was sold to the ‘De La Rue Company’ and ‘H. P. Gibson & Sons Limited’ was formed in 1919.
H P Gibson & Sons Ltd made its name with the ‘HPG’ brand of indoor games such as L’Attaque and Dover Patrol, huge sellers before and after the Second World War. Sadly our premises, along with all our manufacturing equipment were destroyed during the blitz in 1940 and therefore manufacturing our own products was no longer possible.
1946 – Post-WWII
Sons of the founder, Robert and Harry Gibson (jnr.), re-established trading from Barrett Street in London’s West End. Back then, we continued to sell our own family games and pastimes, alongside ranges from other established names, including Waddingtons and Chad Valley.
The Gibsons Family
1966 – The Third Generation
Harry Percy’s grandson, Michael Gibson joined the family business in 1966. He remembers his father paying him £11.00 a week out of which he had to pay his mother living expenses. Little did he know that this was the start of a new era for Gibsons and that 50 years later, he would still be building the family business.
Michael aged 21 on his first day at Gibsons
1978-1986 – Jigsaw Puzzles - A New Era Begins
In the late 70s, Michael made the decision to shorten our company name from ‘H P Gibson & Sons’ to ‘Gibsons’. Shortly after in the mid-80s, we introduced our first jigsaw puzzle range which was a series of photographic images of Britain from the air.
Michael Gibson was determined to bring a new, luxurious feel to the particularly lacklustre jigsaw market, so produced a range of high quality, 100% recycled puzzles that were presented in sturdy, royal blue boxes. Along with the new jigsaws came new themes and Michael replaced the stereotypically dreary subject matters with delectable new imagery, often painted by specially commissioned artists. It’s been over 30 years since these first jigsaws were introduced and we haven’t looked back!
2010s – Gibsons Today
Having started with just 6 puzzles, we now have over 250 titles in our collection that range from 2 to 2000 pieces!
We also have a broad selection of best-selling board games, including 221b Baker Street, Pass the Bomb and Diplomacy and a selection of branded gifts that have been inspired by much loved British brands, such as Marmite, Pringles and Mr Men.
The Gibsons Gift Collection
2016 & Beyond – The Fourth Generation
In 2016, Michael’s daughter Kate became Managing Director and Nicki Gumbrell, another of Harry Percy’s great granddaughters, took up the role of Sales Director. Kate’s brother in law, Adam Melville is the company’s Finance Manager. Joining them is a strong and supportive team, some of whom have been part of the company for many years, including Business Development Director Geoff Lee. As well as a love of games and puzzles, those joining Gibsons must be partial to a pork pie. Michael continues his involvement as Chairman / puzzle tester / chief pork pie eater!
As well as bringing families together with our jigsaw puzzles and games, we are also brand sponsors of the charity Jigsaw4u, a community-based charity in SW London that helps children who have been affected by complex social, emotional and bereavement issues put the pieces back together. We do all sorts of fund-raising to support Jigsaw4u, including bake sales, donations and even a sponsored puzzle-a-thon!
The Gibsons Family - Michael, Kate, Adam, Nicki