I recently stumbled across a nice looking website if you’re stuck for a present to buy any kids that you know. I was mainly thinking about my own two boys, but to be honest it’s best set up to help out those of you without kids of your own. It really helps with questions like “What the hell is 6 year old girl into?” The site I’m talking about is wickeduncle.co.uk.
Anyway, I’d mentally noted that it might be a good site for something for my nieces and nephews – six of them ranging in age from 3 to 12. My two boys are 2 and 4 but I have a fairly good idea what they’d like. Anyway, they had a promo where 4 lucky bloggers could get a £40 voucher in return for an honest review. So for transparency, I got a voucher from them. That’s enough to persuade me to type a review. However £40 is definitely not enough to buy my integrity, so this is a genuine review.
Firstly, the site itself. I’m a web developer myself so have no time for stuff that doesn’t work or is trying to be clever at the sake of usability. No worries here. It’s nicely laid out. You can narrow things down by gender, age and category (adventurer, role play, engineer, creative, etc.). With a bit of luck you’ll know at least there things about you godson / neice / friend’s spawn. I like it. Really useful. Age suitability for toys always seems a bit difficult as kids are so different, but it seemed to work.
I noticed is that the site was fine to use on a mobile device. No glitches or tricky bits. I did think at one point that it would be handy to allow different presents for different kids to be delivered to different addresses. Then I thought how no other sites do this and it was probably a bit of a big expectation. Lo and behold – I found in the FAQ that they used to do this and decided to discontinue it. Not too surprising I suppose.
Gift wrapping in an option (£2.95 for the first one, then £1.50). As is a card (£1.95). Both seemed like great options if you want to send it direct. However, as I wanted to check out the toys myself I didn’t chose either of these. Sound OK though. And just a simple message can be included free.
The only grumble I had about the site was that it insisted on a password to create an account. For a site that you might only ever use once, I thought this was a bit too presumptuous. I may well use it again, but if I do then I’d be more than happy to enter my details again.
I did notice quite a few toys on there that we already had. A good sign – they’re all toys that my kids like. It seemed very much like a small range of quality stuff rather than a store stuffed full of everything. Ideal if you’re trying to narrow stuff down a bit. Anyway, here’s what I picked:
T4 Transforming Solar Robot
I picked this thinking it might be suitable for my nephews who are 5 and 7. They love Lego and are pretty capable with this sort of thing. The specified age range (8) seems realistic though. I was too optimistic and Wicked Uncle were right. Inside it’s much more like an old Airfix kit. Lots of parts on sprues. (I bet you didn’t know that’s what those unused bits were called.) It looks good but it will have to head to an older nephew instead. It also meant I couldn’t try it out and review it properly before I sent it. Looks good though.
Magnetic Stacking Rocket
I got this because one of my boys (2 a couple of days ago) loves the plane version of this. It’s a nice toy. There aren’t too many pieces and the magnets hold them together nicely. Clumsy little fingers from 1 upwards can still put it together easily without lining thing up too accurately. He’ll be getting this for Christmas and I know he’ll like it. A bonus for those of us with a puerile sense of humour – one of the pieces looks like a boob. Check the photo and see if you can guess which one!
Not so impressed with this one. It says age 8, but I’d say maybe lower. I thought the Hexbugs did intelligent stuff like line following or turning round when then bump into things, but this just scuttles along. It goes quite fast and does seem very insect-like. My 2 and 4 year olds will love it, I’m sure, but that’s all it does for £12.99. For some reason I thought it was a crab and expected it to go sideways, but I can see it’s my mistake.
Zombie Aquabot Fish
Fairly simple, but very nice. My son previously had a similar fish but the tail broke off before he could even use it. This one seems sturdier and swims nicely. It seems to vary speed randomly. No idea if it’s supposed to but that works well and makes it seem more realistic. It just floats up to the surface slowly so that makes it quite realistic rather than just a floating toy. The fact that it’s a skeletal shark will go down well. The glow in the dark bit? I can’t say I actually tested that. I’ll let the boys try that bit out.
Well, there we have it. I can genuinely recommend the site. Ideal if you’re not quite sure what to get. (A nice change from a list of demands!) Absolutely perfect if you’re outside the UK and the child you’re buying it for is here.