Wicked Uncle calls itself The World's Best E-Toy Shop. I can't be certain of that, but what I can be sure of is that I actually think it's excellent. Not only can it be used as a regular independent toy shop, it can also help you choose what to buy. Fill in the age and gender of the child and it will select you a range of toys that should suit that child.
I do not have any problem with Wicked Uncle asking for the gender of your child. I've a boy who loves hot pink and 2 boys who loved dolls, I obviously love all LEGO and I believe all children should have access to all kinds of toys. However, if I was buying a gift for my 8 year old nephew I would not choose anything that challenges any norms or boundaries unless I knew he was happy with that. I wouldn't expect an online service to suggest me a toy that a child might throw aside without use because they aren't going to open it in front of their friends.
I tested just how good it was at choosing something appropriate for my 5 and 6 year old boys. Here's a selection of what it suggested....
I was stunned! Loads of my all-time favourites and a whole host of other toys, books, games and puzzles that all offer something a bit different. This is an intelligent selection of gifts that will all stretch the child's imagination, understanding or ability. Quality names such as Le Toy Van, Janod, Interplay and Meccano are all there, and the prices are fair.
I had kind of expected I'd find it tricky to choose because I'd have seen it all before. In fact, I just wanted to get the lot, and it was only tricky to stick to my £40 budget! In the end, I chose 'Melt And Make Chocolate London', 'Earthly Treasure Pop-up Book' from The Eden Project, the 'Awesome Optical Illusions' book and the 'Shark Torch and Projector'.
Our parcel arrived 2 days later.....and the boys had no idea what it was.... however they can read....
But were they pleased?
Yes they were! Those 4 items kept them busy for the entire afternoon, and we read the books again at bedtime that night. We've returned to all of the gifts several times since and we haven't even eaten the chocolate yet, it's still mostly on display! Both children loved all 4 of the gifts, as did I. They were every bit as good as I'd hoped. Absolutely top quality, and as described on the website.
Included in the parcel is a Thank You card for the child to fill in and send. I think this is a lovely gesture, and it's even quite tongue-in-cheek!
I'm really very impressed with Wicked Uncle. I love the range of toys, books and activities it offers. It has some amazing smaller and independent products that can be hard to find in the big toy shops and elsewhere, and their suggestions have filled me with a million awesome ideas for next Christmas....
I definitely think Wicked Uncle really is 'wicked'. The suggestions are great and there is a huge range of lower priced items for smaller birthday presents, children's parties and stockingfillers, as well as higher priced large gifts. It's a real treasure trove too - lots of toys that you rarely see and I was taken back not only 15 years to when my oldest child was 6, but also a lot further back to my own childhood. I shall definitely return, and as postage is under £4, it's cheaper and easier than driving or catching the bus to the shop.
I was given a £40 credit in order to review.