My little girl was recently fortunate enough for mummy to be gifted a £40 voucher to spend on toys for a Wicked Uncle review. Sadly for me, they don’t offer products aimed at adults (though try telling that to my husband!); so I had the task of perusing through their online shop to find items which I thought Pixie would enjoy.
For a start, both my husband and I were seriously impressed with the layout of the site. It’s intuitive and easy to use – and you can choose to browse by age, which is really useful if you’re purchasing for older or younger relatives. There’s also an option to display by gender and category, or any combination of these to narrow your search.
Basically, if you have an idea of the child’s age or personality, you can’t go far wrong. I found the most difficult aspect in making my selection (aside from the notably wide range of novel items I had to choose from) was my husband’s tomfoolery and insistence that our not-yet-two-year-old is big enough for a water pistol aimed at a 3+ year old. Luckily, he knows which side his bread’s buttered on – ie. it’s not worth the argument.
I finally settled on a gorgeous 15 piece tea set and a princess playset. (The two items came to a little over the allowed budget, and I had to add around £10 to cover the additional cost.)
I must admit that I struggled in making the purchase on my phone. Conceding defeat, I gave up and used my laptop; but otherwise, the transaction was smooth and the products arrived a few days later.
On the morning that the items were delivered, I was on my way out to work and Pixie was staying at home with her nanny. (Oh! That makes me sound like some rich, posh twit – I wish. Alas, it was just my mother, so I still had cooking and cleaning to do when I returned home. But I did walk in to a bonus pretend cup of tea, so silver linings and all that…)
Before leaving the house, I thought I’d quickly set up the playset for Pixie. I pulled it out of the box to see how complicated it looked, but quickly realised it wasn’t going to be a two minute job and hastily shoved it back in for later.
At this point, I have a confession to make. Shhhhh – but the items I picked for Pixie were also aimed at children of 3+ years old. And here’s (the main reason) why:
Cardboard, however pretty and cleverly designed to fold sharp edges away from little fingers, is still cardboard. Which can cut slice through flesh like a knife. (See below evidence.) Seems my husband is not the only fool in our house after all… Oops.
The Tea Set
This product is beautiful. My daughter is not yet two years old and is the (not-as-proud-as-she-should-and-will-be) owner of a rather stunning little tea set. I think I’d still have been thrilled to receive this even at twelve years old!
I was genuinely amazed to open the pretty case and discover that this set is china! Another reason it is aimed at an older child – but equally another reason it is fabulous and surpassed my expectations by quite some way.
If I’m honest, I feel there’s some disparity between the quality of the set compared to that of the carry case. It’s not that the case is bad – it’s basically what one would expect. I suppose it seems that the china is so smart, it’s deserving of being better displayed. I’d have been less surprised if the tea set was made of plastic, and its box was a little more solid…so that a young toddler would be unable to stand on it and crush it, for example. (This has not happened yet, but I anticipate it will. Yet another reason to hold out till your child is slightly more mature…)
Despite removing the tiny lid from the sugar bowl, until she is older I can’t allow my daughter to play with this gorgeous set without supervision. But I would not hesitate to purchase it for my older niece as a birthday present – and probably will next month!
This is also quite lovely once set up. And imagine my delight at discovering these two items are almost made to go together! Certainly they complement each other, with strikingly similar designs.
If you’re Krypton Factor material you’ll have no trouble in cobbling the pieces together in half an hour, tops. If, on the other hand, you’re a mum trying to fight off a curious toddler, it may take a little longer. However, there is a pretty sweet bonus to the effort involved in fitting the pieces together: I burned enough calories to legitimately sit down with a piece of cake afterwards. (To clarify, the nature of the exertion involved was not brute strength, rather it was fiddly and required a lot of patience. If I’d allowed my hubby near, it would likely have ended up in more pieces than it arrived in.)
The reason for the convoluted construction becomes clear once assembly is complete: the end result is beautiful, and – bearing in mind it is only made of cardboard – relatively durable and safe.
Overall, we’re impressed; and Pixie loves her new toys. The only negative point she communicated to me was that she’s unable to climb inside the castle – not for want of trying. It’s a bit of a shame, actually, that the structure doesn’t open up like a traditional dolls house, which would be awesome. Unfortunately, for the time being at least, this makes the playset more of a playset for the props which came with it. But I can’t argue that it’s a very pretty one.
Side note: underfoot the sweet unicorns are comparable to an infamous toy which begins with leg and ends in ‘OH! That blinking huuuuuurts!’ Pixie is now learning to care for a lame unicorn.