Review: Wicked Uncle – Online Toy Shop

When it comes to buying presents for children online I want things to be as quick, easy and budget friendly as possible. Wicked Uncle are an online toy shop who source the very best, quirky, interesting and funky toys, games and presents from across the globe. They gave us £40 to spend in the shop to see what we thought about Wicked Uncle.

Firstly, choosing what we wanted to buy from Wicked Uncle was a pretty simple affair. You can search by gender and age, which before I looked properly made me fear for a massive pink/blue split. My fears dissipated when I noticed that you could search by category of toy too, so if you want a construction toy for a girl – no problem, and better still it wasn’t pink and fluffy.

I wanted a nice fun game for the boy which would improve his hand/eye co-ordination. We chose a magnetic fishing game, where you use wooden rods with magnets to catch the fish. We also enjoy cooking together so I decided to get him a flowerpot bread baking kit for us to make together and as a little present we got him an animal torch and projector.

Wicked Uncle

Our order arrived within a couple of days and was well packed and in good condition. I know bubble wrap and those big bubble pockets do stop everything from being bashed about, but I do prefer to see packaging which can be easily recycled. I know from their website that Wicked Uncle try to do their bit in terms of recycling and the environment, so perhaps this is something for the future.

Wicked Uncle

I unpacked the box and I was really pleased with what I had chosen – now we needed to put it to the test! I put the flowerpot bread baking kit to one side, ready for a rainy afternoon, but we immediately ripped open the fishing game…

Wicked Uncle

Which judging from his face he was pretty excited to try. It is suitable for ages 3+ and the boy is 4 and a half. People do think that something marked 3+ will likely be too young for a 4 year old, but generally that’s not the case. It usually means that it’s been safety tested for that age and above. As it happens it was perfect for the small boy. He soon got the hang of it and spent a happy hour or so catching wooden fish with his Grandad and me. He has played with it every day since too.

The following day we had an afternoon in and decided to do some baking. We made a cake and while that was in the oven we set to work making the flowerpot bread. It’s worth reading the instructions well in advance of starting this, as you need to ‘season’ the flowerpots in the oven beforehand, which does take a bit of time, especially if you have an excited four year old asking when he can make the bread.

We enjoyed kneading the bread which was “a bit like playdough” and he told me he’d made bread at school too. All good stuff. We liked waiting for the bread to rise and seeing how much bigger they’d got in a warm corner of the kitchen. Once baked we left them to cool for a little while and then ate them still warm with lashings of butter! We even managed to save some for Daddy when he got home from work.

Wicked Uncle offer a gift wrapping service and include a personalised message card as standard in your delivery, or you can upgrade this to a greetings card for a few extra pounds. Standard delivery is currently £2.95 which I think is good value.

Wicked Uncle had the kind of toys we wanted to buy, things a little bit different and a little bit interesting and at a reasonable price. I think we chose a good range of things to keep the boy occupied and entertained and he’s definitely loved them so far. It’s a nice, easy website to browse and you can narrow down your search quickly, which is good news for busy present buyers.

Wicked Uncle have a fondness for terrible, cheesy jokes and good customer service, for me I just really like their selection of toys which are fun and a bit different and I liked how quickly they arrived. You can’t really ask for more than that can you?

Note: Wicked Uncle gave me £40 to spend on toys and games in return for this honest review. All images and opinions are our own.

Confessions from the Toy Shop

This December I have been busy working in my local independent toy shop. A friend owns it and she promised me coffee and some wages if I helped her out. I like both of those things, so I cheerfully snapped her hand off.

The toy shop in question is a lovely establishment, packed full of gorgeous toys and games. Not a behemoth the size of ten football pitches; like Sodom and Gomorrah but with Barbie dolls and LEGO. It’s thankfully very different to that, it is an incredibly pleasant place to shop and work (there’s coffee, remember) and I’ve enjoyed my time at the tills immensely.

Now follows some thoughts and observations from my time in a toy shop during the busiest toy selling month of the year…

A fairly obvious one to start; the most successful shoppers are the organised ones. Those who come with a list of things they’ve already checked out on the website, or phoned ahead and we’ve put it to one side for them. You’re awesome, we love you. We love the lady who had everything listed on a spreadsheet. We love the “combat shoppers” who come in, blitz the shop and get all their shopping over and done with in half an hour. You wonderfully organised people, we salute you!

If you’re buying for someone else’s child it helps to have a vague idea of what they’re into. If they’re four and into pirates we can sort you out. If they’re four and you have absolutely no clue, we give it our best guess, but half an idea is a starting point.

If you want a really big expensive item like a train table or a dolls house we might have to order that in especially for you.  This can’t happen on Christmas Eve. I’m sorry.

We love the people who appreciate our collection of silly seasonal hats, antlers and elf ears. Sadly we don’t sell them, but feel free to make me an offer I can’t refuse.

We’re small and local and that makes us chatty and friendly and a bit above and beyond helpful. Yes I am sorry that I wrap presents so slowly, but just look at it, it’s a work of art!

Approximately 99.9% of the customers are very lovely. It’s a toy shop, we sell happy things in packages. There’s no grumpiness or snark, no shouting or fighting over the last Furby (we don’t sell them anyway), it’s just an incredibly nice place to work.

Working in a toy shop in December has been hard work, but so much fun. I’ve met some lovely people; cooed over tiny babies, given reindeer food to toddlers, chatted dinosaurs, scooters and slime with children. Hidden vast packages under the counter for parents on a Christmas mission. I’ve wrapped, packed and taped presents, curled ribbon, priced up a thousand items, made hundreds of cups of coffee and loved every minute of the most fun job I’ve ever had in my life.

If you ever needed a reason to shop locally or pop into your local independent toy shop, then if it’s that brilliant just working there, then it can’t be a bad place to shop either.

toy shop