So many of us won’t be seeing our family face to face this Christmas, and that coupled with the fact that so many of us have less spare cash to splurge on presents means that finding fun gifts that don’t break the bank and can be posted easily is more important than ever.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always shocked how little you seem to get for your money these days when it comes to kids’ presents, and if you have a large extended family, buying for all of the kids can be a real balancing act between not blowing the budget, but equally not wanting to buy rubbish or tat that won’t last until the new year. We’ve been really impressed with the range of toys available from Wicked, and we’ve been lucky enough to have been sent a few to review, all of which are light, encourage being physical and are under £15. Last week, we reviewed the Indoor Booma Boomerang, the Sky Spinner Ultra LED Trick Disc and Duncan Pulse Light Up Yo-yo. This week we have been looking at the Mega Bounce XTR, RRP: £6, UKick, RRP: £8 and Mega Jump, RRP: £8.
The item that the kids were keenest to get their hands on was the Mega Bounce XTR, which is not just any bouncy ball, but the world’s bounciest bouncy ball. I have no idea what it is with bouncy balls, but kids just seem to gravitate towards them and this one, with its grand claims of bouncing as high as a four-storey building, was definitely generating some excitement!
The Mega Bounce comes nicely presented in its own box, making it a good choice as a budget Christmas gift or a stocking filler. The ball itself is a good size, being about the size of a snooker ball and it’s yellowy orange colour with a honeycomb pattern. I’m not sure what I can say about a bouncy ball, except it definitely does everything it promises! It is the bounciest ball the kids have used, and I have to say that there is something bizarrely satisfying about the thud noise it makes as it contacts the ground as it bounces!
Just dropping it will see it bounce to up to 85% of its original height, and adding just a bit of ‘welly’ easily sees it bouncing way above your head. We don’t have the space here to test out whether it would bounce to the height of a 4-storey house, but I can well imagine it would – I just don’t think my neighbours with greenhouses would thank me for trying that one out! We can’t wait to take it with us to the park though, when the weather is a bit nicer to see just how high we can bounce it!
My youngest wanted to get her hands on the Mega Jump – the next step up in skipping ropes. She loves skipping with the skipping rope that she takes to school with her, but what child could possibly resist an upgrade to one of their favourite toys? We were sent the blue rope, but it is also available in red. As well as it’s ball bearing axels which allow for smoother spins, it also features textured grips which made it super comfy for her to hold. Finally, handles also have a release mechanism so the 3m rope to be adjusted to suit the height of the skipper.
To encourage the kids along with their new rope, we found the Wicked YouTube channel to be a fantastic source of inspiration. It features professional skippers putting you through your paces with lots of tutorials encompassing the basics, more advanced tricks and even pro tricks. She managed some of the basic ones, but the more advanced ones are definitely on the ‘aspiration’ list, which is great because it increases the longevity of the toy. We thought the Mega Jump was really well made and it feels great quality. My daughter absolutely loves it and is really looking forward to taking it to school to show her friends.
The last item we tried out was the UKick – a bright, feathery ‘keepy-uppy’ toy that can be customised and adjusted according to the tricks you want to do, your skill level and even whether it’s windy outside!
Just like all of the other Wicked products we were sent, the UKick is light, small and attractively packaged, making it a perfect Christmas present. It’s available in three different colour options and we were sent the Mad Dog variation which has brightly coloured pink, green, yellow and white feathers. The best way to think of the UKick is as a cross between a ball and a shuttlecock – it’s for kicking in the air and catching or just keeping up, but once it’s hit the ground you have to pick it up and start again – you can’t get it going again from the ground with your foot. We also loved that it’s really light weight and not as volatile as a ball, so we have found that it’s perfectly fine to play indoors, although we do have some large rooms so a more confined space might be harder.
Of the products we tried, the UKick is definitely the most challenging and my kids did find it tricky. Just like the other Wicked products, there are some great YouTube videos to get them going but it is tricky to master. We have so far got as far as dropping it to our feet and kicking it up to catch, with the very odd ‘keepy uppy’ streak of 2 kicks! Having said that, the kids are enjoying it and I think that they are having enough success to keep them going until they improve.
We thought all of these products would make great budget Christmas presents, are something that would be easy and inexpensive to post, and most importantly are great fun, a bit different and would be appreciated by the recipients.
For more information or to buy these products, visit www.wickedvision.co.uk.