Reviewed by Louise Totton
I, like most people, probably mainly think of Smiggle as somewhere to go to buy very funky stationery. My girls absolutely love the stuff and we’ve been lucky enough to have reviewed lots of fabulous Smiggle products over the years. Smiggle items always feature heavily on their Christmas lists, and this year has been no exception – they have particularly got their eyes on some of the Frozen II range that is available at the moment, but whilst the Frozen stuff seems to be massive instore at the moment, there are still some great non-Frozen products too that would make wonderful Christmas gift choices for the kids. We were sent a small selection of products to review and I have to say we’re impressed.
The first item we were sent was a pair of Imagine Unicorn Earmuffs, RRP: £12. It seems like the world has gone somewhat unicorn mad at the moment, so it was no surprise that the kids thought these earmuffs were the best thing they had ever seen, and I have to say that I agree! The earmuffs are a gorgeous mottled pastel rainbow design and are so very soft, fluffy and warm, there’s nothing not to like! I have a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old and because the earmuffs are adjustable, they fitted both of my girls perfectly. In fact, I have to say that I loved them so much, I’ve tried them on too and they even fit my adult head, so I would imagine they’d also be absolutely fine for a teenager who wanted to look that little bit different or quirky too.
The unicorn theming doesn’t just come from the fluffy rainbow pattern though – there is also a soft but metallic looking golden unicorn horn on top as well as a pair of fluffy unicorn ears. My youngest daughter in particular really felt like the bees’ knees when she wore this. All of her friends at school thought they were fantastic and all wanted a turn at wearing them, and you know you have a cool product when a gaggle of 7 and 8 year olds tell you that you do! I think these are great value at £12 and they make a super stocking filler idea for the unicorn-mad little girl in your life!
We were also sent an interchangeable strap watch from Smiggle’s Far Away range, RRP: £18. This watch reminded me of some of the watches that I used to have when I was younger – it comes really nicely presented in a giftbox, and as well as the watch, you get an additional two straps that can easily be swapped around, so the one watch can provide three different looks.
The Far Away range has loads of great gift ideas for both boys and girls – everything from pens to headphones to lights and watches. The watch that we were sent is the lilac colour option which features a very cute cat, but it is also available in black which has a futuristic football and videogames theme. Ours has a lovely clear face with a turquoise and pink kitten’s face in the middle of a lilac face and is surrounded by a lilac and turquoise bezel.
The watch comes already on the patterned strap, which is lilac with shooting stars and pink hearts. The other straps are just as gorgeous but a little plainer – one is slim, defined vertical stripes and the other has fuzzier horizontal stripes and is a perfect match for the unicorn earmuffs.
The straps are made from a silicone / rubber type of material which is great because they wipe clean really easily. Changing them is a doddle too as all you have to do is slide one strap out and slide the new one in under the bezel – a complete doddle and something that the kids can even do themselves. The watch has a lovely clear face and the numbers are clear and easy to read. We really liked that the watch also has a second hand (lots of kids’ ones don’t), so the kids have also been using it to time themselves doing all manner of bizarre tasks (close your eyes and shout boo when you think it’s been a minute, time how long it takes to run up and down stairs three times) – they’ve had great fun with it! Just like all of the other Smiggle stuff we’ve tried, it’s great fun and great quality.
The item that my eldest daughter was most excited about was the Smiggle Sing It Karaoke Microphone, RRP: £39, which is the perfect gift for a music-mad tweenager. The black and blue microphone really looks the part and we thought it was perfect for pretending that she was a contestant on the X-Factor. It connects to whatever music device you are using (phone, tablet or laptop) either via Bluetooth or via AUX connection, or via the MicroSD (TF card) card slot. My daughter has a smartphone with Bluetooth, so we used that and connecting the microphone to the phone was a doddle and only took a couple of minutes.
Before you first use it, you will need to charge the microphone. This is done via a Micro USB port on the bottom of the mic, and the cable is supplied in the box although you will need to use your own plug – not a problem for most people as I think we all have countless ones knocking around the house. The microphone allows you to use whatever music medium you want – either locally stored on your device or streamed via a service like Spotify, and my daughter has had great fun singing along to her Little Mix and Katy Perry selection!
As the system is a combined microphone and speaker, it is incredibly self-contained and easy to use. You sing into the microphone at the top and the speaker in the middle of the mic handle blasts out both the inputted music with your voice over the top. Added to this is a super cool, colour-changing light just about the speaker for a real disco effect and my daughter thought it was great fun. It’s a great gift idea for kids who are at that difficult to buy for age, and the fact that it is black, blue and purple make it perfect for both boys and girls.
The final two items that we were sent were Frozen II themed, after all, it is going to me massive this year and forms a huge part of Smiggle’s Christmas range! The girls were sent an Elsa Scented Alphabet Keyring each, RRP: £6. These are absolutely gorgeous little stocking fillers and the girls both loved theirs – they are a good size and pretty chunky so are ideal for attaching to the zip of a schoolbag. They are a semi-transparent Elsa blue and having big chunks of inset glitter as well as an embossed Elsa and three snowflakes on the outside.
They have a very sweet, fruity scent which is really rather strong – a little bit too much so for me but the kids loved it and that’s the main thing with things like this! They are a good size so I’m not worried that they’d go missing and the keychain part feels good quality and substantial so I’m not concerned that they’ll drop off their schoolbags either. At just £6, I think these are a lovely stocking filler, especially as I have no doubt that Frozen is going to top the Christmas list of an awful lot of children this year!
Yet again, Smiggle have come up trumps with some fabulous Christmas gift ideas, and there really is something for everyone, even for those who aren’t big stationery fans. The quality of all of their stuff is great and we have always found instore to be a treasure trove of items that I would never have thought Smiggle sold, and there are some lovely, quirky gifts.
For more information visit www.smiggle.co.uk.