I'd never heard of Ickee Stickeez before we were sent some to review and it was with some trepidation that the Ickee Stickeez parcel was opened. Let's face it, with a name like theirs who KNEW what was lurking inside!
After drawing straws it was decided that Tamsin should get the task of taking these weird little guys home with her, to inflict on her family and friends.
"I took two packs of Ickee Stickeez home with me," she says, "and whilst they both looked quite different, if I am honest, I couldn't figure out why they were different or what the point was for making them as such."
This was NOT a good start for the Ickee Stickeez as, for Tamsin, this was an immediate bad point in her view.
"With all such collectible doodads," she continues, "differences should be made clearer as this makes the collecting more fun and desirable."
One of the packets contained three green balls and three collectible discs.
Tamsin tells us that the little Ickee Stickeez guys really ARE tiny and the balls, or their 'pods' as they're called, are fiddly and they didn't close properly either - if at all.
The Ickee Stickeez were so fiddly, in fact, that the
victims kids, aged between five and eight, had such difficult closing the pods that they had to ask Tamsin to do it for them
Tamsin goes on to say, "It also wasn't immediately obvious that they were to be closed with the Ickeez feet sticking out! Once the eight-year-old had figured that out, things started to look up."
Despite a faltering start for the Ickee Stickeez, the kids loved them. So much, apparently, that there was an outbreak of fighting over who got which Ickee and then whose was whose.
Tamsin reports that this went on long enough to turn all three parents present into scowling, red faced demons and caused the children to suddenly shut up and share.
As the name suggests, the Ickee Stickeez stick to things, and pretty much ANY thing!
"The stick-to-anything factor is, in itself, hilarious for kids and adults alike," laughs Tamsin.
"We stuck them on door handles, walls, stair gates, tvs, and hilariously, we thought, my husband's computer monitor," she continues. "He came home and discovered three of them hanging on his monitor like giant snot balls - our balls were green - and was torn between outrage and amusement."
Tamsin says that the Ickee Stickeez remind her a little bit of Ricky Gervais' 'Flanimals' - creatures who have weird shapes, strange names, odd grins - and she says they're strange, odd and rather sweet.
You don't have to release your Ickee Stickkez from their pods to be able to stick them things - they'll even stick to YOU - due to their sticky feet remaining outside.
Tamsin opened the second Ickee Stickeez pack to reveal plain white balls, rather than green, and, again, three Ickeez and their discs - or Koimz, to call them by their proper name (cue a plethora of kids getting 9 out of 10 in their spelling tests because they spelled 'coins' wrong!).
"I still don't know why the one pack is different from the other," she shrugs, "but the balls were as fiddly and weird."
Whilst Tamsin reveals that the pods are tough to close, she also confirms that they are, themselves, very tough, "The Ickee Stickeez endured quite a bit of abuse, at the hands of the kids, as they got increasingly frustrated with them and are still not broken."
No self-respecting toy would be seen dead on the open market without their own website and the Ickee Stickeez are no exception; I spent a good five minutes mooching around their online home www.ickeeplanet.com
Clicking on the TV, on the home page, will play a mini cartoon telling you all about this history of the Ickee Stickeez and how they came to be on planet Earth.
The Koinz, whilst seeming a bit random on their own actually come into their own when you click on the Koinz page.
The Koinz that came with your Ickee will have information on it that you input into the website. This will unlock all sorts of exclusive content and Zing (the Ickee creators) say that more content is being added all the time.
The 'Meet the Ickees' page showcases each all of Ickee Stickeez currently available, detailing what they like and dislike, their special skills and their favourite places to hang out.
Aye, for example, hangs out in bathrooms, his special skill is ear wax sculpting. He likes hair gel and nit picking (I'm assuming the ones that live in hair, rather than being pedantic) and he dislikes soap.
Younger Ickee Stickeez fans won't be able to read all of this for themselves but I'm sure kids at the older end of the target market will love it.
Taking everything into account, Tamsin has put together a handy list of pluses and minuses to help you should you be contemplating some Ickee Stickeez additions to your household...
- Small and cute
- Better than sweets for Halloween, definitely
- Collectible and fun
- Sturdy, weird and cute
- Cost effective - especially when compared with other collectible stickers or sets, these are very reasonably priced.
- Kids love them
- They stick on stuff; awesome
- They have their own website so there is more to do online
- Balls are fiddly
- No idea why the packets are different
- Interest value is high on arrival but now, two weeks later, my five-year-old daughter can't tell me where they were or what they were. They don't have high retention value - although this may be her age as the eight-year-old has, apparently, asked for more
- They are bad for the environment, ultimately they are unnecessary plastic tat!
If you're a child of a certain age then you're going to love these Ickee Stickeez; quite how long you'll love them for, before you move on to the next 'big thing' will probably depend on your age and whether this sort of thing captures your imagination.
If you're a parent who loathes the idea of handing out hand fulls of cheap and rubbish chocolate on Halloween, then these Ickee Stickeez will make for a healthy and unique alternative - whether the kids banging on your door will appreciate their lack of edibleness and zero sugar content is another matter.
If you're looking for something fun, different and cheap then the Ickee Stickeez are definitely one of the ways to go. The packs of three, that Tamsin tested, cost just £2.99 each. You can also buy them in blister packs of six and they cost £4.99.
If you're prepared to fiddle around with them for your younger children, then they'll be great. If you're not, then you're going to get cheesed off pretty quickly and want to stick the Ickee Stickeez where they have no business being stuck!
If you're happy to spend money on something that might just have a few weeks novelty value then go ahead, but if you're looking for something with a bit of depth, or educational value, and will be played with for a long time to come...Ickee Stickeez aren't likely to be what you're searching for.
Ickee Stickeez are available to buy on Amazon or you can search for a stockist on ickeeplanet.com