I'll be honest - I'd already had a poke around their store more than once. The name had drawn me in.
When I was little I remember journeys, every second weekend, to visit my Grandparents, who lived out in the countryside. My poor Dad, who had to drive two whinging children for over an hour, down winding roads, trying to distract me from my travel sickness, would point out all kinds of interesting things and try to make us laugh.
One of those things, which I loved for its ridiculous name, strange appearance and proximity to Mama and Gramps' house - meaning the journey was almost over - was a monkey puzzle tree!
That and the selection of good old fashioned traditional toys meant I almost burned off my fingers whipping off an email to be considered.
Much to my delight we were chosen and the wonderful Amanda said I could take my pick from anything on the website!
The website is excellent - it's a joy to browse. You can search by category or by age range, which makes choosing for children at an age you don't really have any experience of (like for family members or friends children) much easier as you know you'll be getting something age appropriate.
The toy selection is great, all traditional and great quality, all beautiful items - no tat or jangling noises or flimsy plastic that your toddler will break within minutes.
I emailed again and said that if it were a review for a three year old they wanted I would pick Jellybean the Janod magnet rocket.
The website description for the rocket says:
Trainee astronauts will love building and playing with this super sturdy little wooden rocket.
Consists of 5 chunky wooden pieces with strong, safe embedded magnets.
Bright, colourful and just the right size for little hands to build and zoom around.
Complete with a removable spaceman.
I liked the look of the chunky wooden pieces and the little spaceman peeping through the window!
I said that if they would prefer a review for a younger child I would pick Midget Gem the Djeco stacking cubes which have beautiful pictures decorating them and he likes to put things inside things and take them back out again!
Being a flipping superstar Amanda said that she would send us both (!) which was very exciting!
To save this from being the longest post ever I will review the stacking cubes separately - here I'll just review the rocket.
Jellybean adores it - he calls it his 'sticky rocket' because of the magnets and he literally takes it everywhere. It goes to bed with him, it goes in the car to nursery with him, it goes in the garden, it sits next to the bath, it entertains him on the potty.
He has lots of toys, and lots of toys that he loves and plays with often - but I don't think anything has ever captured him quite as much as sticky rocket.
I love it too - it's very well made, it's sturdy, it's solid, it feels indestructable. The paintwork is excellent, the magnets are perfectly inset so that they line up and click the pieces together smoothly and don't feel like they'll come unstuck easily.
I love the little man inside, with his cheeky face, and I love the imagination of Jellybean as he plays with it, whooshing and launching trips into space from the garden or behind the sofa or under the table!
The toys arrived well packaged, and in beautiful packaging, and at just £14.90 I don't think you could pick a better toy for a little boy with an active mind.
Sticky rocket has been a hit with both my boys and can entertain Jellybean's busy mind and withstand the onslaught of a Midget Gem made of bashing and teething.
In case you aren't sure from my say so, here is Jellybean, with his glamorous assistant Midget Gem, demonstrating the joy of Sticky Rocket.
(I particularly like Daddytwo stopping the video the instant Jellybean beings to be a grump about bedtime!)
I would absolutely recommend the toy and Monkey Puzzle Toys to anyone looking for well made, well priced gifts. Huge thanks to Amanda for sending the toys and for her lovely emails.
Disclosure - this is a review of a toy (well, two toys!) that we were sent for free; I wasn't bribed to be nice, all views are honest and entirely my own. If I'm nice about a product I review it's because I like it - and I like this a lot.