Review Road-trip: UKICK's Press Launch @ Hamley's, London
When I agreed to review UKICK, I didn't think it would be much more than being given a toy, having a kick around with it (ha, see what I did there? "Kick" because, you know, it's called UKICK and I was having a kick. No? Never mind.), and then writing a review, like the other products and shows I had already done. I couldn't have been more wrong.
On Wednesday 23rd September, I noticed a Facebook notification. As we all do, I automatically checked what it was. It turned out to be our Sub-Editor, Tom letting me know that Hamley's had invited theSprout to the UKICK launch in their store on Regent Street, London that Saturday. As I had said I would review UKICK on the Sprout Editorial Group's Facebook group, he wanted to know if I'd be interested in going. Before we go any further, I would like to let everyone who is reading this know that I am a London addict - London is my favourite city. So, naturally, I said I would love to go.
However, there was one issue: the parents. I wasn't sure what reception I would get from them. Being asked to get up at 4am on a Saturday and drive to London to be in the centre by 9am doesn't seem like many people's idea of fun, and this group includes my parents. Giving them four days' notice doesn't seem to appeal to them either, but nevertheless, I gave it a shot. To my complete surprise, it wasn't an instant "no". After initially saying that they would consider it, they agreed to take me.
"How many reporters do you know who are fourteen?"
On Saturday 26th September, an early start was what we had. It was so early that by the time it was getting light, we were past Bristol. Seeing the sun rise over the hills as we travelled towards London was an incredible sight. As we approached London, the nerves were starting to build up, to be completely honest with you. I had never been anywhere near a Press event before, let alone actually been into one as Press. I mean, I'm fourteen. How many reporters do you know who are fourteen?* I wondered if they would take me seriously or not.
At 9am, I was waiting outside Hamley's, ready to go in for the release. However, not much seemed to be going on. A couple of other people were hanging around as well, and one women got onto her phone to someone who I can only assume was her contact for the event. She was informed that the event was actually due to start at 9:30am.
"The reception couldn't have been warmer"
When the shop opened its doors at 9:30am, a flurry of people made their way in. There, right by the door, was the UKICK stand. We were approached by one of the members of the UKICK team, who asked if we needed any help. When I told him that I was press, the reception couldn't have been warmer. He led us over to a cupboard, where he pulled out two clear plastic bags, full of Wicked! goodies (Wicked! being the company of which UKICK is a part).
We were then taken over to the two main representatives of UKICK: the creator and his business partner, David and Phil. They offered a short demonstration of how UKICK worked, before they asked me if I wanted a try.
"It is a lot of fun"
After a few goes kicking it back and forth, I was getting the hang of it. All the nerves that I had accumulated simply disappeared. The entire team was incredibly friendly.
I fully enjoyed the press launch at Hamley's, and I really hope to do this sort of thing again. I would recommend buying UKICK as it is a lot of fun, as I mentioned in my full review article. Thanks!
*Note from Sub-Ed Tom: If you're 11-25 and in Cardiff, theSprout has loads of review opportunities that you could get involved with - including books, CD's, video games, gigs and shows. Want in? Join the Sprout Editorial Group on Facebook or pop along to the next meet-up (see below)!
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Images credits: UKICK press release (direct contact)