Hippo Blue specialises in personalised products mainly for children. The stationary line which includes a diary is new to the Hippo Blue range. You order online and I found this to be a very easy process. I chose the Whimsical style which is what I received but I am also reasonably confident I also chose Whimsical 3 which was a green colour and instead I got the blue one. I rechecked the email order information and it says ‘Whimiscal 1’ but under ‘Orders’ on the webpage there is no detailed information as to what was ordered. Whether there was a software error and it defaulted or I inadvertently changed it at some stage before submitting I am not sure but it would pay to double-check to ensure you do indeed get what you ordered.
I placed my order on Oct 31st and received an email that same day confirming my order. I then received a follow-up email on the 4th Nov to say it had been ‘Completed & Dispatched’ and providing a tracking number. However when I keyed in that tracking number the same day I received the email there was no record. Obviously they had emailed ahead of sending it and should have really advised that it had been completed and would be sent the following morning.
Once I checked the tracking number the next day it did appear on the Aus Post website and it was delivered to our house on the morning of the 6th Nov well within their stated 1 – 4 day delivery time. We do live locally but it was good to see a very quick turnaround. It arrived in excellent condition protected by an inner plastic bag which I appreciated because on wet days even the best packed parcels and envelopes can get soggy and the item damaged. There was also a ‘Don’t Bend’ sticker on the outside but since mine was delivered to my door there wasn’t any opportunity to test if Aus Post would actually cram it into a small letter box or ensure it was not bent.
The diary is pretty basic but there are several sections that make it more than adequate for most buyers. The first 24 pages show a calendar format for a quick glance at what’s coming up and the rest of the diary is set out in a weekly format with more room for detailed information. There is also one page at the back for names and addresses. Neither of the first and last features were mentioned or shown on the webpage. When you can’t see the product in person you need to know exactly what you’re getting to decide whether the product truly meets all your needs. While it is probably primarily aimed more at children it would be suitable for any age and with that in mind probably needs a few more Name and Addresses pages. One seemed a bit miserly.
The website allows you to personalise the dairy but it’s not completely clear what section or sections get personalised. I saw what I wrote appear on the front cover but I was not aware that it would also be included at the top of each page as well until it arrived. Maybe a clearer explanation of what is personalised and showing all areas with your message/name would be good and the option to have something different on the front compared to the inside pages would be a bonus. Also the personalisation does tend to get a little lost amongst the interior and is not overly dominant on the exterior of the design I chose. Maybe a different font to differentiate it from the rest of the writing or making it bolder might make it stand out more and allow the recipient to see clearly where it differs from a non-personalised one and therefore justify the added expense.
The diary has a spiral binding that is good to allow you to fold back the cover for easier handling when writing in a confined space but only time will tell if it stands up to general day-to-day wear and tear since this type of binding can be flimsy and easily get damaged. The website states the front and back are plastic which is good. It was hard to tell in person but I trust it is and this should make it much more durable.
Overall I was happy with the quick delivery, easy ordering and being kept informed of the order status and delivery details via the tracking number. The quality seems Ok but the front and back cover are light and therefore aren’t probably going to stand up to a lot of wear and tear even if they are plastic. It is good for both adults and children and has a large amount of room for each daily entry which is very important especially for older children and adults. It’s a nice idea for a one-off gift or when there’s a special deal such as currently advertised on their website. At the moment you can buy 2 and save 15% on the 2nd diary or buy 3 or more and get 30% off the 3rd or additional ones but personally I think it would be nice if they offered the discount across the whole purchase to make it more attractive and encourage more than one purchase. Without any discounts the diary does seem expensive for the little amount of personalisation involved so while I like the one I ordered and would be more than happy to use it or give it as a gift I don’t think I would buy one again when I can pick up a similar one, albeit without any personalisation, for under $10.