OK, Blogger ate my previous version of this post, which I thought was awesome.  From the comments you left me, which also got eaten, you thought it was awesome too.  After having a massive hissy fit, I decided to re-write it and include a little giveaway as an incentive to read this  again.  Hopefully this one will stay put.
 I wrote here about the amazing women that inspired me and other bloggers a the Bloggers Brunch organised by KidsBusiness and filmed by Room to Grow TV.  I promised you another post about the brands that showcased their products that day.

When the speakers finished their thing and we were all busy stuffing our faces wtih sandwiches, scones and mini-muffins, I was astonished to see the a bunch of people, who turned out to be PR reps, wheel boxes and boxes of stuff past us towards their designated spaces.  It turned out that the stuff in the boxes was for us!

Once everyone set up, we were invited to take a look at the products, listen to the reps and take away some samples.  And what samples they were!

Mega Brands
These are the people behind MegaBloks and they were giving away packs of their most basic blocks, while talking up the rest of their range aimed at various age levels.  Their pitch centred on the compatibility of their blocks with other brands (aka Lego) and their apparent better value for money, that is, more pieces in each pack, at a much lower cost.

I’m already a big fan of Mega Bloks, having purchased several sets for my boys when they were younger, but hadn’t really considered the older kids’ range – Micro Bloks – as both my boys are determined Lego fanatics.  Actually, I hadn’t really seen them in the shops, at least not in the major chains.  I would have liked an opportuity to try one of the sets they had on display, but clearly that wasn’t part of the plan on the day.

Pink Poppy
OK, this was the pink and girly stuff that really annoyed me, because I see so much of it in shops and being a mother of two boys I feel a bit left out.  Just the other day, my 5 year old decided he needed a necklace, so after searching high and low through our shopping centre we finally found one in a surf/skate shop.  So, my point, perhaps there is an untapped market niche there?  (And then of course the 8 yo needed one too!)

Having said all that, the Pink Poppy stuff is really, really cute!  Pink, fluffy and sparkly.  We each received a little pack with hair clips, a pencil, stickers and a note pad.  And I remembered that I’m a girl!  I love my pink tote bag that folds neatly and fits into my handbag.  The only thing I gave away was the pair of hair clips, because, well, you can see the photos.  My hair is a tad short…  My friend’s little girl was very excited, though…!

We all know Hasbro as the name behind some  popular board games, but they are also responsible for brands such as Playskool, Play-Doh and Tonka.  All of these have at one stage or another been in our household and we love them as quality toys with decent longevity and re-sale value (yes, I admit it, I love to eBay!).

Certainly the Playskool Alphie Maestro-Bot, given to us on the day, proved to be a big hit with both my boys and they even fought over him for the first couple of days.  While it does have an annoying voice, the boys get great satisfaction from completing its musical learning activities.

Hasbro also appear responsible for the Transformers toys and I think I may need to become really good friends with them.  Hint, hint?

Yes, I know, who?  I didn’t know anything about them until the other week.  Bruder is a German toy company, which makes an astonishing range of to-scale working models of farm and road vehicles and machinery.  Each of us walked away with a large truck.  I got a yellow DHL Delivery Van, complete with forklift, which got a lot of use from my 5 year old.  He took great pleasure in delivering his toys from room to room.  Both boys virtually drooled over the thick catalogue I brought home and demanded immediate delivery of every toy including miniature plastic potatoes, haybales and spare tyres.  I was impressed too…  Again, a company I’d love to do some work with.

Other Brands
Since the event was sponsored by Kleenex Mums, each of our goodie bags included a large stash of Kleenex products.  And as much as I hate housework and cleaning, the truth is that somehow it has to get done.  So a bunch of brand new swish cleaning products or a groovy box of tissues to put on my desk is not to be sneezed at. (Did you notice that pun there?  I can too be funny… sort of…)

Little Tikes is another brand which filled our house when the boys were younger.  I’ve always liked the brand and was sad I didn’t have small children to give the two toy vehicles, that were virtually forced upon me, to.  So, instead I donated them to the Salvos.

Then there was more pink and girly stuff from Baby Born and I have to admit that if I was a little girl, or had little girls, I would love these toys.  Unfortunately, having had real babies, playing with doll babies no longer has any attraction for me.  I did, however, score a cute baby outfit for a friend.

A few of us who attended the event, admitted to being confused about what it was that we were supposed/expected to do as a result of all this generosity.  People from a marketing background tell me, however, that the freebie is a pretty standard form of advertising and that those doing the marketing just really, really hope that you will mention their product in whatever shape or form you are comfortable with in the specific medium that you work in, for us that medium being the blog.

I also came to the conclusion that attending such events and interacting with brands can simply be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.  How or when you choose to initiate and conduct it is really up to you.

The Giveaway
As I watched the brands setting up and giving away their products I immediately thought, hey, I could use these for giveaways!  Then I realised that if I did that, I would have to pay postage.  Quite substantial postage, as some of the items were quite large.  So, I’m sorry, but the give-away I present to you today is quite small and is more a token of my appreciation for you, dear readers, than an advertisement for any of the brands sponsoring the Bloggers Brunch. Not because I didn’t like them, or they don’t deserve advertising, but because I’m paying for postage.

This is what I have for you:

  • the Container 2 Go – clips onto your shopping trolley for toddler snacking at the supermarket
  • a Tonka Chuck truck
  • a Mooks Sponge Bob Sock for your mobile
  • Aromababy – nappy change cream
  • Bebe bunny – I nearly kept that one, they are so cute!

To enter:

  • you must be an Australian resident,
  • you must follow my blog with either Google Friend Connect or on Facebook,
  • leave me a comment to tell me how you follow me.
  • the winner will be drawn at 11 am on Monday, 23 May 2011.
Good Luck!