Friday, 6 July 2012

"Christmas in July" 2012

Last Tuesday I went to my first PR event - Christmas in July 2012.  I made the epic journey starting at 4am with two of my friends; fellow bloggers Really Rachel and Missing Sleep.  As well as viewing and testing the new toys available on the market for Christmas 2012, we were also helping to judge the mums choice awards.

True to my name I enjoyed sampling the multitude of cupcakes on offer with each display being sponsored by a different toy or PR company.  We also had ice cream with lots of different toppings and of course, Christmas Cake!

We thought that we would have lighter bags on the way home, having eaten our stash of goodies on the journey down to London, but receiving a goody bag full of exciting toys at the event meant that we were more laden down on the way home than we expected!

The toys on display from all traders were great - from pocket money toys up to "main" present toys, involving educational and traditional games to electronic and state of the art gagets!

Gifts for boys included GO Mini Stunt Launcher from Golden Bear Toys.  Each Mini has it's own characteristics unique to that model - wheelies, skids and spins are all part of the fun.  They do not need batteries which stops the TV remote constantly being devoid of batteries when needed in an emergency!  I also liked the new HEXBUG designs - the scarab beetle moves fantastically speedily and is so much fun to watch as the bugs explore the environment around them.

The girl's stands were just as exciting as the boy's ones - a new range of Bratz dolls named Bratzillaz (MGA Entertainment) seemed a favourite to me, along with the Novi Stars dolls; each one having it's own unique feature... bubblegum smelling or glitter-filled to name just two!  I also liked the Orbeez Soothing Spa from Character Options - a relaxing foot spa for tweens to pamper themselves (and their Mum's - hopefully!).

There were lots of creative play options too - with all the rainy days we are having, wet weather play is sure to be a hit over the summer as well as for Christmas!  Wooky Entertainment have some great girly craft products; also I was especially impressed with a range of games from Scotchi.  Although the packaging and instructions are in English, the actual game pieces have no written words on them and so can be used bi-lingually.  As a bi-lingual Welsh/English family, these games are great to develop language skills for both my children and myself as a Welsh learner.

There were plenty of pre-school gifts on display... I liked the Stacking Hoops from Play To Z Ltd.  As I have no pre-schoolers in my home any longer, I would gladly borrow one or two to enjoy playing with their toys and games!  They also have sensory tales packs which are able to used by older children to help develop their imaginative and creative play.  I loved the ethics and background behind the Play To Z Ltd range of toys; you can read more about their research here.

With a little time before our train home, I made a quick detour to King's Cross Platform 9 3/4 for a photo opportunity... 

Keep an eye out over the next few weeks for some reviews of fantastic products for Christmas 2012 and there will be some giveaways too!  I can't wait for Christmas now!