DETAILED SHOWBAG REVIEW: Ekka Showbag Guide 2017
We’ve spent hours pouring over every Ekka Showbag and have put together a guide to help you determine how to get the biggest bang for your EKKA buck, regardless of your child’s individual interests.
Let’s be honest, kids all over Brisbane can be divided into two categories, simply send them off to the Ekka Showbag Pavillion without a plan and they will either:
(a) beg you to buy the first show bag that slightly appeals to them. If your child falls into this category and you haven’t planned ahead, please make sure you walk them out the same entrance and aisles you used to come in, to avoid buyer’s remorse.
(b) walk the isles 50 times each, and end up in a never ending loop of indecisiveness.
In an effort to avoid both of the above, read our Ekka Showbag Guide for 2017 to determine what “category” of showbag you’d like them to buy and steer them in the right direction!
2017 Ekka Showbag Guide Overview
We believe that kids showbags fall into one (or sometimes two) of the following categories. The first decision to be made is which type of show bag you’d like your child to “invest” in, prior to even starting the selection process.
There are no wrong decisions to be made as far as categories go, only wrong showbag choices within the categories i.e. when looking at value for money. Our guide is to help to steer you towards the best choices within each of the following categories, we’ll explain each of them below.
- The Cheap Showbags
- The Food Showbags
- Branded Useful Showbags
- Costume Showbags
- Cheap Toy Showbags
Secondly, after selecting your showbag choices, the next thing to look at is whether there are any ride vouchers inside. If there are, your next decision is whether you purchase your showbags at the start of the day (and carry them around or put them in a locker), or buy them towards the end of the day (with the constant worry of “what if they sell out”).
Finally, if you’re heading to the fireworks and plan on arriving early in order to get a great seat, you’ll need to decide whether it’s worth while taking some of the contents along with you in order to assist with the fireworks wait time (perhaps this won’t be such a big issue this year with the earlier / family friendly fireworks!
The Cheap EKKA Showbags
The cheap EKKA showbags are the ones that are available for under $5. Within this category, you’re either looking at the cheapest of the cheap, which is the $2 Blue Bertie Beetle Showbag….
or a $4 – $5 showbag that has the biggest quantity of items in it (and perhaps a novelty item), so the kids think they are getting a fantastic deal.
Our picks for the under $5 showbags which have a good quantity of items in it are shown below. Note, we’ve included these based on the lollies being a mainstream brand name and the number of items in the showbags, but we’ve excluded the bags that are likely to blow your head off (the warhead style bags… as they are not for everyone :)).
- Full O Fizz Showbag– $5 – has around 24 individual items plus amusement ride vouchers (while stocks last)
- Zappo Showbag – $5 – has around 17 items (but some of these are packs of lollies), AND kids can choose one of 3 novelty toys.
- Fizzer Showbag – $5 – around 30 items and includes a blow up hammer.
We thought the following show bags deserved a special mention as they were under $10, but NOT food showbags!
Little Miss and Little Mr Showbags – $10
K-Zone magazine showbag – $15 – given it has a fidget spinner and a Sea Life Sunshine Coast free kids entry pass, we thought it deserved a special mention!
One final thing to note, when you arrive at the Showbag Pavilion and head to the “cheap food show bag section”, you’ll always find that there are specials e.g. 3 for $10 or 5 for $20, something along those lines. If you have multiple children, this is usually a fantastic way to save some money (don’t worry if the contents aren’t equal, you can always dive your hand in when they are on a ride and quickly redistribute the contents).
The Food Showbags
- Wicked Fizz Giant Showbag – $10
- The Natural Confectionery Co – $10
- Nestle Family Deal Showbag – $20 – Includes a Bertie Beetle Red and Gold showbag, a nerds showbag, a kit kat showbag, a smarties showbag and a violet crumble showbag
The Branded Useful Showbags
A lot of the branded showbags actually contain “useful” items, which is a great thing for you, but can often leave the kids disappointed (if they haven’t really looked into what’s inside). I remember buying the Hot Wheels showbag one year for my 4 year old twins (they chose it BTW), but when we got home, it was full of novelty items… they thought they would be getting actual Hot Wheels cars!
Basically, a lot of these showbags contain a few of the following items and sell for around $25:
- key rings
In the scheme of things, the contents can actually be quite useful (and pretty good value for money!) and the kids will get a lot of use out of the contents in the future. Just make sure the kids realise they aren’t full of toys!
There are HEAPS of these types of bags, here are a few of our favourites:
- Avengers Bag – $25 – a nice combo of novelty items (to entertain them for 5 minutes) WITH a really cool backpack.
- Avengers Assemble Showbag – $25 – the t-shirt, cap and poster, the contents will hang around for a long time.
- Batman Showbag – $25 – with the cool t-shirt and hat and poster… very retro!
- Mister Maker Showbag – $26 – whilst it doesn’t contain the typical bag / cap combination, it’s full of craft items that are useable!
- Sprinkles Unicorn Showbag – $28 – a bag + stationery… winner.
- Twozies Showbag – $26 – with a couple of bags, a pencil case, stamp set, stickers, writing set, lip gloss and heaps more, this is a great bag as the contents will be used before they are broken.
- AFL team Showbags – $25 – if they are into sports, good bags, hats and soft footballs, contents may vary between teams or NRL Team Showbags
- NRL Brisbane Broncos 18 – $25
- State of Origin – $25 (QLD or NSW themed with bag, facepaint, cap and more!)
- Teletubbies – $26 – bags, lunchbox and drink bottle, all useable items for toddlers./
- Dr Seuss Showbag – $26 – with a top hat that could easily be used at crazy hat day or book week, a plate, library bag and more, it’s pretty cute.
- Sesame Street – $26 – with a bag, plate, cuttlery set and a cute chef’s outfit.
- Ben 10 -$26
- Minecraft Showbag – $28
- Transformers Showbag – $25 (with a t-shirt, cap and socks, this one will last a while!)
- Barbie Fab 17 – $26 – complete with backpack, non woven bag, skirt, cap and more.
- BFF Best Friends Forever 17 – $26 – back pack, water bottle, stationery and more.
- BFF Best Friends Forever 16 – $26 – backpack, money tin and heaps of stationery.
- My Fairy Friends Showbag – $30 – Fairy door, mailbox, fairy dust, deck chair, welcome mat, fence, window, butterfly notepad, pom pom pen, wall decal… seriously, how cute is this!
Other brand show bags include:
Captain America – $25 (with a t-shirt / cap and other items)
Doctor Who – $26 (with a pretty cool looking backpack, tote bag, cap and other items)
Five Nights At Freddy’s – $28 (the main items being a plush toy and a mini basketball)
Girls Rule – $26 (with a back pack, cap, lunchbox and lots of stationery!)
Hello Kitty 17 – $26 (with a woven bag, a backpack, cap, jewelry and stationery)
Peter Rabbit – $26 – with rabbit bags, garden set and cute little ears.
Power Puff Girls – $26 – with a backpack, clips, stationery set, socks and heaps more
Thomas the Tank Engine (Thomas 17) – $26 – bags, a bucket hat, drink bottle and more
TMNT 16 – $26 – a bag, cap and novelty items
TMNT 17 – $26 – a bag, cap and novelty items (but different items from 16)
CheerLeader Bag – $28 – a barrel Bag, hair bow, drink bottle and more
Dora The Explorer 17 – $26 – skirt, backpack, bags, drink bottle and more
Emoji – $28 – “poo” slippers, pencil case, drink bottle, bag and more
Littlest Pet Shop Bag – $28 – umbrella, bag, cosmetic purse, markers and more
Monster High 17 – $26 – Bag, hair chalk, cap, fibre optic lamp, skipping rope and more
My Little Pony Bag – $28 – bag, coin purse, soft toy, scratch art set and more
Numnoms – $28 – woven bag, tin locker, cold pack, pencil case, cupcake set and heaps more
The Costume Showbags
The EKKA is conveniently scheduled only a few weeks before book week… so plan accordingly!
- Police Action Squad – $22
- Police Investigation – $25 – we were in two minds about this one, if the items work, wouldn’t that be a cool showbag (we don’t recall this one being an option in prior years, so it’s one of the untested ones for us)
- Space Adventures Bag – $20
- My Dress-Up Box Showbag – $30 – Choose from 2 styles
- Barbie Dreamtopia – $26 – a bag, costume and more.
- Ladybug Showbag – $15 (I personally think this one is a bargain for kid, with a dress, wand and umbrella… plus discount ride tickets)
Other costume showbags include:
- A lot of the “Mega” brand showbags, including: Mega Cop, Mega Builders, Mega Fairy, Mega Doctors, Mega Nurse, Mega Fireman, Mega Pirate, Mega Princess, Mega Swat and other Mega bags – (generally $25 – 28)
- Various Ninja showbags
- Cowboy bag – $20 – with a cowboy hat, bandana, vest and toy gun plus accessories
The Cheap Toy Showbags
These are the showbags that will last 5 minutes, full of plastic and items will be lost pretty quickly. Don’t expect much from them, but they will offer lots of entertainment for a very short time. Whilst they are full of cheap toys, it’s not to say you shouldn’t buy them, some of them are jammed packed with so many novelty items they can be handy to pull out one bit at a time on a rainy day… then the item will likely be binned pretty soon after the first use!
Our picks are below!
- Bag of Bubbles – $15 – seriously, bubbles never get boring, buy it and pack some away for another day.
- Building Bricks – $22 – comes with FIVE sets of “building bricks” (which are basically a cheap version of Lego AND it IS compatible with Lego). We bought this one year for the kids, they really enjoyed building them, then I threw them out as I was sick of the pieces getting confused with the real Lego (they were a little firmer and the kids couldn’t easily pull them back apart). Regardless, I’d do it again, 5 fantastic rainy day activities right here (for less than $5 each)! This bag also comes with ride vouchers.
I’ll be honest, this started off as a top 10 showbag list but may have got a little out of control. But to be honest, there’s no “top 10”, it’s about choosing a showbag “type” and matching it to your child’s interest… then sticking to a budget!
Come back on Saturday to read our FULL EKKA GUIDE 2017 AND REVIEW and find out what our reviewer wants you to know about the bargains across ‘The Show’ (not just show bags!)
Bring on the EKKA!