August is Little Miss's birthday party, and we're still in the midst of the big birthday party part of life. I love those parties - seeing all the happy smiling faces and hearing the giggles - but the goody bags kill me. I sort of hate them. They're generally filled with candy we can't (don't) eat and little cheap toys that we throw away. This year? We used Gutzy Gear as our goody bags.
So wait, you haven't heard of Gutzy Gear yet? Oh, you're missing out. Gutzy Gear are straps that wrap around the straps on your backpacks or bags or anything along those lines. They then have patches in hundreds of patterns that Velcro onto the Gutzy straps.
The patches have all sorts of different personality with awesome names (as the wee ones pointed out to me) from Chip and Quench (a walking cookie and glass of milk) to Bones and Head Honcho (fun looking "dude" and pirate-y skull and crossbones patches) to Little Miss's favorite Kernel and Cheesy (a popcorn box and animated slice of pizza). There are two series releases of Gutzy patches so far, plus character patches of Marvel super heroes, SpongeBob Square Pants, and more.
The patches are sold in packages of 2 for $4.99 apiece at stores ranging from WalMart to Target and specialty toy stores, as well as online at the Gutzy Gear site. The backpack straps are $9.99 and come with two strap covers and two Gutzy patches.
There are so many patches to choose from that it's hard to decide what you like best. Fortunately, part of the fun of Gutzy Gear is that they are designed to be traded with friends. Remember growing up and how sticker album and trading stickers? I spent more recesses and play dates doing that, and so did all my friends.
When the kids walked into the party, it was obvious that they'd never seen Gutzy Gear before. The looks on their faces as they walked into the party and saw the table piled with the Gutzy Gear was priceless.
Knowing that these are primarily second graders, I didn't want the free for all I knew was bound to happen. Instead of having the children rush the table (save me) or handing children a patch and having them ask for a different one, we played Gutzy games for them. The favorite was a version of bingo.
The kids each had a GUTZY card with images of the various Gutzy characters in the boxes. As I called out the Gutzies, the kids used the snacks to cover their cards.
As each child "won" at GUTZY (I had two kids tell me that the game was GUTZY and not bingo - smart cookies!), they were allowed to head to the table to choose a strap and patch pack. Watching them agonize over the decisions was adorable. Fortunately, everyone ended up with something they enjoyed - and a delicious snack to eat after they finished the game.
I loved how the kids were so excited to receive their Gutzy Gear as a goodie bag. Some who had siblings who weren't there begged to take one home for them. Given their covetous looks, I was doubtful that they were actually going to make it to the siblings, but I agreed. And to my surprise, not only did I see one of the siblings in school on Tuesday wearing the Gutzy straps, but he stopped to talk about the straps with Mister Man and point out that they had the same ones and how perfect that he had a smiley face with braces since he was about to get braces, too.
Now this? This is a goody bag I can deal with. The wee ones were so excited to put them on their backpacks, and Gutzy Gear is flooding our school. The only "problem" is that the wee ones want more Gutzy patches. I know what to tell people when they ask what Mister Man wants to his birthday. And both the wee ones will get some in their stockings, I'm sure. It's such a fun way to express personality.
Best of all, right now you can get a free rare Gutzy patch when you buy any Gutzy product in stores from now until September 30, 2012. You simply send the receipt and the completed free Gutzy Gear redemption form. Best of all, you can do it once per week per person. I can't wait to see what Gutzies we get after the wee ones choose their next patches and I go buy them!
There is also a Gutzy Gear contest right now with over 100 gift cards to Toys 'r Us being given away. Between now and September 7, your kids just need to show how they "go gutzy" in a photo. Upload the photo to the Gutzy Gear Facebook page. It isn't just the backpack you can personalize with the Gutzy Gear straps. Get creative. Is it your soccer goal? Maybe Gutzy goes on your desk at school. Figure it out, and best of luck to you!
Excited to start the year off with something fun? I have three prize packs to give away that include a starter Gutzy Gear set and three patch packs of your choice. So what do you have to do to win? First of all, let me stress that you must follow all the rules. If you do not follow the rules, your entry will not count!
This contest is open until Monday September 10 at 7pm CST. I must have a valid way to reach you, so leave me your email address in your comment or be sure your profile has your email address visible. No duplicate comments will count. This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and older. Winners will be selected via random.org and must respond within 48 hours of being notified by me or I will select a new winner.
Mandatory Entry: Tell me - what's your favorite collectible from childhood?
Bonus Entries (leave a comment for each entry - if you put it all in one comment, I'll count it as one entry):
1) Earn one additional entry for following me on Twitter, then tweeting this contest with the following tweet: "Win the coolest new school trend from @GutzyGear and @honestandtruly - starter pack and 3 patch packs. 3 winners! http://bit.ly/NrUiUE" (leave a link to your tweet as your comment and make sure you do all the steps!)
2) Earn one additional entry by following this review blog publicly via Google Friend Connect.
3) Earn one additional entry by following my “regular” blog Honest & Truly! publicly via Google Friend Connect.
4) Earn one additional entry by liking Honest & Truly! on Facebook. (Yay, it's legal again, so long as you know you have to leave a comment here to enter and that simply liking me isn't the entry, along with acknowledging the fact that Facebook has nothing to do with this giveaway whatsoever.
5) Earn an additional entry by putting me in your Google Plus circle. Am I already in your G+ circle? No problem - just leave a comment letting me know that you've added me or already have me there.
In the interest of full disclosure, I received a Mommy Party box of Gutzy Gear to share with my friends. I was not compensated as part of this campaign. As always, all opinions expressed remain my own.