First of all, though the Box of Awesome seems generally aimed at boys, and the Box of OMG generally aimed at girls, there is a lot of crossover, and the great thing is you can decide to have either box, no matter your gender, so you're not limited to just the box other people think you would like best - you get to choose. I think this is much better than just saying girls can only have this one and boys only that one, and I know I certainly liked the products in both. The websites for both boxes don't actually mention gender either, so while it may not be perfect, at least this is a step in the right direction in regard to advertising to kids and teens.
So starting with the MEGA Box of Awesome, here's what it looked like when it first arrived. On the left you can see it bundled with the MEGA Box of OMG (you can also see a white squiggle because I was stupid and forgot to take my address sticker off before taking a photo) and on the right you can see the front. The packaging is rather plain, but I'm not too fussed as it's what inside that counts!
Here is the inside of the box! There was actually quite a lot inside, which I wasn't expecting. The first thing I picked up was the sticker (right). I have to admit that as a kid, I was a sticker collecting fiend, and filled up over four sticker books. Truthfully, I still love stickers now, so you can't go wrong with stickers really.
Next were these football trading cards. I must confess I am not a football fan, but my cousin is, so I'm sure he'll enjoy these. I opened one of the packs and there were several cards of different players, including a cool shiny one (right) which is probably one of the special cards to collect (anyone remember shiny Pokemon cards?). Though I don't like football, I do love trading cards, so I do think including them in the box is a good idea. I remember the days of swapping Pokemon and Digimon and Yu-Gi-Oh! cards!
These cards were also included in the box. On the left is a code for the website Swapit, where you can earn points to buy items. It's a clever idea really, especially for kids and younger teens, because you don't need money to buy things! On the right is a code for Awesome Points (there were two of these cards in the box, I just took a photo of one); the more points you have, the more likely you are to receive a box.
Here on the left we have a "Soccer Sucker". I opened it up, and inside was a little football player that had a sucker attached to it so you can stick it on to things, like a window, or wall. I thought this was really cool, and while this particular one will probably be going to the same football crazy cousin, I would love to see this kind of toy/product be expanded beyond football. On the right, there are two packs of Haribo. Which were very yummy. I don't know many people who don't like Haribo!
Next up are probably my favourite things in the box. On the left is plasticine to make Raphael from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! I absolutely love this idea. First of all, plasticine is amazing. I used to be obsessed with it when I was younger. Second, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are awesome! And Raphael is actually my favourite, so I lucked out. I will be attempting to make him later (it'll probably be a disaster, but I'm looking forward to it). In the middle and on the right is a little leaflet about Scooby Doo live on stage. I am way more excited about this than I should be. I used to watch Scooby Doo religiously, I have both the terrible films on DVD and honestly, I think seeing it on stage would be so fun. In case anyone else is interested, I included the venue information (middle).
A few more leaflets which you can have a read of (click to enlarge).
More stickers (left)! I don't know too much about Skylanders, but I'm sure I'll look online to find out more once I open that sticker pack. On the right, on trend with the zombies, is a collectible "zomling". I opened the packet and inside is basically a rubber toy zombie (I got Roland Rock) which is actually rather cute, and there's a hole at the bottom so I think it can be used as a pencil topper too, which is very cool.
Lastly, we have the books! Urban Outlaws is a sampler, not the whole book, but I've had a quick flick through and it sounds pretty good! I haven't heard of Hank Zipzer (book or TV show) but I am now intrigued to find out more. I think including books and samplers in the boxes is a really great way to get kids and teens reading more; first because there's an excitement that comes with waiting for you box to arrive and wondering what's in it, which will hopefully extend to an excitement about reading, but also because it gives them an idea about genres they could read and find out more about. Not only is there a full book right there to start reading right away, but there's also a sampler which can get them interested in another book, and another author - I know I will definitely be finding out more about Urban Outlaws. And it would be really nice to know, as a kid or teen, that you've got a lovely new book arriving every two months.
So that was the MEGA Box of Awesome! Now time to look at the MEGA Box of OMG.
The front of the box, and the inside! Once again, the packaging is a bit plain. The MEGA Box of OMG also didn't contain as much variety as the MEGA Box of Awesome, which was a shame, but everything that was inside was very cool.
First up, on the left there is some plasticine. Not quite as awesome as the Raphael one, but I still like it. On the right, a Despicable Me wristband which I ADORE. I absolutely love Despicable Me, the minions are so cute! This is actually a pretty nice wristband too because it features a lot of the minions on it and looks strong enough that it won't break five seconds after I put it on.
Next is a postcard for The Thirteen Secrets, a book I have been meaning to read for ages! I think this is the new cover look for the series, and it is very pretty, though I think I may have preferred the original. On the right we have a Box of OMG sticker - again, can't go wrong with stickers!
Here we have a Swapit code and an Awesome Points code, like the ones included in the Box of Awesome. I won't repeat myself too much, but I do like this idea and the fact that these cards with codes are included in each box.
Some yummy packs of Haribo! (Never actually tried this flavour before, but it was really nice.) Don't ask me why I took separate photos of each this time, I can't remember why :P.
Next, a leaflet about a competition (similar to the Box of Awesome one), and some more stickers, but I really like these ones because they relate to the sampler book in the box (which you will see later).
Hello Kitty stickers! I love Hello Kitty - I opened one of the packs (right), and just look how cute these are! My favourite is the glittery one with glasses, so adorable.
Finally, the sampler and the book. The sampler is of the book Flora & Ulysses which looks really good because it's about a cynical girl (something I can relate to!) but also because there are some really amazing illustrations, so I'm looking forward to reading that. The Case of the Exploding Loo is about a young girl with an amazingly high IQ, and is a bit of a detective story, so that sounds fun as well. As I said before, I really think this is a great way to get kids and teens reading and I wish such a things had existed when I was younger!
My overall thoughts on both the boxes: I am quite impressed by them because I think pretty much everyone, especially kids, likes collecting things and there are lots of things to collect in these boxes. They also expose kids and teens to new and interesting products they may never have heard of before, as well as (hopefully) get them more excited about reading and introduce them to new books and genres. I think if I were a little younger, I would definitely be collecting as many points as I could in order to win lots of boxes. I was really happy with most of the products inside and it seems like the people who make these boxes actually care about the contents and are putting in a lot of effort to make them appealing to kids and younger teens (I do think perhaps older teens wouldn't like the boxes so much, but it doesn't seem like older teens are the target audience anyway). I would recommend these boxes and will be letting the younger people in my family know about them. Many thanks to Sophie for sending these to me for review.
I mentioned some of these websites already, but to find out more about these boxes and how to get them, visit the links below:
I hope this post has been helpful (sorry about the length!) and that everyone is having a great week so far :).