The Sydney Royal Easter Show will be here before we know it. I was asked about my favourite showbag.
Now, showbags have certainly evolved a lot over the decades. When they first appeared, they were free, and specialized in promoting various commercial product brands by way of cute, miniaturized bottles and packets.
Then there was a move to full-sized products, collected by theme or manufacturer, in reasonably-priced bags, complete with a few plastic novelties and a "Phantom" comic.
As a kid in the 60s and 70s, our traditional Easter Show gift from my grandmother was a Minties showbag each, made of thick paper and with string handles. I think she must have analyzed all the showbags one year, and designated this as the best value for money. There was always a cellophane-wrapped cardboard box of Minties, plus a box of Jaffas, a box of hard Marella Jubes, liquorice novelties, and some sweets you only ever saw once a year - in the Minties showbag! (Plus a few plastic novelties. And a "Phantom" comic.)
These days, there seem to be two types of bags: a bag of novelties, or a bag of varieties of packaged sweets plus one novelty. Most bags are plastic, except the ones promoting non-plastic, recyclable alternatives.
Back to nostalgia, though, my grandmother's own annual purchase was the Easter Show bumper-sized box of Vincent's Powders, a size that wasn't ever available in regular chemist stores, corner stores or supermarkets. Can you even buy Vincent's Powders any more? They seemed to fade away once the codeine had to be removed from them...