Best showbags at this year’s Royal Melbourne Show

Living Well | Larissa Dubecki | Posted on 05 September 2019

Nail showbags at this year’s Royal Melbourne Show with our guide to the best picks.

Like scones without jam or gin without tonic, the Royal Melbourne Show without showbags is unthinkable. But fear not. As the 171st show prepares to launch on 21 September, it shows no signs of entering a post-showbag world. In fact, this year the dizzying 364 showbags for sale have been promoted to the centrally located Grand Pavilion.

Covering all bases from confectionary and footy to pop culture and wellness, they mean the Royal Melbourne Show has the biggest exhibition of showbags in the world. But how to tell the trash from the treasure – and more pertinently, how to keep the kids’ sugar levels at acceptable limits while limiting the amount of plastic coming into the house? Here’s our pick of the top showbags for 2019. 

Family of four wandering around Royal Melbourne Show with showbags in hand

Nine of the best showbags to buy at this year’s Royal Melbourne Show

Ultimate Magic Showbag  

Fancy freaking your friends out with the old nail through the finger illusion? Want to discover the secrets of ‘hide the handkerchief’ or master the thousand mile eye dice trick? The Ultimate Magic Showbag, $22, is for you. With more than 10 magic tricks along with some handy all-purpose accessories such as a duck whistle and gel snake, it’s chock full of fun – plus you get a full-head mask in a choice of 13 different animals including a grey wolf, dinosaur and lion (not recommended for wearing into the Show’s animal nursery). 

The Beatles 

The Fab Four’s Abbey Road album recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, which is a great excuse to immortalise them in the Showgrounds’ Grand Pavilion. The $25 Beatles bag is stuffed with keepsakes you might actually want to keep, including a beach towel with their famous walk across the Abbey Road pedestrian crossing immortalised in silhouette, a black-and-white baseball cap and socks, a printed tumbler and water bottle and a Yellow Submarine keyring.  

Harry Potter  

The first book might have been released way back in 1997 but everyone’s favourite boy wizard shows no sign of waning in popularity. At $28, you can get your Gryffindor on with a Harry Potter backpack and iron-on transfers, a drink bottle and delightfully old-fashioned letter-writing set, pendant and more. There’s also a wand - perfect for using the expelliarmus spell on any ride queue-jumpers.  

Where’s Wally

A pair of trademark Where’s Wally black-framed specs is the highlight of the showbag celebrating the guy who gets lost in a crowd. For $28, Wally fans will also get a backpack, notebook and pencils, a mousepad and keyring, a mug and badges and the all-important red-and-white beanie. 

 

Mum and two children with faces painted siting on grass looking through showbags


Bertie Beetle classic 

Fun fact: Bertie Beetles were invented to make use of the leftover honeycomb from Violet Crumbles. These joyously grinning chocolate bugs have been a star attraction since 1970, when manufacturer Nestle entered an exclusive agreement to withdraw them from milk bar shelves and sell them only at exhibition events in showbags. (Another fun fact: a consumer backlash greeted the company when in the early 2000s it withdrew Bertie Beetle from the market entirely. Live and learn, Nestle). This year boasts a grand total of seven different Bertie Beetle showbags, but our favourite is the retro showbag ($15) featuring a generous handful of Bertie Beetles and a couple of Bertie-branded mugs. File under ‘one for the traditionalists’. 

CWA 

It’s a thrill to learn the Country Women’s Association has its own showbag. Anyone who has swooned at the excellence of their scones with jam and cream served throughout the show at the CWA Kitchen will be doubly thrilled that the ladies are happy to share their secrets. Priced at $25, it contains their recipe for scones and raspberry jam, ingredients such as honey and buttercream icing, a choice of kitchen implements, a hand-knitted beanie along with wool, knitting needles and a pattern to make your own, and plenty more crafty goodness. Look for the ladies and their best-in-showbags in the public grandstand. 

Dr Seuss

Tailor made for the little ’uns, the good doctor is celebrated in his whimsically wacky style in this $20 showbag containing a copy of Green Eggs and Ham, a wooden alphabet puzzle, library bag, sticker book, Thing 1 and Thing 2 iron-on transfers, quote cards and cute bowl and plate. It all comes in a reusable Cat in the Hat bag, too, but its crowning glory – quite literally – is the Cat’s trademark red and white striped hat, which even the adults will be trying to get their hands on.

Ryan’s World 

Judging by the kids’ reactions at the showbag reveal in late August, the showbag of world-famous ‘unboxer’ (yes, it’s a thing) Ryan of YouTube channel Ryan ToysReview is going to be popular. Priced at $28, it features activity-based items such as a wooden tower, modelling clay, DIY goo, pin art masks and a sticky grabber hand. Not included: someone to film you while you unpack it.  

 

It's that time of year again. From 21 September to 1 October 2019, Melbourne Showgrounds will play host to a carnival of rides, live music, hands-on animal experiences and some of the region's best food and drink producers. And let's not forget about the showbags. RACV members can save up to 25 per cent on Early Bird tickets if pre-purchased online or from an RACV retail store before 20 September. Plus, check out our Ultimate Guide to the Royal Melbourne Show.