Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Scooter power

Hackney Holiday doesn't do sponsored advertorial, but if it did, it would go something like this...

Although I'm a journalist, I've never been a great blagger. There are people who see absolutely no shame in it. I remember a colleague telling me once how she'd been bought a leather coat on one lavish press trip after expressing an interest in it.

"Oh, I couldn't accept it."

"Go on. We'll put it on the client's bill anyway."

"Alright then. Hmmm, nice fit."

I'm really not in that league, and frankly find the whole thing a bit embarrassing, not to say rather compromising. It's particularly cloying in the blog arena where there is a whole school of uncritical authors of PR puff, happy to receive stuff for free and witter on about how great the products are.

So, cards on the table. My son has a Micro scooter, which we bought, and have subsequently bought spares and accessories for. Recently it started to get a bit shuddery and I noticed that the back wheel was actually square through excessive braking over the two years he's had it.

The square wheel: once they were all like this
As I'd recently written about the company for a small piece, I'd been in contact with the PR, so I did something I don't usually do. I dropped her a line and asked if the company would send me a spare wheel. I admitted that I knew this was a bit cheeky and that she could tell me to sling my hook, but hey, there was no harm in asking.

She said it was no problem and that she'd get them to pop one in the post, which duely arrived this morning and is now on the scooter.

Here comes the puff part.

I wouldn't have done this if I didn't think that the scooter was a great product. I'm actually amazed that a company that sells a product some would see as 'disposable' actually sells spare parts anyway. It costs around £50, which isn't cheap, but compared to the price of some kids toys that don't stand being tested to destruction, the Micro is good value I think. You can basically replace every part and reconstruct them in different colour combinations, plus add lots of funky accessories. I ony wish they did an adult version - oh, they do!

HackneyBoy's scooter has been a real boon since he got it. Not only is it great fun for him to zip about, but it saves us from having to lug him around. They are supposed to be for three year olds and upwards, but he's been on his since he was two after another Hackney parent let him have a go on his daughter's. He is really quite adept on his scooter and I think it has given him a bit of an insight into dealing with traffic as well as a bit of independence.

I also love the fact that Micro are so near here, in Mersea. We've popped into the office/warehouse for spares in the past, so there is a local connection.

On one such visit I noticed they had a letter from No 10 on display. The PM and his wife were thanking the company for the scooters - the kids loved them.

Hmmm! I'm betting Dave didn't pay for them. I hope they were declared. Suddenly I'm not feeling so bad for being a blagger.

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