~ Extras ~

In the first editions of books 50-56 a special offer was run where readers could order limited edition BSC goodies from an order form in the back of the books.  
The items on sale were:
- a BSC keyring
- a BSC school diary
- a BSC tote bag

The order form was as follows (my scanner is broken, so bear with me):

(The 'Babysitters' bubble-writing was at the top)

Celebrate their 50th adventure with the Babysitters!

Collect all these personalised Babysitters goodies!
Scholastic children's books are delighted to bring you this unique limited offer.  Send off for your special souvenir keyring, school year diary or roomy tote bag, all featuring your favourite babysitters.  Better still, collect all three!  Stocks are limited, so be sure and post your coupon off early!

A full colour Babysitters Club Keyring - 99p + 25p p+p
A Babysitters Club School Year Diary - 2.99 + 1 p+p
A 100% cotton canvas Babysitters Club Tote Bag - 3.99 + 1 p+p

(...terms and conditions, etc)

~ flipping heck, things were a lot cheaper back in 1994...
I ordered the tote bag (and still have it, incidentally).  It's medium-sized (around 35cm x 26 cm with straps approx.30cm at the diameter) - although it seemed a lot bigger when I was eight.  It has a gold shiny 50 on it with the 'Babysitters' bubble writing from the logo and has three red stars and two red hearts scattered around the 50.  It doesn't have a zip or fasteners or anything.  I remember using it for going to the beach when i was on holiday, because it was easy to fold up and stick in along with clothes and stuff.
I also recently bought the School Year Diary on Ebay.  It's a rather spiffy little hardcover volume with a Letts academic diary in the back and eight glossy colour BSC pages in the front:
Pg1 - Letter from Ann M. Martin with a pretty photo (dated blouse, though)
Pg2 - Fact file page - Name/Age/Favourites etc.
Pg3 - 'How To Organise the Perfect Sleepover' by Kristy and Mary Anne
Pg4 - 'A California Casual Supper Party' by Dawn
Pg5 - 'Mallory's Diary Tips' and 'Stacey's Makeup Tips'
Pg6 - 'Take One Boring White Shirt' by Claudia and 'Jessi's Exercise Tips'
Pgs 7&8 - Babysitters Word Scramble - Answer the trivia questions and then work out the answer to the SUPER TRIVIA QUESTION.
These pages in the front are for the most part hilarious.  Claudia's fashion article is my favourite - about how to personalise a shirt for the 'Hippy', 'Cowgirl', 'Romantic' and 'Flower Power' looks respectively.

NEW: I managed to snap a few quick photos of the School Year Diary, which are posted on this page.

The order form says specifically that the stocks of the items were limited, so I doubt that it'd be possible to get them anything but second-hand today.  If anyone has information about the keyring then please email me.  I very much doubt that it'd be possible to get these items in America, as they feature the UK BSC logo.  As far as I'm aware, these were the only items of BSC merchandise with the UK logo.


Both letter books came with the extras: friendship necklaces with Merry Christmas Babysitter and Dear Babysitter with a BSC friendship bracelet.  Unfortunately I don't know whether the friendship bracelet was the same as the US version because my copy was a display copy (not wrapped in plastic) and some little bastard had stolen it.  The friendship necklaces with Seasons Greetings were a split heart where one said 'friends' and the other said 'forever'.  If I remember, Dear Babysitter also included a BSC bookmark (supposedly made by Jessi for Mallory or something), but I think I either left mine in a book that I lent to somebody and they stole it (the scaff) or else it's inside a book that I haven't read in ages.  Either way, it's lost.  The passport photos of Mary Anne and Dawn were included as well.
In Merry Christmas Babysitter Mary Anne's card to Logan was filled with sequins.  Unfortunately I happened to buy the book in Edinburgh, opened it up on a very crowded train home (standing room only), and showered myself (and the floor of the train) with sequins when I opened Mary Anne's card.  Hmph.

The hardcover BSC movie storybook came with a heartshaped 'BSC Forever' necklace, which I wore religiously day and night until the chain broke.  I still have the pendant, though, and i think it was exactly the same edition as the US one.

Around about 1997-1998 a BSC book club was launched, where for 4.99 (6.99 usual price) you got the first three books, a pair of BSC bookends, a wipe-clean BSC week planner, a bookmark and a sparkly keyring.  The interesting thing about this offer is that the bookends, the bookmark and the week planner (like a memo board thing) all had the American logo and American BSC portraits on them, whereas the keyring had the UK logo and the books were the UK releases (I pored over the tiny pictures in the leaflet carefully).  I didn't join this book club because, as much as I wanted all of the BSC goodies, I already had just about all the books already (at that time I would've been just completing my collection).  I have no idea what the other packs included because I didn't join i_i

When I was nine I decided to write a letter to the BSC - yes, I know they're fictional characters, but I was only nine and I just wondered if I'd get a reply or anything.  So I wrote my little letter (just "Dear Kristy etc., my name is ~~, I love the books, my favourite is...") and I got a very nice letter back from the commissioning editor's assistant (or secretary, whatever), saying something along the lines of "Thank you for your lovely letter, Kristy & Co say hi and they want you to have these Babysitters goodies".  Included in the envelope was a pink plastic BSC folder containing a really big BSC poster (42cm x 60cm of the Babysitters Remember cover), a copy of the Ann M. Martin postcard included with book 60, a pink BSC badge and the 1995 Babysitters Club complete stock list and order form.  The latter makes me think that it was an information pack for bookshops interested in buying BSC stock.  I'm actually really glad I got the order form too, because it has some publication dates and, heck, I could have purchased BSC display bookcases for 219.90 - get me...well, not that I would have, but it was nice to have the option.
Anyway, it was a really nice thing to send to a BSC fan (it was like I had died and gone to heaven when I opened up that poster - it was on my wall for years and years...), but Scholastic also seemed to see fit to add my address to one of their teacher mailing lists - for several years afterwards I regularly received a catalogue of Scholastic's educational books.  There was something quite surreal about being ten years old and getting letters that began with "Dear Teacher - take a look at our discounts on 'Well Done' stickers!" and the like.




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