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Unsung Kiwi heroes get star treatment with Countdown's new collectibles

Friday 28 October 2022, 12:01AM

By Undertow Media NZ

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Countdown Bricks Farm collectibles feature real Kiwi growers
Countdown Bricks Farm collectibles feature real Kiwi growers Credit: Countdown

Dame Valerie Adams was honoured as a Barbie, Karl Urban boasts an enviable range of action figures and Winston Peters became a beloved chew-toy for our furry friends. Now, Countdown has immortalised some true unsung heroes of Aotearoa in 100 per cent recycled plastic.

Countdown Bricks Farm, available in-store and online from today, allows customers to build their own unmistakably Kiwi farm - complete with Kaipara Kūmara, a red rural letterbox and figurines based on actual growers and farmers who supply Countdown stores across the country.

Brid Drohan-Stewart, Countdown’s Director of Brand, says that honouring the legends who work tirelessly to supply top-notch produce to Kiwi households is a crucial component of this follow-up to last year’s popular Countdown Bricks.

“Kiwi families loved getting creative with Countdown Bricks last year and what better way to build on their collections than to highlight the incredible growers who deliver world-class produce to our customers.

“First and foremost Countdown Bricks Farm collectibles are about bringing joy with a free, sustainable addition to toy boxes across the country. This year Kiwi kids will also have the opportunity to learn more about where their kai comes from - and the people who make it happen,” says Brid.

Anthony Blundell, Managing Director of Kaipara Kūmara and Countdown Bricks Farm star, has been working in the family business for 40 years. His father was one of the first growers to sell direct to Countdown, known as Foodtown, way back in 1967.

“We’ve been with Countdown since the start, there were only three stores when Dad started selling to them and we’ve never looked back. Being chosen to feature as a Brick figurine goes to show how important that relationship is on both sides,” says Anthony.

Alongside Anthony, customers will see figurines of Countdown produce managers Brier O’Shea and Simba Mashingaidze, Kathy Cowell of Balle Bros, LeaderBrand’s Gordon McPhail, Wilcox crop manager Blair Wilcox and Toni Baker from New Zealand Gourmet.  

LeaderBrand has been supplying Countdown for more than 30 years with spinach, lettuce, broccoli, corn, pumpkins, bagged salads and lots more. General Manager of Farming Gordon McPhail says farming is in his blood.

“I grew up on a farm and loved it from my earliest memories. I’m now super proud to be able to grow healthy food to feed Kiwi families,” says Gordon.

Commenting on the likeness to his very own Brick, father of four Gordon says he’s impressed.

“I imagine there’ll be a fair amount of banter and stick from my workmates about seeing me as a collectible toy, but my kids will love it. It’s really cool to see farming recognised in this way.”

Like its predecessor, Countdown Bricks Farm has been certified by Environmental Choice New Zealand and this year’s collection is made from 100 per cent recycled plastic, giving new life to items that would otherwise end up in landfill including old swimming goggles, luggage handles and fridge parts.

From today (28 October), customers will receive one pack for every whole $30 they spend in-store or online. There are 40 unique Countdown Bricks Farm Packs to collect until 25 December or while stocks last and only the luckiest Kiwi collectors will get their hands on 100 rare hidden Golden Sheep.

For those keen to expand their play, extras including Farmhouse Starter Kits, additional farmer figures and farm vehicles are available to purchase. From Monday 31 October, Bonus Bricks Farm Packs are up for grabs when customers purchase participating products in a $30 shop.

The farm experience continues online in the myCountdown app with quizzes, recipes, fun face filters and games.

“We know most of our customers will enjoy collecting Countdown Bricks Farm Packs but for those who don’t want to collect, we’ll have donation boxes in store so that unwanted Bricks can be passed on to the store’s chosen charity to be loved by someone else,” says Brid.

More information can be found at: www.countdown.co.nz/bricks