Kinder Surprise Eggs consist of a dual layered chocolate egg, with milk chocolate on the outside, and the inside of the shell made from white chocolate. Â Inside the chocolate shell lies a little plastic container, which when opened contains a build-it-yourself toy.
The eggs are manufactured by Italian company Ferrero (creators of the Ferrero Rocher – thank you ambassador, you’re really spoiling us) and they first appeared in 1972. Â Whilst the chocolate egg part has remained pretty much unchanged since then (personally I don’t find it that tasty) the toys have steadily improved in quality.
I remember as a child the toy was usually a disappointment, being something like a ring or a pencil topper, but some time in the 1980s (I think about the time the TV advert that I talk about later in this post aired) the toys suddenly became more interesting. Â Self assembly toys started to appear, where you clicked little pieces of plastic together to build much larger toys such as cars or people. Â Now they can be quite sophisticated toys with moving parts.
Sometimes the eggs will contain a special range of limited edition toys that are intended to be collected, which has increased the appeal of this confectionary to adult toy collectors. Â Some examples were a range of Smurf figurines, a collection of variously posed crocodiles called Crazy Crocos, and the frankly odd pairing of sharks with the stories of the Arabian Knights to produce the Sharkie Babas.
However, if you want the best quality toys then apparently you should buy your Kinder Surprise in Germany, as the Germans get their own special range of toys.
Whilst writing this post I was surprised to find that the Kinder Surprise Egg is banned from sale in the United States due to the small parts contained within the toy. Â I’m frankly surprised at this, since getting into the plastic container holding the toy parts isn’t always that easy. Â If you want proof, check out this link to a page on the US Consumer Product Safety Commission website. Â It’s dated 2006 but the text makes reference to an earlier influx of Kinder Eggs in 1997 when a country wide recall was issued!
Finally, the real reason for writing this post today is because I came across this old TV advert for Kinder Surprise that I certainly remember from my childhood. Â It’s pretty hard to forget because it features a very disturbing looking Humpty Dumpty type character who looks pretty frightening to begin with, but when it starts talking it becomes even more sinister, manically giggling “yibble shriky” and “chocadooby” and shouting “tooooooy!“. Â I can only imagine someone at the ad agency concerned misread “jolly humpty dumpty character” for “scary egg shaped genetic experiment gone wrong“. Â I guess the UK TV ban on advertising sweets to children is a good thing after all if it stops kids being scared by this unholy freak. Â You have been warned.
Me scrooble now.