Saturday, July 5, 2008

If loving these is illegal...

...throw me in jail. I'm guilty. These are Kinder Eggs. If you're never heard of them, you probably live in the United States. Why? Because they're illegal in the United States.
What they are is a chocolate egg with a large capsule inside them (I'd say about two inches). The capsule has a toy inside it, usually requiring construction. They are aimed at kids (Kinder is German for 'child).
About ten years ago, I was lucky enough to go to the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, Germany. One of the things I remember best about this trip was that these Kinder Eggs were everywhere. At grocery stores, at convenience stores, train stations, everywhere!
The eggs, made by Italian candy manufacturer Ferrero, are delicious. The toys are usually ingenious in their design and are often quite quirky.
I remember thinking that, despite the thousands of toys I ran across at the Nuremberg toy fair, my big discovery was the Kinder Eggs and how we would sell them at our store, especially around Easter. They were a sure-fire hit. Except for that whole illegal thing.
I found out that thanks to a 1938 F.D.A. law specifically prohibits embedding "non-nutritive items" in confections. The Consumer Product Safety Commission have frequently warned consumers about this product and have stressed how 'dangerous' they are. They issued a recall in 1997 for some that made their way into the United States.
It just seems ironic that here is a candy/toy product that has no lead, no phlatates, no issue at all regarding what's in the product, except that it contains a capsule that could produce a 'choking hazard.'
I'm usually all for enhanced safety with toys and children, but this seems a bit ridiculous. The capsule is so big that I can't imaging a child aged three and over could possibly accidentally swallow it. The parts of the toy can be small, but certainly no smaller than millions of other toys that are legally sold to kids in the US. I dunno, maybe it's just me.

4 comments: said...

Well you can carry on loving them from a distance... I doubt they'll be around too much longer since toys that confuse food and toys aren't considered good practice..check sometime at

Joe said...

They are around. Everywhere but in the US. They're available in Canada, Europe, all over the place! They still put toys in Cracker Jack, don't they? What about people who propose to their girlfriends by putting the ring in some food item, should they be arrested?

Anonymous said...

i grew up in germany and with these eggs! I LOVE THEM and they are by far the most missed thing about Germany and my childhood.

Jim "Kep!" Keplinger said...

I really miss these...especially around Easter. Feh!