by Adam Van Wickler
Welcome back to Adam Van Wickler’s longest running column/blog, of which the preceding statement could have applied 2 articles ago for the 2nd edition. Speaking of the 2nd edition, this go around harkens back to our look at Marvel Superhero PEZ in that it also takes a look at the mixture of candy and toys, 2 great tastes that taste great together, especially when that taste is chocolate.
Unlike PEZ though, this installment focuses on some delicious treats that are illegal here in the U.S.A.
If you have never been introduced to Kinder Eggs then you are truly in for a surprise. A Kinder Egg is a hollow chocolate egg comprised of a thin layer of milk chocolate over a thin layer of white chocolate wrapped around a colorful plastic capsule that contains a small toy (some assembly required).
While the chocolate is quite tasty, the toy is really what makes the Kinder Egg so gosh darned cool, and also what makes it so illegal. Some believe that the reason Kinder Eggs are banned in the U.S. is that the toys present a choking hazard for small children. Most of the toys are relatively small and do need to be put together but they do have a warning on the package in several different languages that they are only suitable for ages 3 and up. The real reason that Kinder Eggs are banned is due to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938, which prohibits the embedding of non-food items that are enclosed inside food items unless the non-edible part has a functioning value, like say a popsicle stick.
While some may see this Act as a positive guide to prevent the addition of any hazardous items into food, Kinder Eggs are available in over 100 other countries that realize that most human beings over the age of 3 know better than to try to swallow a chunk of plastic, well either that or they just believe in Darwinism.
I’ve had the pleasure to work on quite a few different licenses that were packaged inside these ‘dangerous’ chocolate eggs, but today I want to focus on something a little bit different. The typical Kinder Egg is the same size as the eggs you have for breakfast, the Kinder Maxi Egg is another matter entirely. Standing about 7.5” tall and 4” in diameter, these are “special occasion” giant Kinder eggs, usually available during Christmas or Easter.
FUN FACT: Ferrero, the maker of Kinder Eggs, also makes Nutella!
The Kinder Maxi Eggs that we will be focusing on here contain characters from America’s longest running sitcom, The Simpsons.
What’s really cool about the Kinder Maxi Eggs is that it’s usually more than just a toy that is hidden inside that giant chocolate egg, what you get is a snap together kit that serves some other purpose.
Homer is leaning back on the family television, atop of which is Snowball II the family cat. However the TV is not just a sculpted toy but in fact serves as a battery powered digital clock. If you press down on the television antennae the clock even lights up!
Here we have an elaborate Ferris Wheel picture holder that is flanked by Bart and Lisa Simpson to display your precious moments in a fun manner.
Are you tired of just laying your ipod down on the table? Well how about tossing it into this ipod holder! When you do, the side speaker pops up to reveal Milhouse, ready to cheer Bart on.
I bet you’ve had trouble locating a paperclip in the past, well not any more when you eat your way into this Kinder Maxi Egg that contains a Simpson’s themed desk organizer. Bart and Lisa are playing with their baby sister Maggie inside a cardboard box, which sits atop 2 drawers that you can store all sorts of office supplies inside. Even better, Maggie’s cardboard box has ample room to store some of your favorite pens, pencils, and markers.
Have you ever left someone a note only to find that it had blown away in a gust of wind, well not anymore when you have the Simpsons family note holder. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie are all ready to hold your little notes aloft for the world to see.
And finally we have the infamous Bart Simpson riding his skateboard around a light post and down a section of the streets of Springfield. But what’s that? There’s more here than meets the eye? This section of street is also a clip that can hold on to the included Simpsons branded post-it notes, and that unassuming street lamp is also a mechanical pencil!
So as you can see these Kinder Maxi Eggs are definitely something else. The Simpsons may have been one of the most challenging licenses I have ever worked on. I spent many hours driving to and from 20th Century Fox with sculpts in hand trying to gain their approval. In the end it was worth it to have an array of interesting product that I am proud to have been involved in the making of.
Thanks again for reading, until next time, you can count on me to keep playing with myself!