Thirty Thousand Streets

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Whatever happened to Kinder Eggs

I bought a Kinder Egg yesterday. To me these days, Kinder Eggs are a bit like National Lottery scratchcards.. things I occasionally buy while queueing for milk in the newsagents, in an attempt to numb the general ennui of existence by the frisson of excitement they represent. I could win a million pounds! or I could have a fully functioning scale replica of Robert Stevenson's 'Rocket', in plastic!

Unfortunately, neither are ever true, and with both scratchies and eggs, you're generally left with an instant piece of rubbish, and a faint sense of anticlimax. Kinder Eggs have fallen the fuck off, man.

May I present Exhibit A for the prosecution. Ladies and gentlemen: my prize

















Now, could anyone tell me, WTF this is supposed to be? Obviously it's supposed to be some kind of doll, but what kind of kid would want to have such a thing? I might be getting needlessly nostalgic here, but I used to get loads of these things as a child, and I'm pretty certain they were far superior back in the day. I remember Kinder Egg toys where you'd open it, and it was completely composite – you'd get all these little parts, with a tiny set of instructions on how to assemble your plane/boat/tractor, with fingers still sticky from the ersatz two-tone chocolate. That was half the fun: it invited you to engage in the construction of your toy – to the point of applying decal stickers – and the payoff at the end was you got your little toy, magic trick whatever, to forget about half an hour later when Ulysses 31 came on TV.

The one concession to the construction process in my eye-wateringly ugly plastic homunculus is the fact that it came in two parts. The head is detachable you see, and upon removal of the head you're left with..

















A mini totem devil! Great! What kind of message is that sending out?

"All appearances are false" (booms a hollow voice like Orson Welles as Unicron in Transformers the Movie) "all appearances are false, and at the heart of everything, dwells unreason, which is the very principle of evil"

That's how I interpreted it anyway. No wonder the kids of today are messed up; truly, the devil is in the details.

















It gets worse though. Squinting at the accompanying mini brochure, it becomes clear that this is just one in a family of similar statuettes, all of whom are presumably also demons masquerading as members of some sub-Pokemon cartoon family, all available for you to collect and perform your own mini-inquisition upon. And even worse than this, all of them appear to be piloting small aircraft, which in my case at least, was not included in the original purchase. Great. So I'm to be denied even that catharsis.

This is fairly typical of kinder eggs now.. they do seem to be all based around some dog-ugly set of characters, that require minimal interaction or imagination. Something I find doubly depressing about these toys is that, as non-biodegradeable plastic, if I opted to have them buried them in the ground with me a la the Egyptian pharoahs, there's a good chance these tawdry artefacts would persist long after my remains had long since vanished, for future generations of intelligent insects/rats to ponder over. Kind of a lame legacy to leave, I'm sure you'll agree. Here's some I bought earlier this year.

















In truth this slide isn't restricted to just Kinder Toys though.. as I trawled the aisles of Woolworths the other day in my quest for some 'Henry' vaccuum-cleaner bags, I was arrested mid stride by the selection of lego in the toys aisle. It all seemed more sophisticated, but at least half of it consisted of branded tie-ins to the Star Wars franchise (and presumably George Lucas's latter day revisionist abominations at that). Indeed, even the bits that weren't, while appearing more engineered, were actually constructed of parts that seemed wholly specific to the individual toy – a entire moulded cabin for a flatbed truck for instance.

Part of Lego's charm was its trademark clunkyness.. the fact that all or most of the parts were modular and interchangeable. Something that was a car one minute could easily be a spaceship the next, with a little input and imagination of course. These modern day efforts? well I don't know.. they look kinda cool, but ultimately more limited in scope.. less 'open source' if you like.

Anyway *rant over*. You could probably recreate the sentiment of reading this blog post by simply writing:

"Things aren't as good as they used to be"

And reading and re-reading that for five minutes. In the meanwhile, I'm going to go and shake my fist at the sea. You can discuss how much larger chocolate bars used to be amongst yourselves.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

to fuckin right, kinder eggs suck nowerdays.
last one i got was a two part figurine of princess stephany out of the new shreck film. Super shit or what!
easy bro.

Little Nutbrown Hare said...

They're called The Bo 5 and they're aliens. The other words floating around say friendship, skills, speed and bravery. And no, I don't know them. Looks like some pseudo Manga characters invented in China if you ask me.

PS I failed word verification three times.

Zeno Cosini said...

This made me laugh so much that I strained my left shoulder slightly. Especailly your "interpretation" of the presence of the demonic homunculus concealed in the toy.

It was Orson Welles who voiced Unicron. His last role. He died a few weeks after completing the recording.

doppelganger said...

That Star Wars Lego ain't bad... it never stays complete, so you end up in our house with a kinda Star Wars / Batman / Ninja warped multiverse... which.. y'know.. has its' possibilities...

Spot on with Kinder though...

The Eyechild said...

Dan:

It is super shit! I just want to throw that kind of rubbish at a magpie, but I doubt even those flyin' thieves would take this plastic crap back to their nests.

LNBH:

Thanks for the translation! Yeah the entire thing's pretty false to me. That word verification can be pretty annoying.. but presumably keeps the spam bots at bay.

ZC:

Cheers dude.. corrected.. George Orwell!? what was I thinking? there was on 'Or' in there anyway.

Karlmond said...

I googled:

Kinder Egg toys are shit

and this was the first post, and no surprise as to why it was > I COMPLETELY AGREE <.

I'm a big kinderegg buyer, specially in my childhood times. I've got wooden planes, tons of random shit like frogs, ships, cars, although one of the most memorably-worser ones I got a few years back was a miniture smart car. But I bought one, a few weeks ago, with some felt crap bunny inside of it. And I was thinking, okay maybe this was one of those crap ones, that wasn't a builder. So I bought another one today, and guess what.

You see that Green/purple goblin-like thing you have on the far right? Well I got that one, and it looks ridiculous. Most children get atleast some sort of kick of building their own things (heck, I did and still do), but this little helmet on doll crap sucks.

Kinder eggs are so disappointing now, maybe I'll buy another one and hope I get the matching plane.

KT

The Eyechild said...

KT:

Yes, Kinder eggs are pretty much distilled essence o' dissapointment these days.. a little like not getting what you want for Christmas, again, and again.

<0>

Jess said...

Oh, we're a match made in Kinder Hell.

I got the matching plane. It was mre intricate to put together, but I was annoyed when I had no pilot. =(

And those felt bunnies suck!

Anonymous said...

I got some kind of magic trick with a box and a die, the instructions made no sense. Could not figure out what it was supposed to do.

Anonymous said...

never mind, i figured it out. actually quite good!

Anonymous said...

can you explain the dice in the box trick because we can't figure it out

Jerome said...

Yeah, WTF has happened?? I used to love the little fricton powered cars and stuuf. You remember??? They had a weighty metal wheel which was asembled within the car along with a series of little cogs and gears. They were amazing!! You used to thrust them forward on the floor and they'd spool up and then fly off accross the room.
I've bought 3-4 eggs recently and all have had a really really shockingly GASH toys lurking within. Infact, toys aren't the right adjective to describe the horrible little pieces of bastard!
WORD!

Anonymous said...

what happened is: you grew up!

Osbaldo Moore said...

My son loves kinder eggs because of the toys inside.
KINDER

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