Up Yours, Cracker Jack

30th November 2007

Non-choking Cracker Jack toys make my soul sad. What the hell, Cracker Jack? You seriously expect me to convince my kid that a half-inch square of paper with cartoon drawings of centipedes is mind-blowing fun? Do you think my kid is stupid, Cracker Jack?

While American kids are clapping and mewling over paper “pencil toppers,” German kids are ripping into the hearty intellectual challenge that is the Kinder Egg. Their candy toys are so formidable they require assembly. Do you hear that, Corporate America? German kids are learning how to build things. Our kids are scratching their heads over your three-point connect-the-dots, and then apparently stuffing them into their windpipes.

I will not allow you to stunt the fun-center of my child’s brain, jerkwads. More kids choking, fewer crap-ass toys!

43 thoughts on “Up Yours, Cracker Jack

  1. RA

    This is totally eerie because a zany co-worker brought back those eggs from Germany for all of us. We all had tiny cars on our desks for a while, but alas, no one choked.

  2. Anne

    OMG I am so with you there. I went forever without them and then I thought I will get them for my kids cause you know last time I had cracker jacks it had actual toys in it. UGH never again.

  3. Kyran @ Notes to Self

    the Canadian chorus of confectionary superiority is so very Canadian, it made me snicker aloud. We have to take whatever opportunities come our way to crow.

    For example, I am fond of reminding my American husband that we invented the space shuttle arm.

    The blueprint and parts came in a Kinder Suprise.

  4. Gayla

    Hell yes. This is why I am saving the old-school Fisher Price Little People Farm Set that I have in the box AND plastic (never used) for my mythical future children. Because the new sets while mega-choke-safe are just crap.

  5. samantha

    mmmm….. kinder eggs! i also like the party crackers from england, they have cool toys inside too, like tiny staplers and dice.

    boo cracker jack.

  6. Joy

    I LOVE Kinder Eggs. I used to hoard them for myself, forget about the kids in my family. Haha.

    A couple of my swap friends from years ago told me Kinder Surprise eggs were banned in the US, so they begged me to send them from Canada.

  7. centrs

    you can usually find kinder eggs in bodega type places in poorer neighborhoods. i see them in san francisco all the time. the chocolate is the worst i’ve ever tasted though.

  8. Lori

    Funny, I brought a Kinder Egg back from Germany for my 2.5 year-old at the suggestion of a colleague in the Hamburg office. When I saw it at the airport kiosk, I thought, “this is for little kids? It’d never fly in the U.S.” I bought it anyway.

  9. Katie

    And it’s not just German kids. They offer Kinder Surprise eggs in every 1st World country except the USA! Fortunately, San Franciscans can pick some up in the Japantown grocery store.

  10. ~moe~

    I had a Kinder Egg in London in 1997 and I still have the toy that was in the egg. It’s currently on my Christmas Tree. But now I’m sad because I’m totally jonesing for an egg…

  11. Linnea

    Kinder Eggs are THE BEST. Brilliant little things. Great for kids (though I really like them as well). Choke away, indeed!

    That’s the best thing I’ve noticed about living in Europe for the last six months: people don’t really sue for dumb stuff like they do in the States. Liability is a more respected concept, i.e. if you do something stupid, it’s probably because you’re stupid. People actually trust each other to be smart.

  12. Heather

    I’d read about Kinder Eggs and resigned my American self to never knowing their goodness. Last week, I was in a tiny Mom & Pop grocery store and THERE.THEY.WERE. I meant to gasp, but I think I shrieked with glee. I bought two, but haven’t had the heart to actually open them because I don’t want reality to interfere with my fantasy….and because if they’re really deliciously wonderful I’ll have to buy more.

  13. jessica

    We moved back home (east coat, US) from Amsterdam a little over a year ago because I missed the “simple comforts” of home. But oddly, since having a child of my own, I miss the simple lifestyle we lead in Amsterdam. the grass is always greener…, I supppose. Also – man, I miss Kinder-eggs.

  14. Lora

    There’s a store in Monrovia (southern CA) that sells the Kinder Eggs…my 5 year old son BEGS me non-stop for them whenever we go there.

  15. Betsybeth

    Us europeans do love a kinder toy… they are cool and unless it has moving parts we are not happy! I have just bought my 17 year old step daughter a kinder advent calender and she is totally happy (well, she’s 17 she’s never gonna be TOTALLY happy). Kids can choke on anything, get grip Cracker jack! (i’ve never even had this its just a thing from Breakfast at Tiffany’s for me : )

  16. amanda

    The chocolate on the Kinder Egg is no good? I beg to differ. It’s quite delicious. I was lucky enough to be a child when I lived overseas and know the joy of European kids treats and Kinder Eggs. I have probably put together dozens of those little toys in my lifetime — so much fun. I remember as a teen getting one that was just a figurine, no moveable parts. I wonder, now, if that was a prep for getting into the American market — it was such a disappointment.

  17. clare

    kinder eggs are amazing. my favourite series of toys were the mariachi band set.. they were all fat little mexican men, who performed different actions when you pressed their hats. the accordian player was the best.

  18. Beth

    Fellow Americans, Kinder Eggs are pretty easy to order online. Usually about $25 a box. I can’t remember which dealer I’ve used, but I just googled someone who ships them from Canada. I’ve done it a few times. Usually only a couple of broken eggs out of 2 dozen. Can we say stocking stuffers? Who are we kidding? I eat/assemble them all myself.

  19. Amy

    “the Canadian chorus of confectionary superiority is so very Canadian, it made me snicker aloud. We have to take whatever opportunities come our way to crow.”

    Whaaaat? We Canadians have so MANY opportunities to crow! For one we do not have idiot Bush running our country. Two, medical care that is accessible to all! Green spaces, seasons..

    Anyway, yes, Kindersurprises not banned here for fear of lawsuits, my kids grew up on them as special treats :)

  20. SAILOR JACK®

    Death to the Fascist Corporatocracy. Choke the pusillanimous poltroons with their pantywaste prizes.

  21. a.

    German kids are half as crazy for Ãœberraschungseier as the world assumes, and the toys inside aren’t nearly as tricky as they were twenty years ago. The current toys are already assumed child safe (there are warnings on the paper snippets inside) and are dumbefied versions.
    It’s the adults who craze out over the toys inside, because they are traded at often astronomic prices.

  22. kat f.

    i have one of those mexican toys on my dresser RIGHT NOW.

    i can totally send you some kinder eggs, if you want.

  23. Katherine Of It All

    Dude. We totally only do the Kinder Eggs with our monkeys now. They sometimes don’t even bother with the candy shell–they just go straight for the toy. But woe betide us now, because I was told by THREE local shop owners that the last shipment MELTED AT SEA! (Wha?! MELTED?! I KNOW!!!) We wait with bated breath for more. My 8 year old is gonna have a hernia if they don’t come soon to fill his tiny-toy-addiction.

  24. Lauren

    I love Kinder Eggs. My friend recently had one with an octopus that changed colors from blue to yellow. She sent me the little rhyme in it to translate for her, and because I learned German from a bunch of drunk college kids and blau means “hungover” in slang I almost told her the octopus changes from hungover to yellow.

  25. Nate

    …and while you’re at it put the steel junglegyms with concrete moorings back in our schoolyards! Natural selection is waiting, you wussies!

  26. Gabby

    “There’s a store in Monrovia (southern CA) that sells the Kinder Eggs…my 5 year old son BEGS me non-stop for them whenever we go there.”

    I’m familiar with the Monrovia store, but there’s one in Duarte also, and I beg my boyfriend for them every time we go.
    My fondest early childhood memories are that of a chocolate-coated mouth and a cheery, fun new toy in hand. Sadly, we moved to California from Spain when I was 5.
    Whenever my boyfriend and I take a drive down to Tijuana, I stock up because they sell them in bulk at Smart & Final down there.

  27. elayne

    LOVE KinderEggs. Love the chocolate most, toys second most. We lived in Germany when I was growing up, and I was devastated when I came back to the US and realized they didn’t have KinderEggs. (I’ve heard that it’s because there’s a law in the US against selling an edible product that contains a non-edible product, but I guess that’s not so since some of you report them in local stores.) I now live on the US/Mexico border and there have been times I made the trek across the bridge and braved the beggars, street vendors, and insistent taxi drivers just to get an egg or two.

    When I was about 13, I got a “honeybee” figure in a KinderEgg. My brother and I named her Honey (of course) and built a little house for her, carried her around with us everywhere, and made up grand adventures – I think I finally lost her when I was about 16 or so.

    Really truly love KinderEggs.

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