It's not like they started off great. It always seemed like a dodgy sales pitch in the first place when they had the advert in which - if memory serves - a badly dubbed child asked their mother for "some chocolate, a toy and a surprise."
I always thought it was a bit cheeky of them trying to make it sound like there were three things involved when in actual fact the toy was the surprise. It wasn't some chocolate, a toy and a surprise... it was some chocolate and a surprising toy. But I'm quibbling. And this has nothing to do with my complaint.
This is the thing. I'm pretty sure that in the beginning a Kinder Egg toy was something that needed some building. You built it and when it was finished it was normally bigger than the plastic yolk that the parts had come in. That was the point of the Kinder Egg... they'd ingeniously put inside them, toys that shouldn't have been able to fit inside.
But then it all went wrong. In my recollection it started with the Smurfs. The toys started being small little molded bits of plastic that you didn't have to build... and obviously that means that they were all small enough to fit inside the egg in the first place. The first time I opened a Kinder Egg to find a small plastic Smurf I felt cheated. I mean what was the point?
Recently I've noticed that one of my local shops sells a different brand of chocolate egg; the Ülker Toto. I think it's a Turkish brand but wherever they're from they have renewed my faith in the whole chocolate-egg-containing-a-toy genre. Let us compare and contrast.
The first major difference is that the Kinder variety has milk chocolate with a white chocolate inner lining:
Personally, this doesn't bother me either way. If you're a chocolate connoisseur I don't think the chocolate-containing-toy market is really for you. What's more interesting is that the plastic yolk inside the Ülker is clearly larger than that from the Kinder:
But what they contain is more instructive. The Kinder Egg contains a small plastic Smart Car. It's already been built so there's no fun construction to be done.
while the Ulker contains 12 different parts - including an elastic band - promising a world of fun.
Put the parts together and you have a small purple dinosaur on wheels. There's no way you could put the completed toy inside the yellow plastic container. More exciting still, the elastic band powers a small motor. When you push the head down towards the ground, it stretches the elastic band which is connected to a gearing system. Let go and the band contracts, the head rises and the whole thing scurries forward on his wheels.
Surely a purple dinosaur that has elastic band power built in and who is bigger than the egg he came in, kicks the arse of the pre-built tiny toy car. More importantly, the dinosaur is precisely the kind of toy that I remember getting from my first forays into Kinder Egg ownership.