Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Kinder vs Ülker: Egg Wars.

I can't be the only person to have noticed how Kinder Eggs have got worse over the years, can I?

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:
While the Ulker is just milk chocolate:
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.

The Ülker Toto appears to have all the qualities I used to admire in the Kinder Surprise.

Thank you Ülker Toto, whoever you are.

38 comments:

Swineshead said...

The Ulker Toto website just cheered me up on a drab morning.

http://www.toto.com.tr/

Actually, I'll try an html link but I usually balls these things up.

Ulker Toto...

Jayne Ferst said...

Thanks swineshead for the link, I now really want that bemused looking womble on a motorbike...

Kinder is way too disappointing these days. They have lost the plot, I think they were far too smug with the two different chocolate thing and forgot what they are here for. I remember the multi-coloured robot you had to construct from little pieces, ah, happy days.

SelBel said...

It's all Health & Safety's fault, Kinder probably stopped the "build-your-own" model in fear that someone would choke on a small piece of the toy and take them to the cleaners... no win, no fee...

Hurray for Ulker Toto, but how long before the lawyers recommend they go the way Kinder did...?

Matt said...

I don't know, any excuse to do a bit of studio photography...nice silky backdrop by the way...

Douglas said...

I'm pretty sure that the kid in the old Kinder adverts wanted "some chocolate, some WHITE chocolate, and a toy". Like you I always felt that the greedy child should have been given nothing for the sheer cheek of the request.

Matt L said...

The surprise for me was always that there was so little chocolate.

Anonymous said...

Ah, a blogger after my own heart. Kinder eggs are just depressing these days (absolutley nothing to do with being 20, and thus far too old for the stuff, obviously).

Flick xx

nerys said...

Couldn't agree more. The builing is all part of the fun. Kinder are just taking the easy, cheap way out.
Am having a rubbish day. Thanks for cheering me up.

The Kitchen Cynic said...

Can I have that model Smart car if you don't want it? Please?

Gordon said...

Ohhh..

I thought the "surprise" was the 'crunchy' bit in the middle.

Explains all those trips to A&E mind you.

Ahoyhoy said...

So was the chocolate your reward for a good day's writing, Dave, or was going out to buy chocolate another delaying tactic in the writing process?

Dandelion said...

Choca-doobie! Yummy-scrummy!

It was definitely chocolate a toy and a surprise. But if you knew the toy was in there, where's the surprise in that? What a swizz! They were also very expensive.

Murk said...

The key is in the wrapper. A distinct lack of English (which is rare for the UK - given the monolingual nature of much of the population).

Looks like someone near you is importing.....

Shame, it means I'm unlikely to stumble on one of these* where I live.

* not that you would, you'd be more likely to flatten than stumble

Anonymous said...

I recently came across these eggs (the Kinder variety) at Easter time. I live in the US. We don't have these here. Shortly after my exciting purchase I read an article in the local paper. These eggs, all varieties, are deemed "choking hazards" and are not to be sold in the US. We do not have any plastic toy surprises, large or small, in chocolate eggs.

Ben / S2K said...

Kinder Eggs always struck me as being very depressing things. They cost 60p - very nearly twice the price of any decent bar of chocolate you care to name - and they tend to contain disappointing not-quite-a-toy toys. Bill Bailey described them, rather aptly, as "the eggs of numbing inevitability." I don't blame him.

Yet despite this I am addicted to them. or was, in any case - I've moved from Luton to LA, so it's not like I can just pop into a Ralph's and pick up a Kinder Egg (although I can get Cadbury's Dairy Milk. Wonder!). perhaps this is for the best. They were hardly an investment in pleasure.

Still, when I return to the UK imagine I'll still end up buying at least three. Glod knows why.

debbie said...

I love the way they've left airholes so the dinosaur can breathe while he's waiting for someone to put him together (through all the egg and foil, I know). Actually there's a strange, inverse humpty-dumpty thing going on here...

Baris said...

I've never seen these, but Ülker is definitely Turkish - the text on the egg near the bottom, "Yumurtlayan yumurta", means: "The egg that lays an egg". I find that deeply sinister...

BPP said...

No doubt that bloody Health 'n' Safety mob are behind all this. We used to be able to construct pointless crappy toys inside overpriced chocolate eggs without choking to death, but nowadays they're worried the kids'll be keeling over and what have you. Mark my words, these new-fangled Turkish eggs you've stumbled upon will share the same fate as their Kinder counterparts. You'll open one up one day hoping to find a crummy little catapult-style device, and instead be confronted by a moulded plastic Betty Rubble (or whatever it is the kids are into nowadays).

This, and I don't think the point's ever been made before, is political correctness gone mad.

Dan said...

The H&S brigade would only step in if you're marketing it to small kids. You could continue to put small parts in there is you clearly labelled it as suitable for Age X+

Kinder have probably only resorted to one piece toys to open up a larger potential market age wise.

Personally, the ever evolving crapness of Kinder is compounded by the inherent branding. A Smart car? They are obviously getting a kick back for including a miniature replica of a branded product, teaching kids to grow up to be good little consumers, blah blah blah.

BPP said...

Are you sure it's not those laggards in Brussels? If they can mess around with our sausages without any thought for our feelings, they can certainly mess around with novelty toys. PCGM (Political Correctness Gone Mad)!

Groc said...

I can pinpoint for you exactly the time Kinder Egg toys went from good to not so good. I was collecting them during the time and they brought out these Pink Panther models (which were great) unfortunately some rather negligent mother inadvertently allowed her 8 month old child (!!! Obviously too young to be allowed near ANY kind of tiny objects unsupervised!) to choke to death on some pieces of one of them.

Consequently because of this sad tragedy all Kinder Eggs were taken off the shelves - and ever after the toys were remodeled to come with far less parts and reams of safety warnings printed in every conceivable language rolled in the eggs. All this despite the fact that millions of Kinder Egg toys had been sold to children over the years with no one managing to kill themselves with them before then. But now - obviously after that one death all Kinder Egg toys were considered as lethal as a loaded gun or cyanide capsule.

Myself I don't understand why all children aren't wrapped up in several layers of cotton wool and bubble wrap until they reach the age of 21 - for their own protection of course.

BadAlbert said...

Ok, what about the toys that you had to assemble that when assembled could still fit in the egg? Anomally, or prejudice on your part? Coffin candy kicked the kinder egg's ass anyway, because you got to build a tiny candy skeleton out of the candy bone bits inside the plastic coffins, then when you'd eaten that you could conduct realistic funerals for your star wars figures in the back garden. Said figures amazingly fit into the coffins. A golden age...

Ariel said...

So... gotta go all the way to TURKEY to have fun again? Drat... You don't mention the various uses for that little yellow plastic shell. In hippie circles, it is a favoured weed carrying device I am told...

Peter said...

Load of foreign muck, if you ask me. Germans, Turks. When I was a lad in the forties, chocolate had names like Cadbury and Fry. And that's all. Anyone trying to sell stuff with a name like Kinder would have been run out of town.

Anyway - hello Groc. I didn't know you were still alive. Groc was one of the very few early blog influences. Grocblog. A classic.

Steven said...

Dave,

(a) You are of course absolutely right about the decline in the quality of the toys in the kinder eggs. A good observation - thanks so much for taking the time to share it with the world

(b) Have you considered that Michele Ferrero, who makes the eggs (well, he obviously doesn't make the eggs himself, but you know what I mean), is, like, the 128th richest person in the world with a net worth of, like, $3.7 billion? So really, he can damn well put whatever crappy toys he likes in them, can't he.

MerseyMal said...

Personally I preferred this more sinister looking advert for Kinder

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOFRIWx5F9c

Anonymous said...

xxx toys sounds fun

RuutAckses said...

It was "Something exciting, some chocolate and a toy".

I still answer with this every time my missus asks me if I want anything from town.

Still just as contrived and still trying to make three things out of two.

Anonymous said...

Who wants Ulker eggs??? Iv'e just bought 14 pallets of eggs (about 110,000 eggs) to sell @ 10 for £1

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michelle said...

if you go on to facebook, there is a group called kinder eggs for eyes and i feel this is a far better use for the little egg inside!! there is over 140 pictures of followers to the mighty kinder egg wearing them as eye pieces!!!! check it out, its very funny x

James said...

I can't believe that you prefer Ulker over Kinder! I bought an Ulker for my girlfriend in Berlin and it was rubbish!

The chocolate was rubbish, and the toy! Notice that the capsule for the Ulker has air vents in it? That's because the instructions smelled like dead animals!

The toy was some crappy chilli pepper with a face and arms that were supposed to go up and down but didn't!

Anonymous said...

Omg.
Me and my best mate are sitting reading this and litteraly laughing our heads off.

This man clearly has no life.

"The first time I opened a Kinder Egg to find a small plastic Smurf I felt cheated."
I mean, seriously, wtf!?

Kinder Eggs are amazing (:

WE LOVE SMART CARS.

but seriously, Dave Gorman, You have no life.

Find a new hobby. Writing complaints is not your strong point.
we promise you.

Thanks for the tears of laughter,,
Aimee and Emily (:

Anonymous said...

Aimee and Emily are clearly the only sane people who have read this website
And yes
WE LOVE SMART CARS TOO
:)
honestly Dave Gorman when i started reading this i was praying this was a joke

apparently not :S

Thanks for cheering us up here in the office :)

Love the bosses at kinder egg
:)

Kismet said...

I have to agree with you completely Dave! I do feel that the chocolate of the Kinder egg is better than the Toto, but the Toto toy is far superior! And thats really what I want in a chocolate egg toy thingamagig. I discovered Toto on a trip to Turkey. So now I just need to find them here in Los Angeles. Any suggestions?

Kismet said...

I just opened up a Kinder with the police car from the animated movie "Cars" in it...and it was preassembled. I had to take it apart so that I could put the lame little stickers on it, and then reassemble it. I think Im going to boycott them from here on out. I dont see any reason to keep buying them

norman said...

does anyone have any idea where can I buy the ulker toto eggs online????

thankssss

Esther said...

I'm SOOOOO happy you posted about this. I have two toto eggs left from a trip I made almost a decade ago to the middle east, but obviously they are too old to eat/enjoy. With the link posted I was able to contact the company who produces them and am hoping that they'll be allowed to ship to the U.S.